Pre-season interview 3: Marco Pruis (HDL FC)

Pre-season interview 3: Marco Pruis (HDL FC)

May 8, 2018 - The third DLFC Head Coach we interviewed regarding the expectations for the 2018 season is Marco Pruis, the Head Coach of Dutch Lions FC NPSL (Houston).

Who is Marco Pruis?
My name is Marco Pruis, I am from the Netherlands and have worked for Dutch Lions FC now for almost seven years. I am starting my 5th season as Head Coach of our Men’s team (third in NPSL, two in USL PDL). I am also the Technical Director of the Houston Dutch Lions FC Youth Academy, with currently over 300 players.

Who else is on your coaching staff?
I will be assisted by Michiel van de Heijning and Leroy Zuiddam. Michiel is going into his 4th season as Assistant Coach, Leroy is going into his 2nd season as Assistant Coach. Both Coaches also work in the Houston Dutch Lions FC Youth Academy.

How do you look back on the 2017 season?
After we won the South Central Conference title in 2016, we had a great start with two US Open Cup games at home (vs NTX Rayados and San Antonio FC of USL PRO). We dominated many NPSL regular season games, and with a win on the final game day, we would have become regular season Champions again. Unfortunately, we tied that game, so we will be very eager to start the 2018 season and make up for that disappointment!

What conference do you play in the 2018 season? What is your analysis of the teams in the conference?
We play in the very strong Lone Star Division, which welcomed Laredo Heat (who played in the USL PDL for ten years) and Brownsville FC as new teams. Besides that, powerhouse Midland Sockers FC is also part of our Division. So there is enough competition to keep us working very hard to improve our playing style, and get those three points week in, week out.

What are your expectations for the 2018 season?
Some very good teams have joined the NPSL the last few years making it harder to win the Championship. We want to go into every game with the objective to win that game. Knowing the temperatures in our region will sometimes be above 100F, I am pleased that we have a quality squad coming in that is eager to compete in every game, every minute. Overall, we are very curious to see how the games in our Division will go.

How do you feel about the roster you have out together for the 2018 season?
We have a strong squad, with a lot of “healthy competition” within the group. We signed players from top college programs, have great players return from last year and were able to welcome a few quality local players who we have known all year (players from the Houston Dutch Lions FC HFA squad). Plus we also have Dani Koks (former Ajax & Willem II youth player) with a great background joining us, and also two players who represented the St Vincent & the Grenadines National Team (Kyle Edwards & Azinho Solomon). So overall, we as coaches are very excited to start working with all these players!

When is the opening game at home and why should people come and watch the team?
Our first 2018 NPSL game is on Saturday, May 12th at 7:00pm, when we kick off the season with the Houston derby vs the Regals SC. On Wednesday, May 9th at 8:00pm we welcome Boca Juniors Houston for a last pre-season scrimmage. For our fans, besides the exciting roster we recently also added about 250 seats to our great soccer complex, on a prime location right in front of our Club House. Our games are always a great night out for the whole family!

We wish Marco and his staff all the best in the upcoming season!