(Photo by Jodi Vosika)
LOS ANGELES – We’re at near capacity at the L.A. Coliseum for a huge SELC-SLC throwdown that will catapult a very good team into the second round of the 2020 MCLA Virtual Tournament presented by New Balance.
The last time that Auburn made the tourney was in ’02 when the Tigers were slotted as a No. 2 seed, advanced to the quarterfinals before getting rocked by No. 7 UC Santa Barbara.
Under the guidance of alum J.J. Arminio, Auburn is inching back to its spot at the turn of the millennium as a tourney staple. Arminio’s leadership has been superb, but the Tigers are also stuck in the deepest conference in the country.
D-I Round 1: Auburn at USC | https://t.co/X9AvcTdgW2 #virtualmcla20
— MCLA Tournament '21 (@MCLA_Tournament) March 28, 2020
The win over Utah Valley was emblematic of Auburn’s potential while the one-goal loss to Florida State – a game the Tigers gave away – illustrates the growing pains still to come.
Junior attackman Austin Koury has been racking up big numbers all season, including a 10-spot dropped on West Virginia. Koury runs with freshman Matt Oswald up front while relying on a talented midfield repped by freshman Zach Jones.
Sophomore goalie Grant Montgomery could emerge as one of the top guys in the SELC in the future.
“We’ll win this game by 10, at minimum,” said Arminio*. “Too deep, too talented, too good.”
The Tigers will be rolling into Hollywood to face a USC team like nothing else in Trojan history.
Jake Van Nostrand has harnessed the limitless potential of Southern Cal and turned USC into a legitimate threat to take down the SLC crown. He’s certainly on the short list of Coach of the Year candidates.
“If we play with a purpose, we move on. If not, we go home. Simple” said Van Nostrand*. “Weather should be good for the game.”
[*- The coach didn’t really say this. This is all made up. It’s fake]