|School - St. John's|
|Conference - Big East|
|Coach - Dr Dave Masur - (24th Season)|
|Background - One of the most storied programs in college soccer history, St. John’s University, will look to make a statement in 2014. The Johnnies finished 2013 with an 11-7-2 record along with another NCAA tournament bid, their 20th in program history. After missing out on the Big East tournament, the team snuck into the NCAA tournament where they upset Delaware on the road in the first round before falling to college cup semi finalist Virginia in the second round. The Dr. Dave Masur led squad returns five starters including First Team All-Big East honoree, Tim Parker. The team loses a couple key pieces in seniors and 2nd Team All- Big East honorees, Rafael Diaz (Orlando City) and Jimmy Mulligan (NY Cosmos) who have moved on to the professional ranks. Another major loss for the 15-time Big East Champions, is this past season’s leading scorer, Sean Sepe (6g, 3a) as he’s transferred to Akron University.|
Offense - Up front, St. John’s will have to score goals by committee as they lose four of the top five leaders in points. The main striker should be RS Senior Danny Herrera (3g, 2a), a crafty forward with a wicked long-range shot. There are many options to play alongside Herrera including RS Senior Marco Bordon (1g, 9 starts), a Brazilian defender converted to a forward. Forwards RS junior Josh Godec (1g, 9 starts) and sophomore Dela Agbotse are both players that could make an impact off the bench.
The midfield is led by 5’6” RS Junior Cody Albrecht, a hard working defensive minded playmaker. With the losses of Penn State transfer Brandon Savino (2g, 1a), sophomore Danny Bedoya (1g, 4a), senior Jamie Thomas (2 assists, 20 starts) and senior Jimmy Mulligan (4g, 2a), the midfield positions are wide open. Jordan Rouse, a versatile and athletic player, capable of playing in numerous positions is definitely an option to play on the wings (2 goals, 16 starts). Rouse will find his way into the lineup regardless; it’s just a matter of where he’ll fit in best. Freshman Anthony Viteri endured a great Development Academy season and if he continues his form, he should find his way into the starting eleven as well.
|Defense - All successful St. John’s teams in the past have been extremely fit and great defensively and this years’ squad should be no different. Of the team’s five returning starters three are defenders with sophomore left back Jean Leveille (13 starts), plus the center back duo of senior Tim Parker (1g, 1a) and junior Gabriel Camara (1g, 13 starts) all returning. The dynamic pair of Camara and Parker form one of the toughest center back combos in the NCAA. 2012 NSCAA Junior College Player of the Year, Casey Osborne (10 starts) missed half of last year with a knee injury, but should come back this year and make an immediate impact. Parker, a 2013 and 2014 preseason Hermann trophy watch list candidate is arguably one of the best center backs in college soccer and will be the leader for the strong back line.|
Newcomers - Three and A Half Star Recruiting Class
Although, the Johnnies incoming freshmen class isn’t among the top 40 by College Soccer News, they still have enough talent to make an impact. The coaching staff has brought in three USSDA midfielders in Ben Roth (PDA), Anthony Viteri (NY Red Bulls), and Andrew Mannon (PA Classics) plus Penn Fusion outside back, Anthony Daniele. Roth, a 5’8” creative midfielder has captained his PDA side for seven years winning two state cups along the way. Viteri, a midfielder capable of playing outside back as well, is equal with both feet and has quite an engine. Mannon is a wide midfielder with good decision making while Daniele is a quick 5’9” outside back/midfielder. Coach Masur has been known to bring in plenty of transfers and this year he will bring in a couple along with international players from Italy, New Zealand, France, and England.
|Prognosis for 2014 - Per usual, St. John’s plays a tough schedule as nearly half of their games are against teams that made the NCAA tournament last year, four of which are in the NSCAA preseason top 25. The Johnnies find themselves entering the 2014 season unranked, but do not be surprised to see them climb the ladder as the season progresses. This year’s squad may not have the big name players of some other recent St. John’s squads, but they’re arguably deeper than many of the recent teams. This fit workmanlike team should battle in the competitive Big East conference and look to make their first deep run (past 2nd round) in the NCAA tournament since 2008.|