Allen men’s soccer flush with new recruits

The Allen Red Devils are getting set to kick it into high gear with almost an entirely new roster from this time last year. Head coach Doug Desmarteau believes in creating a competition-breeds-success team atmosphere.

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Sports

August 14, 2023 - 2:52 PM

Allen’s Tavar Lawrence, left, battles for the ball with a Johnson County defender. Photo by Quinn Burkitt

Allen Community College men’s soccer head coach Doug Desmarteau believes in a competition-breeds-success atmosphere around his program.

The Red Devils come into this season with a much different look after all but two players — Patrick Alouidor and Santino Brignone — have departed. 

With over 60 players on the squad, the team is split into two teams, starters and reserves. 

“The big thing with us having a reserve team and so many guys is competition breeds success,” said Desmarteau. “Every training session they’re fighting for spots. I don’t care if you’re the leading goal-scorer or not, you always have to earn your spot on the field.”

Allen’s Thiago Fernandes, right, battles over a ball with a Hesston defender. REGISTER/QUINN BURKITT

A team with so many players makes the competition just to see playing time a lot thinner. 

Those players who Desmarteau expects to break through this season will be Josiah Bobb, Jeff Beljour, Patrick Alouidor, goalkeeper Guarav Sandhu, wings Ted Roberts and Rosmith Messieur and midfielders Gabriel Mocco, Ayoup Bader.

Sandhu is a transfer goalkeeper from Cowley Community College and Bader is a sophomore midfielder from Jordan. 

“I want all these guys to remember at Allen we were a group of brothers who came together from different countries and it became one big family,” Bader, who is from Jordan, said. “The most important thing is representing the school and showing what we’re capable of.”

Allen’s midfield is not as strong as it was last year, Desmareau said, but there is more speed up top where deep passes can reach. 

Allen’s Daniel Galindo, right, battles for a ball with a Hesston player. REGISTER/QUINN BURKITT

Allen’s front line and wings will be the key to their offense, playing many more direct balls and utilizing space between the back line and the goalkeeper. Desmarteau also wants his team to be sound in their organization on defense with a new experienced goalkeeper in Sandhu. 

“I think we always want to make sure we’re not giving up goals,” said Desmarteau. “I think we’re going to be very fast and physical from the midfield to the front line. We’re not as deep.  Right now we probably have 16 or 17 guys who I feel really comfortable playing.”

A difference in Allen’s schedule this season will be that Neosho and Johnson County both moved from Division I to II KJCCC. This will allow the Red Devils more exposure and a much more wide open conference in terms of standings. 

Desmarteau knows his team, at least the reserves who were there, are fueled by the early playoff exit last year at the hands of Pratt. The goals this year already in place are focused on getting beyond that hurdle. 

“Our first goal is to take care of preseason and non-conference games and come out with either an undefeated record or play really well to make sure we’re staying where we need to be in the top-20 in the nation,” Desmarteau said. “Our next goal is to win the conference and get the number-one seed for the region, I think that’s always a standard we set.”

Allen opens the regular season with a match at Anoka-Ramsey Community College on Thursday, Aug. 17. 

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