Monday, August 31, 2009

College: Bulls feeling good entering regular season

TAMPA – The curtain goes up on South Florida’s mens soccer season on Tuesday, and Coach George Kiefer believes his team is ready for the road ahead.

“We’re looking forward to that,” Kiefer said of his side’s game against Central Florida. “I said even after the Stetson game I think we’re ready to get the season going and have some fun.”

The Bulls completed their preseason with a 3-0 win against the Hatters on Thursday night, while Central Florida fell to Tampa 1-0 in its final exhibition game. Kiefer wants his side to establish it’s game early on against the Knights.

“We’ll always go out and try to play our game, do the things we know we’re good at,” Kiefer said. ”In saying that, we do do our homework on opponents, and we do know a fair amount about them. Having seen them play Tampa, you know, it’s a good game for us, but this year it’s much more about us competing against ourselves.”

USF senior Zak Boggs, who began his college career at UCF, believes the team is ready for the regular season to get underway.

“I feel like we’re as prepared as we could have been,” Boggs said. “We’ve had a great preseason, had a good three games, we’ve got something from each of the games, we’re picking up momentum, we still have a long way to go.”

SINCLAIR SETTLING IN: With a goal and an assist against Stetson, Hasani Sinclair appears to have found his feet at the college level quickly.

According to Kiefer, the U.S. Under-18 international and Parade and ESPN Rise All-American, has been excellent to work with throughout preseason.

“You take a lot of young men with his resume, they come in and they think the programs owe them something,” Kiefer said. “With Hasani, he’s very committed to learn and very committed to work hard, and that makes it a lot easier to coach a team when you have guys like him, guys like Bernardo (Anor), guys like Zak, Francisco (Aristequieta). They want me to do more work, I had to tell them no, because I want them to have their legs for (Tuesday).”

Sinclair’s willingness to do the little things, like pressuring defenders and chasing down passes have allowed him, and the rest of the freshman class, to fit in quickly with the rest of the squad.

“Hasani fits in great,” Boggs said. “He’s a good guy, a great player, and you could say the same about any of our freshmen, so everyone’s fitting in well.”

BLEACHER CREATURES: One thing Kiefer is looking forward to are the students who descend on the bleachers behind both goals at the USF Soccer Stadium for home games. Kiefer thinks the atmosphere they add that close to the field helps his side raise their game.

“We have a lot of student groups behind the goal,” Kiefer said. “For whatever reason the atmosphere is a little bit faster when they’re out there, so I look forward to seeing the guys respond to that.”

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