Leerman, Vivi on MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List

ORLANDO, Fla. – College soccer's most prestigious individual award, the MAC Hermann Trophy, has released their watch list for the 2021 season. Senior Yanis Leerman and Junior Gino Vivi both land on the watch list. Leerman is the first Knight to be named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list multiple times.

The Hermann Trophy, presented annually by the Missouri Athletic Club, is the nation's highest individual honor recognizing the nation's National Player of the Year. Division I coaches who are members of the United Soccer Coaches College Services program vote for the award. Fifteen players are named Hermann Trophy semifinalists on Nov. 30 following United Soccer Coaches Division I All-America voting after the regular season. A final round of voting names three finalists on Dec. 15. The 2021 winner is announced on Jan. 7, 2022, in a ceremony at the historic 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.

Vivi becomes the sixth Knight to land on the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list while Leerman becomes the first Knight to repeat on the list. Last season saw Leerman and Yoni Sorokin land on the watch list, but neither were named a semifinalist.

Vivi and Leerman have collected a haul of awards during their time as a Knight. Leerman was most recently named as an All-American, landing on the Second Team this past season. After being named as the Ameican Athletic Conference's Rookie of the Year in 2019, Vivi earned a spot on the All-Conference squad in 2020-21 and was named to the All-East Region First Team as well. Both were named to this season's Preseason All-Conference Team and Leerman was named as the conference's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

It wouldn't come as a surprise if Vivi and Leerman put on incredible performances in 2021. The previous handful of Knights have turned in great seasons after being named to the watch list. Leerman obviously had an outstanding season on the back line, earning an All-American nod during the 2020-21 campaign. Sorokin tallied four goals, all of them coming in consecutive matches. 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 Knights return to action on Sunday as they host UNF at the UCF Soccer Complex at 6 p.m.

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