#43 Southern Methodist Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

SMU Mustangs

2012 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #4 Conference USA
SMU College Football 2012 Team Preview
Southern Methodist Team Page


Southern Methodist suffered a disappointing loss to Akron in the NCAA Tournament in 2011. The Mustangs did make quite a comeback attempt, scoring two goals in 34 seconds to make things interesting against the Zips, but in the end sixth seeded SMU was upset by Akron. And the disappointment could continue into this season. The Mustangs and Coach Tim McClements do have another fine recruiting class coming in, but the loss of some major talent has this program in a slight rebuilding mode.

2011 Record: 13-7-1, 4-3-1
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tim McClements

But the Mustangs usually reload instead of rebuild and that should be the case again this season. Southern Methodist has four incoming freshmen ranked in the top 120 of the 2012 College Sports Madness Recruit Rankings and Michael King, Leobardo Vazquez, John Lujano and Derek Schrick could all make an immediate impact. Juan Castillo will have to take on a bigger scoring role after netting five during his sophomore season. Midfielder Tyler Engel is another solid player who is coming off of a great freshman campaign. He will need to take on a bigger role in the midfield to help replace some of the lost talent. Damian Rosales, another sophomore, will help Engel in the midfield, while Ben Hill is one of the more experienced players on the squad and will be asked to develop into a more consistent goal scoring threat.

While SMU has plenty of talent returning, the big story is who they lost. Defender Diogo de Almeida was the 24th overall in the MLS SuperDraft. Fellow defender Ian Kalis and midfielder Arthur Ivo were selected in the Supplemental Draft. That leaves a big hole in the defense, but it leaves an even bigger hole in the midfield. Ivo was the heart and soul of the Mustangs. He scored ten goals on the season and ranked eighth in the nation with ten assists. Without Ivo and the two defenders who did much more than defend, SMU will not be the same team. Zach Barnes, Robbie Derschang, Emmet Kumeh, Joe Cooper and Payton Hickey were also major contributors in 2011 and will not be back in 2012. That leaves a lot of holes to fill and it may take some time for Coach McClements to fit all of the pieces together.

Final Projection:
There will be a familiar face in goal in junior Jaime Ibarra. The 5-10 keeper started 20 games as a sophomore in 2011 and did a fine job in his first year as a starter. He may be tested quite a bit more this season while the new look defense sorts itself out, but Ibarra is a solid goalie and should be up for the tough task ahead of him. This is a team that is in the middle of rebuilding, but SMU will not fall too far down the Conference USA pecking order and this will be a dangerous team come tournament time. If they can weather the storm early in the year, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament without having to win the conference’s automatic berth is a very reasonable goal.

Projected Postseason: None

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Juan Castillo, Junior, F, 5
Assists: Juan Castillo, Junior, F, 3; Tyler Engel, Sophomore, M, 3
Shots: Juan Castillo, Junior, F, 48
Saves: Jaime Ibarra, Junior, GK, 86