NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Head coach David Costa and the Belmont men's soccer team kicked off the 2019 preseason with its first training day on Tuesday at E.S. Rose Park, which included a Blue & Red intersquad scrimmage.
"Our guys made a great first impression with me and with one another. The returners have welcomed the new guys and showed them how we do things here," said Costa. "We are reinforcing the culture that we built in the spring. Getting on the field today was extremely exciting and we got to see some solid pieces."
The Bruins return 13 players from last season, including the sophomore duo of Ares Marlonsson and Niccolo Dagnoni, who combined for seven goals and nine assists in the 2018 season. Seniors Sam Borgel and Creaghan Diekema also return as the veterans of the program, with a joint total of 96 career matches played.
"We have been looking forward to this day all summer, I was talking to the guys and we were all ready to be back out there," said Borgel. "We have a solid foundation to build on and we connected over the summer, so the team is definitely off on the right foot."
Belmont welcomes in nine newcomers to start the season, with a highly-touted mix of five transfers and four freshman added to the roster. Overall, the Bruins feature 22 players from 17 different home states and countries.
"The new guys are willing to engage, and you can see their excitement to learn," said Costa. "We knew what we were getting with these guys because we recruited toward our values. There are a lot of good players in the world, but making sure they are a fit for Belmont is really important."
Next, Belmont will host Central Arkansas for its first exhibition of the 2019 season on Sunday, Aug. 18. The match is slated to kick off at 6:30 p.m at Rose Park.
The Bruins open up regular season play on Friday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. with a non-conference matchup at Bradley in Peoria, Ill.