Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25

Akron is No. 1 in the Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25 ahead of defending champion Stanford, which beat the Zips in the Men's College Cup semifinals in a shootout. UCLA, Maryland and North Carolina complete the top five.

Besides North Carolina, four other ACC teams rank in the top 10: Clemson, Wake Forest and Boston College at 6-7-8 and Syracuse at No. 10.

Week 1: Worth Watching
FRIDAY:
1 Akron vs. 12 Georgetown
3 UCLA vs. 4 Maryland

Akron is led by playmaker Adam Najem, who had 10 goals and 11 assists in 2015 and resisted the lure of turning pro to return for his senior season with the Zips. He won the PDL's 2016 Creative Player of the Year award while playing with the Michigan Bucks.

Jordan Morris gave up his final year of eligibility at Stanford to sign with the Seattle Sounders, but the Cardinal returns Andrew Epstein in goal, defender Tomas Hilliard-Arce, midfielder Corey Baird and Amir Bashti and Foster Langsdorf up front.

UCLA was only 11-9-1 in 2015 but it has college soccer's deepest team with Jackson Yueill and Jose Hernandez in midfield and Seyi Adekoya and Abu Danladi up front.

Maryland returns the nation's top sophomore class with Sebastian Elney, Amar Sejdic and Eryk Williamson and adds two top transfers -- Jake Rozhansky (Virginia) and Gordon Wild (USC Upstate).

Many top programs were impacted by the loss of players with remaining eligibility to the pros or recruits who turned pro.

Akron (Emmanuel Sabbi), UCLA (Hugo Arellano) and North Carolina (Auston Trusty) lost incoming freshmen to pro teams in the last month.

Soccer America Men's Preseason Top 25:
TEAM (2015 RECORD)
1. Akron (18-3-3)
2. Stanford (18-2-3)
3. UCLA (11-9-1)
4. Maryland (12-5-6)
5. North Carolina (15-2-3)
6. Clemson (17-3-4)
7. Wake Forest (17-3-2)
8. Boston College (11-8-2)
9. Creighton (19-4-0)
10. Syracuse (16-5-4)
11. UC Santa Barbara (14-6-2)
12. Georgetown (16-2-3)
13. Indiana (13-5-3)
14. SMU (15-3-4)
15. Notre Dame (11-5-6)
16. Denver (15-1-3)
17. Seattle (18-4-1)
18. Ohio State (13-7-3)
19. Washington (8-5-6)
20. Virginia (10-5-3)
21. USF (11-6-3)
22. Xavier (12-6-1)
23. California (9-6-2)
24. Kentucky (12-5-2)
25. UConn (10-6-6)
Note: The Soccer America Top 25 will appear each Tuesday during the regular season.

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