Middletown United has lived up to its name

first_imgThe Middletown United girls U11 soccer team is busily preparing for its second fall campaign in the Monmouth Ocean Soccer Association, and coach Joe Dodi has high hopes for his team. Dodi said that his team was formed just over a year ago with a group of Middletown residents and two players from nearby Rumson. This fall, the United will play a 10-game schedule and also compete in tournaments in both Jackson and Hazlet. Middletown competed in the league’s National Four division a year ago and compiled a 3-5-2 mark. The team posted a 3-5 record in the spring, playing the National Five division, but Dodi said the team’s emphasis on skill development is beginning to pay off. “While we do play to win, we try and show the girls that it’s not all about winning and losing,” Dodi said. “We work hard to make it fun for the girls and we really concentrate on developing their individual skills. We don’t just want them to kick the ball; we want them to think about what they’re doing and make a play. We concentrate on ball possession.” The coach noted that former Middletown South and Rutgers standout Tara Froelich serves as the team’s full-time trainer – regularly running skill drills and working on basic skills. “Tara’s a good role model for the girls,” Dodi said. “She relates well with the girls because Tara was in their shoes and she’s an excellent teacher.” The United took their name after the famed Manchester United team in the English Premier League – even though Dodi, who grew up playing soccer in Ghana, roots for Chelsea. “United is a key word for us because that’s what we expect from the girls, after all they’re all in this together, and we want them to work with each other,” Dodi said. The United roster includes Alex Barriero, Madison Curtis and Alexa Colavito; three versatile athletes who can play just about any position on the field. Other members of the team include Rachel Caballero, Madeline DeFelice, Tori DeSpirito, Emma Dodi, Taylor Drever, Sara Fallon, Amanda Fogarty, Lindsay McKean, Brianna Pruden and Logan Ryan. Coach Dodi, who is assisted by Michael Fallon, stressed that all of the United’s players can play at least two positions. “We want them to know the game from different positions,” the coach said. “Our goal is to keep possession of the ball, and the girls are doing that and they’re having fun. They’re also learning to work together and they never give up. The wins will come.” – Warren Rappleyealast_img read more