TAMPA – Bernardo Anor’s comeback from a torn ACL appears to be close to complete, and USF’s coaches and players couldn’t be happier.
The redshirt sophomore, who after coming off the bench early in the season recently returned to the Bulls starting lineup, had a goal and an assist over the weekend, and was named to the Big East Conference Honor Roll on Monday.
“I’m happy with myself,” Anor said after Tuesday’s practice. “I am so grateful to all my coaches, who keep me up with everything. They always support me with fitness and to keep working hard.”
Anor leads South Florida with five points (two goals, one assist), and provided the key moment in the Bulls 2-1 win against Notre Dame on Sunday, providing a pin-point cross to Jorge Mora to head home in the 83rd minute.
“He just gets the team going,” Mora said. “He links very well with Francisco (Aristeguieta) and Fernando (Gonzalez) in the middle, and it helps keep the flow of the game going. He is one of those guys who keep the flow of the game.”
Anor is still working on his match-fitness, with Coach George Kiefer still managing his minutes, but Kiefer has been happy with what Anor has been able to accomplish so far.
“I feel like he’s close, but at the same time sometimes he could be playing well, but we still have to manage his minutes,” Kiefer said. “The ball he served to Jorge, a lot of college players just cross that. You watch on film, he got his eyes up, looked and put it on a dime under pressure.”
MORE MORA: Mora also picked up an individual award for his play over the weekend, being named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week. Kiefer said he was happy that Mora was able to play as well as he did with both of his parents, who were visiting for the weekend, in attendance.
“It’s great,” Kiefer said. “We talk a lot about our team being a family, and to see his dad at the end of the game, he was here, his mom and dad were here this weekend, and for Jorge to get the winner, I felt as though his mom and dad were happy for him, the guys were happy for him.
“Jorge works his tail off, and I watched the goal, that was a world-class goal. At the edge of the six-(yard box) and buried with his head to the opposite post in the side net, I was happy for him, and I think he deserves what he got.”
Mora said that while receiving the honor was nice, he was much happier to have allowed the Bulls to stay undefeated.
“Sure, it’s nice, but it’s not something you give that much importance to, or that I worry about,” Mora said. “It’s more just playing well, how I feel about myself and how I can contribute to the team. As long as we’re winning, that’s what I care about the most.”
ROAD TRIP: The Bulls face a pair of road games this weekend, heading to West Virginia on Friday night before moving on the Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. Anor said the team is looking at the trip as an opportunity for another pair of victories.
“We’re looking for two more wins, even though we’re playing on the road,” Anor said. “We are not looking to tie the game, we are always looking for the best, and that’s why we’ve been working hard all this time.”
Kiefer said he was looking forward to the trip to Morgantown, which has one of the best fields in college soccer.
“They have a really nice field, about 80 yards wide,” Kiefer said. “It’s a field the ball moves fast on so I think we’re going into a good environment, they always have a good crowd there. Coach Marlon (LeBlanc) has done a good job of getting his side up to speed, so we’re looking forward to that game.”