The Montclair High School boys soccer team will be mixing all the ingredients together in the early going.

And head coach Toure Weaver and the Mounties hope the mix is ready near the end of October.

"We are currently putting the pieces together," Weaver said. "Seeing where certain pieces fit and who combines well with each other… This is a process, and we cannot rush things. The aim is to be hitting our stride as we enter states and counties."

Last season there was not one big name on the squad, and that could be the case in 2022.

"We attack together, we defend together, and we transition together," Weaver said.

The Mounties will get an idea of the stage they are at on Sept. 22 and 26, when they host rival West Orange and travel to Seton Hall Prep.

In those two games Montclair will get a hint of what they have to do to win the Super Essex Conference American Division as well as the Essex County Tournament and the North 1 Group 4 state section.

"There is great competition in the conference, county and state, but we feel that we have the talent to win each," the coach said. "There is a tenacity and fierceness that we are still learning to play with. That is a standard of the program that the guys are learning to exhibit on a consistent basis."

Last season, the Mounties were just one step behind some form of title. Montclair lost in the Essex County Tournament semifinals, 1-0, to Seton Hall Prep, which would go on to win the ECT title.

Montclair senior center midfielder Nuri Gumus, right, battles for the ball against Elizabeth in a recent scrimmage. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)
Montclair senior center midfielder Nuri Gumus, right, battles for the ball against Elizabeth in a recent scrimmage. (EDWARD KENSIK/STAFF)
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And in the state playoffs, the Mounties dropped a 2-0 decision to Kearny in the North 1 Group 4 semifinals. The Kardinals would go on to win the North 1 Group 4 championship.

This season Montclair’s experience is in the midfield and up. In the midfield there is senior Nuri Gumus at center midfield and junior Tomer Salamon at wide midfield. Senior forward Filippo Gaisie had six goals and three assists last season and is expected to be a prime offensive source. Last season Gaisie was placed on the Super Essex Conference American Division honorable mention list.

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"We have some very dangerous players going forward into the attack," Weaver said. "I'm excited to see these players play more together and gain a better understanding of each other's movements and tendencies."

There are four other players who will see time in the midfield, juniors Gibson Adams and Derrick Lacey and seniors Josh Modiano and Danny Hill.

In the back, the Mounties have the benefit of the return of junior Liam Thatcher, who saw time in goal with now graduated senior Gabriel Smullyan. 

In front of Thatcher there is senior outside back Landon Sipperly.

In 2021 the Montclair defense allowed only 11 goals. 

The losses to graduation opened up a lot of spots whose tenants still were being determined as of last week.

"We are still working out some pieces in the back," Weaver said. "There are players that I believe in and looking forward to when they find full belief in themselves."

Montclair Boys Soccer Schedule
(Dates and times subject to change, 4 p.m. start except where noted)

Sept. 9 Millburn
Sept. 12 Montclair Kimberley
Sept. 15 at West Essex
Sept. 20 at Verona
Sept. 22 West Orange
Sept. 24 Cedar Grove, 10 a.m.
Sept. 26 at Seton Hall Prep
Sept. 28 Newark East Side
Sept. 30 at Columbia
Oct. 3 Livingston
Oct. 7 at Newark Academy
Oct. 10 St. Benedict's Prep
Oct. 11 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 13 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 15 Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 1x Essex County Tournament, TBD
Oct. 22 Essex County Tournament Finals, TBD
Oct. 24 Randolph
Oct. 28 State playoffs, TBD