Sorokin, Leerman Named to MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List

ORLANDO, Fla. – Preseason accolades are beginning to roll in, and perhaps the biggest one of them all has arrived. Senior midfielder Yoni Sorokin and junior defender Yanis Leerman have been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.

The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year. This year's award was pushed back to accommodate the seasons affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Winners will be announced May 27 at the 2021 MAC Hermann Trophy Press Conference and Banquet taking place at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo.

A Knight has never won the award but have had a few players in their history named to the preseason watch list. Warren Creavalle, who just completed his ninth season in the MLS, was the first UCF player to make the list. It wasn't until 2019 when Cal Jennings and Louis Perez entered the scene as the second and third players to get the preseason nod. Jennings is the only Knight to be named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, and he did it twice, nearly winning the award in 2018 and 2019.

Sorokin and Leerman become the fourth and fifth players in program history to earn the preseason recognition. The two were already honored in 2021 by being unanimously named to The American's Preseason All-Conference Team.

Sorokin has collected his fair share of honors over the course of his first three years wearing the Black and Gold. He was named as The American's Midfielder of the Year in 2019, as well as earning three consecutive nods to the All-Conference First Team. He's also been named to the All-East Region Team three times, finding his name on the Third Team in his freshman year and on the First Team the following two.

Leerman has also compiled an impressive resume during his first two seasons of collegiate soccer. He was recognized as part of The American's All-Conference Second Team in 2018 and elevated to the First Team in 2019, where he was also named to the All-East Region.

It wouldn't come as a surprise if Sorokin and Leerman put on incredible performances in 2021. After being named to the watch list in 2019, Jennings and Perez put on a scoring display. Both were one and two in scoring on the team respectively and combined for 59 points (22 goals, 15 assists).

The MAC Hermann Trophy Watch Lists are compiled by members of the United Soccer Coaches Men's and Women's NCAA Division I All-America committees. Fifteen semifinalists will be named for both the men's and women's MAC Hermann Trophy at the end of April based on voting by Division I coaches and from those candidates, three finalists will be determined for the coveted award.

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