Jan. 3, 2001
UAB soccer All-American defender Rumbani Munthali has been chosen to compete in the Umbro Select All-Star game, February 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Munthali also earned his third All-American selection as maddog soccer.com, a web site dedicated to collegiate soccer, named him to its second team, All-American squad. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America selected him third-team and collegesoccer.com named him honorable mention All-American.
The Umbro Select All-Star game invites the top senior soccer players in America to participate. The game is held in conjunction with the Major League Soccer draft, which takes place the day of the game.
Munthali is the third Blazer to participate in the game. Peter Byaruhanga played last year and William Giummarra played in the 1995 contest.
Byaruhanga was the 15th player selected in the draft by the Kansas City Wizards. He was a member of the Wizards MLS championship team this season. Giummarra is currently playing for the Toronto Lynx of the A-League.
Munthali, from Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, helped lead the Blazers to a 14-5-2 record and a second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He was first team All-Conference USA for the second straight year after being chosen Freshman of the Year in 1997 and second team all-league as a sophomore.
During his four years at UAB the Blazers were 53-25-2, won one Conference USA regular season title and one C-USA tournament title. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight his junior season.
Munthali's one-on-one defensive ability was one of the main reasons the opposition averaged just nine shots per game in the regular season. UAB outshot the opposition 289-225 during the season. The opposition averaged just 1.1 goals per game compared to the Blazers 2.1 a game.
For his career Munthali played and started 76 games for the Blazers. He played and started all 21 this season.
This adds to the honors UAB's players have won in the post-season. Goalkeeper David Clemente was named Conference USA's defensive player of the year and to the All-South Team. Both Munthali and Clemente were first team All-C-USA.
In addition three other members of the team were named All-Conference USA. Roberto Najarro and Houston Smith were both named third team All-C-USA. Marin Pusek was named to the all-freshman team. Freshman defender Kareem Morgan was invited to participate in tryouts for the Canadian Under-20 National Team.