#23 UCF Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

UCF Knights

Overall Rank: #23
Conference Rank: #2 Conference USA
UCF Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
UCF Team Page


UCF will be saying goodbye to the C-USA this year and moving on to the Big East conference for the 2013/14 season and the Knights hope to finish strong in their present conference.  It was announced at the end of last season that UCF will be switching conferences and Head Coach Bryan Cunningham said in a press release about the switch, “We are looking forward to competing in one of the best soccer conferences in the nation.”  UCF will be substituting teams such as UAB, Kentucky, and South Carolina, who the Knights will play this season, and start to take on great soccer programs such as Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Providence. UCF is coming off back-to-back NCAA appearances and will be looking to score a C-USA title for their final season in the conference.

2011 Record: 12-6-3, 4-3-1
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Bryan Cunningham

Before the big move Coach Cunningham will want to give the Big East a preview of what they will see in seasons to come and he will want to give the C-USA a run for the money as well. The Knights will not have to rely solely on returning players to bring home wins but will look to the incoming talent along with those returning.  Jeff Michaud, deemed one of the top prep players in Florida, will be suiting up for the Knights in the midfield position.  Michaud finished his senior season at Dwyer High School with 31 goals and 15 assists in just 15 games. Zach Biggs, keeper, will also be joining the Knights for his college debut and he will be guided by a pair of returning keepers, Shawn Doyle and Sebastian Evers. Doyle and Evers helped the Knights defense last season allowing only 23 goals out of the 21 games of play. The Knights defense will also welcome transfer defender Anton Sealey, who helped North Carolina take the 2011 NCAA national championship title. The UCF defense isn’t the only ones benefiting from the incoming talent. The offensive front will welcome forwards Deshorn Brown from University of Mobile and Omar Vallejo from Ohio State.   

Combining the talented returning players, transfers, and freshman players is no easy job and getting them to work well in their perspective positions is a task in itself. Coach Cunningham will be looking towards the coaching staff and team leaders to help organize this mixed batter of players together before the beginning of the season. The Knights will have three exhibition matches to help prep the squad for regular season play. Coach Cunningham said in a press release following the spring season, “they [players] are working hard to make sure that this program keeps moving forward.”  UCF will need to continue to progress throughout the season as they take on UAB and the other heavy hitters in the C-USA before they can move on to a successful post season

Final Projection:
Coach Cunningham and the Knights are looking forward to their last season in the C-USA and as long as the newly acquired talent can sync up with the returning players then UCF will make another run at the C-USA title and will show up for the NCAA tournament with a championship on their mind.  The Knights offensive add-ons, Brown and Vallejo, will be teaming with returning forward McKauly Tulloch and other veteran players while leaving the defense in the quick hands of Doyle and Evers with the help of Sealey.  The impressive squad of new, transferred, and returning talent will be a threat to all C-USA teams going after the crown.  When they enter the NCAA tournament after the regular season, the Knights will have had time to become comfortable with every player and where they should be on the pitch.  

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals:  McKauly Tulloch, Junior, F, 15
Assists: McKauly Tulloch, Junior, F, 4
Shots: McKauly Tulloch, Junior, F, 63
Saves: Shawn Doyle, Senior, GK, 44

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#32 McKauly Tulloch