With Texas hosting the College Cup this weekend, San Antonio Soccer News continues its look at the four teams competing.
City: Denver, CO
Conference: Summit League
2015 Finish: Second Round (Lost 1-0 to Southern Methodist after extra time)
Best Finish: Semi-Finals (2016)
Coach: Jamie Franks (Second Season)
Denver are appearing in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament for just the seventh time, and second in a row after falling to SMU in the second round last year. The Pioneers have lifted in the last two years, and find themselves in their best ever season, going past the 1970 season where they made the quarterfinals.
Having only lost two starters from the 2015 season, Denver was able to use that stability to have another impressive season in 2016. Of those returning, just four are seniors, shaping for a strong 2017 season where they could return to the College Cup.
The team is obviously well coached with the Pioneers coaching staff wining the West Region coaching staff of the year award. The coaching staff have helped lead Denver to their first ever multiple win and best ever NCAA tournament appearance.
The star of the team is Reagan Dunk who has been named as a semi-finalist for the MAC Hermann award, given to the best college soccer player of the year. Dunk won the Conference Defensive Player of the Year award after being an All-American last year and has helped lead Denver to being the stingiest defense in the country, along with providing five assists.
Denver stunned Clemson in the quarter-finals to make it this far as they won in Clemson 1-0 to advance to the College Cup. The semi-final is going to be an interesting matchup as it will pit Franks against the man he used to be assistant to at Denver, Bobby Muuss.
2016 MLS SuperDraft Class: None
Likely 2017 MLS Draftees:
Reagan Dunk – A redshirt senior who remains in contention for the MAC Hermann award after yet another good season. Dunk has been a rock in defense for the Pioneers and could well do the same for an MLS team.
Prediction: Lose to Wake Forest in Semi-Final