Originally Published: August 23, 2004 7 a.m.
A combination of junior college transfers, international players and high-school recruits make up Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's men's soccer roster. The program also welcomes first-year coach James Barlow, who expressed excitement about the upcoming campaign.
"Recruitment went well this year with many who have a positive winning and successful soccer background," said Barlow, who replaced Chuck Cone as head coach. "We have players coming in from all over the western states and even some from Brazil and Nigeria."
The roster includes one athlete, Mike Murphy from Prescott. Murphy, senior, is slated to play midfield.
"This group brings a lot of attacking flair with other players having defensive experience," Barlow said. "I see these players making an immediate impact on the men's soccer program. I am excited about the future of the program."
Barlow brings 30-plus years of soccer experience to the Eagles. He comes to Prescott after serving as assistant coach of the Cosumnes River College men's team. The Elk Grove, Calif., team went 19-1-3 last season, garnering a No. 3 national ranking.
Barlow himself played 14 years of professional and semi-pro soccer, making it to the highest level. Barlow played for the San Jose Earthquakes in its final season before folding. The team was part of the now-defunct North American Soccer League.
In college, Barlow was part of the 1981 Foothill College team that won the national championship.
Embry-Riddle hopes to show continued improvement in its second year of intercollegiate play. Barlow said the main goals are to be competitive against the "many battle-tested opponents that comprise the schedule" and to post an overall winning record.
"Off the field, we strive to raise and establish our team GPA," Barlow added. "Finally, we want to combine both on- and off-the-field success with enjoying our first full NAIA season."
The Eagles played an exhibition game Saturday against Capilano, five-time national champions out of Canada. Embry-Riddle opens the regular season today at home against Mesa Community College. Today's match is one of seven home appearances for the Eagles.