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Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Wrap Up

June 28, 2016

The Penn State men's soccer team returned home from an eight-day trip to Canada where it took part in international competition and saw the sites of the country. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop in Toronto and finished their trip in Montreal Sunday, June 26. Head Coach Bob Warming wrapped up the trip for Penn State men's soccer.

Wrap Up with Head Coach Bob Warming

Thanks to all of you who have followed the teams trip to Canada.  We appreciated the emails and texts from everyone.  We simply can't thank enough all the alumni and friends of the program who donated the money needed to feed, transport, house, buy tickets to two sold out MLS matches, the Niagara Falls tour, fund the pre-trip training, housing and meals.  AMAZING!  The players and staff are so grateful. 

Besides all that donated, plenty of other folks to thank:

Herb Combs, Nate Miller and their fantastic grounds crew staff for having our pre-trip training surface at Jeffery looking and playing fantastic. THANK YOU.

Dan Sowash and all the fun staff in the equipment room who went above and beyond their normal job description to take care of training and travel gear for the team. THANK YOU.

Greg Nye and the golf program for loaning us the luxury Mercedes Sprinter Penn State golf van, and folks, I do mean luxury. Oh my goodness that van has it all. Everyone certainly knew we were coming and it was terrific to get so many "We Are" shouts from people in Toronto and Montreal whenever we would get out of the vans in different locations. THANK YOU.

PSU administrator Rachel Rito and academic advisor Sarah Cowart. I group you to together because I never saw you apart for nine days! I mean never. The guys and staff appreciate all you do for the program during the year and enjoyed having two really helpful people along for the trip. THANK YOU-THANK YOU.

Steven Delger - as athletic trainer you have super long hours and lots of folks to manage on our team. THANK YOU for your professionalism and friendship.

Chad Duernberger and Owen Griffith - you guys were, as always, so on top of things. You are tireless workers who don't just get the job done but go above and beyond to make every day special for our players and the team. THANK YOU for everything you are doing to help us build a high performance atmosphere and championship culture.  

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Literally everyone we met in Canada, thank you, such kind and thoughtful people. What a great concept to not be rude. Patrice and the Vaughn soccer club, thank you, what great hosts and dedicated professionals.  The staff at Toronto FC, thanks for your time with the players and the tour.  Mark Bergevin and the Montreal Canadians, oh my goodness, thank you for the tour the behind the scenes and the opportunity to go be in the locker room, the players' lounge and to study and take notes on all the attention to detail that the Canadians have in their program.  We want to be champions and to learn from the hockey program that has won 24 championships was a rare opportunity. To Lake Shore FC and Lanaudiere FC the two teams in the Quebec Professional league we played, thank you for the matches and for being so accommodating.  

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And finally, to the Penn State Men's soccer team.

Of course, when you put on a Penn State University uniform you always represent more than yourself, you represent your family, your coaches, your school and others. However, in the case of an international trip, you represented much more. You no longer carry the torch for just your family and Penn State when you go out of country to compete.

On this trip, you represented the State of Pennsylvania, the United States of America, and college soccer in America to everyone who saw you. In these times when some are talking of building walls between us as people you helped build bridges to those who you played against, those who met you, and those who observed your actions as Americans. You competed hard against your Canadian opponents, you represented college soccer at a very high level and impressed those you competed against with your skill, teamwork and character. You came from behind against a pro team and did not lose a match. When things got tough physically and mentally, you hung together, supported each other, dug in and fought for victory.  As young men representing our country, you were exceptional both on the field and off. I never heard anything but praise about you at any portion of the trip from start to finish. I know that you are you are proud of what you did and what you accomplished and you should be proud.

Looking to the future, for our Penn State fans, the team is excited about the fall season. They are perhaps more excited than any team I have coached at Penn State. They feel they can be great. On this trip they went 3-0-1, scored 13 goals and only allowed three.  Seven different players scored as our combination play and interchanges on the field were, at times, special.  

The team knows the fall schedule will challenge and test them in every area. We play six opponents this fall who have won 16 National Championships collectively.  As I have said many times, the margin of victory in our sport is so small that the most important quality is how you play and compete together as a team. Winning every match just does not happen at a high level in our sport, but how you play, how you represent Penn State and yourself, that matters and that lasts long after the score line is forgotten.  

Win, lose or draw, this group of young men are the type of people and team that I want to have represent Penn State University this fall and in the future. We aim to make everyone who supports us and everyone who is a Penn Stater very proud.  

Thanks for keeping up with the team and to all of you who are such great friends of Penn State soccer.

Have a great summer everyone and, of course.... We Are...

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