Notebook: U-23s' Granger has a hand in history - again

Over the weekend, Timbers U-23s defender Brock Granger once again found himself apart of history – this time with the University of Louisville men’s soccer team. With a 3-1 win over Villanova, the Cardinals capped an impressive unbeaten regular season.

With the win Saturday, Louisville earned a No. 1 national ranking, finished the regular season with a 14-0-2 record, became the first team in school history to post an unbeaten record and to go undefeated (9-0-0) in BIG EAST play. The 14 wins in 2010 for the Cardinals also marked a new single-season school record. Along with Butler, Louisville is one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in Division I.

“It has been crazy at Louisville this fall,” said Granger. “Winning is all about hard work and determination. It kind of became a habit, for me, after being in Portland over the summer. Not losing games has become a part of my game and it’s what I strive for.”

Granger, who helped the Timbers U-23s to a record-setting championship season over the summer, once again had a hand in a history-making season, playing in all 16 games (15 starts) for Louisville and logging three assists as sophomore.

“I definitely feel like I’ve become a better soccer player, both tactically and technically this season,” said Granger about his first season with the Cardinals. The Hawaii native transferred to Louisville over the summer after playing his freshman season at UNLV.

A key part of the Timbers U-23s backline during the 2010 Premier Development League season, Granger played in 14 games with the Timbers’ development team. Portland allowed a league-low six goals during the 16-game regular season on its way to posting a perfect 20-0-0 season and winning the league title. The Timbers U-23s became the first unbeaten champion in PDL history.

“Playing with the Timbers U-23s definitely kept me focused throughout the summer,” added Granger. “Instead of going home and surfing, I got to play with some of the best players on the west coast. It was fun. We trained hard and won the PDL. It was a great team and I want to do it again next summer.”

 
Granger isn’t the only Louisville player with ties to the Timbers U-23s. In fact, Portland native and Cardinals forward Buck Tufty trained with the Timbers U-23s during the 2010 PDL season and is a player the Timbers U-23s coaching staff has an eye on this fall.

What’s next for the Cardinals? Louisville will host the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST tournament as they try to add to an already impressive – and history-making – season in 2010 with a conference and national championship run.