Mav soccer players come full circle
Amerman, Tinaglia end soccer careers how they started: together
They started their soccer careers together and will end them together.
Mesa State College seniors Tyler Amerman and Josh Tinaglia will play their final college home games this weekend when the Mavericks (2-11-2, 2-7-1 RMAC) host Regis and 25th-ranked Metro State. Mesa plays Regis (7-3-4, 5-1-4 RMAC) at 7 p.m. on Friday and Metro State (9-4-2, 6-2-2 RMAC) at noon Sunday at Walker Field.
“We’ve talked about how weird it’s going to be. Since we were 8 years old we played club soccer together,” Amerman said. “Now that it’s over, it’s like, ‘What are we going to do with our free time?’ We’ve got to find a hobby. I’m going to work on my golf swing.”
The end of more than 16 years of organized soccer is still hard for Tinaglia to fathom.
“All our conversations at the house have been about our last season,” Tinaglia said. “It’s kind of weird, we’ve been playing together for so long. It’s hard to think this is going to be the last serious round. It’s almost sad really.”
The Littleton student-athletes first met in club soccer. They were often on the same team until high school, when they played against each other. Amerman went to Chatfield High School and Tinaglia went to Heritage High School.
After high school, Amerman went to Midland Lutheran (Neb.) College and Tinaglia went to Eastern New Mexico University.
Amerman, though, didn’t like Midland Lutheran and was looking for another school when former Mesa State women’s soccer player Nicole Teiffel told Amerman’s parents about Mesa starting a men’s program.
Amerman came for a tryout and was invited to come back and play for the team.
“I liked it a lot,” Amerman said. “With the stadium, it’s a great atmosphere. I got involved with the community with the local kids at club soccer. That was cool because I’ve never done that before. It was a good fit for me.”
Amerman kept in touch with Tinaglia, who wasn’t liking his experience at Eastern New Mexico.
“(Amerman) calls me and tells me about tryouts here,” Tinaglia said. “I couldn’t make it, but he came to (Mesa coach Josh) Pittman and said, ‘I know this really good goalkeeper I want you to talk to.’ My dad called Pittman and said, ‘My son wants to play here.’ Tyler set me up for coming here, really. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be standing here.”
Both of them have played a big role in building the program from scratch.
“They’ve been huge for us,” Pittman said. “Obviously, this year is disappointing for them to go out like this. The impact they’ll have on the program will go far beyond this year.
“Tyler has filled a number of rolls for us. Obviously, if we don’t have Josh, there’s no way we have 19 wins in our program’s history.”
Amerman was a midfielder at Midland Lutheran, but found himself playing several positions for the Mavericks.
“Tyler came in as a center midfielder, then we moved him to outside (full)back, then we moved him to outside midfielder and he did a great job there,” Pittman said. “On Monday, he went back to center mid for a while. He’s done a great of playing that role. There hasn’t been any complaining. As a coach, you can’t ask for anything more.”
Tinaglia, a two-time All-Academic RMAC selection, has started 43 games in goal for Mesa State.
It’s been a great experience for the roommates, who are both studying sports management. Tinaglia is on pace to graduate in the spring and Amerman next fall.
“Everything fell into place,” Amerman said. “We end our college career together and we ended our club career together. It was cool having him around all these years.”