Flagler Palm Coast High School boys soccer went 4-14-2 last season.
After winning just four games last season, the Flagler Palm Coast Bulldogs soccer team is off to a promising start this season, matching their win total at 4-4-1, as of Monday, Nov. 29.
Coach Noah Braun is in his first season coaching the Bulldogs. Braun has been coaching club, middle school and high school soccer for the past four seasons, and he currently coaches two teams for the FC United club, in Palm Coast.
After playing collegiately at Oral Roberts University, Braun played professionally in Major League Soccer for the Columbus Crew.
He said the development of the program hinges upon every player buying into the team-first mentality.
“Our strengths are that we are all committed to the success and development of our program,” Braun said.
“Success to our program is not just on the scoreboard or on the field, but in school, after the players graduate and in the future when they have a family and a job and are making a positive impact on our society.”
He brings a 4-4-2 style to the Bulldogs (four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards), and he said there have been struggles throughout the process because of injuries and getting the players to believe.
The changes don’t happen overnight, Braun said, and it will take some time.
Nico Medina is the captain of the Bulldogs, and senior center back Mark Kalaj provides leadership.
“Nico and Mark are my extension on the field,” Braun said. “They keep their teammates accountable and bring incredible passion for success. But all of my players are key to the development and success of our program.”
The Bulldogs have about a three-week break in the middle of December until games begin again in January 2011. Braun said his expectations for the team are to constantly grow, develop and learn in both training and games.
“Also, that these young men learn to be responsible both on and off the field,” he said. “That we learn how to deal with adversity and we want to promote and praise good character.”