Last week, Charlie Davies and Alejandro Bedoya signed new professional contracts on the same day. Seeing both BC alums with US national team experience thrust into the news was a reminder of just how much talent coach Ed Kelly's men's soccer team has produced in recent years.
Boston College pumped out even more talent this year, sending midfielder Kyle Bekker and forward Charlie Rugg to MLS.
But for all the talent and for all of the solid seasons the Eagles have produced in recent years, they've yet to break through and make a deep tournament run. Coming off a year in which they went 8-6-5 and were bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Northeastern, it's tough to see a path toward the top of the difficult ACC, probably the best soccer conference in the country - especially with several of their best players lost to graduation.
The Eagles' 2013 season kicks off on Sunday morning at 11 AM on Newton Campus with an exhibition against the same Northeastern Huskies that ended their season last year, and they're hoping their nine newcomers (including four transfers) can help the cause. Their first regular season game is two weeks from tonight at archrival BU, a matchup that has become increasingly fierce each season... maybe not BC-BU hockey fierce, but definitely one of the most intense BC-BU rivalries off of the ice.
Sophomore Derrick Boateng (great soccer name, by the way) highlights the returning offensive threats for BC. Boateng registered 3 goals, 3 assists and 36 shots in 18 games for the Eagles last season, a year in which he was named to the ACC all-freshman team. Be on the lookout for junior midfielder Diego Mendez Medina as well, who did not score last year, but did record 19 shots while playing in all 19 games for the Eagles, and was often a catalyst while on the field.
While the team is young overall, featuring just three seniors, all three seniors are defenders and should help BC be stable defensively. BC's captain, Chris Ager, is a defender from Norway (how cool is that?). Nick Corliss is another international student and senior defender, hailing from New Zealand (awesome!). Rounding out the senior class is defender Ryan Dunn of Hampton, NH (cool..... or something).
But the real hope for this year's BC team comes in the very talented class of newcomers, which includes a US youth international in Danny Zaid, and transfer Cole DeNormandie, who scored two goals and two assists for Cincinnati last season. Defender Nick Butler, a junior transfer from Richmond, is also expected to contribute for BC; he chipped in three goals last season and has been a reliable player for Richmond, playing in 33 games over two years. He's expected to get significant playing time at center back.
Forward Isaac Normesinu, last year's Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut, is the most highly-touted incoming freshman, having played in last year's high school All-American game and scored 16 goals while leading his high school team to the quarterfinals. Another interesting freshman addition is Zeke Lewis, a forward from Pembroke, MA by way of Bermuda, who actually played for the Bermudan National Team in a World Cup qualifier last season. Lewis scored 33 goals as a high school senior last year.
Closest to home: Ado Kawuba, freshman, Watertown, MA
Furthest from home: Nick Corliss, defender, Auckland, New Zealand
Countries represented: 9 (US, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Ghana, Israel, Bermuda, Guatemala)
US States represented: 5 (MA, NY, NJ, CA, NH)
August 18, 11 AM vs. Northeastern (exhibition)
August 30, 5 PM, at BU (regular season opener)
September 2, 5 PM, vs. Quinnipiac (regular season home opener)
September 7, 7 PM vs. Wake Forest (ACC opener, #TheRivalry)
September 21, 7 PM vs. Notre Dame
October 4, 7:30 PM, at Maryland (ACC preseason #1)
October 12, 7 PM vs. UNC
October 18, 7 PM vs. Duke
October 25, 6:30 PM at Clemson (televised on RSN)
November 12-17: ACC tournament