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Transcript: Cedergren joins Big Blue Update

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IMG951758.jpg On Monday night, UK men's soccer head coach Johan Cedergren joined UK radio voice Neil Price for the weekly Big Blue Weekly show on WLAP 630-AM. Cedergren talked about UK's start to the year and a tough matchup with No. 20 UAB, set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET at the UK Soccer Complex. Below is a brief transcript of the end of Cedergren's comments on the call-in show.

On senior Brad Doliner ...
"The game sometimes slows down for seniors. They have seen it so many times. They know what to expect and they can play at a different pace. Dolly is great. He is very versatile and wherever you put him he is going to give you 100 percent. He played himself to the ground on Friday and he came back Sunday and was again one of our best performers."

On the strength of C-USA since his time as a player at Cincinnati ...
"Conference USA has done a great job. It is a sport that they take very serious. They make sure that any team that comes into the league has a good soccer program. This past offseason we had some additions in Charlotte, Old Dominion, New Mexico and FAU. Unfortunately that meant that SMU, UCF and Memphis left but I think that net-net, we are an overall stronger conference. Last year you could say that maybe we were a top-five conference in the country, now you can say we are a top two. A team like FAU, who maybe didn't have some great seasons in the past, is still undefeated. It is definitely a really, really tough league. It has traditionally been one of the top leagues in the country.

On UAB and long-time head coach Mike Getman ...
"When I was at Cincinnati, UAB was definitely a powerhouse. They are a team that is always in there. They are a team that always competes against the top. And coach Getman, who I played against when he was already the coach at UAB, he really knows how to win and how to put a team together. I am excited to host them on Sunday. We were able to get a result down there last year and we are hoping to do the same this year."

On the challenges of facing UAB ...
"It is a program that has been successful for a very, very long time. It is a staff that has been together for a very long time. They clearly have things that they do really well that leads them to success. It is a very big team traditionally that is very good on set pieces. The last couple of years they have started to emphasize playing more, so now they can get ball down on the ground and play, as well as hurt you on set pieces. For us last year, we tried to prepare the guys for the battle. (Assistant) Coach (Erik) Imler always says there is no faster player on the field then the ball. That goes for Sunday as well. We will have a bunch of freshmen and when you look across the field at the lineup they are probably going to be the bigger team. But it does not matter so much in soccer. It is more about your mentality, your work rate and about how you can use the ball. I am expecting a very, very tough game, like all conference games are. But we have a couple of things that we are going to work on this week and hopefully we can get a result."

On preparing for the league's top offensive unit ...
"We have let eight goals in over the first six games, on just 15 shots (on goal), so I have to start with that when I talk about defense. But I think defensively we are very good. We have two good goalkeepers who are really fighting each other to see who is going to start. We have a great back four. Again, there are three freshmen in the back four, which is part of the reason why we have let eight goals in but defensively I think we are really sound. That was one of the focuses of the preseason was that we were going to work really hard to make sure we don't let in any easy goals. So far, six games into it, I would say we have absolutely not let any easy goals in. Maybe there have been some situations where someone switched off on a marking assignment. Or there has been some kind of deflection like there was this weekend. But we haven't given up a lot of easy goals. So I think we are sound defensively and then it is just a matter of if we can keep a clean sheet going into halftime and we can use the ball and not shy away from the physical nature of college soccer, then I think we are going to be okay."

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