By Corrine Previte ‘17
The search for a new Head Men’s Soccer coach has come to a close as Gordon College welcomes Matt Horth to the field for the 2017-2018 season.
Horth attended Gordon from 2006 to 2010 and was a major asset to the soccer program. During his time as a Gordon athlete, Horth appreciated the relationships that he formed with his teammates, many of which still live on today.
“I’ve been removed from Gordon Soccer (as a player) for quite some time now and a lot of details have faded, but the relationships I formed with my teammates and brothers have lasted the test of time,” Horth stated. According to Horth, he still coordinates visits with his teammates when traveling close by. “We celebrate each other’s victories in life. More than the goals and the wins, Gordon soccer left me with a fantastic, close-knit group of friends who have impacted me as a man.”
Coming back to Gordon was almost automatic for Horth. He said, “I’m an alum of the program and I have already given so much time and effort into Gordon as a player. Thus, you could say that I have an ‘equity’ built with Gordon soccer and I want to continue investing into this program. I know what Gordon soccer can be and that’s the reality I want.”
Horth began his soccer career when he was five years old. One of his first soccer memories was playing at a Saturday morning church league. This is where he fell in love with the game of soccer and it ultimately led horth to Gordon and eventually to his five year professional career to now a career as a collegiate head coach. While playing professional soccer, Horth played for teams including the Atlanta Silverbacks of the North American Soccer League, the Rochester Rhinos of the United Soccer League, the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer, and internationally with the Icelandic club Leiknir Reykjavík, according to Gordon Athletics.
“Soccer has enriched my life from day one and I’m incredibly passionate about the game. I love the pressure of competition, the grind of training, the tactics, working hard to better myself, the feeling of success and achievement, the ability to learn in defeat, and the fact that soccer has taught me so many lessons and will continue to do so,” Horth said.
Horth has been coaching for the last 10 years in a multitude of settings. “I love coaching and it’s easy for me to share knowledge of the game with other players,” Horth stated “there was no specific reason that I left my previous post, and in fact it was very hard to leave after having built such strong relationships there. But the opportunity to manage the Gordon soccer program and return to my alma mater was one that I could not pass up. God showed up time and time again throughout this whole process and He made it clear to my wife and I that He wants us here at Gordon. I’m excited knowing that this is what God has planned for this chapter in our lives.”
For the upcoming season, Horth wants the team to be like a family. He also wants “to completely buy into the identity we set for ourselves and I want them to take pride in and care for that identity. That includes the way we play on the field but also the way we carry ourselves off the field and on campus. I want them to be involved and support other aspects of the student community at Gordon and be standard-bearers for what a great Christian community could look like.”
Overall, Horth thinks that Gordon will enjoy the style of play and the product that the team will have on the field. Horth said, “It will be fast, possession-based, up-tempo, and exciting to watch. Come check out a game in the fall.”