(Posted July 29, 2004)

Huntingdon, Pa. - The best way for athletes to measure their ability is to compete against the best players. A number of players from the Juniata College men's soccer team are fortunate enough to have that opportunity, as the Eagles face-off against some of the best when the Eagles head abroad for a team trip to Germany beginning July 30.

The trip, which was organized by the Juniata coaching staff, and Juniata trustee Christoph Schwemmlein '84, will have the Eagles spend 13 days in Germany prior to the team's preseason camp. The team will compete in at least four matches, including several against the junior teams of some of the top clubs in the German Bundesligaâ??the top professional league in Germany. Also on the itinerary are several outings in which the players will be able to experience the German culture.

"This is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of our players," head soccer coach Scott McKenzie explained. "It should be a great chance for our team to come together and be positive representatives of both Juniata and our country."

Though the time spent playing as a team will undoubtedly help to make Juniata a more successful soccer unit, the coaches believe the atmosphere of European soccer itself should make a big impact on the team.

"While our guys may think they love soccer, they will be exposed to people who look at the game completely differently," McKenzie explained. "I think when our team sees the passion that the players and fans have for the game, it will raise their appreciation, which should help us improve as a team. And it always helps to be exposed to an extremely high level of play."

That high level of play, and new appreciation for the game could have the Juniata men's soccer squad poised for a breakout 2004. And whether or not the team raises its play in the new season, the Eagles will surely benefit from their unique travel experience.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.