LYNN — New Lynn Classical boys soccer coach Eric Moreno is ready to give back to the next generation of soccer players. After getting his start in Lynn Youth Soccer and playing all the way through a four-year career at Salem State and beyond, Moreno is ready to pass down the things he’s learned over the years to his new team.
“It’s great that I’m in a position where I can give back to the next generation,” the 26-year-old Moreno said. “I’ve learned a lot in my years playing soccer in this city and in other places, and I’m excited that I can now pass that information along to the younger players.”
While this will be Moreno’s first high school coaching job, he’s not unfamiliar with coaching in the least. For the past three years Moreno has been the head coach of Lynn United Football Club, a semi-professional team that Moreno’s father co-founded. In his time with Lynn United, Moreno has spent a lot of time coaching and competing with young college players and players who just graduated from high school. He’s even spent time coaching some former Lynn soccer players, such as Classical alum Issa Jalloh and English alum Kingsley Agbendun.
“I think my experience with Lynn United is going to be a big help for our team,” Moreno said. “In my time there I’m always talking with recent graduates and current college players, so I know what they all do to get better. As a former college player myself, I know what it takes for one to be successful in high school in order to get into a good college and to continue playing even beyond that. To be able to bring that knowledge to our team will be a big asset.”
Moreno played his high school soccer at Bishop Fenwick before moving on to Division III Salem State University.
“I’ve been there and done it, so I know what kind of work it takes to get to that level,” Moreno said.
As for the upcoming season, Moreno is nothing but optimistic. Thursday was the first day for tryouts at Classical, with over 40 players showing up to compete.
“We have a lot to pick from this year, we had a lot of great players show up the first day,” Moreno said. “We have a lot of upperclassmen and also a lot of young guys with talent, so I think the team this year will be a good blend.”
Moreno has already set some goals for the upcoming season, goals that if achieved would make any Classical fan happy. First thing’s first, Moreno is aiming to make the state tournament.
“We have seniors on the team who have never made it to the state tournament in their time here, so that really is priority No. 1,” Moreno said. “It would be a great thing if we could send them off with a deep run in the tournament.”
One way that Classical could get a good head start toward making the state tournament would be winning the Lynn Invitational Soccer Tournament title, which coincidentally happens to be Moreno’s other goal for this season.
“Winning that tournament is a big deal around here, and it’s right at the beginning of the year so winning it would get us off to a great start,” Moreno said. “So that’s what we’re aiming for this year.”