Monday, August 13, 2012
TAMPA, Fla. – PDL All-League selection Mark Sherrod of the Portland Timbers U-23s leads a large contingent of PDL players who were named today to the watch list for the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy, the NCAA Men’s Soccer equivalent to college football’s Heisman Trophy.
Sherrod, a junior at Memphis, had a standout season in the Pacific Northwest as he helped the Timbers U-23s reach the Western Conference Championships. Scoring nine goals and adding five assists, Sherrod was also a candidate for the PDL Rookie of the Year award.
Sherrod was also a semifinalist for the Hermann award last year, when he was named an NSCAA Third Team All-American after setting a new single-season scoring record for the Tigers with 19 goals. That total was good for third in the nation, trailing only Coastal Carolina’s Ashton Bennett and current Vancouver Whitecap Darren Mattocks.
Sherrod’s All-Western Conference teammate Gyasi Zardes, who had a standout season for the Ventura County Fusion, was also named to the list as he prepares for his junior season as Cal-State Bakersfield.
A semifinalist for the award a year ago, as with Sherrod, Zardes had a standout summer as he helped the Fusion reach the Western Conference Championship Game, scoring eight goals in seven games. The 2011 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Player of the Year, Zardes finished tied for fourth in the nation with 18 goals a season ago for the Roadrunners.
Fellow All-Conference selection Marcello Castro, who played a key defensive role as the Ottawa Fury won the Northeast Division and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, also earned selection as he returns to Sacred Heart for his senior season. The Brazilian defender made 15 appearances for the Fury, leading the team in minutes played, as they conceded 14 goals in 16 regular-season games.
Current Reading United standouts Steven Neumann, who had 10 points in 12 games this season, and Pedro Ribeiro, who matched Neumann with three goals and four assists this summer, will try to maintain their form in the fall, with Neumann returning for his junior season at Georgetown and Ribeiro for his junior season at Coastal Carolina.
Fairfield’s Jonny Raj, James Madison’s Paul Wyatt and Stony Brook’s Leonardo Ferndandes complete the quintet of current Reading United players on the list, with former Chicago Fire PDL player Raj returning to college after making 10 appearances this summer for United.
Former Reading standing Will Bates was also named, and will play a key role in Virginia’s title bid in the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference, while 2010 alum Eric Schoenle will be a key component in West Virginia’s defense.
2011 All-League selection Jonathan Mendoza of Orlando City U23 also makes the list, with the Stetson senior looking to lead the Hatters to the Atlantic Sun title. Mendoza, who had four goals and two assists for the Lions this summer, was also recently named the Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year.
Michigan Bucks midfielder Scott Caldwell will return to Akron after helping the Bucks win the PDL Regular Season Title, with the senior aiming to help the Zips to the College Cup after gaining experience with Gary Parsons’ side.
The Jersey Express had a pair of players named to the list, with stalwart defender Shaun Foster and midfielder Franklin Castellanos both earning nods. Foster has been a standout for the Express for the past two seasons, earning All-Eastern Conference honors in 2011 before recording a goal and two assists for the playoff side this summer. Former Express player, and Virginia Beach Piranha, Yannick Smith was also named as he returns to Old Dominion for his senior season.
Among the other players selected are former Fresno Fuego midfielder Carlos Alvarez (Connecticut), the Central Jersey Spartans’ Marc Cintron (Providence) and Ryan Clark (Monmouth), the Hamilton FC Rage’s Liam Collins (Memphis), the St. Louis Lions’ Victor Francoz (Old Dominion), the Kansas City Brass’ Coleton Henning (Furman), the Real Colorado Foxes’ Taylor Kemp (Maryland) and Kyle Venter (New Mexico), Real Maryland FC’s John Stertzer (Maryland) and the New Orleans Jesters’ Reece Wilson (Central Connecticut).