BLOOMFIELD, NJ--The Bloomfield High boys' soccer team will finally open its 2020 season, when the Bengals visit Glen Ridge, the defending state champions, in Group 1, on Oct. 1, in a 4 p.m. kickoff.
Head coach Michael Aiello's team will host Newark Central, on Oct. 7, at 4 p.m., and visit Verona, in a 12:30 p.m. start on Oct. 10.
Aiello is excited about the start of the season, which was pushed back nearly a month.
"We're looking forward to the start of the season," said Aiello. "We've been working hard for the past two weeks."
Read more about the Bengals here.
Aiello noted his team has a lot of youth, but feels the team will respond.
"We have a very young team this year, with only one player, Nicholas Rizzi, having played at least two full years on varsity," said the coach. "Nick has been starting since his sophomore season and can play anywhere on the field. He will be one of our starters in the midfield this season, but I expect to see his name on the score sheet a good amount as he has proven to find the back of the net in previous seasons."
The team captains for 2020 will be Rizzi and Aidan Schmidt.
"Including Nick, we are only bringing back a total of three starters from last year's team," said Aiello. "Nick was a captain as a junior and Aidan was a starter for us last year, at both center back and outside back. They have done an excellent job at setting the tone of our practices. They are both strong leaders and role models for our young team."
Also returning to the lineup in 2020 will be junior Nathan Russell.
"Nate has played well throughout the summer and is going to see a lot of time at striker this season," the coach said "He works extremely hard, and has a knack for finding the back of the net."
Justin Synnott, a junior has been very impressive throughout the preseason and Aiello feels he'll be a big part of the Bengals' midfield this year.
"Justin is a very smart player and does a great job of keeping us organized," said Aiello.
Bloomfield's game scrimmage was last week, and the team played well against one of the strongest teams in the county, Seton Hall Prep. The Pirates won a 1-0 contest.
"Seton Hall controlled most of the play, but we were extremely organized defensively and I thought our work ethic was great," said Aiello. "I saw tons of positives that we will look to build upon as when we start our season on Thursday, at Glen Ridge."