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NCAA D1 soccer to vote on expanded season

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A report by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald has revealed that NCAA Division 1 men’s soccer is close to heading towards a full-season schedule, expanding the current fall schedule that sees the College Cup finish up around mid-December.

Tannenwald’s report, which cites Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski who has led the charge for a full calendar season, states that the new proposal would drop the regular season schedule from 25 to 23 total games, but would expand the campaign across the entire school year. The first half would consist of 13 games and end around Thanksgiving, before picking back up in the spring with nine official games. Three exhibitions would be spread around the season, as opposed to the current setup of five meaningless exhibition games all set in the spring offseason.

The main goal of the plan, which is years in the making, is to eliminate midweek games, helping to cut down on missed class time for players. At least, that’s what Cirovski is selling to the NCAA. His true goal is to help players get used to a full professional schedule, knowing that currently, collegiate players tend to hit a wall in their first few professional seasons, holding their careers back.

Tannenwald reports that the eventual vote, which will be held in April, will consist of 64 total submissions. Each Power 5 conference will have four votes each, while the Group of 5 conferences get two votes each and the remaining conferences get one vote each. To pass, the proposal needs a full majority, meaning 33 yes votes are required out of the 64. The report states that the Atlantic 10 confirmed to the Inquirer that they will vote yes to the proposal, while the Ivy League said it will vote no.

“The college coaches on the men’s side are going to be working hand in hand for the next three months to try to get us to the finish line, to do something that is transformational, an evolutionary and positive change, and a game-changer in this country for not only college soccer, but we feel for soccer in general,” Cirovski said.

The report states that Cirovski has solid support from inside the college soccer space, and also in the pro soccer community where there is excitement that the new proposal will help development and transition from college soccer to professional life. It says that while this would only cover the Division 1 men’s schedule for now, it’s likely that the women’s ranks would follow soon after should this initial proposal pass through, and D2 and D3 could also tag along.

Bob Hermann, soccer boss who helped found NASL, dies at 97

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LADUE, Mo. — Bob Hermann, the soccer executive who launched the Hermann Trophy given annually to the top college soccer players in the United States, has died at age 97.

His family said he died Monday at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.

A key figure in the rise of the professional sport in the U.S. in the 1960s, Hermann was inducted into the U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2001.

Robert Ringen Hermann was born on Jan. 3, 1923. He went to St. Louis Country Day School and in 1944 graduated from Princeton, where he was on the crew. Commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy, he served on the aircraft carrier USS Savo Island in the Pacific theater and rose to lieutenant.

He founded the plastic containers firm Hermann Cos. in 1956 and in 1967 helped create the National Professional Soccer League, a 10-team circuit in the U.S. and Toronto. Hermann launched the league with the help of former Philadelphia Phillies owner William D. Cox, who had been banned from baseball for life in 1943 for betting on his own team.

Hermann co-owned the St. Louis Stars with Bill Bidwill of the NFL’s Cardinals. After the 1967 season, the NPSL merged with the United Soccer Association and formed the North American Soccer League. Led by the Cosmos and Pele, NASL raised the presence of the soccer in the U.S. until it folded after the 1984 season.

Hermann’s Stars moved after the 1977 season to Anaheim and became the California Surf. The club was taken over in 1980 by a group headed by Henry Segerstrom, then folded after the 1981 season.

In 1967, Hermann founded the Hermann Trophy, presented to the top men’s college soccer player by the Missouri Athletic Club. A women’s award, also named after him, began in 1988.

Hermann Stadium, the 6,050-seat home of the soccer team of St. Louis University, was named after him in 1999 following a $5.1 million renovation he helped fund.

In 1981 he founded the Veiled Prophet Fair, a Gateway Arch-area celebration around the time of the Fourth of July now called Fair St. Louis. He also served as chairman of the St. Louis Zoo.

His first marriage, to the late Lilly Busch Hermann, ended in divorce. His second wife, Mary Lee Marshall Hermann, died last August. He is survived by daughter Carlota “Lotsie” Hermann Holton, son Robert R. Hermann Jr.; four stepchildren, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by daughter Christy Busch Hermann.

A memorial service will be planned later.

WATCH: Fort Lauderdale striker scores screamer from half

Fort Lauderdale screamer
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Every goalkeeper could use a reminder to be wary of adventuring too far from his box, and USL League One provides us our latest lesson for backstops.

Ricky Lopez-Espin scored a terrific insurance goal for Fort Lauderdale CF on Saturday night, a marker which would stand as the difference in 2-1 defeat of Georgian outfit South Tormenta FC.

[ MORE: Atletico Madrid confirms positive COVID tests ]

The win pulls FLCF, first called Inter Miami II, off the bottom of the League One table early in this restarted season.

It was quite a hit, a turnover near midfield allowing Lopez-Espin the chance to spy the keeper off his line and rip a rocket out of reach.

Miami-born Lopez-Espin played college soccer at Creighton and was a Real Salt Lake draft pick. The 24-year-old played twice for RSL and later suited up for Real Monarchs and Lansing Ignite.

Wake Forest No. 1 as NCAA D-I Tournament set

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Wake Forest is the No. 1 seed for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament, Bobby Muuss’ men aiming to go back to the College Cup final for the second time in three years.

[ USMNT: Nagbe, Steffen out ]

The Demon Deacons have produced a strong crop of MLS players, including Jack Harrison, Ian Harkes, Sam Cronin, and Ike Opara.

Other seeded teams are Syracuse, Stanford, Saint Mary’s, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, Louisville, Kentucky, Central Florida, Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Virginia, Denver, and Indiana (It pays to be in the ACC).

A fun side note for those who don’t follow the college game: One of Duke’s top players is goalkeeper Will Pulisic, brother of USMNT and Borussia Dortmund star Christian Pulisic.

First two rounds
New Hampshire vs. Colgate (winner vs. Wake Forest)
Akron vs. Rider (winner vs. Syracuse)
UC Irvine vs. Grand Canyon (winner vs. Stanford)
Oregon State vs. Southern Methodist (winner vs. Saint Mary’s)
High Point vs. James Madison (winner vs. North Carolina)
Charlotte vs. Georgia State (winner vs. Virginia Tech)
West Virginia vs. LIU Brooklyn (winner vs. Georgetown)
Michigan State vs. Illinois-Chicago (winner vs. Louisville)
Portland vs. UCLA (winner vs. Kentucky)
Washington vs. Lipscomb (winner vs. Central Florida)
NC State vs. Campbell (winner vs. Maryland)
Pacific vs. UC Riverside (winner vs. Duke)
Michigan vs. Princeton (winner vs. Notre Dame)
UNC-Wilmington vs. Furman (winner vs. Virginia)
Air Force vs. Central Arkansas (winner vs. Denver)
UConn vs. Rhode Island (winner vs. Indiana)

Canadian Premier League draft lets players keep eligibility

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How could you make college soccer and professional soccer better in the United States?

Just follow the lead of the new Canadian Premier League.

The CPL recently held its first college draft ahead of, naturally, its first professional season.

[ MORE: U.S. qualifies for U-20 World Cup ]

As someone who’s fascinated by nascent leagues in North America, in particular the start of this one, I took a peek at who was drafted and saw something a bit odd.

Fourteen of 21 picks are in their first, second, or third year of college (out of five in Canada).

So I rang up one of the top college coaches in U Sports — Canada’s NCAA — and he’s not worried at all. Why? Because the players are leaving school early, at least for now. They are allowed to stay in school.

Players will leave their colleges for the pro season, then return to school in the summer for their college seasons.

Back to the “at least for now” point: It will be interesting to see what happens when one of these kids are key contributors to their pro club and have to go back to school.

The college programs will improve and be more stable, kids will find college soccer more attractive, and the pro teams could catch the rights of top prospects at a younger age and play a role in their development (in turn developing the college game).

Here, of course, is where I could say that it would be amazing if the NCAA found a way to do this. But that would be disingenuous.