Aug. 8, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- UAB senior defender Reed Matte was named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Men's Soccer team, league officials announced on Wednesday. As a team, the defending conference champion Blazers were selected to finish fourth by a vote of the league's head coaches.
Matte, one of four seniors on this year's team, is coming off an outstanding junior season in which he earned second-team all-conference honors.
Matte, a native of Birmingham, Ala., played an integral part of the league's stingiest defense a year ago, helping hold the opposition to a 1.01 goals per game and seven shutouts - both of which led C-USA.
Matte started all 21 contests a year ago and led the team in minutes played (1,941). Furthermore, he also posed an offensive threat as he scored two goals in 2011, both of which were game-winning strikes (against then-No. 20 VCU and Kentucky).
UAB, ranked No. 21 in the nation in the NSCAA Preseason Poll which was released Tuesday, is one of four C-USA squads to appear among the nation's top-25. South Carolina, which is receiving votes in the NSCAA top-25 poll, was picked to win the league crown. SMU, ranked No. 16, was picked to finish second in the league, while UCF was selected to finish third.
Memphis forward Mark Sherrod was selected as the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year, while Marshall goalkeeper Daniel Withrow was named the preseason defensive player of the year.
The Blazers will open the 2012 season with an exhibition game this Sunday, Aug. 12, against the Louisville Cardinals, which are ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA Preseason poll.
Prior to the 7 p.m. kick off on Sunday between the Blazers and Cardinals, the teams will host a free youth soccer clinic for ages 5-18 from 4:30-6 p.m. at West Campus Field. The first 500 kids through the gates for the youth clinic will receive a free UAB soccer ball.
As soon as the clinic ends, all participants and UAB students with a valid ID will be served a free dinner provided by Full Moon BBQ.
Following the contest, fans are encouraged to stick around for a postgame autograph session with the current members of the UAB men's soccer team.
For more information regarding the Soccer Clinic, fans can contact 205-975-7553.