Clarksville, Ark.-John Cossaboon's men's soccer team began preseason training this week with high hopes of improving from a disappointing year in 2012.
Cossaboon’s optimistic attitude for the upcoming 2013 campaign stems from returning nearly every starter, including dynamic forward Eloy Salgado, who missed the majority of the 2012 season due to an injury.
“The thing that sticks out most to me is we have some players,” said Cossaboon. “We have six or seven players that were not on the field last season who will contribute immediately.”
The Eagles finished 4-10-1 overall, but Cossaboon’s team appears ready to make drastic improvements from last season. All-Conference defender Shaun Keane returns to roam the back for the Eagles, and transfer Austin Benner is set to take over in goal. Benner will provide the Eagles with length in goal with his 6-foot-4 frame.
“Austin is doing very well in goal and Jarret Sadler has made tremendous improvement in one year,” said Cossaboon. “We need to get ourselves fit and we need to get accustomed to playing with each other. We have some good individuals, but we need them to blend together and function as a unit.”
Josh Duncan, Marcus Aldaba, Adrian Nunez, Patrick Shoulders and Salgado form a talented senior class for the Eagles. Salgado is expected to be among the most productive players in the conference. In 2011, he scored nine goals and tallied six assists.
“Eloy has a gift in terms of talent,” said Cossaboon. “He can pull things out of his hat. Having him out there makes us a much better team and our players know it.”
The Eagles will host Ouachita Baptist University this Saturday at 1:00 pm in an exhibition match.