All the King's men
Florida Atlantic sophomore forward Darnell King will be counted on to score goals for the Owls this season.
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BOCA RATON – Last season was a learning experience for FAU striker Darnell King.
King spent most of his freshman season acclimating himself to college soccer often being defended by players three or four years older than him.
“It was a higher level than high school,” King said. “You just have to step up. When you are young you are always learning. That’s just the way you have to play.”
King may have been learning on the job, but he did enough to impress Owls coach Kos Donev, who said King will be a key to the team as sophomore.
“We are looking for big things from Darnell King this year,” Donev said.
King is the Owls’ leading returning scorer from last season when he had two goals and two assists and started 18 of 19 matches last season as the Owls went 5-13-1.
King and the Owls also learned how tough the Mid-American Conference is for soccer. Since the Sun Belt Conference doesn’t sponsor soccer, the Owls played in the MAC for the first time last season with less than stellar results. FAU struggled against conference foes including perennial Top 25 program Akron and finished 1-4-1 in MAC play.
“It was a learning experience,” Donev said. “It’s a different style. It’s a lot more physical than what we are used to.”
While this season is a rebuilding season, Donev is happy for one thing. After playing 13 of 19 matches on the road in 2008 – including four out of six MAC matches – this season is a bit more blanced with 10 matches at home beginning with Tuesday’s season-opener vs. Jacksonville at 7 p.m.
“I’m excited about Tuesday, because we haven’t had a home game in a long, long time,” Donev said.
2009 FAU Men's Soccer: SeasonBrowser
Last year: 5-13-1, 1-4-1 Mid American
Coach: Kos Donev 182-197-18 entering 23rd season at FAU, overall
MAC pre-season poll: Seventh of seven teams
Starters returning: 7
Player to watch: Senior defender Thorstein Georgsson is the only returning player to start all 19 matches last
Instant message: "There is a lot of new blood out there and a lot of new faces that have to learn about college soccer. It may take us a while to gel.”
- FAU men’s soccer coach Kos Donev