FORT MYERS, Fla. – Just a week away from the 2012 season opener at No. 6 Akron, the FGCU men’s soccer team learned that four players on the squad had been named to the Atlantic Sun Conference Top 20 Players to Watch List, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
FGCU held three of the top 10 spots, as sophomore forward Xavier Silva (Boca Raton, Fla./North Broward Preparatory School) was ranked No. 4, while senior midfielder Deion Jones (Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS) and sophomore defender Federico Crespo (Heredia, Costa Rica/St. Paul College/Universidad Latina) were slotted No. 7 and No. 10, respectively. Rounding out the list for the Green and Blue, redshirt sophomore Donovan Henry (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas HS) was positioned No. 14 in the league.
The four FGCU players matched Stetson for second most in the conference, while ETSU claimed a league-best seven players on the list.
Named the 2011 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Silva led the team with 15 points on six goals and three assists. Earning A-Sun All-Conference second team and All-Freshmen team recognition, the Boca Raton, Fla. product recorded a team-best four game-winning goals. Instrumental in the postseason success, Silva assisted the opening goal and netted the eventual game-winner in the A-Sun Tournament semifinal victory over Mercer, earning All-Tournament team honors. Entering the 2012 season, Silva was also selected to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference squad.
Also an A-Sun Preseason All-Conference pick, Jones enters his senior season ranked fifth all-time in points (27), while third in goals (9), game-winners (3) and assists (9). The Tampa, Fla. product has twice been named to the A-Sun All-Conference first team (2010, 2011). In 2011, he finished with eight points on one goal and six assists - a total which ranked second on the team and was good for fifth in the A-Sun. Jones is a three-time A-Sun All-Academic honoree and was named to the inaugural A-Sun Academic All-Conference team in 2011. In a breakout sophomore season on the defensive backline, Jones set program single-season records for points (17) and goals (7).
Starting all 20 games last year on defense as a freshman, Crespo was selected to the A-Sun All-Freshmen team a season ago. The Heredia, Costa Rica native contributed to a backline effort which held three opponents scoreless, including one in A-Sun play, and helped FGCU to an 18-8 goal differential in league action. In postseason action, Crespo earned his first collegiate point by assisting Silva’s game-winning goal in the A-Sun Tournament semifinal victory over Mercer. Additionally, the second-year player was named to the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference team entering 2012.
Returning to the pitch following an injury last season, Henry will look to continue the playmaking ability he displayed in his freshman campaign in 2010. Helping the Eagles finish with a perfect 9-0 league record in the 2010 championship season, the Parkland, Fla. product finished fourth on the team with seven points, coming off one game-winning goal and five assists. In the final contest of the year, Henry established a new program record with three assists in a 6-0 rout of UNF at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
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.
Welcoming back 15 players from last year’s championship squad, the Eagles open the season with a trip to 2010 National Champion No. 6 Akron on August 24 at 7:30 p.m. The 2012 home opener with Bucknell is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Sunday, Sept. 2 at the FGCU Soccer Complex.
FGCU season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. Tickets are also available at www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. An adult ticket is $30, while a youth (3-12 years) ticket is $15. Single game tickets can also be bought at $6 for adults and $3 for youth. Groups of 10+ can get in for $3 a person. FGCU students and faculty/staff get in free with their student ID.
New to the 2012 season, FGCU Athletics is excited to offer the Half-Price Sunday Soccer Punch Pass for both adults and youths. This offer is available now through the ticket office and will be available through September 16. They will also be on sale at the ticket office on soccer gamedays.
TopDrawerSoccer.com Atlantic Sun Top 20 Players to Watch
1. Jonathan Mendoza – Midfielder – Stetson
2. Ryan Coulter – Goalkeeper – ETSU
3. Luis Ocejo – Midfielder – Stetson
4. Xavier Silva – Forward – FGCU
5. Itode Fubara – Forward - ETSU
6. David Geno – Forward – ETSU
7. Deion Jones – Defender – FGCU
8. Kai Eckenrode – Midfielder – Stetson
9. Blaike Woodruff – Midfielder – ETSU
10. Federico Crespo – Defender – FGCU
11. Josh Shutter – Defender – Mercer
12. John Kadane – Defender - USC Upstate
13. Simon Schroettle – Defender – ETSU
14. Donovan Henry – Forward – FGCU
15. Franck Doumbe – Midfielder – ETSU
16. JJ Lofthouse-Smith – Midfielder – Stetson
17. Theo Yang – Midfielder – ETSU
18. Will Betts – Midfielder – Mercer
19. Omar Djabi – Defender – Lipscomb
20. Ehjayson Henry – Forward – Mercer