While it may be a ‘rebuilding’ year for our men’s football team, the same cannot be said for the Men’s soccer team who has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the ACC title. This is a big complement to the Tar Heels given ACC men’s soccer is a true powerhouse in Division 1 soccer. 9 ACC teams made the NCAA tournament last year with 8 out of that 9 making it to the Sweet 16. Half of the entire Sweet 16 pool was from ACC teams, so being regarded by ACC coaches as the impending ACC champion is no small feat. Wake Forest, Clemson, UVA and Notre Dame represent the rest of the top 5.
In addition to being the preseason favorite for winning the ACC tournament, Carolina was voted as pre-season No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason poll. The ACC comes in strong yet again, lending the most teams from a single conference to the pre-season top 25 by a long shot. 6 schools are ranked in the top 10, with Carolina, Wake Forest, Clemson, Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame being ranked respectively. In addition to those teams, UVA and Virginia Tech are also ranked within the top 25.
UNC is bringing in a strong and large freshman class with no less than 11 freshman.
- John Nelson- The Ohio recruit was ranked the No. 1 player in the 2017 class by College Soccer News, and he has been a U.S. National team participant since the age of 14.
- Lucas del Rosario was ranked the No. 15 player in the 2017 class by College Soccer News, and he too has been a National Team Participant since the age of 14. He grew up in Durham, North Carolina, so is as local as they come.
- Alex Rose was a nominee for the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Year. He was called up to the U19 U.S. National team, and he is known for being one of the best goal scorer’s in the country with over 90 career academy goals. Rose too is a local product of Cary, N.C.
- Liam Williams is not a local product, hailing from Taupo, New Zealand. Williams was a member of the U20 New Zealand World Cup team.
- Mark Sales is a Dallas, TX native who was the No. 52 Top Drawer Soccer prospect for the 2017 class. He has participated in US Men’s National Team camps.
- Raul Aguilera Jr. is ranked the No. 19 player in the 2017 class by College Soccer News, and he is a NSCAA All-American. He too has participated in U-15, U-16 and U-18 U.S. National teams. Aguilera is from Sanford, Florida.
- Alec Smir is an incoming keeper and enrolled at UNC in January of 2017. He has attended U.S. Men’s National Team camps from 2015-2017, and he is from Greensboro, NC.
- Julius Momkus is a native of Vilnius, Lithuania where he was a top scorer for his club team averaging 20 goals per season.
- Mason Wittman is a Palo Alto, California native whose club coach on the San Jose Earthquakes Academy team was Chris Leitch, former 2001 UNC Men’s Soccer National Champion.
- Charlie Forecast was the Captain of the U18 Wigan athletic side and is from Melton Mowbray, England. He is a versatile athlete, having also played Rugby and Track & Field.
- Prince Agyie is a Takoma Park, MD native and has played on a variety of teams inclusive of D.C. United Academy, Barca FC, and Maryland United.
Our 2017 recruiting class is filled with players who have been on national teams, are top ranked in the country, and have a diverse set of playing backgrounds. It is not surprising UNC has been a pre-season favorite, so now we will see if this freshman class is as good on the field as they are on paper.
This post is supported by The MAIR Agency, a medicare coverage provider.