Tualatin has a new coach as it jumps into TRL action

Photo Credit: DAN BROOD - BACK FOR THE WOLVES -- Junior midfielder Alex Bruce, shown here in a match from the 2013 season, is one of a few returning varsity players for the Tualatin High School boys soccer team. TUALATIN — They’re young. Very young.

As for varsity playing time, as a whole, they don’t have much.

They also have a new head coach.

But, despite all of that, the Tualatin High School boys soccer team is looking to put things all together — eventually, at least.

“We’re very young, and inexperienced,” first-year Tualatin head coach Sean McMahon said. “We’ve only got three seniors. The rest are mainly juniors and sophomores. We’ve got some challenges ahead of us. But we’re going to learn what varsity ball is all about. We’ll take some lumps early, but it’s a long season. We need to be patient, then we’ll rock and roll.”

McMahon, who has been involved with the Tualatin boys soccer program, off and on, at least, since 2004, takes over a Timberwolf squad that has just a few returnees from last year’s team that went 2-5 in Pacific Conference play and 7-8 on the season.

Among the returnees for Tualatin is junior forward Austin Brown, who will be playing in his third year on the varsity team.

“He’s fast and athletic,” McMahon said. “And he’s also a good leader for us.”

Junior returnee Alex Bruce gives the Wolves some experience in the midfield.

Sophomore returnee Christian Arroyo will start at center back.

“I feel real confident about him,” McMahon said. “He plays like he’s a senior.”

Junior Nick Van Kleek, a backup goalkeeper for last year’s team, takes over in goal this year.

“He’s waited his turn,” McMahon said. “And he’s a good leader.”

Junior returnee Michael Arellano will start on the right side in the midfield.

Junior Edwin Ayala, a newcomer to the varsity, could provide a spark on offense.

“He’s quite a playmaker,” McMahon said. “He’s shifty on the ball.”

Meanwhile, sophomore returnee Javier Mitchell could ignite the Timberwolf defense.

“He plays the game very well,” McMahon said. “He’s tenacious on defense.”

Other members of the Tualatin varsity team include senior forward Hector Avila, junior midfielder Bryan Bello, junior midfielder Austin Betschart, sophomore defender Jordan Brown, junior defenderMark Cepeda, junior Jesse Chick, junior midfielder Michael Gillard, sophomore midfielder Brandon Gillard, senior forward Carlos Mitchell and junior midfielder Alfredo Texta.

As for the keys to success for the team this season, McMahon says it’s all about “choreographed movement.”

“If we can group concept on offense, and really play as a team, then I think we can do well,” he said. “Our question marks are our inexperience. We have some questions in the back. Some spots are still open.”

The Wolves will be looking to have things together by the time they start league action, this year, in the powerful Three Rivers League.

“I like the new league,” McMahon said. “It’s going to be intense. I think it will be good for all sports.”

The Timberwolves opened their season Tuesday with a 2-1 loss to Westview in a non-league match played at Tualatin High School.

Tualatin will be back in action Saturday when it travels to Grants Pass for a non-league match starting at 1 p.m. On Tuesday, the Wolves will be home to face North Salem in a 7 p.m. non-league title. Tualatin will then go to Sandy on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. non-league match.

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