Bell Has Mercy Mens Soccer Ready for 2008 Season
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Bell Has Mercy Men’s Soccer Ready for 2008 Season
DOBBS FERRY, NY – After having a strong first year at the reigns of the Mercy College men’s soccer program, head coach Nick Bell has his team poised for another solid season in the fall of 2008.
Bell is entering his second year as the Mavericks’ head
coach and is taking the steps to bring the program to the next
level. He has implemented a tough training program, planned a very
ambitious schedule and brought in several skilled
The Mavericks will be counting on contributions from both upperclassmen and newcomers. Sophomore forward Mike Fernandes (Mount Vernon, NY) and freshman defender Earl Pommills (Bridgeport, CT) have impressed Bell with their commitment to working hard during the off-season.
“I am very optimistic for Mike Fernandes and Earl Pommills. Both of them have had very good practices,” Bell said. “Earl has done a tremendous amount of work on his speed and foot work which will greatly benefit the team.”
Last year’s leading scorer, senior forward Mike
Frimpong-Manso (Accra, Ghana), will resume his role as a
team leader and a main cog in the Mavericks’ attack. He
enters 2008 as the ECC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year,
after collecting 22 points and nine goals as a junior.
Bell expects all his seniors, including Frimpong-Manso, to step up their game this year and lead by example. Defenders Lucan Bowen (Kingston, Jamaica) and Issiaka Sow (Bronx, NY), and forward Omar Bowen (Montego Bay, Jamaica) are a large part of Bell’s game plan for success this season.
Sophomore forward Raldino Powell (Bronx, NY) made a big splash during his freshman campaign by recording nine points and four goals which was good for third on the team. Powell will be looking to improve upon those numbers and be among the team leaders again.
Fellow sophomores Gianfranco Bastone (Yorktown Heights, NY) and Merquis Guzman (Bronx, NY) are also expected to make big contributions. Bastone had six points and one goal last year.
The Mavericks added several student-athletes with diverse skills. Freshman forward Ben Latchford (Solihull, England) has a great deal of potential to be an impact player.
“Ben is going to be a serious threat upfront,” Bell said. “He is a terrific all-around athlete.”
Bell went back to his roots in Ireland and recruited three student-athletes that should contribute right away. Defender Keith Dillon (Dublin, Ireland), goalkeeper Martin Walsh (Dublin, Ireland) and defender Johnny Carroll (Dublin, Ireland) all played together at their previous school Colaiste Ide.
Other newcomers include freshmen midfielder Hugo Bernal (Guadalajara, Mexico) and defender/midfielder James Guerra (Yonkers, NY), sophomore forward Andrew Eaton (Maidenhead, England) and junior defender/midfielder Charlie Ortiz (White Plains, NY). All will be thrown into the mix immediately.
The Mavericks have their work cut out for them with a very challenging schedule.
“Our schedule is much more difficult this year,” said Bell. “The weaker games we had last year have been replaced with the reigning NCAA Division II champion Franklin Pierce, Lock Haven, Dominican and Stonehill. All of which have been nationally ranked over the last five or six years.”
Mercy will also compete against its ECC rivals which include Molloy, Concordia, Queens, Bridgeport, NYIT, C.W. Post, St. Thomas Aquinas and Dowling who is last year’s conference champion and ranked ninth in the nation in this year’s preseason poll.
Last year the Mavericks finished 7-7-3 and just missed out on a
winning record with losses to two nationally ranked teams and three
double overtime ties. Mercy will try to build upon last
year’s success and become a top competitor in the ECC.
“We are capable of being competitive in every game this season and should surprise some of our opponents,” Bell said.