2012 SBI College Soccer Season Preview: Rankings, Players to watch and more

2012 SBI College Soccer Season Preview: Rankings, Players to watch and more

College Soccer

2012 SBI College Soccer Season Preview: Rankings, Players to watch and more

CarlosAlvarez (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

The 2012 Men's College soccer season is ready to kick off tonight around the country and the best teams and players in America will give soccer fans plenty of added entertainment to go along with their usual pro soccer fix.

Defending champion North Carolina is back, and despite all the new faces, the Tar Heels should be in contention again. Another former champion, 2010 winner Akron, should be at the top of the list of teams capable of knocking off North Carolina for the crown, while schools like UConn, Maryland and UCSB also try make their case for being crowned national champions.

College soccer will feature a plethora of quality pro prospects, and if the contributions of this year's MLS rookies are any indication, the level of talent in the college game remains high. If you want to know which young players are coming through the ranks, and which players your favorite MLS team might be adding come the 2013 MLS Draft, you will be able to track those top talents here on SBI.

If you need a primer on the upcoming college season, this is your place. You can start with my FOX Soccer column discussing the state of the college game, as well as my Top 25 pro prospects list for 2012.

Once you get through that, SBI has plenty more for you. You can check out SBI's Pre-Season All-American Team, The SBI Pre-Season Top 25, and our list for best college games of the season, after the jump:

SBI PRE-SEASON TOP 25 

1- AKRON

2- UCONN

3- NORTH CAROLINA

4- MARYLAND

5- UCSB

6- INDIANA

7- UCLA

8- DUKE 

9- WEST VIRGINIA

10- BOSTON COLLEGE

11- SOUTH FLORIDA

12-ST. JOHN’S

13- LOUISVILLE

14- VIRGINIA

15- XAVIER

16- NEW MEXICO

17- COASTAL CAROLINA

18- CREIGHTON

19- SMU

20- CHARLOTTE

21- CSU-BAKERSFIELD

22- WAKE FOREST

23- UC-IRVINE

24- NOTRE DAME

25- GEORGETOWN

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SBI PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICAN TEAM 

GOALKEEPER- ANDRE BLAKE, UCONN

DEFENDER- SEBASTIEN IBEAGHA, DUKE

DEFENDER- ERIC SCHOENLE, WEST VIRGINIA

DEFENDER- WALKER ZIMMERMAN, FURMAN

DEFENDER- TAYLOR KEMP, MARYLAND

MIDFIELDER- DILLON POWERS, NOTRE DAME

MIDFIELDER- CARLOS ALVAREZ UCONN

MIDFIELDER- MIKEY LOPEZ, NORTH CAROLINA

MIDFIELDER- ROBBIE DERSCHANG, AKRON

FORWARD- GYASI ZARDES, CSU-BAKERSFIELD

FORWARD- MAMADOU DIOUF, UCONN

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SBI'S TOP COLLEGE MATCHES TO WATCH IN 2012

Aug. 24th- UCLA vs. New Mexico

Aug. 26th- Maryland vs. Louisville

Aug. 31st- North Carolina vs. West Virginia

Aug. 31st- Creighton vs. Akron

Aug. 31st- Maryland vs. UCLA (ESPN3.com)

Sept. 2nd- Wake Forest vs. West Virginia

Sept. 7th- Akron vs. Indiana (in South Bend, Indiana)

Sept. 7th- Maryland at Boston College

Sept. 9th- UCLA vs. UC-Irvine

Sept. 11th- Louisville vs. Wake Forest

Sept. 14th- North Carolina vs. Wake Forest

Sept. 16th- Akron vs. South Florida

Sept. 18th- UConn vs. Boston College

Sept. 21st- North Carolina vs. Virginia (FOX Soccer Channel)

Sept 21st- UCSB vs. UCLA

Sept. 21st- Wake Forest vs. Duke

Sept. 22nd- UConn vs. St. John’s

Sept. 26th- Indiana vs. Notre Dame

Sept. 28th- Duke vs. North Carolina

Sept. 29th- UConn vs. Notre Dame

Oct. 3rd- Georgetown vs. UConn

Oct. 5th- Maryland vs Virginia (FOX Soccer Channel)

Oct. 6th- Wake Forest vs. Boston College

Oct. 10th- Louisville vs. Indiana

Oct. 12th- Duke vs. Maryland

Oct. 12th- Virginia vs. Wake Forest

Oct. 19th- Maryland vs. North Carolina (ESPNU)

Oct. 20th- Akron vs. West Virginia

Nov. 1st- North Carolina vs. Boston College (ESPN3.com)

Nov. 1st- Wake Forest vs. Maryland (ESPN3.com)

Nov. 11th- Big East Final

Nov. 11th- ACC Final

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What are you most looking forward to this upcoming college season? Which players are you excited to see play? Which games are you planning to catch?

Share your thoughts on the upcoming Men's College Soccer season below.

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