PROVIDENCE, R.I. - UConn men's soccer senior defender Sergio Campbell (Clarendon, Jamaica) was tabbed as the American Athletic Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Monday for the No. 8 Huskies, who were selected as a unanimous choice favorite to win the 2014 conference men's soccer title.
Campbell, who has started all 45 games for Connecticut in the last two seasons, was also selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team along with seniors Adria Beso Marco (Lleida, Spain) and Allando Matheson (North York, Ontario) and sophomore forward Cyle Larin (Brampton, Ontario). The Connecticut center back earned All-Conference honors last year after helping UConn tally 12 shutouts and finish 12th among Division I schools in goals against average (0.69).
Beso Marco and Larin were both named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List earlier this month, while Matheson finished second on the team in goals (7) and points (17) in 2013. Larin led all players with 31 points on 14 goals and three assists last year, and Beso Marco notched a team-high 10 assists for a Husky team that earned its 17th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
UConn was the only team to finish conference play without a loss (4-0-4) last season, and the Huskies reached the inaugural American Athletic Conference Men's Soccer Championship, where they fell to South Florida in penalty kicks. Connecticut received seven of eight first-place votes and 56 total points in the Preseason Coaches Poll, with the other first-place vote going to the Bulls. Conference newcomer Tulsa (41) and Central Florida (39) rounded out the top four in the poll.
The Huskies, who earned a 0-0 draw in their preseason opener at home against Quinnipiac last night, play one more preseason match against Boston College (Aug. 23) before opening the regular season vs. Coastal Carolina on Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
Preseason Coaches' Poll Place School Points First-Place Votes 1. UConn 56 7 2. USF 48 1 3. Tulsa 41 4. UCF 39 5. Temple 33 6. SMU 27 7. Memphis 21 8. Cincinnati 15
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Romario Williams, UCF, Jr., F
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Sergio Campbell, UConn, Sr., D
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Dan Scheck, Temple, Sr.
Preseason All-Conference Team GK - Dan Scheck, Temple, Sr. B - Richardo Israel, Cincinnati, Jr. B - Sergio Campbell, UConn, Sr.* B - Robert Sagel, Temple, So. B - Bradley Bourgeois, Tulsa, Jr. M - Adria Beso, UConn, Sr.* M - Lindo Mfeka, USF, So. M - Jared Martinelli, Temple, Jr. M - Akeil Barrett, Tulsa, Sr. F - Cyle Larin, UConn, So.* F - Allando Matheson, UConn F - Romario Williams, UCF, Jr.* F - Edwin Moalosi, USF, Sr. [*] - denotes unanimous selection