#2 Connecticut Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Big East
Connecticut Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Connecticut Team Page


The Big East conference stands out among the others in men’s soccer as one of the toughest in NCAA Division 1, but UCONN stands out over the teams of the Big East conference especially in the last 15 years. Head coach Ray Reid has taken this program and put it atop the other programs by becoming the second winningest coach in the NCAA. The Huskies head coach has claimed more wins than any other coach or conference in the Big East since taking the position for UCONN. The Huskies and Coach Reid plan to continue their domination in the 2012 season.

2011 Record: 19-3-3, 5-2-2
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ray Reid

Forward Carlos Alvarez and keeper Andre Blake have already been added to the Hermann Trophy watch list before the season has officially started and for good reason. Alvarez, a senior, helped the Huskies’ offense last season by netting six goals and tying for the team lead in assists with eight. Blake was a key player for the defense playing in all 25 matches and only allowing only 10 goals and tallying an impressive 79 saves. Alvarez and Blake were named preseason All-Big East team, but were not the only ones from UCONN to receive those honors. Forward Mamadou Doudou Diouf was also awarded the preseason honor after leading the team with goals last season with 13. The Huskies’ roster doesn’t end with those three. Both Allando Matheson and Stephane Diop contributed goals and assists for the offense last season while Max Wasserman, Michal Mercado, and Sean Wier will be returning to help on the back line. For a recruiting class, Coach Reid is bringing in six new sets of legs, including Max Wasserman’s younger brother Jesse Wasserman to help the defense as well.

This is a consistently strong team on both sides of the ball but the Huskies have to continue to play smart. Being in one of the hardest conferences they are at a disadvantage because all teams they play for the conference title can cause problems for UCONN in conference play and getting an NCAA bid. Outside of conference play, they will also have challenges against Washington and Boston College. Coach Reid has a large roster of 32 players so he will have subs, but will need to keep them strong and rotate them through frequently just to make sure everyone stays healthy. Most teams seem to leave one keeper in every game the whole season, but that can take a toll on a player. Blake can handle the pressure for sure but Coach Reid needs to consider that Blake may have a chance to leave in January in the draft so getting another keeper comfortable with game experience should be a consideration, not just for next year but also as a replacement for this year if one is needed.

Final Projection:
UCONN has a good chance to make a run for all the titles, conference and NCAA tournament, especially with the roster Coach Reid has put together. Again, the tougher schedule can pose a threat, but as long as the Huskies play smart then they won’t have any issues during the regular season, which in turn will give them the NCAA tournament bid they want. The two Hermann Trophy hopefuls will help make this team a joy to watch but a pain to play against. UCONN will take a top ten and possibly a top five spot all the way to the College Cup.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Mamadou Doudou Diouf, Junior, F, 13
Assists: Carlos Alvarez, Senior, F, 8
Shots:  Mamadou Doudou Diouf, Junior, F, 76
Saves: Andre Blake, Sophomore, GK, 79

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#2 Mamadou Doudou Diouf
#8 Carlos Alvarez
#16 Andre Blake