Five Knights Headline AAC Preseason Awards

American Athletic Conference Release

ORLANDO, Fla. – The American Athletic Conference released their preseason polls and award winners late Monday afternoon. Senior captain and goalkeeper Yannik Oettl was named the unanimous Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. Oettl, Yanis Leerman, Louis Perez, Yoni Sorokin and Gino Vivi were all selected unanimously to the Preseason All-Conference Team. The Knights were picked to finish second in the conference by fellow American coaches.

Oettl will be seeking his third consecutive Goalkeeper of the Year nod at season's end, as he posted stellar numbers in 2018 and 2019. He sits in seventh on UCF's career shutouts list with 12 and has collected 164 saves, also good enough for seventh. Oettl also boasts a phenomenal goals against average, entering 2020-21 with a 1.09 clip.

All five Knights on the Preseason All-Conference Team were unanimously selected to the squad. Sorokin has made the conference first team in all three of his seasons with UCF. Perez has been nominated three times as well, once to the first team and twice to the second team. Leerman has two selections in his two seasons, once on each the first and second teams. UCF represented five of nine total players voted unanimously to the Preseason All-Conference Team. The Black and Gold contributed the most players from any team to the squad, with the next closest schools each having two members named.

The Knights were picked to finish second by the conference coaches. SMU was the unanimous pick to win the conference. Behind the Black and Gold are South Florida, Memphis and Temple tied for fourth and Tulsa sitting in last. UCF was picked as back-to-back preseason favorites prior to this year and have hoisted the regular season conference title in consecutive seasons.


TeamFirst Place VotesPoints
1. SMU525
2. UCF121
3. South Florida17
4. Memphis10
6. Tulsa7

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Gabriel Costa, Jr., M, SMU
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Pierre Cayet, Sr., D, Temple
Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Yannik Oettl, Sr., UCF*
Preseason All-Conference Team
Yanis Leerman, Jr., D, UCF*
Yannik Oettl, Sr., GK, UCF*
Louis Perez, Sr., M, UCF*
Yoni Sorokin, Sr., M, UCF*
Gino Vivi, So., F, UCF*
Peter Chang, R-So., F, Memphis
Gurman Sangha, Jr., F, Memphis
Gabriel Costa, Jr., M, SMU*
Knut Ahlander, Jr., M, SMU*
Avionne Flanagan, Sr., D, USF*
Pierre Cayet, Sr., D, Temple
Sean Karani, So., F, Temple
Mitchell Cashion, Jr., D, Tulsa*

 *denotes unanimous selection

25 percent capacity of the UCF Soccer Complex will be open to fans for all home matches. There is no ticketing for the event, meaning fans can attend matches for free this season. Masks are required to be worn at all times in the venue and on campus.

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