POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist men’s soccer team opened preseason camp on Friday in preparation for the 2014 season, the eighth under the direction of head coach Matt Viggiano.
“I’m looking forward to the guys coming back who put the work in this spring,” said Viggiano. “I think it’s a nice mix and a good group that really buy into what we're trying to do.”
There will be 10 new faces coming into camp and also plenty of returning players aiming to contribute. Kevin Kappock (Howell, N.J.) and Erik Dahl (Helsinborgs, Sweden) are two rookies that coach Viggiano believes will have an impact in the early going. Kappock arrives with a championship pedigree after a run this summer with his former club PDA and also the United States Development Academy. Dahl can look back on the high level of play and experience he gained from playing in Sweden.
Returning players and current captains Matty Berman (West Orange, N.J.) and MJ Stellwag (Newburgh, N.Y.) are expected to bring a culture adjustment that was formulated in spring over to this week’s preseason camp.
“They’re guys who come in and do their job,” Viggiano said of the two. “They’ll lead by example on and off the field, they're good kids and good students.”
Not only are the players up front vying for roster positioning but the camp will also feature a stout goalkeeper competition. Sophomore Nicolas Calderon (Cali, Colombia) and freshman Mark Rajovic (Katonah, N.Y.) both arrive with different advantages. Calderon has familiarity with the club from last year, while Rajovic has four years of premier academy experience.
Even with the high level of competition that will take place in camp, coach Viggiano wants to leave his team with a message for the season ahead.
“If you work harder than everybody else and you push and you’re together and you're a family then you’ll succeed. That's the goal of this preseason, to leave camp as a unit.”
The Red Foxes will open their 2014 campaign on Friday, Aug. 29 at home against Villanova. For the complete Marist men’s soccer schedule, please click here.