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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Busy off-season underway for Men’s Soccer

Coach+Beverlin+led+the+Beacons+to+unprecedented+success+in+2014
Coach Beverlin led the Beacons to unprecedented success in 2014

In college sports, there’s a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes work that’s crucial to a team’s success. One element is the rebuilding and retooling that takes place in the offseason. For coaches, the offseason provides the opportunity to develop and practice new game plans, a chance to build up team chemistry, and time to recruit new talent to the squad. Professional soccer player Roy Keane once said, “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.” This quote holds true for the offseason because under-preparation can leave devastating results for the team’s next campaign.
Although the University of Massachusetts Boston Men’s Soccer season just ended this fall, Coach Jake Beverlin has already switched gears and is moving full throttle into the offseason. “This offseason is crucial for the team” said Beverlin. “This is the first Championship season ever for the men’s soccer program here (…) I want to create a winning culture (…) In order to do so, we need to build off of our success.”
UMass Boston’s soccer team has three responsibilities until next fall. The first is that the players need to work on their physicality. The second is that the team needs to continue developing chemistry. Lastly, Beverlin needs to bring in a few more talented recruits.
Talent for talent, UMass Boston is above and beyond any other program in the Little East Conference. The only thing the team lacks is physicality. Having said that, this is extremely natural for a young team. Young players need time to physically mature. Last year, over 60% of the team were underclassman. “One improvement we need to make is building strength in some of the younger guys”, said Beverlin. “This is standard, though. High school and club soccer teams don’t introduce any real gym work. That kind of training starts here in college.”
Beverlin is only a third-year coach, so the workout program is still in its infancy. Despite the regimen’s short life, it seems to have had an impact on the team. Players such as Paul Erne and Alfonso Rosales have added around 30% to their bench press maximums and 35% to their dead-lift.
The program has also had an effect on the team’s health. UMass Boston has had far less injuries this year than in Beverlin’s first season with the Beacons. The gym routines combine high intensity cross-fit training with a variety of static and dynamic stretches. The focus of the workouts is to build strength to high-risk injury areas.
Not only have the workouts been physically beneficial but, according to Beverlin, “They’ve been great for team chemistry.”  
“We train daily in pairs. Each player has an opportunity to get to know the other members of the team. For freshmen this can help break the age barriers as well. They get an opportunity to talk to some of the older players, to pick their brains a bit.”
Beverlin seemed to encourage activities like this. He stressed the importance of team bonding in the off-season, describing it as the time where relationships need to be made. “Freshman and transfer students come in during the offseason. It’s crucial for these guys to feel part of the team, part of a family” said Beverlin. “People fight harder for their family. A loss doesn’t just let you down, but it lets down 23 brothers around you […] They work harder when it’s for each other”
Regardless of the reasons, it’s clearly had a positive impact on the team’s unity. “Coach makes it easy for players to get acclimated here. It’s real easy to fit in with the guys,” said Junior Midfielder Paul Erne. “When the new recruits come, there should be no problem maintaining our team unity. We are a close group.”
This year Beverlin is still in the early stages of recruitment. When asked about potential incoming freshmen, he put on his poker face, carefully guarding his chips. “We’ll have some talent – don’t worry about that,” Beverlin joked. “I am bringing in players to complement our style. We wanna’ play real football.”
The team is providing quality play. The Beacons formation is a combination of 4-5-1 and a 4-3-3 with one central midfielder holding. They have pacey wings that are able to stretch the defense and open up space in front of and behind the defensive line. There are a few players on the team with great vision that are able to play creatively are and a bit more direct when necessary, like if the defense presses a high line.
Beverlin is looking for a couple flankers with some creativity and a classic ten. In other words: an attacking midfielder who’s a playmaker. Those seem to be the vacant positions after this year’s graduating class. Overall, Beverlin appears to be completely on top of the obstacles in front of him this offseason. His goal of playing “real football” is gradually developing every practice. The formation, the players, and the style all translate into Liverpool-esque football. But as Coach Beverlin said: “Skill doesn’t mean success. Preparation combined with skill — thats what will bring us success.”