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Getting to know: the men’s soccer team

After the Bulls’ impressive 6-1 victory over American University on Saturday left USF 5-0-0 heading into conference play, Bulls midfielder Kevon Neaves and goalkeeper Diego Restrepo sat down with the Oracle to discuss everything from the team’s hot start to behind the scenes at practice.

Oracle: The Bulls have scored 11 goals in two matches at home, but just four in three matches on the road. Why is there such a big disparity?

Kevon Neaves: Being on the road means being in a different atmosphere. You don’t have the people you love and Bulls fans there to support you, so that makes it a little tougher.

Diego Restrepo: The grass on the road is different. In the South we play with natural grass, but in the North the soccer fields are FieldTurf or Artificial Turf, and that changes the playing conditions dramatically.

O: How is the team’s chemistry on the road?

DR: (The team’s chemistry) is really good because we always get a new roommate on each trip and that helps us. We get to know each other better every day and get along with every member on this team – there are no groups. USF is our family, and this team is all we have (to lean on) on the road.

KN: I try to keep the team united both in the good times and the bad times. Like Diego said, we are a family and we have to stick together.

O: Who are the biggest pranksters on the team?

DR: (laughs) There is no doubt the biggest prankster on the team is a guy from Trinidad and Tobago named Kevon Neaves. He is a clown and a jokester, always trying to make everybody laugh and pulling pranks.

KN: (laughs) Hey, it’s not just me. I would also include (forward) Bernardo Anor, (midfielder) Francisco Aristeguieta, and (midfielder) Luke Magill as part of the prankster group.

O: Favorite pranks?

KN: I always have fun when I take Francisco’s baggage from the baggage claim at the airport without him realizing it and then hide it on the bus. He stands there waiting for the longest time, then worries the whole day about it being left behind in Tampa and not being able to practice. (Both laugh)

DR: I love it when someone takes something from one of the players in the locker room while that player is in the shower.

O: Any bold goals or

predictions this year?

KN: My personal goal is to match the number on my jersey and score 13 goals this season.

DR: He has three so far, 10 more to go. I would like to get the USF shutout record for a single season. The record is nine. So far I have three, and there are 16 games left on the schedule.

KN/DR: Our personal goals are secondary to the team’s goals though – we want to help this team to be the best.