Aug. 17, 2011
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Part two of the 2011 season preview focuses on the midfield. There was plenty of turnover from 2010 but it remains the deepest position for the Terps. Senior Kaoru Forbess explains why.
On being a senior:
THE FORBESS FILE:
- Crafty athlete who is the most veteran member of the midfield
- Netted a career-high three goals as a part-time starter in the midfield last season; racked up the game-winner against Colgate and also scored against No. 24 Michigan State and Coastal Carolina
- Started in 21 out of 22 matches as a sophomore in 2009; tallied two goals and a career-high four assists
- Formerly a No. 3-ranked recruit in the nation by Rise Magazine
"First of all, I'm looking forward to the season and hoping we're going to have a great season. This year, being a senior, I think I'm going to be taking on more of a different role...more of leading the team. So, [I'm going to be] a good role model for the younger guys and show them how to play for this program and everything."
On the status of the team after losing key players from last year:
"Obviously, we lost some key players from last year's team, but we also a good core of returning players and some of the freshmen that came in are going to be a big help for us too. I don't look at it as a problem because we lost a lot of players because I think we'll be alright."
On regaining his starting role after coming off the bench most of last year:
"I've gotten myself to the point where I feel like I'm the fittest I've ever been right now. And then [I'm] going to be more of a leader on the field by talking more and teaching players how to play and just helping all the guys out."
On expectations for the team this season:
"I think it's going to take us a while to put all the pieces together. Obviously, we have the talent to be a great team. I think we're going to run into a few walls throughout the season, but I think at the end we're going to be a good enough team to compete for the national championship."
On this season's upcoming schedule:
"Well, I take it a game at a time, so the only game I'm thinking about right now is St. John's. Obviously there's some big games coming up, such as, the game against Stanford on Fox Soccer Channel and all the ACC games are going to be tough. I get excited for all our home games. I just love playing on our home field."
On Ludwig field:
"[The best part is] the fans. I just love the stadium and how it's set up. The fans are always right in your face and we always know they have our backs, so I'm going to miss that the most."
NOTES ON THE TERPS IN THE MIDDLE:
Gone from the midfield are starters Doug Rodkey, Matt Kassel and Billy Cortes. Rodkey is wrapping up graduate school at the University of Maryland after spending six seasons as a member of the soccer program. Kassel is currently with New York Red Bull after signing a homegrown contract in the offseason. Cortes was drafted by NYRB in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
The cupboard is far from bare however. Three players on this season's squad earned starts in the midfield in 2010 including Kaoru Forbess, Helge Leikvang and John Stertzer. Forbess has 30 career starts to his name and is the most seasoned veteran in the unit. Leikvang is a highly-skilled player from Norway who boasts a powerful shot and a calm defensive demeanor. Stertzer has improved in each of his first two seasons in College Park and became a solid offensive weapon as a full-time starter by the end of the 2010 campaign.
Additional players forced to wait in the wings last season include Sunny Jane, Widner Saint Cyr, and Jereme Raley. Jane, a fan favorite, scored three goals in 19 games as a freshman in 2010. Saint Cyr and Raley both served redshirt seasons. All three should see significant action this season. Also in the mix will be junior Gonzalo Frechilla.
Two incoming players could also make an impact. Alex Shinsky, the top-rated recruit in the nation and a U-17 national team product, and Dan Metzger, a member of the NYRB Academy and the U.S. U-18 squad, will both add depth to the midfield position.