STORRS, Conn. -- As UConn men's soccer prepares for another season this fall, past and present members of the team took time to share their thoughts on the storied program in a video that was released on Wednesday. Each player and coach featured in the video described what UConn men's soccer has meant to them, and talked about the memories and relationships formed during their time in Storrs.
Current head coach Ray Reid, who earned his 400th career win this past fall, provided insight as to what kind of player it takes to succeed at Connecticut and discussed how fortunate he felt to be one of the leaders of the program.
"I haven't worked a day in my life here," Reid said. "I've been able to surround myself with really good coaches and very good players."
Associate head coaches John Deeley and Tim O'Donohue also talked about their experiences with UConn. Deeley called UConn one of the most special soccer programs in the country, and O'Donohue brought up the great environments that are seen on each game day at Connecticut.
Adria Beso Marco and Mansour Ndiaye represented the two former Husky stars to be featured in the video. Beso Marco, who earned Second Team All-American honors as a junior in 2013, wrapped up his career at UConn last season after helping to lead the Huskies to their 13th-ever Conference Regular Season title in the fall.
"UConn soccer is different than any other program in the country," Beso Marco said. "We play good soccer along with toughness and high intensity."
Ndiaye, a key member of the 2000 NCAA Championship Team, has stayed connected with the team following his graduation in 2001. He works on campus as a professor, and he feels just as close to the program now as he was during his soccer career.
"It's nice to be part of something," Ndiaye said. "It's nice to know that you are part of something that is much greater than who you are."
UConn fans also received insight from current Huskies Jake Nerwinski, Kwame Awuah and Istvan Kanyo, who all talked at length about the special opportunity soccer players had while playing for Connecticut.
"We're with each other 24/7," Nerwinski said. "We live together, we eat together and we hang out together on the weekend."
Kanyo referenced the great crowds the UConn players have come accustomed to playing in front of in Storrs. UConn has led the nation in attendance in nine seasons under Reid, and the Huskies ranked in the top three in the category seven times during that stretch. Awuah used the words passion and resilience to describe the program.
In addition to the player interviews, the video provided a look back into the history of UConn men's soccer, which boasts three National Championships, 50 All-Americans and four Players of the Year to its name.
Images of former coach Joe Morrone, Ndiaye and former players such as Bobby Rhine and Andre Blake were shown to illustrate the tremendous success the Huskies have sustained.
It started with Morrone, who led the Huskies to the 1981 NCAA Title and built Connecticut into a powerhouse, finishing with a record of 358-178-53 at UConn. The Huskies reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times under Morrone, including 11 of 12 years from 1978-1989.
Reid has carried UConn's rich tradition, leading the Huskies to 16 straight NCAA Tournaments (1998-2013). That stretch included two College Cup appearances, seven trips to the NCAA Quarterfinals and the 2000 NCAA Championship. The four-time National Coach of the Year will enter the 2015 season as the NCAA's second winningest active coach (.764).
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