Dallas Soccer DFW

SMU Mens Soccer Tops Conference USA Preseason Poll

Published 8/16/2007 9:10:19 PM by staff from smu press release

The SMU men's soccer team, who spent the majority of the 2006 season as the No. 1 team in the nation and is the defending C-USA champion, has been selected by the league's coaches as the preseason favorite to repeat as the 2007 Conference USA Men's Soccer Champion.

Mustang junior midfielder Bruno Guarda, the 2006 C-USA Player of the Year, and Kentucky senior Nathan Marks have been named the Preseason C-USA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.

The Mustangs posted a 17-2-4 overall record last season as they advanced to their 13th consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, and 22nd in the last 23 years. This year's Mustang squad will be led by Guarda, as well as preseason all-conference teammate Adrian Chevannes.

UAB was ranked second by the coaches after the Blazers beat or tied six of nine ranked opponents during the 2006 season to earn an at-large berth to the 2006 NCAA Championship. A pair of Blazers, junior Two-Boys Gumede and senior Dejan Jakovic, were named to the preseason team.

Defending Conference USA runner-up Kentucky finished third in the voting. The Wildcats finished the 2006 season with a 14-5-2 overall mark and won five of their last six matches. Marks, a 2006 second-team all-conference selection, anchors a veteran UK backfield.

South Carolina was selected fourth in the coaches poll and the Gamecocks will rely on preseason all-conference selections Jeff Scanella, the 2006 C-USA Freshman of the Year, and junior goalkeeper Mike Gustavson, the 2005 C-USA Freshman of the Year. Tulsa placed fifth in the voting with a pair on the preseason team in Eric Burkholder and Jose Parada.   Memphis senior midfielder Kevin Walsh, the 2006 C-USA Newcomer of the Year, and Marshall senior Jeff Lenix round out the 2007 All-Conference USA Preseason Team.

The top eight teams in the regular season earn a spot in the 2007 Conference USA Championship, which will be held November 14-18 in Birmingham, Ala. The league's 13th regular season kicks off Friday, Aug. 31.

Bruno Guarda, Jr., MF, SMU (Cedar Hill, Texas)
C-USA PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEARNathan Marks, Sr., D, Kentucky (Prospect, Ky.)
PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA TEAMEric Burkholder, Sr., MF, Tulsa (Broken Arrow, Okla.)
Adrian Chevannes, Sr., D, SMU (Fort Worth, Texas)Bruno Guarda, Jr., MF, SMU (Piricicaba, Brazil)Two-Boys Gumede, Jr., MF/F, UAB (Louisville, Ky.)Mike Gustavson, Jr., GK, South Carolina (Aiken, S.C.)Dejan Jakovic, Jr., MF/F, UAB (Etobicoke, Ontario)Jeff Lenix, Sr., D/MF, Marshall (Westerville,Ohio)Nathan Marks, Sr., D, Kentucky (Prospect, Ky.)Jose Parada, So., F/MF, Tulsa (Houston, Texas)Jeff Scannella, So., D/MF, South Carolina (Alpharetta, Ga.)Kevin Walsh, Sr., MF, Memphis (Shrule, Ireland)

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