#11 Connecticut Men's Soccer 2013 Preview

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #11
Conference Rank: #1 American
#11 Connecticut Men's Soccer 2013 Preview
Connecticut Team Page


For Connecticut anything but a trip to the College Cup is a disappointment. Last season they fell one game short, losing 1-0 against Creighton at home in the quarterfinals. There is quite a bit of talent lost, but Coach Ray Reid has more than enough talent ready to step in and fill the void. He also has a couple of college soccer’s most talented players in keeper Andre Blake and striker Mamadou Doudou Diouf.

2012 Record: 17-4-1, 6-2-0
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ray Reid

It is difficult to make an argument that any other keeper in college is better than Blake. The Jamaican has recorded 27 shutouts in just two years with the Huskies. That number will go up plenty more in 2013. At 6-4, Blake is a big, athletic keeper who has a great future in the professional ranks whenever he decides to go that route. Last season the Huskies allowed just a dozen goals in 22 games. With experienced defenders like Sergio Campbell and Michael Mercado, goals against Connecticut will be few and far between. Once again Diouf on his own will probably score more goals than Blake allows. The 6-1 senior found the back of the net 15 times in 2012, raising his career total to 34. Diouf is not the only scorer on this team. Allando Matheson found the back of the net seven times and midfielder Adria Beso is a solid playmaker.

Despite all of the talent returning, and all of the talent Coach Reid is bringing in, there are some significant holes to fill. Carlos Alvarez teamed up beautifully with Diouf. He led the squad with nine assists and added seven goals. The Huskies will miss him as it is, but his absence could have a pretty big effect on Diouf too. Also gone are Stephane Diop, who scored two goals and added three assists, and defenders Jossimar Sanchez, Flo Liu and Max Wasserman. Wasserman, who was drafted in the Supplemental Draft, was a great defender who could get up and help out in the attack. Connecticut does have younger defenders who are good athletes who can fly up the wings, but it is unlikely that anybody will be as technically gifted as Wasserman.

Final Projection:
The American Athletic Conference is not nearly as tough as the old Big East, but road trips to Louisville and SMU will provide a challenge. And the Huskies need some challenges during the regular season or this group could become complacent and be in for a bit of a shock once the competition stiffens up in the NCAA Tournament. Uconn probably will not even play in a close game until they travel to Syracuse and host Saint Louis in late September, although hosting Washington could be a very interesting matchup. Coach Reid will need to keep this team focused and competitive. Connecticut will win a lot of games with their schedule, but the RPI may not match. That may hurt the Huskies overall seed come tournament time, but that will not matter much.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Mamadou Doudou Diouf, Senior, F, 15
Assists: Adria Beso, Junior, M, 5
Shots: Mamadou Doudou Diouf, Senior, F, 15
Saves: Andre Blake, Junior, GK, 63

Madness 2014 MLS Draft Rankings:
#1 Mamadou Doudou Diouf
#3 Andre Blake

Madness 2013 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#32 Cyle Larin
#46 Scott Levene
#79 Kwame Awuah
#95 Ethan Decker


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