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Nick Russo to coach Shaler varsity soccer

| Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, 7:47 p.m.

With training camp only four days away, Shaler varsity boys head coach Nick Russo had yet to meet his team. Hired the just days prior to training camp, Russo will have to use his bevy of experiences to win over his team in a rather short period of time.

Russo is the owner of a WPIAL gold medal, which he earned as a member of the Plum team in 2006. He attended La Roche College and played soccer while earning a degree in business. He was the captain of the Redhawks team, and when his time there was finished, he played for two pro teams in England in a three-month span.

When his paperwork expired, Russo returned home and coached as an assistant at La Roche before earning another shot to play for the Kansas City Comets of the MISC.

Russo played there before breaking his leg, thus forcing him to come back home. He started up a beadling soccer club and caught on at a landscaping company as a salesman when Shaler came calling.

"A friend told me of the opening, so I put in an application, got an interview, and they hired me," Russo said. "I am excited to be a part of a team in a real power conference, and I look to turn the team around and make Shaler a power."

Russo coaches a defensive, ball-control style, but he said that his style will depend heavily on what the talent of his players dictates.

"We will play a very defensive style from the forwards to the backs," Russo said. "My outlook is, if you don't allow a goal, you can't lose."

Russo wants to instill some aggressive play upfront, and he will coach his players to attack one-on-one situations.

While he prefers a possession-style of game, he said he will avoid the kick and chase method, but added that it's tough to say how things will shake out until he gets on the field with his players.

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