CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Mid-American Conference announced Tuesday that the Akron Zips have been selected to repeat for the ninth consecutive year as the 2013 regular season champions in men’s soccer as voted on by the seven head coaches in the league. In addition, Akron has also been chosen to repeat as 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament champions, receiving five votes.
Akron comes into 2013 with a whole new look following the departure of head coach Caleb Porter and six first team All-MAC members from 2012. Jared Embick will move into the lead roll for the Zips after serving as an assistant under Porter since 2007.
On the field, Reinaldo Brenes is the Zips lone returning player from the 2012 All-MAC first team. Brenes has been named to the 31-member Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy watch list, as well as, the 2013 Men’s Soccer Senior CLASS Award candidates list. Joining Brenes are 2012 second team members Bryan Gallego, Aodhan Quinn and Eric Stevenson.
West Virginia was picked to finish second in the MAC in 2013 and received the final two votes for tournament champions come November. Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc leads the Mountaineers into 2013 with only two seniors on a very young squad that consists of 18 freshman and sophomores. Junior forward Andrew Bevin is the only returning Mountaineer of the 2012 All-MAC honorees. Bevin received second team honors a season ago.
2012 runner-up, Northern Illinois, was picked to finish third in 2013 with six returning starters for fifth year head coach Eric Luzzi.
Bowling Green was selected to finish as the number four seed in 2013 which would give the Falcons, head coach Eric Nichols, 2012 All-MAC first team member Danny Baraldi and Co-Newcomer of the Year Anthony Grant.
Buffalo and Western Michigan were tabbed to finish fifth and sixth respectfully and Hartwick was picked to round-out the MAC in seventh.
The 2013 men’s soccer season begins Friday, August 30th when all seven MAC teams take the pitch in non-conference action.
The season will come to a close in November when the tournament’s number one seed hosts the 2013 MAC Championship November 15th and 17th.
2013 Mid-American Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Akron (6 first place votes)
2. West Virginia (1)
3. Northern Illinois
4. Bowling Green
6. Western Michigan
Predicted MAC Tournament Champion:
West Virginia (2)