Soccer completes first summer season
By Kyle Salomon
Mustang boys soccer completed its first ever summer season in program history last week with a third-place finish in the league.
The Bronco boys had a record of 3-2-1 in their six games they played. All of the games were played at Putnam City and Putnam City North high schools, and 16 different schools from the Oklahoma City area participated in the inaugural season.
Mustang head coach Jared Homer said he thought the summer league went well.
“It was really laid-back,” he said. “We were able to play a bunch of guys and everyone had a really good time doing it. We had 16 teams, so there was a lot of interest in it. After talking with several other coaches, we are definitely going to continue doing it in the future. Hopefully, we can even get more teams to come out and be a part of it.”
The teams competed in pool play for the first four games of the league and then played two tournament-style matches to end the season.
Mustang played Putnam City, Deer Creek and U.S. Grant in its pool. They defeated Putnam City and Deer Creek and lost to and tied U.S. Grant to finish second in their pool.
The Broncos faced their other No.2 seed in the league, Edmond Santa Fe. They fell to the Timberwolves, but responded with a 2-1 comeback win against Putnam City North to take third overall in the league.
The games weren’t the full-length, 80-minute games they play during the spring. The pool play matches were only two 20-minute halves and the tournament games were two 30-minute halves.
“I wanted to get some of the games over at Mustang, but since Putnam City and Putnam City North were the ones who started the league, they hosted all of the games,” Homer said. “Next year, hopefully we can get some games over at our field.”
Homer said since the games were so short and they didn’t have the full roster at all times, it was hard to build team chemistry, but he said they worked on different ways and different formations to try and score more goals.
“We struggled to score the ball last year,” he said. “We experimented a lot with our offensive formations. We want to see what doesn’t work and what does work. It’s really given us coaches a chance to try new things. We were able to get some young kids some experience against other teams as well. You can’t replace game experience.”
Homer said several players stood out to him this summer.
“I thought our goalkeeper Dylan Dean really had a solid summer,” he said. “He did a really good job of protecting the net. He’s a young, athletic, talented kid. We have big expectations for him going to forward.
“Guys like Cutter Smith, J.P. Junglen and Keegan Radichel had really good summers as well. All of those guys have chances to be leaders for us. We expect big things from all of them.”
On another note, with the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Homer said he wasn’t surprised at all to see the German team come out on top.
“They were one of the favorites going into the World Cup and they proved why,” he said. “They had the best overall team in the world. They were extremely deep. When you can bring a guy off the bench and he scores four goals in the tournament, that is really impressive.”