Ten Months of Reflection and A New Coach VIU Are Ready to Go For 2022
The following post is courtesy of the PACWEST website from September 3, 2022 https://www.pacwestbc.ca/sports/msoc/2022-23/releases/Season_Previews/20220901-VIU-MSC-Preview.
The VIU Mariners have had 10 months to reflect on being one win away from a berth at the 2021 CCAA national championship. However, it wasn’t meant to be as the Mariners fell to the Douglas Royals and their season ended with a 2-0 loss.
Coming into this season the Mariners will look different and it starts at the top. Kevin Lindo (pictured above in the middle) has taken over as the head coach from the departing Larry Stefanek. Kevin is no stranger to Mariners soccer as the head coach of the women’s team since 2017.
Lindo’s teams won two PACWEST provincial conference titles and a Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association national silver medal during his four seasons as Mariners head coach, and he was named PACWEST Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2019.
His soccer success in Nanaimo goes beyond his work with the Mariners. Lindo led Nanaimo United FC’s Division 1 men’s squad to back-to-back Jackson Cup championships (2020 & 2022) in the Vancouver Island Soccer League and oversees the United U16-18 boys and U21 men’s programs. He also assists area sport programs in his role as PacificSport VI’s Athlete and Coach Services Coordinator.
Lindo has played and coached soccer for more than 20 years. He has worked as a Football Development Officer for the English Football Association and as a development coach for New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
2021 in Review: The Mariners were the third ranked team at the PACWEST championship tournament after finishing 4-4-1 during the regular season. Scoring was difficult for them last year as they tallied 12 goals in total, which was the fewest in the Conference. That said they advanced to the gold metal game following an upset win over the Langara Falcons in the semis, needing only one goal in a 1-0 shutout. Ben Chamberlin made 10 saves in the win. Their season then came to an end losing to the Royals 2-0 in the finale.
One Player to Know: Matt Coburn returns to the squad entering his fourth year as a solid defender. He along with Jonny McKenzie have been named team captains and have shown great leadership and support to Coach Lindo during the preseason.
One Key Stat: Travis Brown returns to the Mariners after not playing during the last two seasons. He’ll enter his fourth PACWEST campaign and will need to play a key role as a midfielder. His last game was in 2019.
One Key Fact: Along with a new head coach the Mariners have gone through somewhat of a rebuild. They have seven new athletes that they are hoping make an immediate impact.
The Mariners open the new PACWESET season next weekend when they host the Capilano Blues in back-to-back games.