Long Beach, CA - College soccer coaches have recognized UMBC senior back Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley/CCBC-Essex) as one of the nation's top players entering the 2014 season.
Top Drawer Soccer turned the floor over to college coaches for analysis of the nation's best players. Over the past two weeks, TDS sent out an anonymous five-question survey to dozens of Division I coaches. The questions: the best goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward, and player in college soccer.
The America East Defender of the Year earned the admiration of a few coaches after scoring two goals while starting all 20 games for the Retrievers last season. The center back headlined the UMBC defense that had a historic season with a 0.70 GAA and a 16-1-3 record.
UCLA's Leo Stolz slightly edged Stanford's Jordan Morris for the honor of best player in college soccer. Stolz received one vote more than Morris out of over a dozen who were split between the two Pac-12 stars, while Ballo was the only other player to earn multiple votes from coaches for the top honor.
Ballo earned NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Second Team All-America honors, after being selected to the NSCAA All-Northeast Region First Team in 2013. The central defender was also recognized on the AE First Team and All-Championship team.
Ballo leads a program-record 11 seniors into the 2014 campaign, as UMBC will attempt to defend its 2013 America East regular season and tournament crowns.