The following is a list of professional players who competed for Dana Taylor, now the Cal State Stanislaus men’s soccer coach:
Peter Billmeyer, FC Dallas (MLS)
Ross Duncan, Brisbane Strikers
Nick Donaldson, Leigh RMI FC
Mason Webb, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS)
Nick Webb, Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS)
Josh Elbaum, Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Greg Howes, Seattle FC/US Futsal National Team & Milwaukee Wave (MSL)
Evan McNeley, Orlando Sharks/Stockton Cougars (MISL)
Robbie Christnet, Kitsap Pumas (USL)
Chad Bartolme, Loan to Grenchen FC from Delmonte FC of Switzerland
Josh Cameron, Portland Timbers (USL)
Brian Farber, Stockton Cougars (MISL)/Portland Timbers (USL)
Daniel Leach, On Loan to Dover Athletics from Barnet FC in England
Bryan Jordan, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Alan Gordon, Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)
Ryan Johnson, San Jose Earth Quakes (MLS)
Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Danny Mwanga, Philadelphia FC (MLS)/2009 No. 1 MLS Overall Draft Pick
Just recently, Cal State Stanislaus men’s soccer coach Dana Taylor was caught watching footage during his Oregon State days, a montage of highlights. There was a figure that reappeared in front of him, over and over again.
“He kept on making goal after goal after goal,” he said.
That figure was Robbie Findley, a reserve on the U.S. Men’s Soccer team and whose name will be slipping out the mouths of commentators during the World Cup that starts this weekend. Taylor, who served as the Oregon State coach for a decade before taking over the Warriors program a year ago, can take pleasure in watching the U.S. games — with the first one against England on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN — and knowing that he played an integral role in the development of one of the American players.
Before Findley made the U.S. cut, he was a 5-foot-10 player with skills and lightning-quick speed but not much weight on his body. Taylor noticed that much when he first started recruiting Findley, who, over the years, began to add on muscle to his physique.
“I look for players who make smart decisions on the ball,” Taylor said of college prospects. “Robbie was very, very good at understanding when to beat a player with the ball because he had an opportunity to, yet he was a very good passer of the ball. He did a good job of bringing his teammates into the game.
“(He was a) very selfless player.”
It’s a philosophy Taylor keeps to this day, even at Stanislaus. In his second season, he’s actively building a program looking to eventually contend for the national title. The Warriors go back at it Aug. 16, the first day of practice.
Taylor is constantly developing talent.
His resume of players who went on to compete beyond college is extensive. Many are playing in Major League Soccer (such as Findley, who competes for Real Salt Lake), while others in overseas leagues.
Findley soon became an immediate star, highlighted by his winning of the Pac-10 Freshman Player of the Year award. In four years, he had 28 goals — 10 of them game-winners, which is an Oregon State record. He did it all under Taylor’s tutelage.
Taylor knew he was special, and recently he shared a story that exemplified the type of greatness Findley exuded early on. In his freshman season, the Beavers were playing against Fresno State (before the school cut the men’s soccer program). The winner would play UCLA for the Pac-10 championship. There was a major obstacle.
Two of the Oregon State players — captain and forward Alan Gordon and defender Kurt Ness — were sickened by food poisoning. That meant Findley had to step up, and he did. In double overtime, he took a corner kick from 22 yards out and, as Taylor puts in, “rips it in.”
“As a freshman, he was even starting to have those moments where he was learning to take the time,” Taylor said of Findley. “It went on, example after example of him doing that.”
On Saturday, in the U.S.’s World Cup opener against England, Findley might have a chance to make another highlight reel for Taylor.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.