New men’s soccer coach returns to New Haven, seeks to revitalize program

The New Haven men’s soccer team will begin a different era in the 2023 season under the direction of their new head coach Thomas Mattera. He will become the 16th head coach in program history.

Mattera started his coaching career at New Haven in 2010-12 as assistant coach before heading across town to Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). During his four years at SCSU, Mattera helped lead the team to an NCAA Division ll semifinals appearance in 2014, while also being ranked as high as number five nationally in Division ll.

But New Haven drew him back.

“It’s amazing,” said Mattera. “It’s the place where it all started for me as a college coach and it’s somewhere I hold very near and dear to my heart,” Mattera said. He said his second stint at the university will be different from his first after seeing all of the changes that have been made and the differences in staff from his 13 years away from the school.

Mattera experienced the Northeast-10 (NE-10) conference as both a player and coach, when he played three years at SCSU from 2005-07 and helped bring the team to an East Regional championship in 2006 and an NE-10 Conference Championship in 2007.

“[I’m excited to] be back in the NE-10,” he said. “Getting out there and getting back in the competitive nature of the conference is something I’m excited for.”

“Knowing that each school has its own challenges that you have to overcome,” Mattera said, is one of the biggest challenges of the job. Despite the obstacles , he has found success in each program by leading teams to conference championships and individual awards, such as winning Skyline Conference Coach of the Year during his time at Mount Saint Vincent College.

Mattera’s hope for the team is to make the conference playoffs but his immediate goal is to see daily progress and build a competitive team. Coming off a tough 2022 season, Mattera said the team’s “record did not reflect how they played” and he is looking forward to helping them get back on track.

“We want to show up and be the same every day and try to be as authentic as possible,” Mattera said.