Category: Soccer

With a new school year brings new sports seasons. And with new sports seasons come expectations. Should any of the head coaches be on the hot seat?

Clearly, for me, it’s the spring sports who will be feeling the heat the most. Baseball head coach Gary Powers and softball head coach Matt Meuchel need to have good seasons in my mind, or they could be in trouble. Realistically, Powers, who has been with the Wolf Pack for nearly three decades leading the baseball team, will likely be safe no matter what happens this season, but Nevada’s baseball team has turned in disappointing seasons the last few years. It’s time Powers either begins to turn the program around, or maybe it’s time to get some fresh blood to try and ignite the program. Meuchel should really be on the hot seat. After leading the team to a regular season conference title in his first season, the Wolf Pack has turned in two abysmal seasons, becoming a laughing stock of the WAC. Whatever Meuchel is doing, it’s not working. It’s his players who are coming in and they aren’t getting the job done. Meuchel needs to show signs of major improvement, or his reign at the helm of the softball team will be a short one.

Soccer head coach Missy Price may also start to hear the rumblings from frustrated fans if the team doesn’t do well this season. The Wolf Pack has suffered two major collapses near the end of the season in each of Price’s first two years and if it happens again, the blame has to be put on Price.

I believe both basketball coaches, David Carter and Jane Albright, will be fine. Albright will have the benefit of fans knowing the team needs to rebuild while Carter, the expectations will be that the team should be a contender this season, unless the Wolf Pack does disastrously bad, he’ll be alright. Football head coach Chris Ault will be fine too with most fans not expecting the team to repeat the 13-1 2010 season.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

The Wolf Pack soccer team opens its season this weekend with matches against Pacific and Penn State in California this weekend. Nevada was picked to finish sixth in the Western Athletic Conference following a 2010 campaign that saw the team finish a disappointing 7-9-3.

This year’s team may not fare any better. The team does return Danielle Green and Kori Disarunfino, but lost seniors Cristen Drummond, Jill Erickson and Natalie Ratnavira. The trio accounted for 10 of the team’s 27 goals in 2010. It also remains to be seen whether goalkeeper Dana Moreno can step into a full-time starter. For the past few seasons, Marie Cove has been a steady pair of hands in the goal, but she graduated as well, meaning Moreno will be front and center for much of the season. But, in eight games last season, Moreno had a save-to-goal ratio of just two-to-one. Cove had one of more than four-to-one and the Wolf Pack went 0-5-1 in the six games Moreno started.

The key to the team’s success will be how easily it can create opportunities. The Wolf Pack had 118 shots on goal, 24 less than it gave up to its opponents. Nevada must be able to get good, quality shots easier than it did last year. The team struggled to consistently move the ball and retain control, and that won’t cut it this year either.

Clearly this year’s team has its work cut out for them. Nevada had a monumental collapse, losing five matches in a row and having just one victory in its final seven matches of the season, that cost it a chance at the WAC Tournament. With a young team and new players having to step up,  head coach Missy Price and the Wolf Pack may not fare much better than this year. I think another season below .500 is in store for Nevada.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

MLS to air games on NBC

Major League Soccer is looking to grow its fan base. Beginning in 2012, the league looks to invade people’s homes in prime time. The MLS reached a deal to air 38 regular season games, three playoff games two U.S. men’s national team matches on the NBC Sports Network, formerly known as Versus. NBC will broadcast two regular season games, two playoff games and two men’s national team matches under the new contract. ESPN will continue its broadcast of the MLS and World Cup.

NBC and Versus helped hockey’s ratings boost…and this is a step in the right direction for the MLS. It’ll be fun to see whether or not this helps the sport gain more national attention and increase popularity significantly.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

In the world of soccer, few teams stand as tall as Real Madrid. In fact, maybe short of Manchester United, Real Madrid could be one of the most well-known teams in the world. Now, the team will have a new player joining its roster: Leonel Angel Coira. The unique thing? He’s seven.

According to reports, rival club Atletico Madrid was also making a push to sign the player, which caused Real Madrid to sign him. Coira will begin training with the team Sept. 6. The U.S. is no stranger to soccer prodigies. Freddy Adu was going to be the next big thing when he was 14…but he didn’t exactly pan out.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at

Nevada’s soccer team, coming off a 7-9-3 season, was picked to finish sixth in the Western Athletic Conference. The Wolf Pack sees four returning starters from last year’s squad and welcomes 14 newcomers. The team ended its season losing five of its last seven matches and failed to qualify for the conference tournament.

Lukas Eggen

U.S. in World Cup finals

I’m not going to pretend to be a huge soccer fan. I’m not going to pretend that I cared about the Women’s World Cup when it all started. But, what I will say is this: the U.S. women’s team deserves a lot of credit. For a sport that isn’t popular at all here, they have consistently been one of the dominating teams ever. They are looking for their third World Cup title and will become the first nation to do so if they win.

They win in dramatic fashion,  much like the men’s team, seemingly grabbing victory out of certain defeat. And they’ve helped me realize how much of an art soccer can be. True, it’s slow, which turns off many American audiences who have short attention spans. But, it is exciting, it is tense. To see nation’s get behind their teams, there’s nothing quite like it. So, bravo women’s team. You’ve made a soccer fan out of me.

Lukas Eggen