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2008 Spring Training: Edison Boys Soccer

Eagles have notched one-goal victories in first two games.

<b>Coach</b>: Scott Racek, fifth year (34-29-3)

<b>2007 Record</b>: (5-9-1, 2-4-1 National District)

<b>Season Ended</b>: Lost 3-1 to Washington-Lee in the first round of the district tournament.

<b>Key Losses</b>: MF Aldo Macias, F Jessi Gomez, GK Andrew Heller

<b>Key Players</b>: D Paul Bergstrom SR, MF Trevor Beck SR, D Max Lopez SR

<b>Quotable</b>: “No one has really lost anybody … everyone is tough. We’re looking to compete and we’ll see where the chips fall. We’d love to make a run at the district title. We’ve had a breakdown the last couple of years, but we’d love to give Yorktown a run.” — Scott Racek, Edison boys soccer coach

<b>Outlook</b>: After a five-win season in 2007, Edison head coach Scott Racek knew he had to try something different. The fifth-year head coach had won the district title in 2004, his first season as head coach. And then three years later, the Eagles struggled to just two district wins in 2007.

So Racek enlisted the help of a former player turned assistant coach.

Alejandro Macias graduated from Edison two years ago and is the older brother of current Radford midfielder Aldo Macias, a 2007 first-team all-district selection. The elder brother decided to help out his alma mater by recruiting players that hadn’t previously shown interest, specifically those with Spanish speaking backgrounds.

“He identified a bunch of kids who played in front of the school,” Racek said.

Case in point is freshman striker Andy Rodriguez who had a hat trick in his first varsity game. The 5-foot-6 Honduras native isn’t fluent in English, so Alejandro Macias serves as the coaching translator.

“He has lightening fast speed,” Racek said. “He could be a feared striker. He could draw the best defenders from other teams for years to come.”

The 14-year-old speedster scored the game-winner in a 4-3 thriller over Hayfield on Tuesday and now has five of the Eagles’ six goals.

While Racek is content with the early non-district wins — Edison won 3-2 over West Potomac in the season opener — he isn’t pleased with his team’s porous defense.

“In order to be competitive, we need to step it up defensively,” Racek said.

Senior defenders Paul Bergstrom and Max Lopez spearhead six senior starters, but they all are adjusting to a new goalkeeper now that Andrew Heller graduated. The Eagles have given up four goals through two games.

After the last two substandard seasons in which even Racek admitted “there was a little bit of a drop-off,” two early wins are enough to create a stir of excitement.

“We have really stepped up our year-round conditioning, with weight lifting in the off-season,” Racek said. “It’s been a combination of more year-round work with conditioning and weight lifting and then we’ve reached out to some of the Spanish speaking kids, who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to play. It’s been a world of difference.”