It’s a wintry Friday evening. The weather shifts between drizzling rain and a chilling wind, but about two dozen figures in windbreakers and long shorts have come together anyway under the floodlights of Portland State’s Peter W. Stott Field. While the rest of the campus is sleeping, these students have come out to run soccer drills, practice passing and stealing the ball and play quick inter-squad matches on an improvised field.
This is Portland State’s men’s soccer club, the only competitive outlet for male soccer players and fans on campus. While the team might operate as a recreational club, team coach and graduate student Peter Monahan doesn’t want people to think of it as less serious than Portland State’s other teams.
“This isn’t a place for people who are casually interested in soccer to come hang out,” Monahan said.
Instead, the men’s soccer club is putting together a competition-level college soccer team which can compete with club teams from universities like Oregon State or the University of Portland. The men’s soccer club competes in a league in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association as well as the premier division of the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League and has attracted players from Japan as well as South and Central America.
The team is currently in training mode, between their league season in the fall and spring tournament play. Club President Zach Kanner said the club’s membership drops a little in the winter, but it’s a good opportunity to give new players experience before they have to play in games that count.
“The weather doesn’t really bother us,” Kanner said. “It’s been pretty mild.”
For now, they’re tuning up with friendly matches while sorting out positions and tactics. Monahan said his goal is to make the team as flexible as possible, with players able to fill many roles in a game.
The men’s soccer club practices twice a week during the winter. For information on upcoming games and tryouts, visit the club page at PSU’s Campus Rec website or email the club at [email protected]