To those who follow UB Soccer, the record of 5-11-1 of the previous season came as quite the shock. With the talent from the returning class and the highly regarded recruits, people predicted better. But instead of improving from there, Danny White insisted for a change. That change is new head coach, Stu Riddle
Jake Jacobs, an English player from the Tottenham Hotspurs academy, a highly respected Premier team in the English First division, ( one you might have heard of from the new NBC Premier League commercials) described that the American game wasn't as aggressive or technical as the foreign one. Real soccer pedigree was needed.
In four seasons, Riddle went 33-36-9, had 10 all-conference selections, eight all-tournament team selections and many more accolades. Stu Riddle begins his first season as head men’s soccer coach at Buffalo, being named to the position on January 2, 2013.
Riddle comes to Buffalo from Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan where, in four seasons, he revitalized the Broncos’ men’s soccer program making back-to-back appearances in the MAC Championship game in 2010 and 2011. Riddle led the Broncos to winning seasons in two of his four years, something that had only been done twice in the 15 seasons prior to his hiring.
To create a winning formula by himself aint gonna be easy. With the help of Rahim Mohamed... it might just be easier. Rahim Mohamed, a first-year assistant for the men's soccer program, was recently named to the NSCAA's "30 Under 30" program.
In addition to a new coaching staff UB has three new faces in goal for Buffalo. Waleed Cassis is a transfer from California State University at Los Angeles. In 2012 he went 11-4-5 with a 1.02 GAA to lead the Eagles to a CCAA regular season title and the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament. along with him are freshmen Andrew Siviy and Ryan O'Mara.
|August 24||Roberts Wesleyan|
|August 30||at St. Bonaventure|
|September 6||at Bucknell|
|September 8||at Siena|
|September 13||at Binghamton|
|September 20||at Detroit|
|September 22||at Cleveland St.|
|September 29||at Robert Morris|
|October 4||Bowling Green *|
|October 12||at Western Michigan *|
|October 15||Hartwick *|
|October 18||Akron *|
|October 26||at Belmont|
|November 1||West Virginia *|
|November 9||at Northern Illinois *|
The top returning players are probably Marek Albert, one of the team’s best attacking forwards last season and Jesse Andoh Played who appeared all over the field, from the outside defensive back position to an attacking forward role. Both players had multiple starts last season amd each saw time in all 17 UB games.
It's a young team all around so expectations for UB's new coach should be made with the understanding he hsa just a hand full of returning Bulls. The Bulls 24 man roster includes 12 freshman and six Sophomores. Among the upper class men on the team are several transfers.
Stu Riddle has inherited a big rebuilding project. He's done it before in the MAC and UB fans are hoping he can do it in Buffalo. Those fans though may have to wait a season or two before they see big results. Coming from an abysmal 0.7 goal per game avg. and a high 1.85 goals conceded avg. the team has a long way to go to reach their expectations and that of others.
The other bad news for this years Buffalo squad is that MAC soccer can be pretty unforgiving. There is a lot of depth and talent in a legume which includes teams like Akron and Northern Illinois.
Aside from conference play, and particularally the Western Michigan game featuring Riddle's last suqad there is always the Big4 games to watch.
UB opens up with an exhibition game against Niagara, then we play the Griffs and Bonnies in the early prt of the season. If the Bulls will struggle once they hit the meat of the MAC schedule they would do well to take care of the local teams that Buffalo fans love to hate.
Let the revolution begin...