March 10, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing has finalized the remainder of the Spartan men's soccer program's spring schedule. Rensing has assembled a slate which will allow the staff to get a jump start on training and preparation for the 2012 fall season, and features the Spartans against an MLS side in mid-March.
" We are looking forward to the spring matches. We look at this as the start to our 2012 season and these games will provide a great environment for us to evaluate how we are as a team and how we are performing individually," noted Rensing. " We have a good core of players returning who contributed significant minutes in previous seasons, and some that are working to earn more minutes. The games we have on the schedule this spring will definitely allow us to get good evaluations on all the players currently in our program."
The highlight of the spring slate will be a match against the MLS's Columbus Crew, which returns to the Spartans' spring slate after a one-year hiatus.
"We are really excited about our game against the Crew," noted Rensing. "It is an opportunity to that not many college programs get to take advantage of. We played them in the spring of 2010 and it was a great experience. Many of our current players strive to be professionals, and there's no better way for them to evaluate themselves than against a top professional club like Columbus. For our players to see their athleticism, skill, and how they read the game up close will be instrumental for their development."
The Spartans already played their lone February match, against Ajax FC's U-18 team. MSU posted a3-1 victory. Ryan Keener (assist from Nick Wilson), and Tyler White (assist from Ryan Thelen) had goals in the run of play, while sophomore Adam Montague converted a penalty kick for MSU.
The Spartans have just one home spring date, March 22 vs Detroit-Mercy. However, that exhibition game is not open to the public.