Wednesday, August 21, 2013
The Watch List for the 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy was announced on Tuesday afternoon, with 21 PDL alumni among the 34 players to watch this fall as the NCAA Division I season kicks off. Leading the way was 2012 award winner Patrick Mullins of the New Orleans Jesters, with 2012 PDL Defender of the Year Christian Ibeagha of the Carolina Dynamo and Reading United standout Steve Neumann also among the leading contenders for this year’s award.
Mullins claimed the most prestigious award in NCAA Division I men’s soccer last season after a strong summer for the Jesters, where he scored seven goals and added an assist in 12 appearances. He went on to have an outstanding season for the Terrapins, where he led the team with 17 goals and 10 assists in 24 games.
Neumann is one of four current or former Reading United players to be named to the watch list, with the Georgetown standout coming off another solid summer in the PDL. Neumann has scored six goals and recorded six assists in 20 appearances for Reading in the past two regular seasons, helping his side reach the postseason both times. Standout Reading goalkeeper John McCarthy, a 2012 All-Conference selection when with the Ocean City Nor’easters, Patrick Slogic and Pedro Ribeiro were also named to the watch list.
Coming off his Defender of the Year award in 2012, Ibeagha had another solid season for the Dynamo this summer ahead of his return to Duke. The powerful center back helped lead one of the toughest defenses in the PDL as the Dynamo conceded only nine goals in 14 games. He is joined on the watch list by former Dynamo teammate Boyd Okwuonu, also a former member of the U.S. U20 national team, who played a key role in the club reaching the 2012 PDL Championship Game.
A number of players on the list spent this past summer in the PDL’s Northwest Division, with Victoria Highlanders defender Matt Polster, Portland Timbers U-23s forwards Mark Sherrod and Reinaldo Brenes, Sounders FC U-23 forward David Geno and Washington Crossfire goalkeeper Spencer Richey all being named to the list.
Other notables include the Real Colorado Foxes’ Kyle Venter, who returns to New Mexico as the No. 5-ranked player in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer.com, and K-W United’s Liam Collins, who was a stalwart in midfield ahead of his return to Memphis this fall.