FORT MYERS, Fla. – On Thursday, TopDrawerSoccer.com released its list of Atlantic Sun Conference Top 20 Players to Watch. The FGCU men’s soccer team landed a league-best six players on the list, led by junior defenseman Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), who came in at No. 1 overall.
The Eagles match their total from a season ago and joining Jones on the list were seniors Josey Portillo (Metairie, La./Grace King HS), Adam Glick (Leola, Pa./Conestoga Valley HS), Cristian Raudales (Bradenton, Fla./Manatee HS), junior William Morse (Sugar Land, Texas/Clements HS) and sophomore Ryan Price (Melbourne Beach, Fla./Melbourne HS).
An A-Sun first team selection in 2010, Jones had a breakout season, leading the Eagles with 17 points off seven goals and three assists. The free-kick specialist was also an A-Sun Player of the Week selection and was twice named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s National Team of the Week and once by College Soccer News. Adding to his list of recognition, Jones was selected to the NSCAA All-South Region second team and to the ESPN Academic All-District 3 second team, chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Jones was a unanimous selection to the A-Sun preseason All-Conference team and has one assist to this point in the 2011 season.
Earning the No. 5 position on the list, Portillo finished second on team with 12 points off four goals and four assists, earning an All-Conference first team nod and a spot on the NSCAA All-South Region first team last year. A preseason third team All-American and All-Conference selection, Portillo was also named to the initial watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy given to the nation’s top collegiate player. The Metairie, La. product leads the Eagles with four points, coming on one goal and three assists this season.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year and All-Conference first team selection, Glick shutout six of the eight A-Sun opponents faced and held two non-conference foes scoreless, including then-No. 5 Ohio State, a year ago. The netminder allowed just two goals in A-Sun play, one of which came on a penalty kick, while leading the A-Sun in goals allowed (11), goals against average (0.62), save percentage (.853), shutouts (8), shutouts per game (0.47) and ranked second in saves (64). Additionally, Glick was a two-time A-Sun Defensive Player of the Week honoree last season. Entering his senior season, the business marketing and management dual major was named the league’s preseason Defensive Player of the Year, as well as, an initial candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, honoring a student athlete which demonstrates notable achievement in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. With one shutout and 13 saves thus far in 2011, Glick took the No. 6 spot on the players to watch list.
Coming in at No. 11 on the list, Raudales’ strong midfield play has been a catalyst for the Eagles’ offensive attack for four seasons. Helping the Green and Blue outscore the league opposition 26-2 a season ago, Raudales finished fourth on the team with nine points on four goals, with one game-winner, and one assist. The program’s all-time leader in points (30) earned an All-Conference second team bid last year, and has netted one goal through the opening four games this season.
Finishing second on the team last season with 12 points on six goals, including the decisive tally against the nationally-ranked Buckeyes, Price is the lone underclassman to appear on the list for the Eagles. A stellar freshman campaign saw the newcomer earn a unanimous selection to the A-Sun All-Freshmen team and an honorable mention to the Goal.com All-Freshmen squad. With one assist to date in 2011, the sophomore forward ranked as the No. 13 overall player to watch according to the media outlet.
Morse rounded out the top 20 list, coming off a sophomore campaign that featured five points on two goals and one assist, while providing one game-winning goal in the 3-1 defeat of Mercer. The Sugar Land, Texas native has made good use of his increased minutes in 2011, assisting a pair of goals through the first four contests.
FGCU (1-1-2) returns to action this weekend as it heads to the USF Tournament for a pair of contests against No. 5 UC Irvine and Saint Louis in Tampa, Fla. The Eagles take on the Anteaters on Friday at 5 p.m. before competing with the Billikens on Sunday at 2 p.m. Live stats, in-game Twitter updates (@FGCUMensSoccer and @FGCUEagles), results and recaps from both games will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com.
TopDrawerSoccer.com A-Sun Top 20 Players to Watch
1. Deion Jones (FGCU) - D
2. Jonathan Mendoza (Stetson) - MF
3. Gonzalo de Mujica (Stetson) - MF
4. Aaron Schoenfeld (ETSU) - F
5. Josey Portillo (FGCU) - MF
6. Adam Glick (FGCU) - GK
7. Itode Fubara (ETSU) - F
8. Garret Pettis (Lipscomb) - F
9. Brandon Tarr (Belmont) - F
10. Josh Shutter (Mercer) - D
11. Cristian Raudales (FGCU) - MF
12. David Geno (ETSU) - F
13. Ryan Price (FGCU) - F
14. Tobias Hottner (JU) - D
15. Ryan Coulter (ETSU) - GK
16. Nick Rodriguez (JU) - MF
17. Alesi Osorio (ETSU) - MF
18. T.J. Brown (Belmont) - D
19. Dylan Hoop (USC Upstate) - F
20. William Morse (FGCU) - F