Indiana University has unanimously topped the polls heading into the 2013 season. While the NCAA coaches poll generally follows the same numbers as the December rankings that are released after the College Cup, major college soccer websites such as Top Drawer Soccer have also selected Indiana as number one.
The departures of Eriq Zavaleta and Luis Soffner, arguably their two most important resources last season, leaves a lot of questions as to the direction the team will go this year. Much of this pressure will fall on the shoulders of midfielders A.J. Corrado and Nikita Kotlov. If you watched the College Cup last year, Kotlov impressed many people who weren’t familiar with him before (and scored the Championship-winning goal against Georgetown), and is sure to continue to be a strong player this year. Corrado, as you may remember, trained with Chivas USA in 2012, and will definitely be someone to keep an eye on as the season gets underway.
Indiana also added transfer Dylan Mares to their roster. The midfielder spent two years with Louisville, and actually spent his high school career with fellow Hoosier teammates Corrado and Harrison Petts. He is considered to be one of the top attacking midfielders in the game right now and will be a great asset to the team in their race to defend their title. Mares has two years of NCAA eligibility left.
The Hoosiers will kick off their preseason this weekend in a tournament with No. 12 Marquette and No. 4 North Carolina, which will reveal just how well they will be able to cope this season. Their regular season kicks off Aug. 30 against SMU and Sept. 1 against UCLA.
Will Indiana defend their title this season? Let us know in the comments below!