The Milwaukee Torrent men are back in action Saturday night. After a rigorous schedule to start the season, the Torrent have a two week break from conference play. In order to stay in game shape Milwaukee will take on the Croatian Eagles SC in a friendly match at Hart Park Stadium. Kickoff for today’s match is set for 6pm.
Milwaukee has improved their defensive play since the season began. The return of veteran Stuart Grable was instantly noticed in the team’s last match against Detroit City FC. Adding a veteran presence to a strengthening backline allowed Milwaukee to keep the visitors off the scoreboard for nearly the entire match.
Offensively this season the Torrent men have created chances without needing to rely on one individual to get things done. Mark Hutchinson continues to score goals for the Torrent, as he has in previous seasons. However, his efforts have been matched by the finishing efforts of Isaac Pereyra, Drew Ruggles, and Sam Biek. Alex Stojanovski has provided the strong, physical presence up top the Torrent have needed.
In net, Milwaukee has been graced with the consistent play of Agustin Rey. His experience and ability has helped to keep the Torrent in matches they would have otherwise lost a year ago. Rey provides the leadership this team has needed all season, and will look to finish strong the rest of the way.
After Saturday’s friendly with the Croatian Eagles, they will turn their attention back to Detroit City FC. They will travel across the lake to Detroit on July 1 in a rematch of last weeks hard fought conference match. Milwaukee will look to play spoiler, as they try to bring home three points that Detroit is desperately in need of to stay in the playoff hunt. After being eliminated from contention by DCFC, the Torrent would be happy to return the favor next weekend.
Heart, determination and passion is what it will take for the Torrent to work their way through this week. With matchups on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, the women from Milwaukee need to keep their heads up and their hearts engaged. With the matchups they have, Milwaukee will look to a perfect 9-point week to help vault them up the Central Region's North Conference standings.
Minnesota TwinStars - Wednesday, June 20 at Hart Park Stadium
First up for the Torrent is a home match against the visiting Minnesota Twinstars. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster year for the road team, as they have won two and lost three. After a 1-0 season opening victory at home against the Dakota Fusion, the Dragons lost their next three matches to Chicago City on the road and back to back matches against the Red Star Reserves. Minnesota returned to the win column this past weekend in a rematch with Chicago City SC at home.
Milwaukee will look to exploit the Dragons defense that has surrendered 18 goals in their first five matches this season. The Torrent have been able to find a consistent scoring touch this season, finishing in three of the four matches they've played. They will look to Aubrey Krahn and Haley Johnson to generate creative opportunities up top.
Dakota Fusion - Friday, June 22 at Moorhead High School
The Torrent women will spend their regeneration time Thursday on a bus traveling west. The plan is to arrive in Dakota the night before their road rematch with the Fusion on Friday evening. Milwaukee will look to build off their first half successes from the last time these two clubs met.
At Hart Park Stadium, it was a tale of two halves. In the first, Milwaukee dominated possession, chances and the scoreboard. Dakota used the halftime break to dissect what the Torrent were doing on both sides of the ball and found ways to exploit it. Possession was much closer to 50% with each team generating chances on net. The Torrent were able to defend well and turn many of the Fusion chances into easily defended shots or quick transition plays that led to further Milwaukee opportunities.
Milwaukee will need to learn from their mistakes in the first match up. The biggest challenge they ran into was letting up. In the first 45 minutes, they were smart with the ball, switched fields quickly and played with a high amount of energy. They will look to play this way for the full 90 when they play on Friday night.
Chicago City - Sunday, June 24 at Hart Park Stadium
A whirlwind week for the women will come to an end on Sunday at home when the Torrent take on Chicago City SC. This will be the first meeting between the two teams. Kickoff will be at 3pm in what should be a very entertaining home match for Torrent fans.
Chicago City SC began their WPSL season with back to back victories over the Minnesota TwinStars and Dakota Fusion. A combined goal differential of +10 left Chicago City feeling extremely confident in their abilities. However, since their opening weekend they have lost two matches to the Fire SC 98, one on the road to Minnesota TwinStars and one against the Chicago Red Star Reserves.
The Torrent will look to close off any scoring chances Chicago City brings at them. The ability and creativity are there for Chicago City and the Torrent backline will be tested once again. In transition Milwaukee will look to build with speed on the wing and allow their forwards up top to get into high percentage scoring areas.
In a week where the team will play 3 matches in 5 days, the depth of the Torrent bench will play a major factor. Having talented players such as Robyn Elliott, Nicole and Caitlyn Hawley and Kayla Irmen that can enter the match to absorb minutes will be key for the Torrent. The summer heat that wore teams out this past weekend is forecasted to be much more favorable this coming week as well. Coach Litton and his staff will surely have the team ready for the scheduling test this week.
With summer weather forecasted, player fitness will surely be tested on Saturday evening. The Torrent women played their first match in Minnesota with a kickoff temperature well above 90. The squad learned a lot about themselves that game, as well as their overall fitness and how to handle the heat next time around. That next time will be with Saturday evening’s kickoff from Hart Park Stadium in Wauwatosa.
The temperature at kickoff on Saturday could be over 90 again for the Torrent women. The additional heat from the turf surface at Hart Park will add to test the fitness of both teams involved. Taking lessons learned from their first match of the season, the Torrent have been working on building up their stamina, and not allowing it to play a role in what they want to accomplish.
Part of their recent fitness program has involved full field, 11 v 11 training sessions. Having a roster full of talent, Coach Litton and his staff have been able to use game situations to train, but more importantly teach and solidify the system that has been implemented.
“It’s been a productive week, and playing 11v11 has given us an opportunity to work on a few issues we’ve been having on both sides of the ball,” Stated coach Litton. “I continue to be encouraged by what I see and I feel we will be very well prepared when we take the field Saturday against Dakota.”
Milwaukee will look to play a better possession game then they did last time out. Previous successes this season have come when the Torrent women can maintain possession and dictate their tempo of play. When this happens it allows them to create quality chances for forwards Aubrey Krahn and Haley Johnson. Their play up top can then be complimented with speed on the wings from Brianna Jaeger and Mariah Downs.
This week the Torrent were pleased to see Eli Beard return to practice. Beard still needed to wear the orange, no contact pinnie during training sessions, but her presence on the pitch could already be felt. She brings a natural ability to find the ball in quality areas of the field. Fans of the Torrent that may not be familiar with her will be pleased with the effort and ability once she is completely cleared for play.
Saturday night the Torrent women look to collect their first 3 point match of their inaugural season. After a tough draw last weekend, the women have had a productive week of training and conditioning. A matchup against Dakota will be the next opportunity for the women to taste victory.
2018 has been a whirlwind of a year already. For the Torrent men they are down to their final three conference matches. Two of them will be against Friday’s visitors; Detroit City FC. The road team will venture to Milwaukee after being shut out against Ann Arbor over the weekend. Kickoff is set for 7pm from Hart Park Stadium.
Since Milwaukee last lost a match, almost two weeks ago, the spirit and determination for the squad to finish well has been extremely high. No coincidence that it has corresponded with the return of center back, Stuart Grable. His leadership and veteran presence is impossible to replace or replicate. Milwaukee will look to have him solidify the team’s backline that has become one of the league’s up and coming defensive units.
In the second half of the season, the Torrent defense has tightened up and looked to shut down their opponent’s chances. Giving up less than a goal per game over that stretch, Milwaukee has shown the ability to transition better and lend support across the field. Goal keeper, Agustin Rey has faced fewer quality chances from opposing offenses over the past few weeks.
“I feel it’s because we are organized. We work hard to stay compact and not let the opponent through our backline,” explained Rey. “We are hard defensively and very disciplined to get our job done. Having a consistent group helps us too. We learn to play with one another and it helps our flow. We trust each other more.”
Offensively the Torrent will look to build their offense from that solidified backline as they have done all year. By having Grable back to help direct and switch fields, Milwaukee will be able to transition up the field quicker. Playing in a 4-4-2 for most of the season the Torrent have looked to a number of options to finish scoring chances.
This season the torrent have been about diversity up top. Over the last 4 matches they have produced goals from 4 different players. Going back to the match against Indiana, the Torrent scored using five different players. They will take whatever they can get from whoever against Detroit City on Friday night.
Since the Torrent traveled to St Paul to take on the Fire 98, to say this team has changed is an understatement. The visitors on Sunday will see a vastly different Torrent team then the one they drew even with on a 95 degree Sunday in May. Even though it is just their third match, and first at home, the Torrent women have grown as a squad like no one could imagine.
To start with, the Torrent have changed their formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2. As a team, the women are much more comfortable in the new formation. Many of the players have played this formation in college or within their club training, so it seemed only natural to make the change.
By making the switch it has enabled forward Aubrey Krahn to not be the only focal point on top. Joined by Haley Johnson in their most recent match against the Chicago Red Star Reserve team , the Torrent have found better scoring chances, even against one of the top teams in the conference.
The Fire will also be facing a Torrent team that has come together tactically and technically. When they last met, there were players on the Torrent squad that had all but met when they got on the bus heading north. Goalkeeper, Elaina LaMacchia had not played a single minute with the Torrent until this week’s matchup with the Red Stars (reserves), but she has made an instance impact.
The Torrent women are excited and prepared to take their place in Wisconsin sports history. The WPSL is the highest level of sport available for women in the state. The league is to some degree, a development league to the only professional women’s level of soccer in the USA. Milwaukee women’s soccer is ready to make a statement, and they greatly appreciate the support they have received.
Kickoff is set for 5pm at Hart Park Stadium. The City of Wauwatosa is so much behind what the women are doing that they have offered free admission to any woman, of any age that wants to come out and support the team on Sunday.
Entering the final quarter of the 2018 season, the Torrent must prepare themselves for their toughest test yet. With four matches remaining, they will play the top two teams in the conference three times. This challenge begins on the road against the conference leading Ann Arbor Mighty Oak this Friday.
Back on the first Saturday in May, Ann Arbor traveled to Hart Park Stadium to kick off the season. Without many of their key returning players, the Torrent dropped the opener 0-4. They will need a different result on Friday if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive. Many things change throughout a season, but one thing remains the same; the optimism of the Torrent.
Ann Arbor is arguably the toughest opponent any team in the conference will face. The Torrent coaching staff has spent a great deal of time this week analyzing their style of play. They will look to capitalize on any weaknesses they can find. But the key to the Torrent success will be minimizing their own mistakes.
Drew Ruggles and Sam Biek will return to the lineup after missing the road trip to Indiana last Sunday. They will look to solidify the middle of the pitch defensively, as well as move the ball quickly in transition. Both players are extremely strong on the ball from a defensive mind set, yet possess the ability to think offensively when given the opportunity.
The Torrent also look forward to the return of veteran center back Stuart Grable. He has been out since fracturing a rib in a friendly back in April. His presence and leadership has been truly missed. With Grable returning to anchor the back line, Milwaukee will look to minimize Ann Arbor’s scoring chances as the Torrent fields one of the strongest backlines in the conference.
Offensively, Mark Hutchinson found his scoring touch with a hat trick on Sunday. He will look to create chances up top with his speedy strike partner Isaac Pereyra. Pereyra’s status for Friday’s matchup is still in question after he injured his wrist against Kalamazoo. The offensive pairing of Hutchinson and Pereyra have combined for 7 of the teams 14 goals this season. They will have to continue finishing their chances on Friday for the Torrent to be successful.
If the Torrent want to have any chance of a playoff spot this season, they will need to win out their remaining schedule. That starts Friday evening in Ann Arbor.
It’s been ten days since the Torrent women took to the pitch last. After drawing even in St Paul, Minnesota, the women from Milwaukee learned what was working, and what wasn’t. Having this time off has allowed the coaching staff to evaluate the talent they have, and prepare the squad for what could be the toughest challenge of the year.
The Red Stars will provide the Torrent with a very well organized, well trained opponent. Many on their squad have either played or trained with the NWSL team. Defender, Zoey Goralski recently traveled to Sweden with the US National U-23 squad before she finished her career at UCLA as the team’s co-captain. Midfielder, Alexa Ben recently finished her senior season at DePaul with 15 points and seven goals.
Milwaukee will look to strike against Goralski, Ben and their teammates with a new formation. After starting the season playing a 4-2-3-1, Coach Litton has changed to a more familiar 4-4-2. “The women are much more comfortable in this formation,” he states. “There have been considerable improvements during our training sessions. Any team this early in the season is a work in progress, but the time between games has allowed me to further determine what our strongest lineup is.”
The Torrent are aware of the talent they will face against the Red Star Reserves, but they are not short on it themselves. Milwaukee has many highly skilled players that will be looking to make their mark against Chicago. Goal keeper Elaina LaMacchia and defenders, Taylor Tabbert and Kelli Swenson have all played together in college and will provide stability in the back for the Torrent. The key to their success will be working together as a team.
“I’m expecting this game to be one of our greatest challenges of the season,” explains Coach Litton. “It will show us how well we can match up with this level of play. We’ve been working on technical and tactical issues. We have been practicing the new formation. And, we have been working to gel as a squad. We do all this in preparation for one thing, and that is Wednesday evening’s match-up.”
With all the planning, strategy and training that goes into a match, adjustments on the fly are always necessary. Coach Litton, his staff, and the Torrent women are ready for the challenge that will be presented. It will be a great early season test for the team north of the state line.
On Sunday afternoon the Torrent will travel to Indiana in search of three must needed points. The last time these two teams squared off, it was Milwaukee that came away with a 5-0 victory. Kickoff is set for 1pm at Legacy Sports Club.
After a rough outing Friday at home, the Torrent will look to rebound against Indiana. The squad will be thin on the bench however. Some carry over red cards, as well as some injuries that are beginning to pile up will hinder the substitution options for the coaching staff.
Stuart Grable is hopeful on a return soon from fractured ribs, but still will not be cleared for Sunday afternoon. Also hampered by injury will be center back Elvis Barclay (hip), midfielder Andrew Wiedabach (ribs) and forward Isaac Pereyra (wrist). Though they are not ruled out for the matchup in Indiana, all three players suffered substantial injuries on Friday evening. Also out for Sunday will be Drew Ruggles, Sam Biek and Diego Bobadilla.
The Torrent will look to some fresh legs on Sunday to fill the voids. Trevor Johnson, Michael Da-Silva, and Hector Portillo will need to step in and play well in the middle and defensive third for Milwaukee. Portillo, since being cleared to play by his home nation of Honduras, has seen the pitch in substitution situations. His speed on the wing could generate some additional opportunities for the guys up top.
One thing that will remain stable for the Torrent is the play of Alex Stojanovski. The forward from Kumanovo, Macedonia has stepped in and produced anytime he’s been asked. His ability to take on the backline of any opponent this season has been beneficial. Stojanovski has shown that he can take on defenders both physically and with one on one finesse.
The Torrent may be short on the bench, but they have proven all season that they are not short on heart. They will play whistle to whistle. With Agustin Rey in goal, the Torrent is always in a spot to gain a victory. Sunday afternoon in Indiana will be no different for Milwaukee.
When the Torrent step on the pitch at Hart Park Stadium on Friday evening it will mark the first match in the second half of their season. It will be a rematch from twelve days ago when they played Kalamazoo to a 2-2 draw. Kickoff for Friday evening’s showdown is set for 7pm.
Last time these two clubs met, the Torrent put their stamp on the first 60 minutes. Isaac Pereyra and Mikey Mayberry gave the Torrent a two goal lead early in the second half. The Torrent played to their style, possessed the ball and made it tough for KZFC to push through their backline.
It was also on that trip where the Torrent switched to playing a 4-4-2. With a backline anchored by center backs Elvis Barclay and Sam Biek, the updated system has been at work for the past three matches. Since the switch, the Torrent have had a goal differential of plus four, including one clean sheet.
Throughout the early portion of the season, the Torrent juggled personnel within their starting eleven. They have been finding out who best fits where in the new system, and this strategy and determination from the coaching staff has begun to pay off.
In their last match at Hart Park, the Torrent lit up the score sheet with five goals. And, they did so with five different goal scorers; Isaac Peryera, Mark Hutchinson, Drew Ruggles, Sam Biek and Andrew Wiedabach. As the temperatures have gone up, so have the opportunities for the forwards to show some creativity.
Friday night, look for the Torrent to play soccer; build out of the back, be versatile and engaging in the midfield, and generate opportunities up top. The Torrent will look to build off their past performance with their heads up and a sense of unity to help propel them forward into the second half of the season.
Friday evening the Torrent earned their first win of the season against FC Indiana. They take to the road Sunday looking to make it a full six point weekend when they battle Grand Rapids FC. Kickoff is set for 5pm at Housman Field.
The last time these two teams met was a little over two weeks ago on a wet, cold night at Hart Park. The Torrent played their game for most of the first half. They played soccer out of the back and possessed the ball well.
In the second half, the action turned much more physical. Goalkeeper Agustin Rey would be knocked to the turf on two separate occasions. Down but not out, Rey would stay in the game and help keep Grand Rapids off the scoresheet.
Since that match, the Torrent have begun to find themselves. They have been able to build chemistry offensively that has resulted in nine goals in the last three matches. Defensively, the backline has been gaining confidence with having a more consistent lineup.
Elvis Barclay, Sam Biek, Paris Martins and Till Lammertz have grown into a solid backline that allowed Rey to gain his second clean sheet of the year on Friday. Drew Ruggles continues to play well as the holding midfielder and team captain.
Milwaukee will be without the services of Stuart Grable, who continues to be hampered by a broken rib suffered the last time these two clubs met. It is healing nicely, but will keep him from action again this weekend.
After their win to start the weekend, the Torrent travel to Michigan second on the table, four points behind Ann Arbor.
The preseason is over. Let the real season begin. The Milwaukee Torrent women travel to Minnesota Saturday to take on the Fire 95 in their first conference match in team history. Kickoff is set for 4pm at Seafoam Stadium in St Paul.
Because of NCAA rules, certain players on the women’s roster have just joined the team this week. Rapidly, they would have to get caught up on the team’s system, the philosophy and even their teammate’s names. But the Torrent plays in the WPSL, the highest level of women’s sport in the state. These players hold themselves and each other to a standard that puts preparation first.
“Each day we are getting closer and learning to play together,” states Robyn Elliott. “We all come from different teams, but we’re learning to mold together as the Torrent, which is exciting to see.”
When the Torrent takes on Minnesota, they will do so with a very talented midfield, full of depth. Anchored by Jen Eberhardy and Annika Martensson, opponents will find it difficult to maneuver anywhere they go on the pitch. Coach Mark Litton has a number of talented options. Mariah Downs, Dani Sobelman, Robyn Elliott, Eli Beard and Marybeth Sullivan provide him with the flexibility to make substitutions without a drop off in talent.
Up-top the Torrent look to be creative and generate scoring chances with an equally deep roster of talent. Cardinal Stritch players Kayla Irmen and sisters, Caitlin and Nicole Hawley will battle for time on the pitch with other stand outs like Jordyn Rolli, Carrie Madden, Gaby Zabala and Haley Johnson. Leah Celarek will center the attack against Minnesota with Aubrey Krahn playing the top striker position.
Defensively, the Torrent will continue to work on chemistry building that is always critical to the success of a team. Kelli Swanson, Bonnie Lacy, Emma Keckeisen, Taylor Tabbert and crew have been working hard in practice to learn each other’s styles. They have done a great job in a short period of time gelling and working as a unit.
Behind them, the Torrent approach the season with goalkeepers Sarah Klimisch and Elaina LaMacchia. Klimisch made a number of solid stops in the second half of the women’s shutout match their first time out. She will look to continue this play against a Minnesota team that is coming off a 3-1 victory against Dakota Fusion FC.
Coach Litton has done a great job in a short period of time preparing and evaluating his roster. The Torrent are ready and excited for this first chapter in team history. A bus ride up and three points coming back is the goal for the team on Saturday.
After being on the road for their last two matches, the Torrent Men return to Hart Park Stadium on Friday evening. The Torrent will look to gain their first three points in a matchup with the visiting FC Indiana. Kickoff is set for 7pm.
The Torrent, who seem to have broken out of their early season scoring slump, will work on tightening up other aspects of their game. Last time out, Kalamazoo took advantage of the Torrent by playing quickly in transition. With a number of players missing the match, the Torrent had few options to counter the fresh legs being fed into the match by the home team.
Milwaukee will have back on the roster a full complement of talent. Forward Mark Hutchinson will look to have a big game offensively, while Drew Ruggles will help to solidify the midfield. On the backline, the Torrent will still be without defender Stuart Grable, who will miss his third match due to a fractured rib.
FC Indiana travels to Milwaukee looking to get on the score sheet. In their three previous matches this season, FC Indiana has a goal differential of -15. The Torrent backline has been coming together and playing much more consistently. Playing in front of goalkeeper Agustin Rey, the Torrent defense will work to gain their second clean sheet on the year.
With a third of the season already complete, the Torrent men find themselves in a crucial juncture to gain three points. After two draws on the road, the return to Hart Park Stadium couldn’t have come at a better time.
Last time the Milwaukee Torrent women took the field it resulted in a 1-0 victory. Wednesday evening they look to better those results when they travel to Cedarburg in a rematch against North Shore United. Kickoff is set for 7pm at PWSB Soccer Park.
This past Monday marked the first time that the Torrent women were able to practice together as an entire unit. Because of NCAA rules, many of the players had to sit patiently for the collegiate season to finish. Now the team is primed and ready to build their chemistry together, as they look to take on the WPSL’s North Conference.
Mariah Downs and company look to build off their effort from a week ago. In the second half they were able to work together as a unit to create chances that led to the first goal in team history. With much of the team having only recently met, the team’s first outing was about getting to know each other’s style of play.
Since last match, the women have been working on learning who they are as a unit. With the full roster now assembled on the field, and not just on paper, they will use their time together Wednesday evening to continue to gain confidence in the system that has been put in place.
“Our first game was a bit challenging,” states Head Coach Mark Litton. “We were playing a new formation, had new players, and it was our first real match together. Now that is all behind us, and with a full squad, tomorrow night’s game will give me a chance to look at a few players in new positions.”
So what is the goal for tomorrow’s match up? “We want to find those 11 players that will give us the best opportunity to win our first league game this weekend. I am very encouraged now that I have my full team together,” said Litton.
The Torrent will use Wednesday night’s matchup as final warm-up for their season opener. They will travel to St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday for their first WPSL conference match. Torrent history will be made when they kickoff at 3pm at Seafoam Stadium.
After a whirlwind start to the season, the Milwaukee Torrent Men were blessed with a break in the action this week. The Torrent will travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday. It will be their first action since pulling even against FC Columbus.
For the Torrent, the season has begun with seven matches (four friendlies and three in conference) in a little over 3 weeks. It has been a test for them on playing through the bonding process. But over the last few weeks, they have been able to maintain a fairly consistent lineup.
Kalamazoo FC is coming off a 5-0 rout over Indiana FC last week at home. The home team pressured Indiana, controlling much of the action. KZFC would score their first two goals off set pieces from the corner. Defensively, outside back, Carson Brinks would play a pivotal role in gaining Beau Prey the clean sheet.
When the Torrent travels to Michigan on Sunday, it will be their second consecutive road matchup. Last time out it was a free kick goal by Captain Drew Ruggles that brought the Torrent back to level for the second time in the match.
“It was great to help get the equalizer in such a hard fought game by the guys,” explains Ruggles. “Everyone showed a lot of character to draw level twice on the evening.”
The Torrent will look to shut down the Kalamazoo offense. KZFC showed the ability to score by making well timed runs, as well as finding great success off set pieces. If the Torrent wish to bring back three points, they will have to be more diligent in their backline, as well as look to create quality chances in the final third.
Unavailable for Sunday’s match will be: Drew Ruggles, Mark Hutchinson, Hector Portillo, Michael Da-Silva, and Andy Davi
The highest level of any women’s sport in the state of Wisconsin belongs to the Milwaukee Torrent. The Torrent women will make their preseason debut on Monday evening, May 14 when they take on North Shore United. Kickoff is set for 8pm at Hart Park Stadium.
Many of the Torrent women began practice about two weeks ago. A majority of the team comes from division one universities, or college programs that are still in spring season. Because of this, many of the players have not been able to participate in practice, making the task of preparation tough on the coaching staff.
“It’s tough to gauge what Monday will bring for us,” explains Head Coach Mark Litton.
Chemistry is always a big factor for a soccer team, so look for the Torrent to work on learning each other’s styles of play and how they can come together both offensively and defensively.
Being a first year team, preparing for matches against the other conference teams can be a bit of a challenge. Robyn Elliott has taken a positive look on the matter.
“We aren’t familiar to anyone else in the league either. We can use that to our benefit.”
As for the team, and how ready they are for what’s to come, Mariah Downs explains, “Every single player on the team brings something unique and special. That’s why I get so excited, even for practices. I can’t wait for games.”
The Torrent women are looking forward to familiarizing themselves with the fans in southeastern Wisconsin. Young women growing up in the area have been able to hang their hat on having great collegiate careers, but have never been able to ascertain the idea of continuing to play after graduation. That is until now.
As Monday’s match draws closer, the players themselves are starting to feel what the buzz in Milwaukee is all about. The Torrent women have the opportunity to become a team that is looked up to by many young athletes. The idea of growing the sport’s popularity amongst the younger generations is very exciting for the Torrent players.
“Excited is an understatement,” expresses Mary Beth Sullivan. “Women’s soccer is growing rapidly and this team has the potential to have such a positive impact on the younger generation, especially young female athletes. Being part of a women’s team in the community that young girls can look up to and model themselves after is exciting, and it’s only going to get better as the season progresses.”
The Torrent will take to the road for the first time this season. Sunday, they travel to Columbus, Ohio for their first ever meeting against FC Columbus. Kickoff is set for 2pm at Grandview Heights High School. This will be the Torrent’s second match in three days, coming on the heels of a 0:0 draw against Grand Rapids at home.
After struggling in preseason to build chemistry, they have begun to come together as a team. After two home matches to start the season, the Torrent will now take to the road. We recently asked Torrent forward, Andrew Wiedabach if early season road trips help with this.
“An early road trip can help with a lot of things. It will be good to see how our team can come together on the road in a tough environment. Some of us have been together on the road for a while now, but we have a lot of new players, so getting that chance to talk with those I haven’t had much time with will be great for the team’s chemistry.”
Sunday’s match marks the first for FC Columbus in the NPSL. After winning their first two contests of the preseason against Ohio Dominican University (3-1) and Cleveland SC (3-2), FC Columbus lost two matches at home; a 2-3 loss to Cleveland SC followed by a 0-1 shutout to the Dayton Dutch Lions.
Although FC Columbus is a new team to the Great Lakes Conference, Paris Martins explains how the Torrent will prepare for the match.
“You prepare like you would for any other team. Eat healthy, rest, and mentally prepare yourself for a battle. This is the NPSL. First year or not, every team is going to give you a challenge.”
For the second season in a row, the Milwaukee Torrent opens their conference season at home against the Mighty Oaks of Ann Arbor. Kickoff is set for 6pm on Saturday, May 5 at Hart Park Stadium in Wauwatosa. The Milwaukee Torrent looks to return to their 2016 conference championship form, while Ann Arbor hopes to continue their successes from last season.
In a physical matchup a year ago, the Torrent fell 1:3 at home before drawing even on the road against the Mighty Oak. Kyle Breitmeyer and Yuri Farkas, each with a goal a year ago for Ann Arbor in Milwaukee, return to try and spoil the Torrent home opener again. However they will be dealing with a newly revamped Torrent backline.
Elvis Barclay, Hector Portillo and Sam Biek will flank Stuart Grable in front of Torrent goal keepers, Agustin Rey and Toney Anderson. Anderson has shown well in his preseason work, playing in matches against Marquette and Elmbrook United. Rey, who comes to the Torrent from Fresno FC of the USL, has been nothing but consistent in net.
“Rey has already raised the overall confidence level of the team in a short period of time,” states Torrent assistant coach, Mark Litton. “The team trusts him. He’s a professional. As a goal keeper coach, I am blessed to have two guys like this. I don’t have to push them to improve; they push themselves, and each other.”
The Torrent will open the 2018 season with some familiar faces in the midfield. Isaac Pereyra, Tony Patterson, Nemanja Medic and Andrew Wiedabach all return for another season with the team. They will be joined by the speedy and versatile abilities of Till Lammertz, Mikey Mayberry and Paris Martins. Martins and Mayberry both played last season with the Muskegon Risers, and Lammertz comes to the US after playing with a U19 club in Germany.
Up top the Torrent look for production and creativity from veteran Mark Hutchinson and new comers Michael Da-Silva, Abe Kanneh, and Alex Stojanovski. Hutchinson was voted player of the year for the Torrent a year ago, and looks to continue to build off that performance. Da-Silva comes to the Torrent after spending the winter playing with the Milwaukee Wave of the MASL. Stojanovski played last year with FC Lokomotiva in Macedonia. And Kanneh joins the team after playing for Aurora Borealis SC. Together the group will be looking to quickly build chemistry and creativity in the final third.
“I feel like every time we step on the field together, things get better and better,” says Da-Silva. “Hutchinson and I have been able to link up more consistently as the preseason has gone on. Our chemistry has really been coming together.”
Captaining the team will be midfielder, Drew Ruggles. Ruggles has been a staple for the Torrent for all three years of the team’s existence. He not only brings size and quickness to the middle of the field, but he brings veteran leadership. “I look to grow this season as an all-around player and leader. I want to be more consistent in my game; quality of passes, and over-all game management,” explains Ruggles.
Due to red cards that carry over from the conclusion of last season, the Torrent will be without head coach Andy Davi, Captain Drew Ruggles, and midfielders Andrew Wiedabach and Isaac Pereyra for the match against Ann Arbor. It’s nearly impossible to replace the veteran leadership and talent that will be unavailable for Saturday’s matchup, but Coach Davi and his staff have assembled a roster that is deep in talent, from both a technical, as well as tactical side.
With the start of any season, there is always excitement, anticipation, and the goal of achieving great things. With the 2018 Milwaukee Torrent, these feelings and emotions are expressed both on and off the field since the first day of practice. This year’s Torrent squad is hungry and determined to get back to where they were two seasons ago; Conference Champions.
The Milwaukee Torrent will close out their 2018 preseason schedule on Wednesday evening in a rematch against the Elmbrook United U23 squad. The Torrent look to bounce back from their Sunday defeat against Marquette with a solid effort against a team they won against on Friday night in a very cold rain. Kickoff is set for 8pm at Hart Park Stadium.
Elmbrook United hung tough against the Torrent last week, but ran out of gas in the second half. They looked to press the Torrent early and often in a match that remained scoreless until a goal by Andrew Wiedabach in the 42 minute. Milwaukee maintained much of the possession in the first half while looking to move the ball forward down the wings.
Elmbrook fought back early in the second half, forcing goalkeeper Agustin Rey to make big save after big save in the first 10 to 15 minutes of the second half. But the Torrent would prevail with an 8:1 rain soaked win.
In Wednesday evenings match up, the Torrent coaching staff will look to build chemistry and fine tune some things ahead of Saturday afternoons season opener. The final preseason match is always a tough one for players and coaches. Everyone wants to continue to improve and condition themselves, but no one wants to see a player injured with little recovery time before the season.
“We will continue to build chemistry amongst our players,” expressed Coach Davi.
Look for the potential season starters to get minutes together, but the coaching staff is still evaluating talent and how they bond on the field.
After drawing at home last Sunday, the Milwaukee Torrent men’s squad looks to build their team chemistry with a pair of matches this weekend. They begin on Friday night at 7pm with a home match at Hart Park Stadium against Elmbrook United U23. That will be followed up by a Sunday trip to Valley Fields Dome on the Marquette University campus. Kickoff is set for noon on Sunday.
The Torrent will be welcoming newcomers Hector Portillo and Abe Kanneh to the roster this weekend. Both were recently signed off the tryout list and each saw second half action against UW-Parkside. Torrent staff look for tactical knowledge, as well as technical skill, and both players have demonstrated this since the late March tryouts.
"When I am on the field, it is 200% effort all the time," states Portillo, who looks to bring a consistently high level of intensity to the team.
"I bring a high level of physicality to the team," says Kanneh. "I have played the attacking midfielder and striker role in the past and look forward to bringing my talents to the Torrent."
Earlier in the week it looked as though the Torrent would be without Goal Keeper, Agustin Rey who suffered an ankle injury in the first half of the match against UW-Parkside, all weekend.
"The ankle is doing great," describes Rey. "It's getting better every day. Thanks to Ryan (Koeberl, team athletic trainer) I'm recovering and getting stronger, faster than I thought." Rey did see action on the practice field Thursday night and had little complaints about the ankle and how it affected training.
Milwaukee will be a little thin at the defensive position this weekend. Right back, Elvis Barclay, who made a solid debut against Parkside, teaming up well with fellow defensemen Stuart Grable and Samuel Biek, will be graduating from Columbia College. Trevor Johnson has not yet been medically cleared to take the field.
Up top the Torrent look to build chemistry. With only forward, Mike Mayberry (graduating from Columbia College as well) not yet joining the team, the group is looking to bond and create better quality chances in the two games this weekend. Last weekend's match and a full week of outdoor practices this week should do the team well.
On Sunday the Torrent take on a formidable opponent in the Marquette Golden Eagles. Most recently the Golden Eagles drew even 1:1 against Cardinal Stritch before prevailing 4:1 in a match up against Northern Michigan.
“They have great ball skills,” says attacker Michael Da-Silva. “They have some really great players on their squad that we have to watch out for. Top to bottom they are all technically sound.”
The Milwaukee Torrent men’s team opens their 2018 friendly schedule with a match on Sunday, April 22, 2018. Kickoff is at 3pm. Their first match of the season will take place at Hart Park Stadium against the visiting UW-Parkside Rangers. After a few highly usual, late spring snow storms, both teams will look to stretch their legs and test their off-season endurance trainings by hitting the outdoor pitch.
The Rangers visit the Torrent looking to improve on their 5-9-2 overall record from a year ago. UW-Parkside managed to outscore their opponents 29-25 and will look to test the Torrent defense on Sunday.
In a recent match-up with Marquette University, the Rangers defense played rather stingy in their back third, holding the Golden Eagles to two goals. They got on the score sheet with a goal in the 80th minute on a shot from the top of the box.
Agustin Rey will get the start on Sunday. Rey, a graduate of UW-Milwaukee in 2015, most recently played for Fresno FC in the USL. Toney Anderson is also expected to see some time in net on Sunday. Anderson spent 2017 with UW-Whitewater, where he made 21 saves in 7 matches, finished the season 2-0-1, and had one solo clean sheet and two shared.
The Torrent look to improve defensively in 2018. Led by team captain, Drew Ruggles in the midfield, the Torrent will form a wall in front of Rey with veteran Stuart Grable and newcomers Elvis Barclay and Samuel Biek.
"We scored in all but one match last season, but we also only had one clean sheet. We will improve that this season through communication, teamwork and holding ourselves accountable," states Head Coach, Andi Davi.