Armchair Analyst: Hermann semifinalist list missing two big names

There has been no one clearly dominant player in college soccer this year. There's actually been a bunch of them.

And after a somewhat (OK, mostly) laughable preseason Hermann Trophy watch list, the NSCAA got things largely right with their 15-strong roll call of semifinalists.

Of course, the two guys they missed — CSU Bakersfield's Gyasi Zardes and Indiana University's Eriq Zavaleta — are Nos. 1 and 3 on our Big Board, and both sure-fire pros as soon as they decide to put pen to paper. Zardes is an LA Galaxy Academy product who reportedly turned down a Homegrown contract last year, and led the Roadrunners with 15 goals and nine assists as a redshirt junior. Zavaleta, a true sophomore, has 17 goals and three assists, and has led the Hoosiers into the NCAA Tournament's final eight.

So yeah, a couple of big names missing from the list, which is below:

Name Class Position School
Carlos Alvarez Sr. M UConn
Don Anding Sr. F Northwestern
Ashton Bennett Sr. F Coastal Carolina
Scott Caldwell Sr. M Akron
Mamadou Doudou Diouf Jr. F UConn
Andrew Farrell Jr. D Louisville
Ryan Finley Sr. F Notre Dame
Jose Gomez Sr. M Creighton
Daniel Haber Jr.  F Cornell
Robbie Kristo So. F St. Louis
Patrick Mullins Jr. F Maryland
Steve Neumann Jr. F Georgetown
Dillon Powers Sr. M Notre Dame
Devon Sandoval Sr. F New Mexico
Chris Thomas Sr. F Elon

Note the number of seniors, which speaks well of the chances for a third consecutive strong SuperDraft. I can't pretend to have watched as much college soccer this year as guys like Daniel Robertson, who provides our MLS on Campus coverage, and Travis Clark, who does great work for, but I've seen my fair share, and most of these guys have a future. I particularly like Alvarez and Diouf, because I am a UConn homer, and Sandoval, because he will be the next Steven Lenhart. Seriously, you will either love or hate him.

Odds-on favorite at this point? Probably Notre Dame's Finley, who scored 21 goals and added four assists for the Fighting Irish. All as a sub, which either makes it way more impressive or way more confusing.

Notre Dame, by the way, lost to Indiana last weekend in the Round of 16. Zavaleta scored the game-winner.

Some things are better than trophies.


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