Goal.com Preseason Top 25
TopDrawerSoccer.com Big Board
CollegeSoccerNews.com Top 40 Recruiting Classes
PHILADELPHIA - With just 23 days before the opening kick of the 2011 season for Rudy Fuller's club, Penn men's soccer has already started to make some noise around the collegiate soccer circuit. Multiple college soccer news outlets have already sent praise the Red and Blue's way, including honors for two seniors primed to make their final season in University City a memorable one and a group of newcomers looking to establish their own legacy of excellence.
With Fuller, though, the team always comes first and that is where we start. Goal.com's College Soccer Professor released his Preseason Top-25 and the Quakers rank as the lone Ivy League team in the group at No. 23. Penn's opponent on Sept. 16, Georgetown, is also on the list at No. 9 as is No. 10 Maryland, the team which eliminated Penn from the 2010 NCAA Championships in the second round.
On the individual front, two of Penn's seniors have been recognized by TopDrawerSoccer.com on its first edition of "Joe's Big Board" where college soccer expert Joe Mauceri ranks his top professional prospects. Defender Jake Levin is the highest ranked Penn player at No. 24 while midfielder Christian Barreiro comes in at No. 49. Levin, a three-time All-Ivy selection who has been a second-team each of the last two seasons, has appeared in 50 matches over his Penn career with 49 starts and has been a key central back for 25 clean sheets during his career. Barreiro, a first-team All-Ivy and third-team All-Region player in 2010 led the Quakers in assists with seven last season and had the golden goal in Penn's 1-0 win over Bucknell in the opening round of the NCAA Championships.
On the newcomer front, Penn's incoming crop of freshmen has picked up another distinction with its ranking of No. 9 on CollegeSoccerNews.com's Top-40 Recruiting Classes. The only Ivy League program listed in the Top-40, with five ACC schools and defending national champion Akron among the teams ranked ahead of the Red and Blue. Fuller is quoted in this list as referring to his eight-man Class of 2015 as "On paper, probably the most impressive group that we have recruited in my thirteen years at Penn." With four of CSN.com's Top-150 as part of the group including U.S. Under-18 keeper Max Kurtzman and forward Agyeman Botchway, the fresh faces to Fuller's club will help to replace the loss of the seven seniors from last season who were part of two NCAA-qualifying clubs.
Penn begins its season on Sept. 2 at La Salle in a Philadelphia Soccer Six matchup.