The Portland State men’s soccer team is an Academic and Student Rec Center club that practices every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the Peter W. Stott Field. The 25-member club is currently headed by finance senior, club president and team co-captain Zachary Kanner.
“Soccer is something I’ve done my whole life, and it’s my passion,” Kanner said. “It only made sense to me when I got to Portland State to continue playing competitively at the college level.”
Kanner has been with the club for three years.
Community development junior and central defender Daren Bauder has also been with the club for three years. He saw the club as an opportunity to continue playing soccer through college.
“I have always played soccer since I have been little,” Bauder said. “After high school, I wanted to still play at a high level play and also focus on school. So when I heard about the club, I had to make the team.”
One factor which attracts students to the club is the team’s spirit and camaraderie on and off the field.
“I wanted to play soccer in a competitive and structured environment with coaching,” Cory Lewis, a club officer and two-year veteran said. “When on the field in my position, I feel like I am a part of a larger group and love seeing the practice pay off.”
Soccer is arguably the most popular sport in the world, the Portland State men’s soccer club attracts a good number of international students.
“Soccer is a daily thing to do in other countries,” Bauder said. “Not like in the United States where football is the dominant sport. They play everyday, and it’s more of norm of lifestyle. So when the international students get here, they are looking to play, and we are the only high-level place that they can play.”
The club is coached by first-year head coach Peter Monahan and competes against other colleges. In the winter term, they played friendly games against Lewis and Clark and Willamette. This term the club will be traveling to Eugene for a collegiate tournament.
“We had a strong showing in the fall, which is our main season in the Cascade Collegiate Soccer league,” Lewis said. “This spring, we are playing the [University of Oregon World Cup] tournament in Eugene. It takes place over the second weekend of the term, and is always a blast on and off the field.”
To become a member of the club, students need to fill out a waiver and pay a quarterly fee of $150, covering team jerseys and travel expenses. The players are responsible for food.
In addition, prospective members need to make the cut during tryouts held every fall and spring term, regardless of their performance in the previous season. The last two try-out sessions saw about 50 prospective members show up, out of whom just 25 made the roster.
“I would tell anyone who is considering joining the club to come ready to commit a lot of time and energy to the club,” Kanner said. “It’s not the kind of club where you can come whenever you want. You have to come to practice.”
“I’d also tell them to come prepared to tryouts,” he added. “Tryouts are very competitive, and nobody should come out expecting to just cruise on to the team.”