Men's soccer prepares for 2019 season

The Trinity men’s soccer team prepares to compete in another season under head coach Eric Salley. Although they graduated some key players, the strong group of returners and talented incoming players will help this team reach their goals.

“With a core group of returning, experienced leaders, our purpose will be lived out each and every day,” said Salley, who is heading into his fourth season as head coach. “At the end of the season, if we’ve stayed true to our purpose, lived out our beliefs and played courageous football, we will have accomplished our goals.”

The Trolls improved following the 2017 season, finishing with a record of 5-11-1, which is the best conference finish in the last nine years. They hope to start this year the way they finished last year, securing a majority of their wins in the back half of the season.

For this team, their depth will be key this season. Returning for the Trolls is junior Ben Boers (Allendale, Mich./Unity Christian High School), who earned NCCAA North Central All-Region honors last season. As a defender, he helped the team get three shutouts and a tie last season. Also looking to help the Trolls on defense is junior Wesley Trueblood (Salem, Ind./Indiana Connections Academy), who started in every game and contributed to the Trolls’ defensive efforts.

On offense, junior forward Justin Taylor stands out for the Trolls. He finished the 2018 season with seven points, scoring two goals and getting three assists. Along with Taylor, junior Fekadu Timmermans (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian High School), stood out on offense. Timmermans finished the season with three goals and three assists. Senior Gabriel Soler (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Pella Christian High School) is also expected to be a big contributor to the Trolls’ offense this season.

Along with this solid group of returners, the incoming freshmen and transfer students are expected to make an immediate impact.

Manasse Mbuyi (Boise, Idaho/Centennial High School), who was a redshirt player last season, is one incoming standout along with junior transfer Marcos Shimizu (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Florida National University), freshman Matt Stuursma (Orland Park, Ill./Chicago Christian High School) and freshman Emmanuel Iradukunda (Tanzania, Africa/Centennial High School).

The team’s main goal this season is to win every single practice and put in the work daily. By following this philosophy, they believe the end product will take care of itself and lead to a higher finish in the conference compared to last season.  

“This year, more than ever, we are committed to our purpose,” Salley said. “Being a part of the Trinity Christian College Men’s Soccer team is all about being a part of something that is bigger than ourselves. We play for each other, we play for Trinity, we play for an audience of One.”

The team will kick off their season at home against Spring Arbor on Aug. 22. From there, they will travel with the Trinity women’s soccer team to Kentucky, where they will play Asbury and Georgetown. Following the trip, the Trolls will play have one more non-conference match before CCAC play beings. They will also play against Trinity International in the Shield Match on Oct. 9.