FORT MYERS, Fla. – Looking to defend its back-to-back Atlantic Sun regular season championships and its first ever A-Sun Tournament championship, the FGCU men’s soccer team officially began the 2012 season on Thursday morning as it returned to the field for its first fall practice at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
Welcoming back 15 players from last year’s championship squad while ushering in 12 newcomers, the Green and Blue began their preparation for the season opener at No. 10 Akron on August 24 with a 7:30 a.m. training session. The Eagles return to the field for evening training session at 6 p.m.
With three first-place votes, the Green and Blue were predicted to finish second in the standings behind 2011 A-Sun Tournament runner-up ETSU, which received the remaining six votes. Returning from the program’s most historic season to date, senior midfielder Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS), sophomore forward Xavier Silva (Boca Raton, Fla./ North Broward Preparatory School) and sophomore defender Federico Crespo (Heredia, Costa Rica/St. Paul College/Universidad Latina) were each named to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference team.
Finishing last season with a 12-6-2 overall record, the Eagles entered the 2011 A-Sun Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed after posting a 7-1 mark in league action. Having already secured back-to-back regular season championships, the Green and Blue went on to claim their first-ever A-Sun Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth in the program’s first season of eligibility. The Eagles’ opener against the Zips is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Akron, Ohio, with the 2012 home opener against Bucknell slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sept. 2 at the FGCU Soccer Complex.