Aug. 16, 2010
East Lansing, Mich. - Tuesday marks the opening of pre-season camp for Michigan State's men's soccer team, with plenty of optimism surrounding the upcoming season. The nationally-ranked Spartans will play an intrasquad Green & White game on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to allow fans to get an early look at the team. Follwing the game, the entire Spartan squad will participate in an autograph session for fans in attendance.
"We haven't done a Green and White game in recent years, but I think our guys will be excited about it and it's a chance to get some fans out and see us early," noted second-year head coach Damon Rensing. "Obviously, we will not have done much training as a team before Wednesday's game, but with a team with so many upperclassmen, they were preparing all summer to be ready once our season started. The Green and White game will let our staff see our players in a game situation, and give us some feedback on the areas we will work on in camp before our regular season starts."
There is a great amount of optimism surrounding the upcoming men's soccer season, both internally and in the national picture. Rensing's squad is ranked no. 24 in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) poll, and is No. 19 in the College Soccer News survey.
"We are excited to be ranked in the top 25 preseason polls. It is a testament to our players returning from last year's squad, incoming freshmen class, and the strength of the Big Ten Conference," commented Rensing. "However, it is just a preseason ranking. We will have to work very hard in training camp and on a daily basis throughout the season to meet those expectations."
The Spartans return 10 starters and 20 letterwinners from their NCAA Tournament team in 2009, including preseason Hermann Trophy candidate Avery Steinlage. MSU has a pair of exhibition games (against Bradley at East Kentwood High School on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m., and against Duke at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne on Aug. 29.) The regular season begins with a trip to Washington, DC over Labor Day weekend, where MSU will play at preseason No. 6 Maryland (Sept. 3) and at Georgetown on Sept. 5.