Men’s Soccer Roundup: It Begins!

Welcome to the Show

The season is here! No, not that one. You’ll have to wait a few more days before Dabo Swinney’s team finishes its long victory lap and takes on the (mighty?) Kent State Golden Flash. The soccer season, however, is in full swing, and no. 5 Clemson looks as good as advertised. The Tigers opened the season with a bang, sweeping through their weekend matches against Cal State Fullerton and Radford with relative ease. If you missed the matches, don’t worry; I’m here to compensate with recaps, analysis and questionable pop culture references. Enjoy the show, kiddos.

Cal State Fullerton (Friday 8/25)

Starting XI (3-4-3):

  • GK: Ximo Miralles
  • LWB: Michael Melvin
  • LCB: Andrew Burnikel
  • CB: Patrick Bunk-Andersen
  • RCB: Malick Mbaye
  • RWB: Saul Chinchilla
  • CM: Tanner Dieterich
  • CM: Oliver Shannon
  • LW: Diego Campos
  • ST: Jason Wright
  • RW: Harrison Kurtz

I’m not here to confuse you with some kind of Nolan-esque non-linear narrative, so let’s start from the beginning. Clemson opened the season with a 2-0 win against Cal State Fullerton. Although the win was fairly comfortable, Mike Noonan’s Tigers were jittery in the opening minutes. The team made a number of mistakes in possession in the early going. The mistakes persisted until transfer Jason Wright changed the order of proceedings with his goal 18 minutes into the first half. The forward looked bright and inventive from the beginning, and his boundless energy in the press forced the Titans’ goalkeeper into a misplay. Wright pounced on the mistake, and he glided past the goalkeeper for a tap-in that opened his account with the program.

After the Jamaican forward’s first goal, the team seemed to settle into the game. Tanner Dieterich began to assert himself in the midfield, hitting long balls and short passes alike. Malick Mbaye was a composed presence behind him, snuffing out attacks and starting positive moves. The Cal State Fullerton forwards had limited space between the defensive and midfield…

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