Spartanburg, S.C. – Though the official start to the 2011 season is more than a week away, the USC Upstate men's soccer team will kick things off Wednesday night when it plays host to Spartanburg Methodist College in a scrimmage at 7:00 at County University Soccer Stadium.
Upstate's game against SMC is the first of two scrimmages prior to the start of the regular season. The Spartans will battle Gardner-Webb in a scrimmage next Tuesday night at 7:00 at County University Soccer Stadium. Upstate will begin its regular season at home on Monday, Aug. 29 against cross-town rival Wofford at 7:00 pm.
After practicing throughout the beginning of August, Upstate will get its first look at outside competition when it plays SMC Wednesday night. The Spartans will also get a first look at true game situations in the contest.
Upstate returns seven of its top nine scorers from the 2010 team. The Spartans also return 13 letterwinners to the squad while bringing in 10 newcomers in what could very well be the deepest team head coach Greg Hooks has had during the Division I era at Upstate. Timo Foerster, a senior from Oberkirk, Germany, is the leading returning scorer for the Spartans. The catalyst for the team, he led the squad with six assists in 2010. Fellow senior Hakeem King, from Port of Spain, Trinidad, notched two goals on the year. Fifth-year senior Jason McCabe, from Irmo, S.C., returns in goal. An experienced keeper, he played all but 45 minutes in goal last season and tallied 69 saves on the year.
Hooks enters the 2010 season just six wins shy of reaching 200 at Upstate. He owns a 194-93-24 record in 16 years at Upstate. A member of the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame, he led the Spartans to two appearances in the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 1995 and 1998. Overall, Hooks stands 16 wins shy of 300 victories in his career. He owns a career record of 284-123-30 in 23 years on the sideline.