Men’s soccer took a trip to the Netherlands over the summer, but it was no vacation. This trip prepared the team for the season to come.
“We’re looking forward to the season,” coach Tim Cashel said.
The team played five games while it was there, along with a few practices.
“One of the purposes in going is getting exposure to Dutch coaching,” Cashel said. The Dutch method of coaching involves a lot of attention to detail. “The little things make a difference,” Cashel said.
It seems to have worked in the past. Following the team’s first trip to Amsterdam in 2014, the team won the State Championship back to back.
However, the trip wasn’t just soccer. Team members also got to see a number of historically important and culturally significant locations.
“We did a bunch of stuff every single day,” junior Preston Haney said.
Team members explored the city of Amsterdam, visited the Kröller-Müller Museum, which houses the second largest collection of art by Vincent Van Gogh and went to the Anne Frank house. The team also took a tour of Westfalenstadion, the home of Borussia Dortmund, a team in the top tier of the German Football League.
To fund raise for the trip, the team sold t-shirts with sponsors, ran a booth at the Webster Groves Community Days carnival and solicited money from local organizations and residents.
There was a small mix-up. The team’s bus got stuck in traffic on its way to the airport, which caused players to miss their flight. The last group ended up arriving home two days later than what was scheduled.
However, this did not dampen the team’s spirits. It helped Cashel realize “just what a great group of travelers we had, kids and parents alike.” Cashel added that in the end, when the travelers look back on it, “that will be a footnote.”
Cashel also talked about how important it is for students to travel. “Our world is more and more connected.”
Haney expressed some of the benefits of traveling he found as well. “It’s important to see that your little world isn’t everything,” Haney said.
Junior Alex Rosenblatt said how the trip affected his world view, “It’s given me a broader view on how soccer is” in other countries.
The trip also helped bond the players in a way that is hard to do during regular summer practices. “It really builds team chemistry,” Rosenblatt said.
Cashel said in order to make a team work “you have to have a lot of players that can make contributions, and, fortunately for us, we do.”
The Varsity mens’ soccer team’s next game will be on Aug. 31, against Collinsville High School, at Selma Field.
This is news editor Ethan Weihl’s first year on ECHO staff. He is excited to begin his work on the ECHO. He has not decided on college yet but, he wants to major in Political Science and Journalism.
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