#36 Delaware Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Delaware Blue Hens

Overall Rank: #36
Conference Rank: #3 Colonial
Delaware Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Delaware Team Page


Delaware is coming off of a great season. They knocked off Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and then had the misfortune of having to travel all the way to Los Angeles to take on UCLA in Westwood. But the Blue Hens did not go down easy and it took a late Bruins goal to finish off Delaware’s season. There will be some changes to this year’s roster, but Coach Ian Hennessy has another talented group poised to make another run at the College Cup.

2011 Record: 13-6-4, 6-4-1
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ian Hennessy

The Delaware defense did not garner too much attention last season, but they will play a much bigger role in the team’s success this season. The Blue Hens have an amazing amount of defensive depth. Junior John Dineen is one of the players on the backline who can come up and score some goals. He tallied three last season. Kyle Nuel is more of a defensive midfielder and will likely play that role this season. Tobias Muller only played in four games last season, but the 6-1 German is a proven defender at this level. Mark Garrity is another one of the backs who can come up and get some shots on target. Prince Nartey started 17 games last season and should join Dineen as a leader of the defense. Yoan Fontaine started 20 games in 2011 and is an imposing 6-1 presence in the center of the defense. Martin Ignacio had a very promising freshman campaign and could be in for a fine sophomore season. That is a lot of talent returning on defense and the group was not bad at all in 2011. Keeper Kris Devaux is gone, but Brandon Paul is an experienced goalie. He started five games last season before losing his job to Devaux. He may lose the job again, most likely to a freshman, but Coach Hennessy does have options in the net and with such an experienced and talented defense in front of them, just about any keeper could at least do relatively well.

Evans Frimpong was the star of the show in 2011. He scored 12 goals and added five assists. Frimpong was selected in the MLS Supplemental Draft and Delaware will need to find some new offensive players to help fill the void. The obvious answer is Roberto Gimenez, who scored ten goals and dished out seven assists in far less playing time than Frimpong. The offensive balance may be a little out of whack though. Frimpong and Gimenez played extremely well together and Gimenez may have trouble being as productive without the defense worrying about Frimpong. That means Delaware needs to find some more scoring threats. Without Kyle Ellis, the options up front are limited and Delaware will have no choice but to put an inexperienced player up front with Gimenez if they want to run with two strikers. However, midfielder Vincent Mediate will make things a little easier for the offense. Mediate is an experienced junior who tallied four goals and three assists in 2011. Not only will he help set up Gimenez, but he can take on more of a scoring role as well. If Delaware does need to rely on Mediate to score more goals this season, look for senior Ben Raymond to emerge as more of a playmaker.

Final Projection:
This Delaware team may look a little different this year. The goals may not come quite as easily, but they will still be right in the mix for a CAA title and a postseason berth. How well they can develop their crop of newcomers to fill in up front and around the midfield will make all of the difference. The defense can carry this team for a while, but it will take more than that if Delaware hopes to improve on their nice tournament run of 2011 in 2012.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Roberto Gimenez, Junior, F, 10
Assists: Roberto Gimenez, Junior, F, 7
Shots: Roberto Gimenez, Junior, F, 72
Saves: Brandon Paul, Senior, GK, 20