Aug. 15, 2014
CHICAGO - The UIC men's soccer team returned to campus earlier this week to kick off training for the 2014 season. The Flames held their first session on Wednesday and will continue to work leading up to their first exhibition match against Wisconsin on Sunday at 5 p.m. CT at the McClimon Complex in Madison, Wis.
"This is an exciting time of year," said head coach Sean Phillips. "The first two days of training have been great."
Sunday's match will be the first of three exhibition matches for the Flames this season. UIC will host Saint Louis on Aug. 20 and Bradley on Aug. 24 before the regular season commences on Aug. 29 against Cal State Fullerton at Flames Field.
UIC welcomes back 17 letterwinners from the 2013 Horizon League Regular Season Championship team, including six starters and All-League members Jesus Torres, Andrew Putna (2013 Freshman and Goalkeeper of the Year) and Thomas Villamil. The Flames also bring in eight newcomers who hold a wealth of championship experience at the high school and club level.
"Our returners have come back fit and hungry to improve upon last year," added Phillips. "The new players are starting to settle in and adjust to the demands and expectations of college soccer, as well as starting to find their ways within the team."
Under the direction of John Trask, former head coach of the Flames from 2005-09, Wisconsin enters the 2014 campaign with a No. 21 ranking in the first NSCAA/Continental Tire College Rankings of the season. The Badgers finished last season at No. 19 in the poll after advancing into the second round of the NCAA Tournament and producing a record of 14-5-2.