Virginia and Georgetown have loaded up on New York Red Bulls academy stars. Hoya defender Joshua Yaro and UCLA forward Abu Danladi both hail from Ghana via the Right to Dream program, are coveted by MLS teams, while Creighton's Fabian Herbers and Timo Pitter are among a host of German stars.
Here is a look at some of the talent on the top five
teams in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25 ...
1. UCLA. The Bruins fell short in their bid for their first national title since 2002 when they lost to Virginia in a shootout in the Men's College Cup final after a scoreless game. It was a disappointing end of the season for one of the nation's top attacking teams. German star Leo Stolz is gone, but Larry Ndjock, Seyi Adekoya and Danladi and give UCLA the nation's top attacking trio. Also back is first team All-Pac-12 pick Michael Amick, one of the nation's top defenders. Getting Nathan Smith back after an injury cut short his 2014 season should be a big boost.
2. Virginia. The Cavs won a national championship despite scoring 27 goals, the fewest goals in their seven championship seasons. They should get a lot more goals this season as Marcus-Salandy-Defour is back after missing the 2014 season and Coach George Gelnovatch has recruited arguably the top freshman class with Malcolm Dixon and Derrick Etienne (both out of the New York Red Bulls academy) and Edward Opoku (another Right to Dreamer who attended boarding school in Connecticut). Add in seven returning starters and you get an idea why UVa is the favorite in the tough ACC.
3, Georgetown. Yaro will be the No. 1 pick in the MLS SuperDraft if he leaves after this season. Brandon Allen, who has flirted in the past with signing a Homegrown contract with the Red Bulls, may be the best pure scorer in the college ranks. Alex Muyl and Arun Basuljevic are two other players with Red Bulls ties, while senior Keegan Rosenberry attended the U.S. U-23 college ID camp. That combination of talent and experience makes the Hoyas a sure-fire pick to reach the Men's College Cup.
4. Stanford. But how often Morris be available between commitments with the U-23s for Olympic qualifying and whether he turns pro after this season remain to be seen. Morris scored only four goals in 2014 and the Cardinal still won the Pac-12 title in 2014. Other players to watch on the Cardinal include sophomore midfielder Corey Baird and senior defender Brandon Vincent.
5. Creighton. Herbers, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, and Pitter, the Big East Midfielder of the Year -- combined for 16 goals and 17 assists in 2014, and they are just two of the top six scorers back for the Bluejays, who are perennial national contenders. They served notice of their 2015 ambitions with a 5-0 preseason win over Northwestern, a team that only allowed 12 goals in 2014.