ASU men's club soccer is ready for the 2018 season

ASU men's club soccer has a variety of new players on the team this year

The ASU men's club soccer team is stretched and ready to start another season tucked away from the beaming lights of Division I athletics.

Last year, the club finished a successful season as conference champions with a 3-2 win against the University of Texas at El Paso. They then lost 2-1 against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, eliminating them from the regional tournament.

According to the club's website, the team currently competes against other universities across the southwest region in Region VI of the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association during the fall.

With a new season upon them, the team's focus has shifted to filling the empty spots that were made available when the seniors graduated.

"We lost a lot of defenders last year, keepers too," senior Brady Dominguez, the club's president, said. "We were really defensive minded because our attacking was really good last year, scored a lot of goals."

Dominguez said the club had about 92 people come out to tryouts this year but took only 10 players for the active roster. Currently, the club has 26 players on its roster for the 2018 season, according to Dominguez.

Two of the 10 players are freshman winger Michele Giulietti from Bergamo, Italy and freshman center back Clemente Quintero from Tucson. 

Giulietti was raised in both Italy and Africa and played club and varsity soccer throughout his youth in both countries.

Upon his arrival to the U.S. just weeks before the semester, Giulietti said he started playing indoor soccer at ASU and met a couple players that were on the club team.

When it came to tryouts for the team, he said he was overwhelmed with the amount of people that showed up. 

"I think it was very competitive and felt kind of overwhelming mostly with the fact that we don't have a (NCAA) Division I soccer team," Giulietti said. "The club team is really competitive because it's as close as it gets to Division I soccer."

After he got the news that he made the team, Giulietti said he was really proud because soccer has been a big part of his life. 

Even though Giulietti hasn't competed against U.S. universities just yet, he might be off to an advantage against his opponents with the style of soccer he's learned over the years. 

"I realize here it is much more the physical side, just using your physical ability," Giulietti said. "While in Europe and Africa, it was more of a tactical thing."

As for the season itself, Giulietti said he is glad he will get to play the sport regularly as part of a club team and glad to have found people that care about soccer in the U.S. 

Quintero, who has also played soccer his entire life, made the varsity team his freshman year at Catalina High School

But after suffering injuries his senior year, Quintero said he wasn't sure if he was going to try out for any sports at ASU.

"I guess you can say I doubted myself because I waited until the very end to sign up," Quintero said. "I sat down at a bench near the sign-up place and I watched everybody line up. ... Something in me told me to just try it out. I have nothing to lose." 

Even after having bad touches, errors and mistakes in the first round of tryouts, Quintero said he completely changed during the second round.

"From there, the coach came up to me and asked for my name," he said. "That's when he told me ... 'come to the invite-only session.' I got a sense I did pretty good."

For now, Dominguez said the team's focus is getting the new guys situated with better formation.

Even though men's soccer might not be an NCAA sanctioned sport at ASU, one thing is certain: the sport is popular among male soccer players at ASU, and the team will only look to grow moving forward.



Reach the reporter at Edith.Noriega@asu.edu or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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