McCormack to put his stamp on Canby soccer program
Ryan McCormack's first summer at Canby could not have gone better.
"The kids have been absolutely amazing," said McCormack, Canby's first-year boys soccer coach. "Everyday they come in, they listen, they take it in, they try to do it. That's all I can really ask for. They keep up this attitude, the season is going to go great, regardless of the results. But I think we're going to be competitive."
Being competitive has been a struggle at Canby. The Cougars have missed the playoffs the last six seasons, and were outscored 41 to 26 last season, finishing 3-9-2.
"It's something we definitely want to build towards, where we're being competitive for state playoff berths year in and year out," McCormack said. "It's just a matter of building that. We've got to build a culture that builds towards that."
Canby returns one of its captains from last season in senior forward Ian Quinlan.
"His speed, his technical ability, his nose for goal, he's definitely going to carry us in a lot of ways with his leadership," McCormack said.
Quinlan and fellow senior Daniel Navarro should give the Cougars a potent front two.
"The two of them have just been ripping shots from anywhere within 30 yards," McCormack said. "It's been pretty threatening. It's sharpening up our defense, which is nice. We're getting a lot of reps against some really good players up top."
Canby will also have a senior at goalkeeper in Zachary Heidema.
"He's fearless, just charges any ball, (has) very good lateral movement," McCormack said.
McCormack also expects junior Francisco Cabello to be a key player. He's just not exactly sure where on the field.
"He's a plug in play," McCormack said. "You can put him anywhere on the field and he's pretty standout. We'll have to see where he's going to fit in our system, but he's definitely a key cog. It's just about finding the right spot for him. He can go anywhere."
Jan Tello Lopez, an exchange student from Barcelona, has been a nice addition.
"Sometimes you forget he's 15 (years old)," McCormack said. "He plays with a wisdom beyond his age. I have to remind myself he's a sophomore."
Led by freshman Heladio Vera, the Cougars also have a number of impressive underclassmen.
"He's small, but any senior, any big guy, he's right there, holding them off and able to hang," McCormack said of Vera. "He's fast, he's quick. He's really smart, very technical on the ball."
Canby had about 60 players at tryouts. Dividing up three teams was not easy.
"There's a lot of promising talent on JV1 this year, a lot of kids with another year or two of growth, they're going to be impact players on varsity," McCormack said. "We're excited. There's a lot of good things coming in the future.
"Our focus is being the best possible players and people we can be every day and getting better every day. I think we'll be competitive. We've got the talent and if we put it together, there's no reason why we can't compete with anyone."
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