Messiah Men’s Club Soccer is team of exceptional athletes who seek to honor God with excellence, on and off the field. It's a demanding but fun outlet for players who want to compete against Division I, II and III schools, but at the same time balance that commitment with other opportunities at college.
Open tryouts take place in early September. We seek coachable, technically talented players who have a high soccer IQ and can run a 5:15 mile. For more information, contact Professor Michael Zigarelli, the team's head coach, at MessiahMCS@gmail.com or visit our Facebook page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the difference between club soccer and intramural soccer?
In a word, commitment. Intramural (rec) soccer is available to everyone at the College and requires no practices or threshold level of skill. All the games are on the Messiah campus. Men's club soccer, by contrast, entails arriving very fit in the fall, practicing three to four times each week during the fall season, and playing games every weekend from September through early November. The commitment level is significantly higher for club soccer and as such, students who are not prepared to offer the requisite commitment would be better served by simply playing intramural soccer.
When and where do you play?
Our regular season is in the fall, with our first game in early September and our last in mid-November. Games are usually on Sundays, but occasionally on Friday nights or Saturdays, and almost always within 90 minutes of campus. Transportation is provided. We also have a spring season which is primarily intended to help us train for the fall.
Is there a post-season?
It is similar to the NCAA post-season. In the fall, there are both regional playoffs for teams that win their conference title and a national tournament for teams that win their regional tournament.
What level of fitness is expected of players?
Field players are expected to arrive in late August fit enough to run a mile in 5:15. We also emphasize fitness throughout the regular season. It is a cornerstone of our game.
Is there any off-season commitment?
Off-season training is voluntary, but typical of our athletes. Our guys often play indoor soccer in the Messiah College gym throughout the winter and have a weight room regimen for 12 months of the year. We also play some inter-collegiate games in the spring and have practices in March and April, and there is a summer training plan for each player.
Do players from the club team eventually get to play for the Messiah varsity team?
It has happened on rare occasion, but typically not. The varsity team recruits from the high schools, not from the club team.
When are the tryouts?
In the fall semester, usually at about 5:00 on the Monday after move-in day. Check our Facebook page for details. You will be tested for fitness as well as technical ability.
What are my chances of making the team?
They are better than they used to be, since we are now experimenting with having two men's club teams. We select players based on technical skill, fitness and coachability, as well as where we anticipate gaps in our team.
Often about 40 or 50 new guys will show up for tryouts, in addition to about 15 of last year's players, to vie for 20 spots on the "blue team" roster (our first team) and 16 spots on the "orange team" roster (our second team). Almost without exception, the guys who earn a place on our teams have played for a high-level travel team before college and/or played for a quality high school team, but those are not requirements.
Who decides on the final roster?
Our coach, in addition to the captains, make the final determination.
What does it cost?
It costs nothing to tryout, but athletes who earn a spot on the team may be required to pay for socks and other nominal expenses. For the years that we make the northeast regional tournament or the national tournament, there are hotel and other travel expenses associated with that as well...but it's the best investment you'll make all year!