Sept. 6, 2001
Below are Trevor Adair’s answers to the selected questions that you submitted this past week to “Ask The Tigers”. ClemsonTigers.com would like to thank you for all of your questions submitted. We would also like to thank Trevor for his time and sincere effort with “Ask The Tigers”.
Coach, I have been impressed with the way that Paul Souders has played of late. He seemed to look really good in the spring matches that I watched and I read of his goal in the California match. He almost has a presence about him that is similar to that of Mark Lisi. Is he the most likely to step in and create from a position in the midfield this year or will someone else like Kenny Cutler fill that void created by Lisi’s graduation. Thanks in advance and I’m looking forward to a great season. Go Tigers!Shaun Garrison Lexington, SC
One of the good things with Paul is that we didn’t red shirt him last year and he got a lot of playing time in the spring, which gave him a lot of confidence. He has worked tremendously hard in becoming physically stronger. You are very astute in noticing that he will be a player for the future, whether it is a dominant player for his remaining two years is unknown, but he has already come off the bench and given us the winning goal against Berkley. I anticipate him fighting for a starting position. He has a good presence both offensively and defensively because he approaches everything simply. He is a very bright kid and takes to coaching extremely well. When I saw him, he wasn’t that heavily recruited, but I saw a kid that had a very good future in our program. But I can’t say more about him, but the fact that he is just a great human being and it is great to see him getting some satisfaction and reward for his hard work. But it would be tough for me to say right now that he will be the next Mark Lisi, and I think that Ian Fuller is doing a good job of playing that role right now.
Coach, How do you prepare your players for the next level?Mark Geddes Fairfax, VA
We have about 21 players playing in the pros right now that left in the past six years, and one of the things that we instill in our players here is work ethic and practice. I think our style of play is very conducive to players making decisions out there rather than being team that plays very direct, in my opinion what is somewhat of mindless game that doesn’t allow the players to make the decisions that they need to develop in order to play at the next level. We ask our players to move around to different positions and place chance and that takes some tactical awareness. If you couple that tactical awareness with hard work and improving your skills and improving your physique, then I think that prepares you for the next level.
Coach, I’m just curious about recruiting. When looking at a player, is speed more important, or is it better to have good ball skills and a good touch??Brandon Thompson Lenoir, NC
You look at all of those things. Speed is important. We have some speed on our team and it is just something that you can’t coach. You can develop skills. We look for a balance of things. We look for speed and technical speed, meaning speed with the ball. We really look at all things, ball skills, decision-making, fitness level, attitude, character of kids, how they would fit into your team. Those are all important ingredients to recruiting.
Trevor, What is your outlook on the team this year and their chances to be national champs?Gerry Bohm Roseland, NJ
The thing about playing soccer at Clemson is that you go in every year with a realistic goal and anticipation of playing for a national championship. Three of the past four years we have lost to the team that has gone on to win it. You never know, if we had beaten those teams in that situation, we could have very well gone on to win the national championship. This year’s team is no different. A lot of depth on this team. The most we’ve had from number 1 to 24 on the squad. Presently we have some players hurt. Fabio Tambosi will be out for about two weeks, but we have players that will step right in and take his place. We used 16 players out in California against Berkley, which is unusually high for me, but because we have so much depth, we went ahead and used a lot of players, and obviously the results were favorable.
Trevor, The Clemson soccer program is nationally known in the “soccer world” as a powerhouse, but I think is somewhat overlooked locally. What do you think can be done locally to generate interest and increase fan support in the soccer team?Jeff Gowdy
It would be nice to get some more publicity from our local newspapers. I don’t think we get as much publicity as maybe we do deserve because I think our program at time is taken for granted. People just expect us to be in the top ten every year. There are teams that if they get in there and are happy, and we are looked upon as having a bad year if we don’t get there. I would like to see more students attend games at Clemson. Students give you that atmosphere and get behind the team and show the passion that soccer deserves. Right now, there appears to be a lot of activities on campus that give students choices. We have tried to develop relationships with the students, and I think we have a good relationship with our students here. We are trying everything we can, and it would be nice to have those stands filled every game. We had about 3,000 at the Under-17 National Team game, which is a good crowd. But I honestly think that our program at times is taken for granted that we are always going to be there and our supporters don’t come out until the end of the season when we are in the play-offs.
Trevor, How will the addition of Dimelon Westfield enhance your team’s offense this season?John Kennedy Clemson, SC
Dimelon is very skillful and very fast. He hasn’t found the back of the net yet, but he has assisted on a couple of goals already against a couple of good teams. I expect once breaks that ice and gets that first goal, for things to start flowing for him. He has really fit into our team extremely well. Given that he is a brand new player, it seems like he has played in our formation and our style of play, which is why we recruited him.
Trevor, I live near Washington, DC and am an avid DC United fan. I’ve enjoyed watching Mark Lisi play for United. You’ve done a great job helping to get him where he is now. Are there other players coming out of Clemson that have a real chance at playing in the MLS or in Europe? Is there anyone else besides Lisi in MLS from Clemson? Offhand, I can’t think of any.Sandy Christmus Vienna, VA
Right now we have 12 players in the MLS from the past six years and another 8 or 9 that are playing in the A League. You have players like Matt Jordan who has started for the past three years for the Dallas Burn, you’ve got Walde Harris for New England, Scott Bower for San Jose, Eric Quill, and the list goes on. We do have quite a few players that I think have a chance at playing at the next level. If Fabio Tambosi can secure a green card, I think he has the skills to play at that level. He is a little small, but boy what skills he has. Then you have a player like Oguchi Onyewu, who has been heavily courted by the MLS because of his physical presence and attributes. Doug Warren, our goalkeeper who is a junior, played on the National Team, I’m sure will be able to play in the MLS eventually. You have Ricky Lewis, a sophomore, also on the Under 20 National Team that has the pace and the ability to play. Ian Fuller could play professional somewhere. He lacks a little bit of pace, but what he lacks in pace, he makes up for in tactical awareness. So, there are some players on this team that you will see in the MLS over the next couple of years.
Coach, Knowing that there are a number of excellent soccer programs in the ACC and the south,is there a game on this year’s schedule you would consider a “must win” in order for the team to have a successful season? Best wishes for a great year!John Foster Charleston, SC
That is a no-brainer. You must beat South Carolina. The Duke game as well, to get us off to a good start in the ACC. And I feel that a big game for us will be going to Chapel Hill the last game of the year, which I think will have bearings on who wins the championship.
Coach, Early in Sept., the men’s soccer schedule has some matches being played in Greenville. Could you tell me the exact sight of these matches? Thanks! Ken Hastings Fountain Inn, SC
We are playing at Furman this year. They have come our tournament the past six years and we are going to reciprocate. It is good because it gives us two good games without having to travel a lot and our guys can play in those games and sleep in their own beds. They will be played at Stone Field on the Furman campus. We play at 5:00 Friday night and then noon on Sunday. We play FIU on Friday night and Notre Dame on Sunday.
Trevor, I haven’t seen anybody with a real “nose for the goal” since we lost Krakowiak 2 or 3 years ago. I was wondering if we have any guys who seem to have that gift or look to have the potential to be that clutch goal scorer that can take us to the next level this year.Shaun Garrison Lexington, SC
Fabio scored four goals in his first two games of the preseason. It is a shame that he is hurt and just had surgery yesterday. Steven Rhyne as a freshman scored seven goals last year. He is a guy that could definitely score 20 goals in a season, and Dimelon Westfield can score too. That was one of those things in recruiting that we tried to get. Those type of goal-scorers don’t come along every year, but we feel like we’ve got one who recently gave us a verbal commitment. We think he’ll be able to light it up.
Coach, I am a member of a local high school soccer team. We are expected to win the state tournament this year, but a couple of key players have gone down with injuries. What is something our guys can learn from this? And what is some good advice for us to keep up our title hopes? GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!Blake Henry Walhalla, SC
A lot of times, when key players go down, you hope you have players that will rise to the occasion. A lot of teams think that when they lose key players, their hopes are shattered. But, if they hang on to the fact that someone’s misfortune is someone else’s opportunity, then the team will only be stronger. Every good championship team has players who come back from injury and give the team that extra lift. I’ve seen that time and time again. And hopefully those players who are injured will have a chance to come back. In the meantime, those players that are given the opportunity, must step up and realize that they the players who are out can’t be relied on, and someone else has to take initiative and step up. Adversity is a great thing to bring out the best in people.
Next week’s guest on “Ask The Tigers” will be the defensive line coach for the Tigers, Thielen Smith.
January 15, 2022