The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Clemson men’s soccer looking to rebuild, replace key offensive players

The Clemson men’s soccer team is looking to begin their 2018 campaign on the right note as they begin their slate of spring games. 

After a strong regular season that saw them finish ranked No. 10 in the nation, the Tigers bowed out in their first match of the NCAA tournament against Coastal Carolina last December. 

While the result was disappointing for the Tigers, they will enter 2018 more motivated than ever to improve upon last season’s letdown. 

The Tigers will be without a few of their key contributors from a season ago, but they will be replenished by the nation’s No. 2 recruiting class. 

Clemson will have to replace Jason Wright, Michael Melvin, Grayson Raynor, Saul Chinchilla, former captain Olivier Shannon and leading goal scorer Diego Campos, amongst others. 

In these players, the Tigers will be losing 25 goals and 25 assists, which is nearly 60 percent of the goals they scored last season. 

The Tigers will try to replace this production with an extremely talented recruiting class that includes Charlie Asensio, Grayson Barber, James Brighton, George Marks, John Martin, Chris Matlashewski and Mason Visconti. 

When talking about the incoming class, head coach Mike Noonan said, “I’m very excited about this group. I believe it’s the most experienced group… that we’ve had come into the program.” 

He went on to say that the group, “serves as a solid foundation for the future, in conjunction with last year’s very strong freshman class.” 

The Tigers will also benefit from the growth of some of their younger players that are already on the roster. 

Last season, the team got key contributions from several freshmen including Robbie Robinson, Kimarni Smith, Alex Hemmingsen and Justin Malou. 

The Tigers will certainly be hoping that the attacking duo of Robinson and Smith can replicate the production of what was one of the most dynamic scoring duos in the ACC in Diego Campos and Jason Wright. 

Perhaps the biggest strength of the 2017 team was the defense. The center-back duo of Malik Mbaye and Patrick Bunk-Andersen was outstanding for Clemson a year ago, and they will both be returning for the 2018 season. 

Along with Mbaye and Anderson, the Tigers will bring back goalkeeper, Ximo Miralles, who started all 19 games last season allowing just 1.12 goals per game. With the defense remaining largely intact, the Tigers will look to improve upon what was an already solid defense. 

Clemson dropped their first exhibition match against the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday afternoon at Historic Riggs Field by a score of 2-1. 

The Tigers’ first goal of the season came off of the foot of a Duke defender that tied the game in the 42nd minute. Duke retook in the 66th minute with a curling free kick goal by freshman forward Daniel Wright. 

Clemson will continue their exhibition slate next Sunday when they take on the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. 

The final exhibition match of the spring will be played on Saturday, April 21 against Georgetown. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *