#16 UMBC Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

UMBC Retrievers

Overall Rank: #16
#1 America East
#16 UMBC Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
UMBC Team Page


UMBC is coming off of one their best seasons ever. The Retrievers won the America East regular season title and the conference tournament and only lost one game the entire campaign. UMBC earned a bye in the NCAA Tournament, but lost a heartbreaker to Connecticut in their opener. That game went to penalty kicks after 120 minutes ended in a 2-2 draw. In the shootout, UMBC could not match up with UConn’s great keeper Andre Blake.

2013 Record: 16-1-3, 5-0-2
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Pete Caringi

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Geaton Caltabiano, Senior, M, 4
Assists: Geaton Caltabiano, Senior, M, 8
Shots: Geaton Caltabiano, Senior, M, 54
Saves: None

Other Key Returnees: F/M Jordan Becker, M Mamadou Kansaye, M Stephen Ho, M Malcolm Harris, D Marquez Fernandez, D Oumar Ballo, D Spencer Williams

Key Losses: F Pete Caringi, F/M Kadeem Dacres, GK Phil Saunders

Coach Pete Caringi returns a lot of talent, including eight starters. Senior midfielder Gaeton Caltabiano led the America East with eight assists and he added four goals. Back in 2011 Caltabiano scored seven goals and he is certainly capable of picking up his scoring output. Mamadou Kansaye added three goals and six assists. Stephen Ho and Malcolm Harris were part-time starters in 2014 and they will be asked to take on a bigger role. On defense, Oumar Ballo is one of the best in the nation. The 6-2 back has started 42 straight games and leads a very experienced unit. Marquez Fernandez and Spencer Williams are also returning starters and experienced senior defenders. Jordan Becker spent most of last season at left back, but can play pretty much anywhere on the left side. With all of this experience returning, UMBC should have no trouble in the America East.

The three losses are huge though and they affect every level of this team. Up top Pete Caringi netted 13 goals in 2013 and totaled 37 during his time with the Retrievers. He was a First-Team All-American by College Sports Madness and an All-American of some sort by just about everybody. The loss in the midfield is nearly just as big. Kadeem Dacres pulled the strings in the middle of the field and he scored seven goals and added four assists during his senior season. On offensive, UMBC will hope to get production from Towson transfer Kay Banjo. During his three seasons with the Tigers, Banjo scored 15 goals with 11 assists. The loss in the back is keeper Phil Saunders. He allowed just 15 goals in 20 games and recorded seven shutouts during his senior season. Sophomore Billy Heavner and freshman Phil Breno are battling it out for the starting spot between the posts. Both are good keepers who will benefit from all of the experience on the back line.

Final Projection:
The schedule is pretty easy once again for UMBC. They do play at Maryland and UNLV and take on Cal State Fullerton in Las Vegas, but there are some pretty easy games sprinkled in there too; although we should not overlook a team like Delaware either. The Retrievers suffered their only loss of the year at home to Delaware and they will look for revenge on the road in 2014. In the end, this is a team that should win 14 or 15 games during the regular season. Add a conference tournament title to that and this team will once again compete for a bye in the first round of the tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 2.05 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.70 (17, 2)
Shutout Percentage: 0.35 (55, 4)
Save Percentage:  0.776 (80, 4)

Madness 2015 MLS Draft Rankings:
#15 Oumar Ballo


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Men's Soccer Previews