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2015 Syracuse Men's Soccer Season Preview: Recap and Defense

Men's Soccer is heading back to action this fall. They play soccer, or for many of them, football. They're successful and they're on the Hill. Let's take a look at a bit of what their campaign will look like moving forward over these next few posts.

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Last time, on Syracuse Orange Men's Soccer...

2014 was a banner year for the Syracuse Orange Men's Soccer program. Coach Ian McIntyre, in his fourth year at the helm, put in his greatest season to date. The team achieved the top spot in the polls for a few weeks, sent three players to the American professional ranks, including two first-round draft picks - one of which was a consensus All-American goalkeeper and USMNT call up - and finished the season off with another NCAA berth and a 16-4-1 overall record, the best in school history.

The Orange will have a difficult time finding out how to replace the talent that has left the squad over the past months between graduations, transfers and those turning professional. It seems like Coach McIntyre and the staff have brought in a quality recruiting class, including a good mix of experience from JuCo and talented youth in the form of true freshmen.

Firstly in this year's preview we're looking to run down the keepers and defense

Keepers:

Henrick Hilpert -

The German import received his first career start this week in a preseason match against Georgetown. He's a long, quality keeper from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's academy and the Eintracht Braunschweig U19 and reserves. He'll most likely be the starter and will see the majority of the minutes this coming season. A solid all around keeper that will have tough shoes to fill. (Preview from when he signed here)

Austin Aviza -

The true freshman will be a good push behind Hilpert and should provide some quality depth. He's a product of the New England Revolution academy system and spent some time at Bradenton. He's a quality prospect and should hold down the number two spot, pushing for the starting minutes.

Pat Castle -

The sophomore backup has had the bad luck of coming in behind Alex Bono only to be recruited under with our current class. He'll provide quality depth at the position.

Returning Defense:

Oyvind Alseth - #2 -

Alseth will be entering his third year as a starter for the Orange. The stalwart and versatile player should be able to make a top contribution from either R(W)B where he played his freshman year, or more centrally next to Jusso Pasanen as he did last season. Overall one of the first names on the team sheet and un-droppable.

Liam Callahan - #4 -

The Buffalo native stepped right into a starting wing back spot last year opposite Alseth and immediately proved his worth. A lot depends on the system that Coach McIntyre will trot out. If we're looking at three at the back, Callahan will function on the outside of midfield as a shuttling wing back. If we're four at the back, he's our starting left back.

Louis Cross - #5 -

From Blackpool's youth system to Akron and on to Syracuse, Cross has become a standout member of this squad and pretty well irreplaceable at the back. He's pretty well going to be penciled in as a starting center back at this point and should provide a shield for the inexperienced (at the college level) keepers.

Trevor Alexander - #26 -

Alexander got some run last year in a few games. He likely won't see much PT, but will provide a solid veteran presence and depth to the squad.

Brandon Albert - #28 -

Two seasons ago, Albert was the man who filled in for the injured Skylar Thomas. He did a bang up job, but couldn't break into the rotation last year. I'd assume he's the "next man in" this season and should see some minutes.

Spencer Kopko - #29 -

A sophomore from Ithaca, Kopko will provide some depth to the back three this year. He's a center back that can spell any of the backline if need be.


Potential 3-5-2 Lineup:

44_Preseason


Potential 4 at the Back:

352_Preseason


New Blood:

The new boys can be seen in more detail in my recruiting recaps here and here.

Oskar Sewerin - #3 -

Sewerin is a transfer from the University of New Haven who should slot in the 3-5-2 as an RCB. The junior has been getting some run in the preseason and should be in the rotation when the season starts. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, he continues the Scandinavian consistency of the Syracuse recruiting classes under McIntyre.

Gabriel Menescal - #13 -

A JUCO transfer out of Monroe College, I haven't been able to track much down about Gabriel. I'll continue to monitor the situation and see where he lands moving forward.

Miles Robinson - #19 -

Getting starts in all three preseason matches, Robinson looks to make an impact out of the gates for the Orange. He and fellow Freshman Kamal Miller are the two new recruits slotting into that back three as of the UConn friendly.

Kamal Miller - #20 -

Miller has started the last of the three preseason matches and looks to avoid relinquishing that spot as the season progresses. It's odd to see two freshman back there when we're used to having such an experienced back line these last few years.

Chris Gomez - #21 -

Out of the Philadelphia Union Academy, he's the top rated recruit out of this class and will definitely see some time this year. He's ideal in the Murrell role, pushing forward and joining the attack from the back.

Stay tuned for a look at the rest of the squad as well as schedule breakdown.