The Florida Southern College men's soccer team is poised for a strong 2019 season, which will begin on Friday, September 6. With a full slate of 15 contests, Head Coach Jason Carlson is excited about the upcoming campaign
The sixth leader in the program's 63-year history, Carlson is optimistic about this season's outlook. "A lot of good returning players from last year's team. You always want the guys to pick up where they left off.
Eighteen players return from last season's 12-5 team, while 13 new faces grace the roster.
Five of the team's top six scorers from a year ago return, affording Coach Carlson several options in the attack zone. Junior James Meehan leads the way for the Mocs, after earning USL All-South Region Second Team honors a year ago. The team's leading scorer with nine goals in 2019, he provided the eventual game-winning goal four times. Paired with two assists, his 20 points led the team. Senior Jacob Ling-Vannerus showed signs of offensive brilliance in a limited role last season, recording four goals in four games played. Junior Julian Jordan-Canosa is a handful in the front, netting three goals with two assists last season. Senior Ian McIntosh added eight points, while junior Martin Wall added four points in just six games.
In the midfield, there is strength in numbers with lots of competition. Christoph Gums returns for his junior season, after earning All-Region laurels last year. The team's second leading scorer a year ago with five goals and eight assists, the center midfielder will be called upon to provide more offense this year. Graduate student Georg Michajlov has the ability to push forward when needed, and recorded three assists in a four game stretch a year ago. Junior Alberto Diaz is a strong defensive midfielder, who showed glimpses of offensive ability, tallying one goal with two assists a year ago. Seniors Anton Lindbom and Eneko Lasheras are experienced starters who can play both sides of the field, and will compete with juniors Edu Capote, Taylor Vincent, and Dylan Hansan. Several newcomers will learn the system, and vie for playing time.
In the back, a strong group of experienced veterans will anchor the defense. Leading the way will be senior centerback Foster Appiah, who was All-Region a year ago. His ability to direct the defense and provide support is vital to the success of this year's team. Classmate Claus Lehland will also anchor the back line, providing support on the left side. Junior transfer Duvan Erazo looks to make an immediate impact, with juniors Jake Starling and Henry Phillips pushing for a vital starting spot. Sophomore Will Draper gained experience in two games last year, and will look to see more of the pitch. Joining the group are three newcomers in sophomore Mason Comer, a Division I transfer, and freshmen twins Ryan and Jack Duffey.
The last line of defense will feature three newcomers to the Mocs. The triumvirate will openly compete for playing time throughout the year, with each expected to see meaningful minutes. Graduate student Philip Faderl comes to Southern from German, and will be joined by a pair of freshmen, Hunter Cole and AJ Pearce.
The Mocs will face a challenging schedule in 2019. Predicted to finish sixth in the Sunshine State Conference, as voted upon by the head coaches in the league, the Mocs will face stiff competition. Five opponents are ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 preseason rankings, including three SSC foes. After a season-opening match at Montevallo on Friday, Sept. 6, FSC faces two of those ranked opponents: at No. 20 Spring Hill on September 8, before hosting No. 25 Limestone in the home opener on Friday, Sept. 13. Conference play opens on Sept. 21, as Palm Beach Atlantic makes their way to Lakeland. The final non-conference match is on Oct. 26, as the University of Mary comes to town, before the Mocs host Embry-Riddle on Oct. 30, and Saint Leo on Nov. 5, to close out the season.