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  • Jackson Garrett, Staff Writer

The Saint marching in: Matthew Corti-Young named head men’s soccer coach

Matthew Corti-Young. Courtesy of Willamette athletics.

There's a new face leading Bearcat men’s soccer on the pitch this year, and he has ties to some of the highest levels of international soccer. Matthew Corti-Young will be taking over the team as head coach for the 2024 season, envisioning a fall comeback for the squad.


Corti-Young has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at University of California San Diego, but head coached at Claremont McKenna (DIII) for four years prior. At Claremont he saw a drastic improvement in team performance resulting in their deepest NCAA tournament run since 1984. A native of Southampton, England, Corti-Young has roots in coaching at the Southampton Football Club Academy, a development program under the often Premiership-level side. With “The Saints,” he was able to coach future professionals in their early development stages. 


Although Corti-Young recently arrived on campus, he says he’s already seeing a solid foundation under the squad. “Sam [Adelman] and Quinn [Nottage] have left an unbelievable soccer culture here. I’ve done two training sessions and everyone has been in the right gear at the right time with a great attitude. They have been the highlight of my experience so far.” He also spoke highly of the seniors who want to help him and stay a part of the program despite being finished with their soccer careers. 


Coming off of a rugged losing 2023 season at UCSD and inheriting a Bearcat side that has stumbled from its 2022 championship heights, Corti-Young has his work cut out for him. He said he’s ready to build off of what went well and improve on weaknesses while adding some creativity to the Bearcats’ style of play. “Sometimes people can become very dogmatic when they think about soccer. They think of it from a very binary perspective. There are different cultures around the world that embrace different elements of the game and to be really informed, you should engage with things that are contrary to what you currently believe.” 


Over the last two seasons, the Bearcats have set themselves apart in the conference as a relatively methodical, one-line break at a time side. Their proclivity for composed build-out and carefully organized defensive presses saw them through to their 2022 championship but lacked teeth under the strain of several injuries in 2023. At the time of the interview, Corti-Young was not yet able to comment on any specific tactical changes.


Winning and losing aside, Corti-Young’s first goal is “to gain the respect and trust of the team.” He understands that after a coaching change, there is a “pause or recalibration in the culture.” He hopes to “enhance the culture and then grow the alumni engagement, community service, student-athlete leadership development and every facet in the program.”


While there are still a few months until the first kickoff of 2024, it will be interesting to see if the Bearcats can put together a bounceback season with Corti-Young at the helm this fall. So far, the ‘Cats fell 0-3 to the DI Oregon State Beavers in a spring friendly.

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