#19 UAB Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

UAB Blazers

Overall Rank: #19
Conference Rank: #1 Conference USA
UAB Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
UAB Team Page


When the Blazers take to the pitch for their first exhibition match against Louisville to kick off the 2012 season, Head Coach Mike Getman will have been, and may still be, working on getting his team prepped for their long road to the College Cup. UAB has more than a few changes in their 2012 roster, which could produce either problems or successes for the Blazers. Coach Getman has over 25 years coaching experience and 20 of them have been with the UAB program. If any coach knows how to make changes it is Coach Getman. When he came to UAB in 1992, the program had only three winning seasons in its first 13. Coach Getman has now added not only winning seasons, but five conference titles and six NCAA tournament appearances. Coach Getman will be looking to the 2012 season to add more wins and titles to UAB’s history books.

2011 Record: 13-5-3, 6-1-1
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Getman

The Blazer offense welcomes back Diego Navarrete, Chase Wickham, Atak Yai and Kofi Gyawu in the forward position. As for the midfield spots, Moses Adeniran, Alex Clay and Norris Howze all return for the 2012 season. UAB also has six returning defenders: Stewart Abrehart, Darion Copeland, Ian Michalak, Mladen Lemez, Reed Matte and Milan Milikovic. The size of the defense, not in numbers but physical size, is impressive, with all but one standing over six feet tall, which makes them all extremely capable of getting in front of the ball. Lemez towers over the rest of the defense at 6’5” and 200 pounds and was also able to net four goals last season. The tall defense won’t get any shorter with the incoming talent either. Freshman defender Ian Svantesson from Longwood, Florida, matches up with Lemez at 6’5”. The defense will also welcome freshmen keepers Joe Kaminski, Alex Renner and Hunter Weber and a top recruit from France, Rafael Ville, who will actually be playing as a junior.   

Without a returning keeper, Coach Getman will be looking to fill the net with one of the new recruits. With three exhibition matches before regular season play, Coach Getman will have time to evaluate not just the new keepers but all players, including the returning athletes. He will need to make a few changes on both offense and defense to be able to utilize all the talent. With a smaller roster than some of the other teams UAB will be facing, they will need every man to perform flawlessly throughout the season if they expect to take a C-USA title.  

Final Projection:
A smaller roster and a large incoming class with a few transfers is a huge disadvantage for UAB but Coach Getman doesn’t shy away from a challenge. The Blazers will definitely take advantage of every practice and the exhibition matches to prepare their squad. As long as the team can come together and the new players can find their stride then UAB can be a contender this season. The Blazers have a tougher schedule than they have had in the past but if they can score a few more goals this year they may take the C-USA crown and earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Diego Navarrete, Sophomore, F, 4; Mladen Lemez, Senior, D, 4
Assists: Moses Adeniran, Junior, M, 5
Shots: Diego Navarrete, Sophomore, F, 39
Saves: None

Madness 2012 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#105 Alan Harwell