Callahan revels in new role, comfort at Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 10, 2014 at 12:10 am Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 When Liam Callahan was an everyday starter at Villanova in 2013, he’d make time to watch his former travel teammates Alex Bono and Stefanos Stamoulacatos play for Syracuse. When Callahan would stay over at Bono’s house after travel tournaments in high school, the two would imagine a future of playing college soccer together.So when Callahan decided to leave Villanova, it was clear to him that the Orange would be the only other place he’d want to go. “Syracuse is actually like my second home,” said Callahan, an Amherst, New York native. “It’s close to home. It’s comfortable … they’ve done great the past few years. They’ve been improving every year, there’s great people playing here.”Callahan spent two years as a member of the Wildcats and started every game last year after breaking his ankle in the first year. But for an undisclosed reason, he decided to transfer.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBecause he’d played on an Empire United Academy team, a central New York based club, with players from Rochester and Syracuse, including Bono and Stamoulacatos, Callahan felt a familiarity with the Orange. It not only led him there, but is easing his transition into a system that he’s never played in before. He’s become one of the catalysts from the wing-back back position with a defense that has yet to allow a goal this season.It’s a defense that’s crowded and features established players such as Jordan Murrell, Skylar Thomas and Oyvind Alseth. But despite being the new name, Callahan has quickly developed credibility. “He had an advantage to work here all spring and an advantage that he knew several of the guys beforehand,” SU head coach Ian McIntyre said. “We know him very well from being one of the local guys. He’s doing very well.”The familiarity has helped Callahan adjust not only to a new team, but also to a new defensive system. At Villanova and before, he’d only been a part of a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formation. With four players in the back, he didn’t have the opportunity to get up the field as much. But now with Syracuse’s 3-5-2 positioning, Callahan is able to get up the field a little more and he smiled when he said he’s even being presented with the chance to score.“It’s been a big transition for myself,” Callahan said. “As far as the team goes, it’s actually helped in our benefit. We’re a transition team. “I think it’s just fit well as the season’s gone so far.” McIntyre said the transition was “seamless.” Callahan enrolled at SU in January and got through what McIntyre called the “dark times” of January and February with relative ease. Bono, who also considered playing at Villanova, said he knew that would be the case before the defender ever put on an SU uniform. He’s known about Callahan’s abilities as a passer, crosser and defender for the past seven years.“He realized that if he had the opportunity to come here, he’d want to do it and team up again,” Bono said. “He realized we had something special going on, came in, visited, liked the school, liked the staff, liked the way we play. “And the rest is history.” Commentslast_img

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