Tanned to a George Hamilton Cocoa Butter Open-quality sheen, and wearing red pants, a black shirt and a red & black tie, engaging U of L soccer coach Ken Lolla met the media today.
Apologizing for his “coaching voice,” hoarse from two a day practice sessions, he initiated the Q & A with praise for the branding of the Cardinal soccer program and the Lynn facility.
“It takes us to a whole new level.”
While he likes the energy and approach of his squad, which is a “wonderful mix” of veterans and newcomers, he stated several times that the team “is far from a finished product.”
He spent most of his time at the mic talking about the team’s spring experience in Madrid, which he called “life changing.”
The team attended a Champions League semi-final between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Levekusen. He waxed enthusiastic about the level of play and the “communion between players and their fans.”
“We want to play in a way that so inspires our fans in Lynn Stadium.”
The newcomers he mentioned who could provide meaningful minutes for the Cardinals early were Daniel Johnson, a transfer from Maryland, Tate Schmitt and Englishman Danny Reynolds.
During a preseason exhibition game Tuesday, the team rallied from a 1-3 deficit to tie the game, then win it in OT.
Veterans cited that victory as pivotal.
Romilio Hernandez: “It showed we’re coming together as a team.”
Adrian Brody: “It showed how deep a roster we have.”
Of all the members of the Cardinal soccer community that met with the media, Hernandez was the most optimistic about the upcoming campaign.
“We’re going to be better this year. We’re using a new formation.
“I think we can win everything.”
After one more preseason game this weekend against Oakland in Michigan, U of L opens its regular season schedule next Friday in the Lynn against William & Mary, followed by another home game on Monday 8/31 against Stanford.
The star for the visitors from Palo Alto is Jordan Morris, a member of the USMNT.
— Seedy K