Preseason Predictions

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – The UCF men’s soccer squad has been selected as the American Athletic Conference preseason favorites after earning four first place votes. Three Knights were also selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team.

Yoni Sorokin and Cal Jennings were unanimously selected by the league’s coaches, with senior Andreas Steineger also making the list.

"The recognition for our players and the ranking is a sign of respect from the American Athletic Conference coaches," said head coach Scott Calabrese. "We appreciate and accept that."

Calabrese enters his second season at the helm of the Knights. In one year at UCF, the Black and Gold finished runner-up in The American regular season and conference tournament after winning their last four league matches and tallying an eight-match unbeaten streak to finish the season 8-6-2.

"Our focus remains the same. We must work every day in training and continue to improve," added Calabrese.

During the 2017 season in The American, the Knights finished first in points (39), goals (13), and assists (13), while recently graduated Matias Pyysalo dominated the offensive game taking Offensive Player of the Year honors.

Jennings, who earned a spot on the all-conference team last season, was second on the team in goals scored with seven and assists with four. The forward played in all 16 games for the Black and Gold during the 2017 campaign. The junior recorded four game-winning goals after 15 shots on goal.

Sorokin and Steineger, who both earned all-conference honors in 2017, combined for four goals and 11 points last season. Sorokin netted three goals and three assists in 16 games played during his rookie season leading him to All-Region First team accolades.

Steineger, the senior defenseman, scored the Knights’ lone goal in the draw against Memphis that led to his Defensive Player of the Week honors.

The 2018 squad returns 20 Knights including all-conference honorees Hattabiou Barry, and Louis Perez.

10 home matches highlight the Knights’ 2018 schedule. Battles with Penn State, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech get the season going for UCF.

The Knights, who are receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, have one more exhibition game against FAU Saturday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. in Boca Raton before kicking off the regular season on the road with a match against Penn State on Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.

Season tickets for the 2018 campaign are on sale now. Fans looking to purchase tickets can call (407) 823-1000 or visit to secure them today. For men's soccer tickets CLICK HERE.

Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll

Team         Points (First Place Votes)

1. UCF          46 (4)
2. SMU          41 (3)
3. UConn       38 (1)
4. USF           34
5. Tulsa         26
6. Temple      19
7. Cincinnati  11
8. Memphis    9

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Garrett McLaughlin, SMU, Jr., F

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, UConn, Sr., D

Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year Christian Knight, USF, Sr., GK

Preseason All-Conference Team
Cal Jennings, UCF, Jr., F*
Yoni Sorokin, UCF, So., M*
Andreas Steineger, UCF, Sr., D
Austin Smythe, Cincinnati, R-Jr., F
Dylan Greenberg, UConn, R-Sr., D
Jacob Hauser-Ramsey, UConn, Sr., D*
Abdou Thiam, UConn, Sr., F*
Ben Roberts, Memphis, Jr., D
David Zalzman, Memphis, Sr., M
Adrian Billhardt, USF, So., M
Christian Knight, USF, Sr., GK
Emil Cuello, SMU, Sr., M
Garrett McLaughlin, SMU, Jr., F*

*Denotes unanimous selection