In case you’re not familiar, Ken Lolla is the head coach at the University of Louisville. Since taking over the men’s program in 2006, Lolla has moved Louisville from the national periphery into the College Cup discussion on a yearly basis. The last MLS SuperDraft featured three of Lolla’s guys, including No. 1 overall Andrew Farrell.
The man knows development, and he knows how to reach players. Which is why this video, an address from Louisville’s winter ID camp in January, is so telling. It’s 10 minutes worth your time.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, college athletics, especially college soccer, is not all fun and games. The finished product on the field is the ultimate prize but the blood, sweat, and tears that happens behind the scenes really defines the team and the successes that follow.
This video shows the small details that make a big difference in the development of the student athlete and the teams they play on. The prize is that feeling of playing on a Friday night under the lights in front of a packed house (starting at 2:35). Enjoy a day in the life of a college soccer player.
Never in his wildest dreams did Louisville’s Andrew Farrell imagine he’d hear his name called first at the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. But that’s the position he found himself in last week when the New England Revolution made him the No. 1 selection.
In Farrell’s exclusive interview with the 91st Minute, he traces his early playing days and tells us what he’d be doing if not for soccer.
When did you first start playing soccer?
AF: I first started playing soccer in Louisville, KY; HYR Soccer, and my mom was my first coach.
Who was your soccer hero growing up?
AF: Jefferson Farfan. He plays at Schalke 04 now in Germany. Also, Alex Song and my brother … I always looked up to him.
What motivates you to be the best?
AF: Growth; I like seeing how I can become better every day and when I see changes it motivates me to work harder.
Did being picked #1 overall ever cross your mind over the past three years?
AF: Haha. Never crossed my mind. I always wanted to get drafted and be a pro because that’s everyone’s dream. (It’s probably my greatest soccer achievement). That, or playing as a freshman in the 2010 College Cup final against Akron.
Farrell reveals the best player he’s played against after the jump.
No. 5 UCLA vs. No. 47 Princeton: Bruins goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland has yet to allow a goal this season. Just thought you should know (I’m looking at YOU, Princeton).
Washington State vs. Hawaii: Are there any two climates more polar opposite than Honolulu and Pullman, Washington? (It snows in Pullman. Often.) WSU will have home-field advantage but the Rainbow Wahine owns a school record-tying seven-match unbeaten streak.
No. 42 Mississippi vs. Arkansas: Mississippi is one of the few programs still undefeated at 7-0-0. Keep an eye on goal-scoring tandem Mandy McCalla and Rafaelle Souza.
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 27 NC State: It’s the ACC. It’s two undefeated squads. Let’s do this.
No. 14 Louisville vs. Kentucky: Love cross-town rivalries; they’re kind of like sibling rivalries, minus mom breaking things up.
No. 41 Florida International vs. Furman: Kenny Arena is off to a great start at Florida International and has the group undefeated. Furman will be their biggest test yet.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee fired men’s soccer coach Chris Whalley on Friday, after the soon to be third-year coach had been on administrative leave since March 1.
The program released this statement, which declined many details, but according to local Milwaukee TV Station TMJ4, Wisconsin-Milwaukee had been investigating the coach for a mistreatment of his players.
The school is now searching for a new coach and given the nature of the dismissal it doesn’t seem likely that the replacement will be an internal promotion.
UW-Milwaukee did announce that assistant coach Benjamin Shepherd, who had also been on administrative leave as part of the investigation, will be allowed to return to the team.
So who is next in line for the UWM job? Impossible to say given the revolving door of college coaching, but here are some interesting names:
Bret Simon: Stanford’s ex coach resigned in November. Would a move to the Horizon League interest him?
Munga Eketebi: Was fired from Florida International in January and replaced by highly regarded (former) UCLA assistant Kenny Arena.
Speaking of top assistants, there’s a good crop of qualified names more than capable of stepping into head job, including:
Brian Maisonneuve (Indiana), Mario Sanchez (Louisville), Johnny Torres (Creighton), Michael Brady (Duke) and BJ Craig (Notre Dame).
Just thought I’d stir the pot a little. Let the rumor mill begin.
A user/friend of The 91st Minute, Mark V., sent over these highlights from the New Mexico vs. USF game. The video shows the two teams battling it out in PKs, and then towards the end you can see where it is possible that the two teams found a way to brawl. Whenever a team loses like New Mexico did, and a team wins like South Florida did, it’s hard to control those emotions from not boiling over.
Now, I know you’ve all been waiting to find out who I am going to select for the Men’s College Cup, no thanks to New Mexico. First, North Carolina is going to take care of business against St. Mary’s. If you honestly believe St. Mary’s has a chance, you’re nuts! The Heels have the talent, the depth, the coaching, and basically everything you could want. I’ll take the Heels, 2-0.
In the match-up of UConn against Charlotte, it’s tough not to go with the Huskies. Let’s be honest, the Huskies are pretty stout at defense, only allowing 9 goals to this point. Charlotte doesn’t stand a chance, sorry 49ers.
In the 12 vs. 13 match-up between Louisville and UCLA, it’s almost best to flip a coin to decide who will win. However, since there are no ties in the College Cup, I’m going with UCLA. This is more of a, I wrote an article about how dominant UCLA’s Chandler Hoffman has been earlier this week, and it’s a bit contradictory to go against that.
In the last match before the Men’s College Cup, USF (yea, that USF) is going up against Creighton. As i mentioned in my previous post, there is no way I’m picking USF. The Bulls crashed my party once before, and they’re still not invited to the next one.
What do you think of my picks? I’m sure there will be rebuttals, so have at it!