Titans 2-0; Mistri Speaks

Here are Coach Al Mistri's mid-week appraisal of the Titan men's soccer program as well as his comments on upcoming opponets Cal and Stanford.

Coach Al Mistri:

"We are coming off one of our best weekends in recent memory, perhaps back to the win over Indiana last year. We beat two quality opponents in Ohio State and Penn State, and that bodes well for the future.

"Last year's recruits (Cid, Kljestan, Rodriguez) made the difference, as well as the play of the veterans such as Hector Orellana and Brent Whitfield. We missed Mitch Wagner (eligibility questions) and had to play a rookie (freshman Amir Shafii) on defense, but that worked out well.

"While all of that is good, I didn't think we played as well as we can. We need to finish more of our chances. As long as you create scoring opportunities, the odds are you will get more than we did. The games should not have been as tight as they were.

"We've suffered a blow with an injury to Whitfield (dislocated toe in off-field accident). He's worked extremely hard for this season, so it's a blow to him as well. They tell us he will be out three to four weeks.

"Regarding our opponents this week, Cal has a very deceptive record at 0-2-0. They played Indiana and Notre Dame. They are a very good team. Stanford has been our nemesis, and even though they haven't played a game yet, I'm sure they will be pretty well prepared for us. I think the word is out as evidenced by the pre-season and the first week's polls, that no one anticipated us being the kind of team that we are. So Cal and Stanford will be pretty fired up for us."

TitanCentral Spin: I hope Coach Mistri's comments continue throughout the season. In fact, it would be nice to see this from the baseball and basketball coaches as well... I was in attendance on Sunday versus Penn State and the Titans dominated every aspect of this game. It's one game but they looked much better than last year. Are they really this good or are they benefiting from the month-long trip to Italy?

My initial evaluation of Ignacio Cid was not too flattering. They guy turned the ball over deep into PSU territory numerous times and refused to pass the ball. One time prompting my 7-year old to scream, "Why won't he pass?!" Obviously this had an effect on Cid as he promptly banged home the only two scores of the night. He's definitely a hotdog but also has a knack for the net. Orellana also looked very good and Whitfield screams down the field. I immediately took to 6-4 freshman defender Amir Shafii. There's just something nice about have a big guy who can actually play soccer helping out your goalkeeper. He's a very solid player and his only problem is he's from Irvine.