@FIUMensSoccer Ranked No. 20 in United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll

FIU Athletics

MIAMI – Coming off a 2017 campaign that saw the FIU men’s soccer team win its first Conference USA regular season title, and advance to its 10th NCAA Division I Tournament in program history, the Panthers enter the 2018 season right back in the national spotlight, receiving some early season accolades as their preseason training camp begins. FIU will begin the season ranked No. 20 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Top 25. The Panthers are the only C-USA school to appear in the Top 25, although Old Dominion and Kentucky also received votes. In addition, non-conference foes Duke and Virginia are slotted at No. 10 and No. 15, respectively, while UCF and USF received votes. Click here to see the complete United Soccer Coaches Top 25 poll. FIU was ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation last season, with that coming in the Oct. 29, 2017, poll. The Panthers highest final ranking came at the end of the 1996 season after losing in the National Championship match to St. John’s. FIU, who this week was picked to finish first in Conference USA, returns a significant core from last year’s starting 11, including senior All-American forward, and leading scorer, Santiago Patino (Orlando, Fla./Freedom) and junior midfielder Joris Ahlinvi (Gujan-Mestras, France/Esarc Evolution). The duo was also recently named to the C-USA Preseason All-Conference Team, with Patino being tabbed the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Last season, the Panthers posted a 12-2-4 record and a 6-0-2 mark in Conference USA. FIU finished the regular season with a 11-0-4 record, the first time in school history that the Panthers recorded an undefeated regular season. FIU was also one of only two teams in Division I men’s soccer to accomplish the feat, joining Indiana. After advancing to the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers went on to defeat Omaha in their first-round match. FIU opens its 2018 season at the John Rennie Nike …

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