MANCHESTER -- This Saturday the Vermont Voltage will square off against the East Coast United Serbs in an exhibition game at Applejack Field to close out their season. But according to player/ coach Bo Vuckovic, though the game may be a friendly don't expect to see a lack of intensity.
"We're going to prepare like every normal game. Basically the mentality of our players, any soccer player in the world even when he steps in the park it's personal pride and you don't want to lose the game," said Vuckovic. "I'm sure it's going to start a little bit easier, like friendly, but I don't think so. We are taking this game as a regular league game and we don't want to lose at home. It's going to be competitive; very competitive."
When the two teams met last season, the Serbs - an All-Star team created by a friend of Vuckovic's - topped the Voltage 2-1 in a closely fought contest. The game - and the outcome - is something that still sticks in the mind of Vuckovic as well as other members of the team.
"It's extra motivation for us for sure," said Vuckovic. "I know after the game we're all going to get together and have dinner together and stuff and we're going to pick on each other, but when we step on the field [the] gloves are off. We've got to go at it. So, it is what it is. And I'm friends with most of the people, but I don't want to lose against none of them. So, we're going to go hard.
The Voltage picked up their first win of the season, 1-0, against CS Mont-Royal Outremont recently.
"[We were] very happy. We've been playing all season really well. Our team has been moving the ball really well," said Vuckovic. "The atmosphere is good and players are happy so that's all you can ask."
When the Voltage take the pitch on Saturday, Vuckovic said there will be a couple of factors that will determine whether or not the team is victorious -- some of which will rely on their guest players.
"The keys for our team will be to play really good defense and these couple of new players that are going to be our guest players to sacrifice for the team as much as they can," said Vuckovic. "So, my speech in the locker room [will be] try to jell as much as you can and [play] simple [soccer]. Just move the ball simply. Don't try to do too much or impress, make an impression on me as a guest player; just put all your efforts toward the team effort."
During the game there will also be a shootout sponsored by Carbone in which some fans will be selected to attempt to kick a soccer ball through the Carbone target. If they are successful, they will win a car, Vuckovic said.