The Maine Sting will be youthful and will play an attractive brand of soccer, according to first-year coach Jukka Masalin.
The National Premier Soccer League’s Sting dropped its opener on the road, 4-1, to the Boston Aztec last weekend.
But the Sting had just four days of practice before its game and will now have three weeks to prepare for its next game against Morris County on June 7 at Boucher Field in Bangor.
“We will be good. We will have a very skillful team,” said Masalin. “We’ll be young. Our oldest player is 24. And we will be an attacking team.”
Masalin also called it a hardworking and disciplined team with “good leadership within.” He added it is a deep team.
“We have a lot of potential,” said goalkeeper and captain Cole Davidson, who was 8-3-4 with a 1.33 goals-against average for Wheaton College (Mass.) last fall. “We have a lot of offensive players that we will have to fit in to our [4-5-1] formation. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Scarborough’s Peter McHugh, the leading scorer for the University of Southern Maine with 13 goals and 5 assists, said the team is definitely suited to play an attacking style because we have “tons of people who can get it done on the offensive side.”
German Teja Barkmann led Berry College (Ga.) in scoring with 14 goals and 11 assists and is a former NAIA All-American. He had 42 career goals and 37 assists in 77 games. Berry teammate Sourosh Amani from Holland had five goals and five assists last fall.
Yuri Moreira scored 12 goals for Wheaton; Tyler Metevier had 10 goals for Bangor’s Husson University and Greg Cox scored nine for USM. Former Bangor High School star Dylan George (2 goals, 3 assists), was the third leading scorer at New Hampshire and is one of the Sting’s few Division I players.
McHugh had the goal in the loss to Boston Aztec.
Josh Lyvers was Colby College’s leading scorer last fall with seven goals and an assist.
Cumberland’s Chris Thomas and Husson’s Mark Trombley (3 & 4) have offensive skills and can be midfielders or backs.
“Our midfield should be very fluid,” said Masalin, who indicated Barkmann and George will see a lot of duty as strikers while also seeing midfield action.
Former University of Maine player Kyle Shangraw will play in the midfield as will Husson’s Alex Martin.
David Ferreiro, who had 4 & 5 at Wheaton, the University of Rochester’s Scott Zorn, Belfast’s Yates Murphy and USM’s Colin Reilly will log most of the minutes in the back.
Murphy was a redshirt at Maine last fall and, since the university dropped the program, will attend Southern Connecticut State in the fall.
Former Hampden Academy standouts Nick Beal and Billy Shannon will play in the back as will Justin Gauvin.
Brian Leighton will back up Davidson in goal.
Masalin has been holding two-a-day workouts and has been well-received.
“He’s doing a great job. He’s really positive,” said Murphy.
The team chemistry has also been strong.
“We’ve got a great group of guys,” said McHugh.