Casey Splane, The Circuit
The men’s soccer team has found their new head coach. Miguel Rodrigues was hired to take over the squad as of March 10.
Rodrigues comes to Benedictine after a stint as the assistant coach at Niagara University in New York. Rodrigues has also spent time in the Heart, serving as the assistant coach at Avila University in 2012. Growing up in Miami, he played college soccer at the University of Missouri at Kansas City making Rodrigues very familiar with the region.
“The campus is beautiful, the facilities are wonderful,” Rodrigues said. “The fact that the school stands for what it does also made it easier.”
Rodrigues is excited to start with his team. He knows that he does not need to do a whole lot to help get his players where he wants them to be.
“I’m not here to reinvent the wheel because I don’t think it’s broken,” he said. “It’s obvious that the players are here.”
He has been able to hit the ground running with the players ever since the end of spring break on March 14.
“Overall I really enjoyed what I saw,” Rodrigues said.
While trying to determine what kind of players he has, Rodrigues is also still in the process of implementing what kind of characteristics he wants his team to have.
“I think the biggest things we’re looking for is to be a high intensity team, very disciplined in what we do, and to always be proactive,” he said.
Rodrigues also knows that it all does not fall on him to help implement these new ideas.
“I’m a big believer in the ownership of the players and that the team belonging to them,” he said. “This is essentially their team, their family, for the next four years.”
Freshman Adam James has taken to the new coach in the few weeks of training the team has had.
“Training has been really loose and we’re out there having fun,” James said. “It’s a really fun environment to be around”
Rodrigues looks to continue training throughout the offseason and continuing to further get to know his players and implement his philosophies. He hopes to schedule a couple of games in the later months of the offseason to see his players play in a live game.
“I want to see them play,” he said. “The hard work and intensity part of it is something they need to see amongst themselves.”