The Thunderbirds will get their chance to take home gold on their turf in 2018 as they've been selected as hosts for the USports men’s soccer championship.
“We’re excited. It’s always great when you get the opportunity to host,” said UBC head coach, Mike Mosher.
For Mosher — who has been head coach since 1996 — the 2018 championship will be the first time his team hosts the nationals in over a decade. UBC last hosted the national championship back in 2007, where the ’Birds won CIS gold.
Mosher believes the guaranteed berth at nationals will help with recruiting efforts.
“It helps with the recruiting because athletes want to know that they’re going to go and compete at the national championships,” said Mosher. “It’s not easy to get to nationals on that regular, consistent basis out of our conference.”
Still, the men’s soccer team is no stranger to the championships. Since 2010, UBC has made five appearances at nationals, capturing gold twice.
Mosher is also confident that he will have a solid team by the time the ’Birds host the USports championship. Few players on the current roster are expected to complete their eligibility before the 2018 season.
“We don’t anticipate losing many players from 2017 to 2018,” said Mosher. “Almost all of them should be in a position to move forward to 2018.”
Although he is looking forward to the tournament, Mosher thinks it would have been more ideal for UBC to host in the upcoming season. Instead, Thompson Rivers University will be the hosts of the 2017 USports championship.
“Since we hosted in 2007, we would have a 10-year anniversary for the guys that won it in 2007. It’s too bad it wasn’t this year, because then it’s a perfect tie-in,” said Mosher.
Still, Mosher sees next year’s national championship as a chance for the ’Birds to connect with alumni.
“Hosting allows you to connect with your alumni and get them out to the games. Everybody wants to see the bigger games and those being the national tournament,” said Mosher.
The 2018 USports men’s soccer championship will run from November 8 to 11.