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first_imgFour hours before each Syracuse match, the Orange convene for their pregame meal. Head coach Ian McIntyre may mention their upcoming game, but before his team eats, McIntyre splits his team into four groups, one for each grade.The Orange engage in a trivia match, testing the team’s knowledge of soccer. Many of the questions revolve around the English Premier League and other professional soccer teams, while McIntyre will occasionally mix in pop culture references.The winning team eats first. The one who finishes last has to wait until everyone is finished to indulge.McIntyre brought pregame trivia with him to Syracuse when he became head coach in 2010 and has continued it into his 10th season. With a team of players from nine different countries who support dozens of different domestic and international soccer teams, much of Syracuse’s intra-team trash talk and banter centers around weekly trivia, FIFA video games and professional results. Entering the heart of their conference schedule, Syracuse (3-2-4, 0-1-2 Atlantic Coast) bonds over its differing levels of soccer knowledge and love of professional soccer.“I think it’s especially beneficial for us because we do it on game days,” sophomore Christian Miesch said. “The game days are already pretty intense, everyone is focused on themselves. But then we have the trivia which takes some pressure off.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile the freshmen have the largest trivia team, the group’s size makes communication difficult in the competition. Other than one upset from the freshman team, the juniors have won all but one time as of Sept. 18, Simon Triantafillou said. The four-man junior class of Dylan McDonald, Triantafillou, Nikolas Steiner and Sondre Norheim have often bragged about their trivia success in 2019.McDonald, a junior, said it’s “not really much of a surprise” that his class has been the first to enjoy many of their pre-match meals this season. McIntyre admits that veterans typically have an advantage in trivia, but that hasn’t translated for this year’s seniors. Jake Leahy, Massimo Ferrin and John-Austin Ricks admitted that while they watch soccer themselves, their teammates “live for it.”“We’ve got a very diverse locker room, players from all across this country and other countries,” said McIntyre, a Liverpool supporter. “The common thread is football. It’s part of our routine to have a few soccer questions, maybe it’s just putting up with me.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorTeam allegiances for most of Syracuse’s players come from their connections. Miesch’s youth soccer coach always wore a Juventus jersey and Miesch was on an extended trial with the Manchester City youth academy in his teens. They are now his two favorite teams.Leahy idolized former Manchester City and English national goalkeeper Joe Hart and became a fan because of him. He also supports the MLS New York Red Bulls after he spent his youth in the training academy. Ferrin grew up in Canada but his Italian roots have left him a supporter of AC Milan. Same for Triantafillou, who’s from Canada, but supports the Greek team Olympiakos.When the Orange have training on the weekends, Leahy said that the team will often watch morning European matches before practice in their apartments or the locker room.“If we have a training session in the morning, and there’s a big game on, it’s about a guarantee that no one will be early to practice,” Leahy said. “Everyone will show up right on time because we’re watching the game.”Senior transfer Matt Orr is one of those superfans. An avid Liverpool supporter, Orr has aided 2019’s seniors in pregame trivia, multiple players said, though the seniors have struggled recently.Ricks sometimes gets teased when he doesn’t know an answer. And Ferrin still refuses to give McDonald and the juniors credit, claiming that no team has consistently won this year.“It’s fun to get the guys laughing, I’m pretty terrible,” Leahy said. “These guys know way more than I will ever know.” Comments Published on October 2, 2019 at 11:59 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more