Coach expects little boost from World Cup
By L. Scott Hainline
Like so many who live and breath soccer on a daily basis, Manvel coach Robert Partida has been glued to the World Cup.
'It started a little slow, but it's picked up coming down the stretch,' he said. 'It's one of the few times we get to see all the different strategies from around the world, and all the different techniques of the players.
'Like when there's a red card, it's interesting to watch a team either go for more defense or offense when they're down one player.'
Partida doesn't have much contact with his players in the summer, but he knows they're tuned in.
'I've been told a lot of them are watching and really getting into it, and talking a lot about it,' he said. 'It's good for them to watch string teams like the Netherlands, which is called 'The Machine' because they play like one all the time.'
The coach is also fielding more questions than usual.
'The most frequent are about offsides and penalties,' Partida said. 'Some people don't know all the rules, but they're still watching, and that has to be a big positive.
'We're hoping it means more people coming out and enjoying soccer because we need all the support we can get.'
Partida isn't looking for a big influx of new players as a result of the World Cup.
'There is a lot more overall interest right now, and it was even higher when the United States was still in, but we won't see a benefit in numbers for about four years,' he said. 'We might get one or two out who have never played before, but that will be it.
'It is encouraging to have a Texan on team USA (Clint Dempsey from Nacogdoches) because it shows we can do it here in Texas, and we have very good players down here.'
Partida directed Manvel to the playoffs and a postseason victory against Galena Park in his first season with the Mavericks in 2009.
'Soccer continues to grow in our area, in Texas, and across the nation,' he said, 'and as a team, the United States needs to be more aggressive from the start and try not to play from behind so much.
'The USA players don't have quite the same confidence as those who play regularly in Europe, and they somehow need to develop that attitude.'
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