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Trinidad tightens team bond for men’s soccer

Augustana College's Men's Soccer team poses opponent after exhibition match in Trinidad
Augustana College’s Men’s Soccer team poses opponent after exhibition match in Trinidad

While most summer months are meant for relaxation for many Augustana students and athletes, the men’s soccer team was putting in hard work in another country. This summer they traveled to Trinidad to play six teams that consisted of high school, collegiate, and one semi-pro team. The trip was special because head coach Brenton Joseph is originally from Trinidad.
Getting to play in a foreign country against different teams can be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity. The team and coaching staff took this prospect seriously and used it as a learning experience for this upcoming season.
Senior, goalie, and one of the three captains, Brett Johnson,  viewed this trip as more than an just an occasion to practice and get time on the field.
“It gave us a lot of time to get together as a team and really bond,” said Johnson. “We had a lot of the core group there, which really helped to build chemistry before the season started.”
The experience of playing fresh competition was great, but it was more important to get a look at how their team played together early in the year.
“Having time to get away from everything and not being stuck at Augustana, where we have a lot of distractions, helped us get to know each other better,” said Johnson.
Constructing a team “togetherness” is something that resonates as a universal theme and goal for this year’s squad. They won all six of their games in Trinidad, even with the tough challenge of competing in six games in eight nights. After all that play, it can be said the team plans to keep building from their trip throughout this season.
“A new tactic of formation and shape on defense will be seen but also a sense of community,” said one of the tri-captains, Nate Keys “You are going to see more people working for each other on the field. In the past, everyone wanted to be the star player, and this year that is not a concern. The concern is winning games.”
Assistant coach Eric Stewart echoed the captains’ responses by describing his hopes that the trip will have an impact on the overall culture of the team due to its “enlightening” experience, which will help take them to the next level.
“I think the chance to bond in Trinidad and the chance to think about our responsibilities of representing not only ourselves and our team, but Augustana and our families, gave us the chance to think about how our chemistry would work this year,” said Stewart.
For this season, Stewart pointed out some key players which include: captains Brett Johnson, Nate Keys, and Danny Campagna. Also, people should be on the lookout for Jonathan Colucci, Erik Gustafson, Pat Nelson, and Adam Bengfort.
Most improved players are Adam Witucki and Rahul Bhatia.

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Trinidad tightens team bond for men’s soccer