#24 Michigan Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Michigan Wolverines

Overall Rank: #24
#4 Big Ten
#24 Michigan Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Michigan Team Page


Michigan did not take a big step up in Coach Chaka Daley’s second year at the helm, but year three certainly has the potential for this group to return to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolverines were up and down throughout the 2013 campaign. Just when it looked like Michigan was ready to string together a few wins, they would lose another game. Consistency may be an issue again this time around, but Michigan does have arguably the best group of newcomers in the nation coming to Ann Arbor.

2013 Record: 8-7-3, 3-3-0
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Chaka Daley

Returning Leaders:
Goals: TJ VanSlooten, Senior, M, 4; James Murphy, F, 4
Assists: Tyler Arnone, Senior, M, 5
Shots: Colin McAtee, Junior, M, 31
Saves: Adam Grinwis, Senior, GK, 73

Other Key Returnees: F Yamann Sahlool, M Marcos Ugarte, D/M Lars Eckenrode, D Rylee Woods, D Andre Morris, D Nick Lewin

Key Losses: F Malcolm Miller, M Fabio Pereira, D Ezekiel Harris

The Michigan offense was not particularly potent in 2013, but they do return James Murphy, TJ VanSlooten, Tyler Arnone and Colin McAtee. Murphy and VanSlooten led the Wolverines with four goals each and both are versatile enough to drop back into the midfield if Coach Daley wants to put his newcomers up top. Ahinga Selemani is the best recruit of the great class and should step right into a starting role and maybe even a starring role. Fellow newcomers Nate Kohl, Tristan Jacob and Georgia State transfer William Mellors-Blair will all battle for major playing time and should transform the offense into a team that will score much more than 1.22 goals per game.

If the offense improves as much as expected, the defense is all that stands between another average season and a serious run towards the College Cup. Michigan does return left back Rylee Woods and center back Lars Eckenrode who are both coming off of very promising freshmen campaigns. The recruiting class will help here too, most notably Billy Stevens. Keeper Adam Grinwis has been a starter for three years, but even his job is not safe from a freshman. Evan Louro is one of the best incoming keepers in the nation. However, this is a young unit and that is an issue which will be a cause for concern all season long.

Final Projection:
Coach Daley has some tough decisions to make. The returning talent is not all bad, but just about everybody will be seriously pushed by a freshman or two. Maybe the talent level will go up, but the experience and consistency will take a hit with the younger players. Whatever direction things end up going, Michigan is a good team that should reach the NCAA Tournament. If that happens, the expectations will start going through the roof while this class of freshmen continues to grow up.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.22 (115th in nation, 5th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.18 (85, 5)
Shutout Percentage: 0.22 (130, 6)
Save Percentage:  0.765 (95, 4)

Madness 2014 Men’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#36 Nathan Kohl


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