5 men’s varsity soccer players to watch in the 2021 preseason top 25
The 2021 men’s college football season officially begins in just over a week. Many ranked teams compete in exhibition matches and scrimmages ahead of the official start date of Thursday, August 26. With all of the top 25 talent from the preseason, we’ve decided to take a look at five of the many players to watch. this season.
Vitor Dias, Marshall University – Senior, Midfielder
While Marshall may have been flying under the radar for most of last season, the secret is out. The Thundering Herd will be competitive again this season, in large part because he will return to senior Vitor Dias. Dias is the first player in Marshall history to be named a MAC Hermann Trophy semi-finalist, First Team All-American and Conference USA male athlete of the year. Dias has already made history at Marshall as the very first team to win a national championship, but he will be looking to continue his legacy by breaking even more records in his senior season.
RELIVE THE WON TITLE: Marshall scores golden overtime goal
Victor Bezerra, Indiana University – Junior, Forward
Bezerra is coming off an impressive spring season where he was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and finished the season with 12 goals, 4 assists and 28 points overall. Bezerra was also a Mac Hermann Trophy finalist and led the Hoosiers in almost every offensive category. After an overtime loss to Marshall in the national championship, Bezerra will have everything to play while leading the charge to bring Indiana their first national title in the sport since 2012.
Valentin Noel, Pittsburgh – Junior, Midfielder
After setting a school record for consecutive games played with a goal in the 2020-21 season, Noel has solidified his reputation not only as one of Pitt’s biggest offensive threats, but also as one of the most major offensive threats from the country. Noel was second in the country in total goals scored last season, as well as third in total points earned. Noel was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, All-American First Team and ACC Offensive Player of the Year. The Panthers will once again count on Noel to be a catalyst for their success this season.
PRE-SEASON RANKS: See the full top 25
Dante Polvara, Georgetown – Junior, Midfielder
As the 2021 season approaches, it’s no surprise that Dante Polvara is a preseason all the Big East roster. Polvara was named First Team All America and First Team All Big East midfielder last season after an incredible offensive performance. Polvara has dominated the league in points and goals aggregate, with 18 points in 12 matches and eight goals in total. After narrowly missing out on a place last season, Polvara will look to bring the Hoyas back to the College Cup.
Kyle Hiebert, State of Missouri – RS Senior, Advocate
Hiebert was named University Player of the Year by United Soccer Coaches, MAC Hermann Trophy semi-finalist, and has been selected twice for All America. Hiebert started all 14 games for Missouri State during the 2021 season, extending his overall streak to 68 straight starts in the Bears’ backline. Hiebert was a key factor in leading Missouri State to its first appearance in the NCAA third round tournament, and will be looking to rewrite Bears history even more this fall.