Sounders, Timbers Highlight Men's Soccer's Spring Schedule

Feb. 18, 2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State men's soccer team kicks off its spring schedule this weekend when it takes on Concordia Saturday Feb, 20 starting at 2 p.m. at Reser Stadium. The game is the culmination of the annual Oregon State Coaches clinic also scheduled for that day.

'The Coaches Clinic was started in 2002 when I was here the first time,' Oregon State men's soccer head coach Steve Simmons said. 'The initiative behind it was to bring the soccer community together and share information and in the meantime do it as a bit of a fundraiser for the program. It's been a pretty good staple for a lot of coaches during this time of the year to get together and share the ideas.'

This is the first spring season at Oregon State for Simmons who was still at Northern Illinois this time last year. The spring season also poses questions about how to fill the spot vacated by former Beaver Danny Mwanga who was taken No. 1 overall draft pick by the MLS expansion Philadelphia Union.

'This spring is a measuring stick to see where we are at,' Simmons said. 'To be able to play the type of teams we have on our schedule you get a chance to test you theories as a coach and to see what players pan out and so forth. We're going to be able to put players in different spots and see how they do.'

The Portland Timbers pose the next test of the spring when they come to town Saturday, March 6 for a 6 p.m. contest at Paul Lorenz Field. The match against the Timbers will pit former Oregon State players Josh Cameron (2005-08) and Brian Farber (2002-03) against their alma mater.

Another marquee name on the Beavers spring schedule comes Friday, March 26 when they travel north to take on the Seattle Sounders starting at 11 a.m. The Beavers will head to Seattle and train for a few days before the match and be there for the MLS season opener between the Sounders and the Union and Mwanga.

'The special piece about our game against Seattle is that the night before they are playing Philadelphia in first game of the year for the Major League Soccer season and Danny (Mwanga) will be playing for Philly in Seattle,' Simmons said. 'We're going to go up and train for a couple days and I'm sure he'll come to practice to see his friends and his teammates. We'll watch him play on Thursday night and then Friday morning we'll play the members of the team that didn't get many minutes.'

The Beavers then head home for an April 3 meeting with the University of Portland at Paul Lorenz field. The Oregon State women's soccer team will take on the Pilots in the first game of a doubleheader that day.

Oregon State welcomes back its alumni to Corvallis Saturday, April 10 for an always entertaining match starting at 12 p.m.

'There are a lot of alumni that still have their legs,' Simmons said. 'A lot of them still have a good step and the ones that don't quite have the step are so intelligent, so smart in how they play that they are quite formidable at times. But it's more for the camaraderie and to be honest, to give the alums the full respect they deserve. It's always good to have them back.'

The Beavers conclude their spring season at home against Pac-10 Conference rival Washington Saturday, April 17 starting at 12 p.m. at Paul Lorenz Field. The Beavers swept the Huskies this past season for the first time since 2005.

'This whole spring for us is to put people in different spots,' Simmons said. 'So we can answer a lot of questions and hopefully we can get those questions sorted out before we go into the summer break. When we come back in the fall we're going to hit the ground running.'

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