Jan. 26, 2006
Tallahassee, FL – Even though it is supposed to be the off season for the fourth-ranked FSU soccer team, there is plenty going on over at the Seminole Soccer Complex. Four FSU players are currently with or just returning from stints with their national teams, head coach Mark Krikorian has set his spring schedule and is even looking forward to the first summer camps of his Florida State career. So it is time to catch-up with FSU soccer.
VO IN GERMANY
While a lot of attention has been focused on India Trotter’s call up to the full US National Team, the All-American isn’t the only Seminole with an impressive national team resume. FSU midfielder Viola Odebrecht is also in camp with the full German National Team. The star of FSU’s run to the College Cup is in her first camp since April of 2005.
“I am excited and a little bit nervous,” said Odebrecht. “Overall I am very glad to be invited to camp.”
“Much like our other players who have been called on by their national teams this is fantastic for Viola,” said Krikorian. “She played at a very high level for us through the course of the year. I think they know what a talent V.O. is in Germany and she has been brought back in to a camp. They are keeping her in the mix for another major world tournament in a year or so. Hopefully for V.O.’s sake she will be right in the middle of it all.”
Unlike Trotter who competed in the Four Nations Tournament in China, Odebrecht’s camp will not feature any competitive dates. She will spend a week training before returning to Tallahassee.
“I am not sure how well I am playing right now,” said Odebrecht. “The last time I trained was in December for the College Cup. Since then I have been running but haven’t had any team training. It may be difficult because of the rust.”
Odebrecht was a candidate for national player of the year in 2005 and quickly developed into a leader of the surprising FSU soccer team. According to the junior, her experience at Florida State will help her this time around with the German National Team where she is much more experienced than she was as a member of the World Champions in 2003.
“The past season did help me develop my leadership skills,” said Odebrecht. “Coming off my experiences at Florida State, I have more confidence to speak up now with the German National Team then the last time I was with them. I think that will help.”
“One of the things we identified early with Viola is that she is a leader and has those qualities,” said Krikorian. “I don’t know if that has been asked of her in the past. It may have been because she was a younger player on an older team but here she was a more senior player and we turned to her from the day she arrived. I thought she did a great job helping to lead the team not just with words but her actions as well. I hope she is able to bring some of those qualities back home that maybe we helped her to improve.”
YAMAGUCHI BACK HOME AS WELL
Mami Yamaguchi was not only a Seminole soccer fan favorite in 2005 she was one of the ACC’s top freshmen. The Seminole midfielder, who recovered from knee problems, finished the season second on the team with eight assists. She also scored one of the biggest goals of FSU’s season, a double OT golden goal versus Duke. Her play opened eyes back home where she is now training with the Japanese U-20 National Team.
“Mami is going back to be with the Japanese U-20 team for the first time in a long while,” said Krikorian. “It is the first call up for her since she hurt her knee well over a year ago. For her it will be an adjustment. She has been in America for about eight or nine months. She completed her rehab, played through the fall with a brace and then was able to remove that brace towards the end of the season. We expect her to do a good job in Japan and represent herself in a very positive fashion. We look forward to hearing about her experiences there.”
SPRING SCHEDULE SET
It’s hard to believe but FSU soccer is less than a week away from getting back out on the field. The Seminoles open spring practice January 31. They will practice three days a week and have five spring competitions scheduled. Three of those five play dates will be in Tallahassee. The first is February 13 versus a Norwegian club side. Less than a week later FSU will head back to Gainesville to face the Gators February 18. March 18 FSU will host an all day event featuring top club teams before closing out the home portion of the schedule versus perennial power Nebraska. The spring will come to a close in Tampa April 15 in a rematch versus ACC Champion North Carolina.
“We are going to have three home dates this spring,” said Krikorian. “It should be a nice opportunity for people to come out and watch some nice soccer especially with Nebraska, a perennial top 20 team, and the Norwegian club team.”
Krikorian and his staff did a wonderful job blending new faces with returning players last fall as the Seminoles advanced to their second College Cup in three years but the goals in the spring are different for the National Coach of the Year and his staff.
“The spring will absolutely be about players developing as individuals,” said Krikorian. “We have a lot of players going in different directions with their national teams. Our view is fall is about developing the team to compete. Spring is about helping individual players develop so they can help us next fall. We are looking to work with players on technique and tactics to give them the best opportunity to help the team in the fall.”
SPRING PLAY DATES February 13 7:00 pm Norwegian Club Team (Tallahassee) February 18 7:00 pm University of Florida (Gainesville) March 18 TBA All day event versus club teams (Tallahassee) March 24 7:00 pm University of Nebraska (Tallahassee) April 15 6:00 pm University of North Carolina (Tampa)
FUN IN THE SUN
Dates have just been announced for the first ever Mark Krikorian Summer Soccer Academy. There will be three sessions, two day camps and one residential camp. The two day camps are set for June (5-8 and 12-15). The residential camp will take place July 23-27. These will be the first summer camps run by Krikorian and his award winning staff.
“All the camps will be open to all positions and we are going to encourage teams to come as well,” said Krikorian. “The ages for day camp runs from 7-17. For the residential camp it will be grades 7-12.”
The soccer academy offers youth players the opportunity to be coached by a staff that has worked with the best players in the world from the WUSA to US National Teams at all levels. All three of FSU’s full time coaches have experience working with the best players currently playing the game across all levels and age groups.
“We are looking to help develop good soccer players,” said Krikorian. “We will put together a great staff. Our hope is players will come and have a fun time and a great learning experience.”