STORRS, Conn. - For the fourth time in the last five seasons as a member of the American Athletic Conference, the UConn men's soccer program was selected to finish first in the Preseason Coaches' Poll on Tuesday morning.
The Huskies earned 45 points, including four first-place votes, to edge reigning champion Tulsa - which received 43 points and one first-place tally. USF (34 points, two first-place votes) and UCF (29 points) rounded-out the top half of the poll.
UConn was selected to finish atop the American in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as the latest poll. Head coaches from each program vote in the poll, which provides preseason standings and conference awards.
The Huskies (11-7-1, 3-3-1 American) are coming off a third-place finish in the league last season, falling in the American semifinals to Tulsa in Tampa, Fla.
Additionally, redshirt junior Dylan Greenberg (Dix Hills, N.Y.), junior Jacob Hauser-Ramsey (Seattle, Wash.) and junior Abdou Mbacke Thiam (Mbour, Senegal) all earned a place on the Preseason All-Conference Team.
Thiam, a unanimous selection, has led the Huskies in scoring in each of his first two seasons at UConn. As a sophomore in 2016, the African native notched 10 goals and four assists - good for a team-high 24 points and a nod to the All-Conference First Team.
As a freshman in 2015, Thiam netted a team-best 11 goals and 22 points - including four game-winners - on his way to being named All-Conference Second Team and All-Conference Rookie Team.
Greenberg started in all 19 matches as a redshirt sophomore, helping the UConn defense stifle opposing offensive attacks. The Huskies allowed just 0.77 goals per contest, the lowest mark of any team in the conference.
Hauser-Ramsey, who will serve as a team captain in 2017 alongside Thiam, started 18 games as a sophomore and was part of the imposing defense that held opponents to a .098 shooting percentage and 61 corner kicks (3.2 per game).
UConn started exhibition play Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J. Starters and reserves split play time, with 10 different Huskies making their debuts under 21-year head coach Ray Reid.
The Huskies, ranked No. 24 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, will host North Carolina State on Saturday night at 7 p.m. (ET) in their final exhibition match. Admission is free for all fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
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