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Off the Pitch with Ray Reid

Sept. 30, 2009

I have been head coach at the University of Connecticut for the past 12 years and I am still amazed at the fan support and the attendance we get at our home matches. This past weekend against St. John's and Syracuse completely reinforced that UConn has the best college soccer fans in the country.

We played St. John's on Friday in front of a sold out stadium and the atmosphere was electric. The game was played with the intensity of a NCAA Tournament match and our crowd provided tremendous support to our players.

Our crowd is made up of really three distinct groups, UConn students, local youth teams and UConn soccer supporters. They provide us with a tremendous venue and atmosphere to compete in. We are very lucky to have such great fans that love and care so much about their team.

Dane Brenner, my assistant coach has done a tremendous job in cultivating and maintaining these great crowds. Dane is the point person for the Marketing and Promoting of the Men's Soccer matches. He is very active in the community and is involved year round in the Marketing of UConn Soccer. Many other programs have tried to emulate what we do, but can't because of the commitment that our fans make to our program and because of Dane's ability to cultivate and promote our team.

Our student support group "The Goal Patrol" has become a national figure. NBC was here last week to do a special on the group that everyone else wants to have. The Goal Patrol does a great job of providing our players with a "European like atmosphere" where Soccer is important and spectators are passionate. I would like to thank the 1,200 students who make up "The Goal Patrol" for their support.

I think that the greatest testament to the spectators are the comments that our players make. Our players say that there is not another venue in college soccer that they would want to play in. Our players feel that the atmosphere in Storrs, Connecticut is second to none.



In closing, I want to thank you very much for creating a supportive environment for our players. The players are the most important thing, and you Husky Fans have created a venue, that our players will remember forever.