The College of Southern Maryland Hawks men’s soccer team kicks off their 2022 regular season on August 25 against the Anne Arundel Community College Riverhawks, ranked #7 in the NJCAA Division III preseason poll.
Tony Galeano returns to lead the program as head coach. This will be Galeano’s third stint as head coach of the program, previously serving from 2002-10 and during the 2017 season. He registered 133 wins over those 10 seasons.
Even with the Hawks finishing 2021 with a respectable record of 6-7, Galeano is wanting to start this new chapter of his time at CSM with a clean slate.
“With it being my first season, we can’t really compare to last year,” Galeano said. “It takes time to implement a new system, and trying to get the team fit and organized is our goal. I do believe we have a group that can hopefully produce more goals than last season.”
Returners from last season’s group who will be looking to provide more of that offense include midfielders Thomas Larsen, Hassan Turay, Talla Jagne, Oscar Perez, and defenders Estid Reedy and Zachary Wagner. Larsen was named to the 2021-22 All-Region 20 Division II Second Team & All-Maryland JUCO Honorable Mention Team.
“We are hoping the sophomores that have returned will lead the way, because they understand how hard it is to win in our conference,” Galeano said. “Hassan and Estid really stepped up this off-season to show great leadership. Thomas has also worked very hard this year in preseason and I hope he has a good season.”
Galeano also mentioned some of the new players he is expecting to make an impact. “We have a large group of quality freshmen this year,” Galeano said. “Chad Farr is a freshman that will play a big role in controlling the tempo in the middle. We are also looking forward to seeing Ethan Kumbar and Jeffry Navas anchor the back line.”
Galeano added, “The most important thing for us right now that we are focusing on is that we need to focus on defending as a team and not just a few individuals and attacking as a team and not just a few individuals trying to do everything by themself.”
Galeano is hoping this team will start the process of turning around the men’s soccer program and lead them back to the level of prominence they reached during Galeano’s first years as head coach.
“We have been trying to get in everyone’s head that we are here to compete and that last year’s results have nothing to do with where we are trying to go,” Galeano said “Also, just trying to let them understand the great history that this program once had. We want to see this program be taken seriously again; that’s our main goal.”
“We are excited to play our first official match and get things moving,” Galeano said. “The players have been working hard during preseason and are ready for a match to see where we stand. We know that we compete in one of the best conferences in the United States and our goal is to compete, take it one game at a time, and go from there.”
CSM will kick off against the Riverhawks at 4 p.m. in La Plata on August 25.