#13 Connecticut Men's Soccer 2014 Preview

Connecticut Huskies

Overall Rank: #13
#1 American
#13 Connecticut Men's Soccer 2014 Preview
Connecticut Team Page


Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Connecticut allowed just nine goals during the 2013 campaign. Having one of the best keepers ever to play the college game will do that. However, the Huskies nice run in the tournament had more to do with their offense. In their four tournament games, UConn allowed eight total goals. After beating Quinnipiac 2-1 in the first round, this team tied UMBC 2-2 and UCLA 3-3. In both games goalkeeper Andre Blake ended up the hero during the penalty kick shootouts, and rightfully so, but the offense proved that they too can win game for the Huskies.

2013 Record: 12-3-8, 4-0-4
2013 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ray Reid

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Cyle Larin, Sophomore, M, 14
Assists: Adria Beso, Senior, M, 10
Shots: Cyle Larin, Sophomore, M, 98
Saves: Jacob Wagmeister, Junior, GK, 4

Other Key Returnees: F Allando Matheson, F Nicholas Zuniga, M Edir DaGraca, D Jakob Nerwinski, D Sergio Campbell, Kwame Awuah

Key Losses: F Mamadou Doudou Diouf, M George Fochive, M Colin Bradley, D Michael Mercado, GK Andre Blake

Blake is not the only great player this team must replace. Forward Mamadou Doudou Diouf has been a clutch scorer for the Huskies, yet Coach Ray Reid does return plenty of other scoring options. Midfielder Cyle Larin scored an impressive 14 goals during his freshman campaign and has quickly turned into one of the best players in the nation. Fellow midfielder Adria Beso dished out a team high ten assists. Up front, Nicholas Zuniga and Allando Matheson will lead the way. Zuniga netted four goals, while Matheson added seven despite never starting a game during the 2013 season. Even though the defense got much of the credit last season, Connecticut still ranked first in the AAC in scoring offense. They should be able to do that again.

But how is the defense going to hold up without Blake and defender Michael Mercado? Blake was the first ever goalie to be taken with the first overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft and he finished his three year career with 36 shutouts. Coach Reid has five goalies on his roster, including Jacob Wagmeister who started two games in 2013 and did not allow a goal in 188 total minutes of play. The defense will build around center back Sergio Campbell and sophomore Kwame Awuah. Incoming freshman Dylan Greenberg is one of the best recruits in the nation and should start at left back from day one. Overall this is a very, very young defense and inexperience is the only major concern for this group.

Final Projection:
The core of Coach Reid’s talented 2013 team is back and the talent across the board is extremely impressive. Outside of youth and inexperience in a few spots, there is no reason to doubt the Huskies. South Florida and Tulsa will attempt to make the AAC race interesting, but it probably will not happen. Dominating the AAC is not going to get this group prepared for the NCAA Tournament, but the non-conference slate will. By November, this team will be ready to make another major NCAA Tournament run.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.57 (55th in nation, 1st in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.69 (12, 3)
Shutout Percentage: 0.52 (10, 1)
Save Percentage:  0.726 (139, 7)

Madness 2015 MLS Draft Rankings:
#3 Cyle Larin
#26 Adria Beso


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