THE 6-0-1 HIGHLANDERS of McLean High are now ranked No. 23 in the nation by ESPN.
McLean boys varsity soccer coach Mike Anderson, a 2000 McLean grad who played Division I college soccer at West Point, says that he implemented a professional-style, possession-based system when he took over the team three years ago, which has been a key to his team’s success this year.
“It’s a more advanced style of soccer, and it took a lot of teaching,” he said. “11 seniors on my team have been playing for me since their sophomore years, and they’re at a point where they understand it. We’ve built a unit, and it’s taken a couple of years,” said Anderson.
Anderson, on the far right above, said that he’s not surprised by his program’s emerging national renown. “We play a very attractive style of soccer, and we have a lot of high-profile players,” he said.
The coach expects both Tim Whitebread (who’s kneeling, second from the right, above), and Matt Janssen (who’s standing next to Anderson) to play D-I soccer next year. Whitebread is a midfielder who’s scored seven goals in seven games, while Janssen is an “exceptionally talented and creative athlete.”
In an April 16 game against Okaton, Whitebread, John Sims, Janssen and Pablo Chovil scored for McClean in the contest, while the Highlanders’ defense was anchored by Drew Hunt, Sean Barrett, David Berk and goalkeeper Robby Maffei.
The team will visit the Madison Warhawks on April 22, and travel to Thomas Jefferson High on April 28.