Coach changing soccer culture with competitive spirit

Temple Men’s soccer head coach Bryan Green is attempting to improve the morale of soccer at Temple as he prepares for the spring season.

Bryan Greene preparing his team for the spring exhibition schedule. | TEMPLE ATHLETICS / COURTESY

Most coaches arrive at a new program and attempt to implement their tactics and strategies on their new team. New Temple Men’s Soccer coach Bryan Green has entered this spring season looking to adapt to his personnel, while utilizing his more than 20 years of coaching experience.

One thing has been evident since Green’s introduction to the Temple Athletics community as the team’s new coach — the Owls’ culture is changing.

Green spent his last four seasons as an associate head coach at Louisville where he helped take the team to the NCAA Tournament in 2019 and 2021. Despite his previous success, he was still excited to embrace the challenge and positively shake up the team’s environment.

“[Temple] looked like it was a program that could certainly have the potential to do what we’ve done at Louisville,” Green said. “Make several NCAA tournaments, we won a conference championship and that’s a good conference, the American’s a great conference as well, and I think we can do those things here.”

Green arrived at Temple after the Owls parted ways with former head coach Brian Rowland following a disappointing stint. Rowland finished last season with a 4-9-3 record, placing last in the American Athletic Conference for the second year in a row.

Temple is looking for a significant turnaround after surrendering 34 goals last season, the most in the AAC, while only scoring 18 goals, among the lowest in the conference.

One bright spot for the Owls was the development of their freshman class who stepped up and performed above expectations throughout the season. These players, alongside the recent recruiting class, will serve as the foundation for Green’s positive shift in the team’s mentality. 

One freshman in particular who exceeded expectations is midfielder Draven Barnett. 

Barnett was essential for the Owls last season, starting 14 games and rarely coming off the pitch with 1,185 minutes, the third most on the team. 

There has been a positive change that has occurred in the team to push them in the right direction, Barnett said.

“The bad season last year is mostly attributed to the culture throughout the team,” Barnett said. “And I think it’s changed in a very positive way. Because I feel like the coaching staff, especially coach Bryan, has done a good job of just starting that initial culture.”

One of the bigger changes to the men’s spring season training has been the introduction of “Competition Fridays,” scrimmages where the team splits up into smaller groups every Friday for the chance to be posted on the team’s social media page as winners.

These competitions bring the best out of the players and serve as a great opportunity for team building as they prepare for the spring season. The added bonus of being posted on the social media page also provides players with bragging rights to build spirit within the locker room.

“I think competitive Fridays has been a big, big, big impact on the players,” said senior midfielder Kemali Green. “They all look forward to it, including myself, and it’s just something else I look forward to throughout the week. We haven’t been playing for six weeks now, so to get that fire back under us has been helpful.”

The team’s roster is currently composed of 12 freshmen, most of which saw some time on the field this previous season. Each player has the potential to help create a positive future for Temple Men’s Soccer.

Knowing there will be some growing pains through the adjustment process, Green has implemented a system that directly benefits each player and pivots towards everyone’s strength which players believe allows them to excel.

“Coming in, I didn’t know what the level of players would be like,” Green said. “But it’s been very good, I’ve been very pleased. We’ve continually grown this spring and I’ve been really happy so far.”

Temple continues to practice and prepare for their upcoming spring season which will feature a six-game stretch for Green, and the revitalized team will be able to show what they are capable of.

The Owls’ first matchup of the spring season will be against city rival Drexel University on Friday, March 17, at the Temple Sports Complex at 6:00 p.m.

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