[WEST VIRGINIA MEN] West Virginia coach Marlon LeBlanc is hoping for a record crowd of 4,000 -- more than double the
capacity of Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium -- as the Mountaineers begin their 50th season Friday night against No. 9 Monmouth at the Save Face WVU Classic.
LeBlanc is talking up the game wherever he goes in hopes of a historic turnout.
“I think people are starting to appreciate the sport more,” LeBlanc said. “But even if you don’t understand it, or maybe never went to a soccer game before, I think you’ll love seeing us because it’s a great atmosphere full of WVU fans. The atmosphere is contagious whether you’re a lifelong fan of the sport or not.”
Dick Dlesk’s official capacity is 1,650 but last year, around 1,800 attended the Mountaineers’ home opener and as many as 2,938 have squeezed in for a match.
LeBlanc's goal is to create an intimidating environment for opponents.
“We’ve got a group of fans that play drums,” LeBlanc said. “And unlike football and basketball, in our stadium you’re right on top of the action. The players and referees can hear every single word out of your mouth. Being at the stadium just grabs ahold of you.”