America’s college soccer season kicks off in earnest this week with women’s teams set to commence their regular season schedules. The men’s season starts one week later after another round of warm-up games this weekend.
A new crop of young Scots has arrived in the United States to experience the student-athlete life with its demanding training programs, intensive travel schedules and educational requirements.
TSO will be following the progress of Scottish players at NCAA Division I level programs throughout the fall as well as providing a roundup of Caledonian talent playing in America’s professional leagues.
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National Women’s Soccer League
Aberdonian defender Rachel Corsie helped the Seattle Reign to strengthen its grip atop the standings last Wednesday with the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph over the Houston Dash. Mintlaw’s Kim Little also played the full 90 minutes for the Reign.
Over 6,000 fans attended Seattle’s Memorial Stadium to see a game including FIFA World Cup Final hat trick hero Carli Lloyd lining up for the visitors. Corsie’s goal ensured that the Reign became the first team to qualify for this year’s NWSL playoffs.
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Major League Soccer
Shaun Maloney’s Chicago Fire endured another tough week that featured back-to-back games at the Philadelphia Union.
Traveling Fire fans registered their discontent with the franchise’s owner Andrew Hauptman by raising a banner calling for his ousting during last Wednesday’s 1-0 loss in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal.
Maloney exited Sunday night’s league meeting after 68 minutes with the teams tied at 2-2. Injury-time goals at both ends kept the Fire one point behind the Union at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
Houston Dynamo head coach Owen Coyle saw his side lose 2-0 at New England Revolution in a game that took almost five hours to complete due to weather delays. The defeat left Coyle’s men four points behind the Seattle Sounders in the race for the Western Conference’s sixth and final playoff spot.
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North American Soccer League
Former Elgin City midfielder Adam Moffat played the full 90 minutes as his New York Cosmos came from behind to beat the San Antonio Scorpions by 2-1 at Hofstra University.
The Cosmos’ win combined with Ottawa Fury’s 2-1 loss to Minnesota United allowed the New Yorkers to leapfrog the Canadians at the top of the NASL’s Combined Standings (aggregated points from the league’s split Spring and Fall seasons).
Ottawa still leads the Fall Season standings after the Cosmos went undefeated in winning the Spring Season. Lanark-born midfielder Nicki Paterson has already been ruled out for the remainder of Ottawa’s season after tearing an ACL.
Moffat’s Cosmos travel to Ottawa on Aug. 26.
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United Soccer League
Paul Dalglish saw his Austin Aztex side lose its third straight game this month as the Los Angeles Galaxy’s reserve team left Texas with a 3-2 win on Saturday night. The Aztex sit 12 points outside the USL Western Conference playoff zone with six games remaining.
Arizona United is faring little better having lost 13 of its 22 league games. Former Aberdeen, Dunfermline Athletic and Ross County defender Scott Morrison played the full 90 minutes in United’s 3-0 home defeat to the Orange County Blues. Arizona sits 11 points out of the playoff zone.
German-born Scotsman Kevin Kerr picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds’ 1-1 tie with the Charlotte Independence to pick up a one-game suspension. Kerr leads the USL in assists with nine.
Former Hamilton Accies fullback Tom Parratt played the full 90 minutes for the Wilmington Hammerheads in their narrow 2-1 loss at the USL Eastern Conference leading Rochester Rhinos. Wilmington props up the division with three wins, 13 losses and six ties.
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College Soccer – Men’s Division I
Notre Dame is ranked No. 4 in the NSCAA preseason rankings as head coach Bobby Clark looks to retain his side’s Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title and have another tilt at the national NCAA College Cup tournament that the Fighting Irish won in 2013.
Former Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper Clark will have some help from his homeland this season with Irvine-born Sean MacLeod joining one of America’s top college programs.
The University of Washington has been another perennial contender for the national title under Jamie Clark, Bobby’s son. The Huskies are ranked No. 10 in the preseason rankings with Mason Robertson, the son of former Aberdeen and Rangers left-back David, named to the Pac-12 Conference’s preseason “All Star” team as nominated by the division’s coaches.
The University of Maryland—Baltimore County checks in at No. 12 in the preseason rankings after its magnificent run to the NCAA College Cup’s semifinal last year. Inverkeithing’s Michael Scott enters his fourth and final year in the college ranks after making 60 appearances for the Retrievers in the past three seasons.
Reigning Southern Conference Championship winners Furman narrowly missed out on a Top 25 ranking place. Former Morton striker Lewis Hawke scored the goal that won the Paladins its 12th conference tournament last year. Hawke tallied nine goals in 22 games last year for the Greenville, South Carolina-based school.
Uddingston’s Ciaran McKenna turned down a 3-year contract with Celtic to pursue his studies at the prestigious Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The Blue Devils began their preseason preparations with a 2-1 win at the College of Charleston, South Carolina last weekend.
Auchterarder siblings Jordan and Adam Wilson will be playing their college soccer about 80 miles apart this year. Former Scotland youth defender Jordan is entering his third year with the University of Kentucky. Adam is about to enter his freshman year at the University of Cincinnati.
Hartwick College returns a clutch of Scottish players under the tutelage of Banff native John Scott. Former Scotland Under-18 schoolboys goalkeeper Lenny Wilson joins Ross MacKinnon, Marc Russell, Jamie O’Grady, Liam Watt, Hayden Hollinger and Marc Berry in trying to defend the Wick’s Sun Belt Conference regular season and postseason championship crowns.
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College Soccer – Women’s Division I
Former Celtic and Scotland youth forward Lois Heuchan made one start and one substitute appearance during Kansas’ buildup to the Big 12 Conference season. The Jayhawks are ranked No. 23 nationally going into the season. Reigning three-time conference winners West Virginia University will provide fierce opposition for Kansas in Big 12 play with FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star defender Kadeisha Buchanan and fellow Canadian national team player Ashley Lawrence on its roster.
Penicuik’s Claire Emslie was named to the Conference USA preseason “All Star” team selected by the division’s coaches. The former Hibernian Ladies and Scotland youth team midfielder led Florida Atlantic last year with five goals and three assists. The recognition marked the fourth consecutive year that Emslie has been flagged during her college career.
Nov. 20, 2014 — Mixed Fortunes As Men’s NCAA Tournament Begins