Through the January chill and April warmup, the UNM men’s soccer team has looked toward August and the heat of the 2017 college season.
The Lobos play a home exhibition match on Saturday against Colorado Mines. The spring season ends with a game at Denver University next week.
“It depends on how you evaluate it,” UNM coach Jeremy Fishbein said when asked how the training has gone. “It’s been really good in terms of individual development and challenging guys.”
The Lobos, who won the Conference USA tournament and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, have a number of critical players to replace. Niko Hansen, an important part of the offense in all four of his years at UNM, is now contributing to the MLS’ Columbus Crew as a rookie. Chris Wehan, on the Hermann Trophy watch list in his time as a Lobo, and Patrick Khouri are also playing pro soccer.
UNM signed four players in February, but none will join the team until August. A couple more will be added to the roster before August.
Meanwhile, Paul Souders, who had served as Fishbein’s assistant for nine seasons and was an integral part of the team’s preparations, has left. He is now an assistant at Central Florida.
Kelly Altman, a 2001 Albuquerque Academy graduate and an assistant at Valparaiso for four seasons, was named to the UNM staff on Thursday.
“He’s very passionate about being here,” Fishbein said.
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