Aug. 12, 2010

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NORMAN, Okla. -- The 2010 Oklahoma soccer regular season is a little over a week away and the Sooners will host Northern Colorado on Friday, Aug. 13 in the lone exhibition game on the slate. The contest is free and open to the public and will get underway at 7 p.m. at the OU Soccer Complex.

In preparation for the 2010 season, SoonerSports.com recently sat down with Coach Nelson to learn more about the team that is filled with 16 returning letterwinners and 12 newcomers.

Stay tuned next week as a season preview, including the 2010 Media Guide, will be released on SoonerSports.com prior to the regular season opener at Oklahoma State on Friday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m.

What are your expectations for the 2010 season?
"Our expectations going into any season is to win a championship. We try to stay focused on just getting better every day, competing in everything we do and enjoying the process. I think this team has the potential to be very good, including competing in the NCAA tournament. We have a great balance of experience, talent and the chemistry to be successful."

What does it mean to have up to 10 starters returning this season?
"One of the things I enjoy most about having experienced players is that they understand the expectations on and off the field. They help teach the core principles of the program and we see the affect of those principles displayed in our newcomers. On the field, things are run more efficient from warm-up to cool-down, so the coaches are able to focus more on teaching."

What do you expect from this large and talented freshmen class?
"This incoming class has experienced a lot of success at their respective levels. One of the most exciting things about the newcomers is their willingness to compete. They will not only give us a depth we have been lacking, but also push the standard day in and day out."

What are your thoughts on playing a second Bedlam game in the regular season?
"I think the Bedlam Series is one of the exciting rivalries in college sports. The additional game should continue to grow the fan base for our universities and our sport. Oklahoma State is a well respected program that has experienced significant success over the past few years, so it's a great game from an RPI standpoint."

How has the new coaching staff adjusted this offseason?
"The transition with this staff could not have been more seamless. They are both very driven individuals and passionate to be representing the University of Oklahoma. Given George's (Van Linder) experience and success as a head coach, he made an immediate contribution as expected. In addition, Trae (Manny) has exceeded my expectation in every area."

What is the update on the overall health of the team?
"The girls have worked very hard rehabilitating and re-conditioning their bodies and are excited to get back into action. We expect everyone to be 100 percent as we get into the competitive season. We are happy to have everyone back healthy this year, especially Sage (Coralli) and Kelsey (Kraft) who both had torn ACLs in 2009."