Men's Soccer Opens Season at USF Friday Night

Aug. 30, 2007

Complete Men's Soccer Notes vs. USF
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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After three weeks of preseason training camp, the UCF men's soccer team opens the 2007 regular season against in-state rival USF in Tampa on Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the USF Soccer Stadium.

The Knights enter Friday's contest after playing only one of their two scheduled exhibition matches. Inclement weather caused the cancellation of the most recent contest against Jacksonville. Instead, UCF has relied on lesson learned against St. Leo on Aug. 18 and afternoon practice sessions to fine tune its game plan.

UCF returns 11 players from the 2006 squad that went 6-9-2 overall and finished 3-3-2 in Conference USA. Now under the direction of first-year head coach Bryan Cunningham, the Knights look to a trio of seniors, including forward James Georgeff (New Castle, Australia) and midfielder/back Philip Michael Hall (Clermont, Fla./Eastridge HS), to lead a young, talented squad.

Midfielder Ryan Roushandel (Atlanta, Ga./Marist School) is the top returning scorer from a year ago followed closely by Georgeff and sophomore midfielder Jamal Robinson (Fort Wayne, Ind./Fort Wayne Northrop HS). Meanwhile, freshman goalkeeper Sean Johnson (Lilburn, Ga./Brookwood HS) earned the starting nod with classmates Adam Martin (Clearwater, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic HS) and Matt Urbano (Orange Park, Fla./Fleming Island HS) as back-ups.

USF is under the guidance of sixth-year head coach George Kiefer, who led the squad to 9-6-4 overall record and an appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals. The Knights defense will look to shutdown the Bulls' top returning scorer Jordan Seabrook. The junior striker recorded six goals and three assists for 15 points a season ago.

While the Bulls have some experience on the attack, their situation in goal mirrors UCF's as they also carry three rookie goalkeepers on the roster. Freshman Daniel Restrepo earned the starting nod in all three exhibition matches, allowing one goal in three matches.

The two teams have met on the pitch 24 times since 1975 and USF holds a 17-3-4 lead in the series. During the last meeting in 2002, the Bulls took a 3-1 victory, but UCF won the last contest in Tampa by a score of 3-1 the year before.

During UCF's first year of Division I play in 1984, the Knights opened the season at home against the Bulls, resulting in a 1-1 tie.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pics.