DENVER – Seattle U is the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Western Athletic Conference men's soccer title and Redhawks senior midfielder Sergio Rivas and senior defender Nathan Aune were selected as the WAC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year respectively in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches, who could not vote for their own team or players.
The Redhawks collected nine of 12 first-place votes and 119 total points to take the top spot after winning the 2017 WAC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. UNLV was selected second with 105 points, just one tick ahead of defending regular-season champion Air Force, who earned the remaining three first-place votes and 104 points overall. Tournament finalist San José State was selected fourth with 84 points, followed by Utah Valley in fifth with 79 points and Grand Canyon in sixth with 75 points. CSU Bakersfield was selected seventh with 55 points, followed by UT Rio Grande Valley in eighth, Kansas City in ninth, newcomer California Baptist in 10th, Houston Baptist in 11th and UIW in 12th.
Rivas and Aune are joined on the Preseason All-WAC squad by teammates Anthony Ayala and Josh Adachi. UNLV has three players as forward Marco Gonzalez, midfielder Timo Mehlich and defender Adam Musovski were honored. Air Force had two selected as forwards Tucker Bone and Austin Dewing represented the Falcons. Grand Canyon midfielder Josh Drack and San José State defender Andy Rios rounded out the 11-member team.
2018 Preseason Men's Soccer Coaches Poll
|Rank||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points|
|1.||Seattle U (9)||119|
|3.||Air Force (3)||104|
|4.||San José State||84|
|8.||UT Rio Grande Valley||49|
2018 Preseason All-WAC Team
Tucker Bone, Sr., F, Air Force
Austin Dewing, Sr., F, Air Force
Marco Gonzalez, So., F, UNLV
Josh Drack, So., MF, Grand Canyon
Timo Mehlich, Jr., MF, UNLV
Sergio Rivas, Sr., MF, Seattle U
Nathan Aune, Sr., D, Seattle U
Anthony Ayala, Sr., D, Seattle U
Adam Musovski, Sr., D, UNLV
Andy Rios, Sr., D, San José State
Josh Adachi, Sr., GK, Seattle U
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Sergio Rivas, Seattle U
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Nathan Aune, Seattle U