I haven't had much to say about football (or basketball) around here lately, mainly because Glenn, Hank, Alex, et al. seem to have those bases pretty well covered. Soccer, though? I'M ALL OVER THAT LIKE FAT RONALDO ON AN ENCHILADA BUFFET.
As you probably know, Kentucky soccer is famous for existing. You might not know this, but Kentucky does actually have a men's soccer team. Yes, it's true! The field used to be next to the softball field on alumni drive, where lots of you probably parked your cars when Rich Brooks still coached our hand-egg team. Anywho, here's a quick rundown of our team, star players, and how we might do this season in the rigorous (seriously) Conference USA.
COACH: Johan Cedergren 10-9-2, 4-3-1 conference. Coach Cedergren played college ball at Cincinnati and in the Swedish professional leagues, and later coached Dartmouth to two Ivy League titles before coming to UK. His first year as UK head man resulted in the Cats making it to the second round of the NCAA Championships last season.
RETURNING PLAYERS OF NOTE: Forward Tyler Riggs (7 goals last season), Keeper Jack Van Arsdale, and Midfielder Brian Celis. Cedergren also signed a noted freshman class with some serious pro prospects (e.g. top 150 player Alex Bumpus) in the mix. Sound familiar?
SEASON OUTLOOK, PER PEOPLE WHO WATCH THIS STUFF: Kentucky lost quite a bit of talent to graduation and transfers after last season, and, not unlike SEC football, the rest of the conference more or less just reloaded. The defense is expected to be a strength, and with the bulk of the midfield minutes going to newcomers, let's hope injuries don't reduce the ranks in the back four. CUSA really is a tough conference, with New Mexico and Charlotte both being top 25 teams. It appears Kentucky stands to just tread water this season, but do look out for significant contributions from newcomers and transfers to hopefully help the Cats find the back of the net more often than they did in 2012. GO SOCCER CATS!