Men’s Soccer in Sweden: Social Elements Equals Success?

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Maxime Devillaz
Staff Writer

OSCAR KJELLSTROM
OSCAR KJELLSTROM

The LIU Post soccer players had great expectations for their trip to Sweden during their preseason. The citizens of Malmoe encountered 25 American soccer players, biking around town. Men’s soccer Head Coach Andreas Lindberg had difficulties in believing it. “This feels unreal to me. I have fought for this to happen, ever since I got here. Being able to bring the boys to my hometown, it’s a dream come true!” The soccer team did not experience a typical American pre-season, running mile after mile, from early in the morning until late at night, making the jogging shoes instantly threadbare. Instead, their days were filled with regular soccer practices, games and different sorts of activities, everything well planned by Lindberg.

“The social part of this trip was of great importance to us. We know that we already are more fit and have more special individual players than most teams we face. Therefore, we wanted to focus on developing as a group,” said Lindberg.

The coaching staff had planned the trip which perfectly matched the annual Malmoe festival, making the city crowded with people, concerts and food stands. Sophomore midfielder Per Forgaard picked another favorite moment. “When we were visiting the amusement park “Tivoli” in Copenhagen, most of us had a great time. Clearly, some people were struggling with the roller coasters though,” Forgaard laughed.

Calling the week relaxing would be an overstatement. Most days were double practices, thus, the team managed to play three games in three days, walking out undefeated. Forgaard was positive. ”We met some great teams, and it was good for us to be able to set the standard for the upcoming season”.

Moving forward, how far will this team go this season? Well, it is obviously impossible to predict, although Lindberg explained why this could be the year for the Pioneers. “We have a great roster and players with special qualities this year, although we have to take one game at a time. At the end of the season, this trip could be the key.”

The team was able to bring parts of Sweden back to America.

Their competitive side and the willingness to win have given the Pioneers four straight victories so far this season, and they are continuing their journey towards playoffs.

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