University of Kentucky goalkeeper Callum Irving was voted Conference USA preseason Defensive Player of the Year by the league's coaches on Wednesday, and two of his teammates also received all-league honors. UK's three preseason all-conference selections tied Charlotte for the most of any team in the league.
Kentucky junior midfielder Napo Matsoso and junior center back Jordan Wilson joined Irving on the All-Conference USA team.
The Wildcats were voted by the league's coaches to finish third in Conference USA this season, behind Charlotte and New Mexico. Charlotte received six of the league's nine first-place votes, with one each going to Kentucky, New Mexico and UAB. Irving, the reigning C-USA Player of the Year and Defensive MVP, is coming off an All-America season in 2014 in which he totaled 10 shutouts and posted a 0.77 goals-against average. Matsoso, who had five goals and four assists last season, and Wilson joined Irving as All-CUSA selections last season.
Kentucky opens its 2015 season Aug. 16 with an exhibition tune-up at Northern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Conference USA preseason awards
Never miss a local story.
Offensive Player of the Year: Kyle Parker, Charlotte
Defensive Player of the Year: Callum Irving, Kentucky
All-Conference USA preseason team
Biko Bradnock-Brennan | Charlotte | Sr. | Defender
Brandt Bronico | Charlotte | Jr. | Midfielder
Kyle Parker | Charlotte | Sr. | Forward
Marvin Hezel | FIU | Jr. | Defender
Callum Irving | Kentucky | Sr. | Goalkeeper
Napo Matsoso | Kentucky | Jr. | Midfielder
Jordan Wilson | Kentucky | Jr. | Defender
Daniel Jodah | Marshall | Jr. | Midfielder/forward
Niko Hansen | New Mexico | Jr. | Midfielder/forward
Chris Wehan | New Mexico | R-Jr. | Midfielder/forward
Freddy Ruiz | UAB | Sr. | Forward
C-USA preseason poll
(As selected by C-USA coaches)
1. Charlotte (6 first-place votes)
2. New Mexico (1)
3. Kentucky (1)
4. Old Dominion
5. UAB (1)
7. South Carolina
9. Florida Atlantic