WEEK ONE MEN'S SOCCER NOTES
The Liberty Flames men's soccer team will open its 2017 campaign, Friday evening. The Flames will kick off 2017 by entertaining the Southern Virginia Knights for a 7 p.m. match.
Friday's contest against Southern Virginia will begin the 43rd year of Liberty men's soccer and the 17th under the guidance of Liberty alumnus head coach Jeff Alder.
The Flames return 10 of the starting 11 from last year's Big South Quarterfinals contest in 2016, including 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year Tresor Mbuyu and All-Big South first team member Kevin Mendoza. In addition, Alder's squad welcomes back 12 players who played in 10 or more contests, last season. Liberty will welcome 13 newcomers - eight freshmen and five transfers to their roster.
Notables • The Flames were tabbed to finish third in the 2017 Big South Preseason Poll. • Liberty junior forward Tresor Mbuyu has been selected as the 2017 Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Attacking Player of the Year. Mbuyu was the 2016 Big South Attacking Player of the Year. •This season, the Flames will have members from seven different countries on their roster. Liberty players hail from Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, England, Mexico, Spain and the United States. In addition, several Liberty players lived in Africa, before calling the U.S. home. • Juniors Nico Bellarde and Kevin Mendoza will serve as captains for the Flames in 2016 season.
Mbuyu Named 2017 Big South Preseason Attacking Player of the Year Liberty junior forward Tresor Mbuyu has been selected as the2017 Big South Men's Soccer Preseason Attacking Player of the Year. Mbuyu had quite a season in his first year as a Flame in 2016. The forward, who also earned all-conference and VaSID All-State first team honors, completed the year among the nation's top 20 players in goals and assists. He led the Big South with 29 points and tied for the conference lead with 10 goals. He finished the year second in the conference in assists with nine. The sophomore forward netted a point in 14 of Liberty's 18 games.
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