The Maryland men’s soccer team beings its 2018 season with a trip to Seattle to face off with No. 24 Washington. The game will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.
Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski begins his 26th season in charge of the Terps, and is one of just nine coaches at the Division I level to notch 400 wins. Cirovski has captured two national championships (2005, 2008) and Maryland returns second-team All-Big Ten centerback Donovan Pines, who leads a talented and experienced backline. Pines will pair with German junior Johannes Bergmann while senior captain Chase Gasper, who transferred from UCLA prior to the 2017 season, will feature at left back. Maryland went unbeaten when those three played in the backline last season. The Terps could play the experienced Andrew Samuels or sophomore Ben Di Rosa at right back.
— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) August 20, 2018
Maryland’s back four is backed up by standout redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair. A Canadian Youth International, St. Clair was sensational in his first season as the fulltime starter in 2017 and was named one of the top-10 keepers in the country by Top Drawer Soccer heading into 2018.
Samuels could also slot nicely into Maryland’s midfield, as the senior Floridian has flourished in the defensive midfield role throughout his career. Senior captain Amar Sejdic, a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2016, will look to return to form in his final season in College Park. Junior Eli Crognale, brother of former Maryland All-American and current Columbus Crew center back Alex Crognale, is also an option to start in the center of midfield.
Senior Sebastian Elney leads a talented Maryland attacking force. A former US Youth National teamer, Elney will slide back from a central forward role to play as a more attacking midfielder this season. Sophomore Eric Matzelevich will play in front of Elney while wingers Paul Bin and DJ Reeves gives the Terps a pair of speedy wide players that have the ability to put the ball in the back of the net.
Cirovski and his staff brought in another talented recruiting class this season, which features a number of talented attacking options. Former Washington Post All-Metro Player of the Year Justin Gielen, a bulldog center forward leads the group that features slick outside players in New York City FC product Vinicius Lansade and FC Dallas product Brayan Padilla. Paris native William James Herve will also be counted on to bring a spark off the bench.
Slovakian Youth National Teamer Richard Bedats will provide depth to Maryland’s midfield group, while local standouts Nick Richardson and Brett St. Martin provide reenforcements in defense. Former Atlanta United standout Russell Shealy looks to be St. Clair’s backup between the sticks.
Where To Watch
Maryland will have at least seven contests broadcast on national television, including five on the Big Ten Network. Maryland’s first nationally televised contest of the fall will make history as the Terps take on defending national champions Stanford live on FS1 (Aug. 31, 6 p.m.). The match will be the first Big Ten Olympic sport broadcast on FS1.
— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) August 23, 2018
The Terps are featured five more times on BTN throughout the fall, including a marquee non-conference match-up with UCLA (Sept. 7, 7 p.m.) and Big Ten contests vs. Wisconsin (Sept. 21, 7 p.m.), vs. Michigan State (Oct. 5, 7 p.m.), vs. Penn State (Oct. 23, 6 p.m.) and at Michigan (Oct. 28, 4 p.m.). Maryland’s seven national broadcasts lead all men’s soccer programs in the conference.
All other home matches at Ludwig Field will be streamed live on BTN2Go.
Three Terps to Watch
Sejdic, a 2016 first-team All-Big Ten selection, is Maryland’s top returning assist man with four. Pines was a second-team All-Big Ten selection a season ago after being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in his debut campaign.
Maryland To Display Top Tier Recruiting Class
Top Drawer Soccer named Maryland’s incoming recruiting class the 12th best in the nation, continuing the program’s legacy of top rated classes. Frisco native Brayan Padilla (FC Dallas), the 58th ranked player in TDS’ rankings headlines the class with fellow ranked recruit Russell Shealy (102, Atlanta United) and MLS academy product Vinicius Lansade. All three have had success in the US Soccer Development Academy, with Lansade leading NYCFC to a U-19/18 title this year.
— Maryland Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) August 19, 2018
The trio from Celtic are proven winners, with St. Martin helping the club win a US Youth Soccer U-19 National Championship prior to Richardson and Gielen leading the outfit to a U-18 crown.
Maryland’s class is completed by a pair of international players; Slovakia native Richard Bedats and France native William James Herve. Bedats has a distinguished youth pedigree, captaining Slovakian youth sides from the U-15 to U-19 level. He chose the Terps over a number of national bluebloods including North Carolina, Indiana and Wake Forest.
O’ Captain My Captain
Dayne St. Clair, Amar Sejdic and Chase Gasper are the captains of this year’s squad. St. Clair and Sejdic are first-time captains while Gasper was named a captain midway through the 2017 season after transferring to Maryland from UCLA.
-Via Maryland Athletics