College Soccer Preview: Eight seniors to watch in 2011
The opening of the men’s college soccer season on Friday gives fans the first chance to get a glimpse of some of the players who could be suiting up in MLS next year.
Here’s a look at eight seniors who will be in the mix during next January’s SuperDraft:
Ethan Finlay (F), Creighton
One of the top seniors in this year’s class, a minor injury has limited Finlay during the preseason. An out-and-out goalscorer with good pace, with another strong season the Wisconsin native is going to be a hot commodity in January.
Austin Berry (D), Louisville
A commanding physical presence on the back line, Berry is a central defender who looks like he could be very capable in MLS. Has the size and athleticism to provide a danger on set pieces as well.
Tony Cascio (M/F), Connecticut
Fresh off a strong season a year ago (10 goals and six assists), Cascio will look to lead the Huskies to postseason success in the final year. A product of Real Salt Lake’s Arizona Academy, Cascio is eligible to be a Home Grown signing.
Luke Holmes (M), Akron
A transfer from NAIA program Notre Dame College, Holmes will get an abbreviated year to showcase his skills under Caleb Porter in Akron. The native of Oldham, England, is a creative attacking midfielder who scored goals in bunches at the lower level of college.
Colin Rolfe (F), Louisville
The prolific striker (pictured above) took a step forward his junior season, refining his game to become a more all-around player. With good size and decent speed, a strong senior season could push him into SuperDraft first-round consideration next year.
Matt Hedges (D), North Carolina
Hedges enjoyed a breakout season last fall at Butler, and took advantage of thinning ranks to make the step up to UNC for the fall season. He has good size (6-foot-4, 185 pounds) and the tools to make an impact in MLS next year.
Eder Arreola (M/F), UCLA
The versatile attacker played his way onto the US Under-20 qualifying team earlier this year. He scored four goals and had seven assists last year, and had a trial this summer with clubs in Mexico — a possible destination after his senior year.
Brian Ownby (F), Virginia
A former US Under-20 international who scored at the U-20 World Cup in 2009, Ownby has battled through two injury-plagued seasons since. He’ll look to put those problems behind him and showcase his goal scoring and speed this fall.
Future prospects: Dillon Powers (M), Notre Dame; Kelyn Rowe (M), UCLA; Darren Mattocks (F), Akron; Andrew Wenger (F), Duke; Will Bates (F), Virginia; Sam Garza (F), UC Santa Barbara.