The college soccer season is just over a month away, and it could be one for the history books. Stanford’s Jordan Morris continues his meteoric rise through the national team system and has emerged as a consistent call-up for the men’s national team while still starring at the collegiate level. Georgetown’s Joshua Yaro continues to put off a professional career as he elongates an already stellar collegiate career with the Hoyas.
It’s a rare day when so much talent elects to stay in the college game, but it’s setting up for an exciting 2015 season.
Over the past few months, TopDrawerSoccer reached out to college coaches across the country to try to get their thoughts on the best players in the game for this season. TDS sent out a survey with six questions: who is the best defender, midfielder, forward, goalkeeper, player and who is your pick as the breakout player for the season. The results of the survey are anonymous.
If you are a college coach and interested in participating in the coaches survey next season, please email email@example.com.
Kentucky senior Callum Irving was the top vote getter for the best goalkeeper in college soccer. Irving recorded 10 shutouts in 2014 with a 0.98 goals against average. He made 65 saves over the course of the season. The Whitecaps Academy product has started all three years for the Wildcats. He is the reigning Conference USA Player of the Year.
There were a number of other players who also earned votes including Jeff Caldwell (Virginia), Zach Bennett (Michigan State), Andrew Tarbell (Clemson), Connor Sparrow (Creighton), Nils Leifhelm (Rhode Island), Thomas Olsen (San Diego), Evan Louro (Michigan), Paul Blanchette (Loyola Marymount), and Jake McGuire (Tulsa).
Georgetown junior Joshua Yaro collected nearly all of the votes in the best defender in college soccer category. Yaro’s earned acclaim from coaches all across the country after three stellar seasons with the Hoyas.
Other players who earned votes in the best defender category include Kyle Fisher (Clemson), John Pothast (Marquette), Tyler David (Saint Louis), Jack Huber (UNC Asheville), Brandon Vincent (Stanford), Bradley Bourgeois (Tulsa), Michael Amick (UCLA), and Danilo Markovic (Siena(m)).
The best midfielder race was wide open with a number players garnering multiple votes. In the end, Notre Dame senior Patrick Hodan was the winner with the most votes. Hodan had nine goals and three assists last fall to lead the Irish.
Other players who received votes for the best midfielder in college soccer include Tanner Thompson (Indiana), Brian Illoski (UCLA), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest), James Moberg (Washington), Paul Clowes (Clemson), Louis Bennett II (Marquette), Geoffrey Dee (Tulsa), Timo Pitter (Creighton), Adrien Perez (Loyola Marymount), Todd Wharton (Virginia), Omar Holness (North Carolina), Pablo Aguilar (Virginia), Peter Gadze (Siena(m)), and Adam Najem (Akron).
Jordan Morris was easily named the best forward in college soccer. The Stanford star scored four goals and had six assists as a sophomore. Morris proved to be one of the most dangerous players in college soccer.
Other players who earned votes as the best forward include Abu Danladi (UCLA), Darius Madison (Virginia), Diego Campos (Clemson), Fabian Herbers (Creighton), C. Nortey (Marquette), Brandon Allen (Georgetown), Michael Gamble (Wake Forest), and Alexander Tejera (Siena(m)).
In the breakout player category, no player stood out from the crowd with a dozen or so players earning about the same amount of votes. Players who were recognized include Daniel Musovski (UNLV), Christian Thierjung (California), Jason Wright (Rutgers), Corey Baird (Stanford), Oliver Shannon (Clemson), Jamie Merriam (West Virginia), Ray Saari (Tulsa), Ricardo Lopez Espin (Creighton), Tim Kubel (Louisville), Ian Svantesson (UAB), Alvaro Madrigal (Loyola Marymount), Brandon Aubrey (Notre Dame), Abu Danladi (UCLA), Amirgy Pineda* (Cal State Fullerton), Eryk Williamson* (Maryland), Tanner Thompson (Indiana), Junior Rosero (Siena(m)), Francis de Vries (Saint Francis (PA)), Faik Hadjerovic (Saint Louis), Mario Ortiz (UC Irvine), Juan Sebastian Sanchez* (Tulsa), and Geoffrey Acheampong* (UC Santa Barbara).
For the best player overall in college soccer, Jordan Morris beat out Joshua Yaro for the honor with only a few more votes than the defender. It was a large gap between second and third, but there were still other players who received votes including Abu Danladi (UCLA), Freddy Ruiz (UAB), Arun Basuljevic (Georgetown), Bradley Bourgeois (Tulsa), Fabian Herbers (Creighton), David Graydon (Saint Louis), and Michael Gamble (Wake Forest).
* freshman in the fall