The Northeast Conference announced its Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll on Wednesday. Central Connecticut was tabbed ninth in the poll and opens the season at Seton Hall on Friday, August 30.
Saint Francis U was tabbed as the preseason favorite, collecting five first-place votes. St. Francis Brooklyn collected three first-place votes and was picked second. Fairleigh Dickinson and Bryant were picked third and fourth, respectively, while defending champion LIU picked up two first place votes and was fifth. Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart preced the Blue Devils in the poll, while NEC-newcomer, Merrimack, rounded out the poll.
Head coach Shaun Green returns to lead the Blue Devils for his 35th season. The Blue Devils return a squad that features eight players with starting experience. Co-captain sophomore Sean Gannon, who earned NEC All-Rookie honors in 2017, is back after playing in just one game before missing the season due to injury. Junior Eddie Venta-Yepes, also a captain, joins the team after transferring from UMass Lowell and should help bolster the midfield. The lineup also returns senior John Wilkins and sophomores Panos Ravanis, Noah Silverman, Aidan O'Brien and Larson Richards who all were regulars in the starting lineup last season.
Central will open the 2019 season at Seton Hall on Friday, Aug. 30, in a 6:00 p.m. kickoff. After playing three road games to open the season, CCSU will play six straight home games, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 14, against UMass.
The Northeast Conference tournament will take place on November 15 and 17. All games of the 2019 NEC Men's Soccer Tournament will be broadcast live on NEC Front Row. The top four finishers, based on winning percentage during the league's regular season will qualify for the tournament. The high seed will host the entire event.