Men's Soccer Preps for Timbers
Aug. 9, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State men’s soccer team opens its 2012 exhibition slate Saturday when it travels to Portland to face the Timbers Reserves. Head coach Steve Simmons sees the game as a valuable opportunity to evaluate his team in the early days of training camp.
“We’re going to find out an awful lot about ourselves,” he said. “It’s going to raise the bar early for us, so our guys are getting the chance to know what that level is like.”
That level is against professional competition, but it’s not an entirely foreign concept for the Beavers. They played the Timbers just six months ago, losing 1-0. The result of that contest in February or this match on Saturday pales in comparison to the opportunity of playing against some of the top competition that North America has to offer.
“It’s always a good test playing a professional team,” fifth-year senior Chris Harms said. “But we don’t see it as a game that we would take any differently than a college game. We try to play the same way against everybody.”
The Beavers are a veteran club with a large number of them having already played the Timbers, so the team’s expectations match Harms’ assertion that OSU will treat it as another game on the schedule.
“We want to go out there and show them that we’re not just a regular college team and that we can compete at that level,” senior forward Emery Welshman said.
Simmons and the coaching staff understand that there is no time to be impressed by the team on the other side when the Beavers’ own season begins in just two weeks.
“The Timbers are a wonderful organization and they’ve been very good to us in the past,” he said. “But we’re pretty focused on doing the things necessary to prepare for our season.”
There is a chance that former Beaver and 2010 first overall MLS draft choice Danny Mwanga will suit up against his old mates.
“He’s a special player,” Harms said. “We came in as freshmen together so I know him pretty well. It’ll be fun to get in his face and talk a little bit of trash.”
The game will be held at the adidas Timbers Training Center and will not be open to the general public. Live updates will be posted to the Beavers Men’s Soccer Facebook page and @OSUBeavers_MSOC on Twitter.
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