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 the first week of class in the fall semester. We seek coachable, technically talented players who have a high soccer IQ and who are fit enough to run a 5:15 mile. For more information, contact Professor Michael Zigarelli, the team's head coach, at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, trying out for the team, 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.
What are my chances of making the club team?
Often about 30 new guys will show up for tryouts, in addition to about 15 of last year's players, to compete for 25 roster spots. We select players based on technical skill, fitness and coachability, as well as where we anticipate gaps in our 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 conjunction with the captains, make the final determination. Also, every member of the team has an opportunity to speak into at decision. If you do not make the team, you are welcome to tryout again the following year. Historically, some of our top players did not play until their sophomore year.
When are the practices?
For both teams, practices are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4:15 to 6:00. Except for academic conflicts, all players are expected at practice, on time and ready to work.
When and where are the games?
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. 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, though we do not cut players if they cannot initially make the fitness standard. However, it’s a major factor in playing time.
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.
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.