Q&A Session with Men's Soccer Assistant Coach Nick Glaser
Aug. 17, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - We caught up with Memphis men's soccer assistant coach Nick Glaser as they prepare to embark on training this week heading into the 2009 regular season. Memphis is coming off a 6-11-2 season which included several ups and downs. The Tigers are looking to replace six seniors but return a solid core that includes nine players who earned starting experience last season. Coach Glaser is entering his third season with Coach Richie Grant's staff and his first as the lead assistant. Glaser was a player at the U of M from 1997-00 before a professional career with stops with the Nashville Metros and Cincinnati Riverhawks of the A-League. He has also been an assistant coach at the University of Dayton and Cumberland University.
What are some of your overall thoughts heading into training on Wednesday?
"It's exciting. We have got a good group of players coming in to compliment the returning players that we have. It's a time where excitement is high and we are anxious to get out and get started."
What are you looking for from the group of players you have this year?
"Last year, we were heavy in seniors and upperclassmen. We had a talented group. The season didn't go the way we would have liked on paper. We had some ups and downs. Some really high times and some times that didn't go our way. It was just little points in the season last year. This year we are looking to build on that. We have a good young core group. Very talented. We are excited to get that youth out there and that energy and excitement. We are looking for some big things and I think we have the talent to take it to where we want to go."
What are the things you try to emphasize in training heading into the season?
"With such a young group, you prepare your preseason and a lot of people do it different ways but we just so happen to base a lot of our things around defense. So team shape starting with the forwards and moving to the midfield and moving to the defenders and how you defend as a unit together. We will spend a lot of time early on making sure that we all know what we are doing together and then individually. In the latter half of the preseason we will move more toward are attacking. We will hopefully get a good fundamental base with defending and get to a little bit more attacking and creative play towards the end of preseason."
What are some things that you are going to take heading into this season that you've learned in the past two years here at Memphis and your previous stops at Dayton and Cumberland?
"I constantly learn working with Richie and with Mark (Franklin) and Remco (De Jong), last year with Mat (Santoro). You are surrounded with quality all of the time, so it is just a constant learning process for me. I feel like I have a better grasp for where we are going now (as a team). Coach Grant has always been about quite a few things and it is nice to get back to those things that I believed in when I was playing here and it is nice to see that they are still the foundations of the program."
What is it like to be able to coach at your alma-mater and to coach under the person who was your coach as a player at Memphis?
"We talked about this the other day, I couldn't imagine myself anywhere else. I had to go away for a little bit to come back. Richie was instrumental. He was the inspiration in getting me into coaching. I just saw the passion that he had for it (coaching). The passion that he brought on me as a player. I admired that to great lengths. It kind of steered me towards getting involved in coaching and to come back to Memphis and work for him and work back with the people who were here when I was here. It is a tremendous honor."
Can you talk about the preseason games and some of the key games in the regular season?
"We are excited about the preseason games we have and the season we have coming up. We have a great relationship with Saint Louis and they are a perennial power. It is great to get them into preseason and to have a game of that caliber before we get going officially. Which helps us lead into our opening game against Bradley on Fox Soccer Channel. It is at 10 p.m., and will be aired live. What a great atmosphere. I think it is going to be 5,000 to 6,000 people there and that was what it was like at Saint Louis last year. We hope to have a great crowd for our game against them (Saint Louis) this year. Those type of games, you always get better with that talent, and the team that they have. You do nothing but learn from it no matter what the result is."
You will also have games against SMU and Tulsa aired on television, correct?
"It is great for our program. The kids that we brought in were excited to be able to play on TV. It excites the kids that we are looking to at for the future. They get to see University of Memphis men's soccer play three times on TV this year. On top of the two times last year. We play SMU at SMU and Tulsa at Tulsa. Three great games to be on TV. "