2012 College Soccer Preview: Players To Watch

2012 College Soccer Preview: Players To Watch

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 23, 2012
  • 2012 College Soccer, Features

Wil Trapp could be a big player for Akron this year and Columbus down the road. (Photo via Akron Athletic Department)

College soccer is here for a new season! The usual suspects of Akron, UNC, Maryland and UConn are once again expected to do well for another season.

I am hoping to put out a few previews like this one over the course of the next couple days. This one centers around the players to watch out for this season. I’m always using this post as a spring board for later on this year when we get into the SuperDraft portion of the MLS offseason.

*Just as a precaution of some sorts, this list is in no way in a certain order of who is better or who will be tops of my charts come December when the mock SuperDraft lists come out**

1. Will Bates (Forward/Virginia) – Bates has been a kid we’ve been discussing for a couple seasons now. He enters his senior year at UVA and will be tasked with leading Virginia back to the promise land of college soccer – the College Cup. A knee injury slowed him down in 2011, probably a big reason why he came back for another year instead of testing the professional waters. He has the tools to be a quality player on the next level and will be a big reason why UVA does well in 2012.

2. Eric Schoenle (Defender/WVU) – As always, forgive me for hyping up a kid that goes to my alma mater. Schoenle is a quality defender, possible the best center back in college soccer today. He could have gone pro last year and been a potential Generation adidas candidate but another season under Marlon LeBlanc will definitely do him well.

3. Dillon Powers (Midfield/Notre Dame) – Another name we’ve been discussing for a couple years now. Powers has the tools to be a very quality player on the next level and has shown that on the international stage as well with the US U-20s. Entering his final season with the Irish he will have plenty to prove as he should be a lock for a first round pick next January.

4. Mamadou Doudou Diouf (Forward/UConn) – A quality attacker that could be in line for a GA deal down the road. The junior will likely not leave after this season but he’s definitely a guy that knows how to put the ball in the back of the net.

5. Thomas Schmitt (Forward/Akron) – Looking for a name on Akron’s lineup to learn? Count on this senior to be a big part of the Zip’s success this season. He needs to get more playing time and find the back of the net at a more consistent level but overall he has the tools to be a solid player on the pro level.

6. Charlie Rugg (Forward/Boston College) – The few times I was able to watch BC play last season the first player that caught my eye each time was Rugg. He’s got serious pace about him and now being a senior has the experience to lead this BC squad to the top of the ACC.

7. Taylor Kemp (Defender/Maryland) – Looking for one of the next best full backs in MLS? Look no further than to Kemp who attracted some GA interest last fall. He’s a left back and a guy that has the tools to be really special one day on the pro level in the right setting.

8. Wil Trapp (Midfielder/Akron) – Another player from the Zips that I’ve been a fan of over the last year or so. Trapp is apart of the Crew’s academy system and will likely land there either after this season or the next. He will be a major part of their title hopes as well.

9. Eric Miller (Defender/Creighton) – Yet another defender on the list, this one certainly will be the tops of many MLS club’s defensive boards. If he has a strong season there will be some GA interest in him as he does have quality experience in his background with the U-20 side.

10. Mikey Lopez (Midfielder/UNC) – He’s a midfielder that would rather hang deep to distribute up the field. I expect a big leap forward from Lopez in 2012 as he hopes to carry the Tar Heels who are reloading back to the College Cup.