Gamecocks rack up preseason accolades

Preseason accolades continue to roll in for South Carolina men’s soccer, as the Gamecocks were ranked No. 21 in the College Soccer News 2016 Preseason National Poll and senior midfielder Danny Deakin was named to the publication’s 2016 Preseason All-America Second Team.

Carolina, which was ranked No. 24 entering the season by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, returns 17 letter-winners from its NCAA Tournament second round squad last season.

The Gamecocks are joined in the rankings by fellow C-USA members Kentucky (No. 23), Charlotte (No. 24) and FIU (No. 25). Four other 2016 opponents received nods, including Clemson (No. 4), Wake Forest (No. 5), Rutgers (No. 26) and Coastal Carolina (No. 29).

Deakin, who started all 21 matches last season, led South Carolina and ranked fourth in C-USA with four goals in league play, en route to First-Team All-C-USA accolades. His 24 points last season ranks second in the conference among returnees.

Deakin is one of four C-USA players placed on a College Soccer News Preseason All-America Team, with the three others receiving third team nods. This marks the third preseason accolade for the Sheffield, England, product, as he was also named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Team and the Hermann Trophy Watch List.

South Carolina opens its home slate Thursday with an exhibition against Winthrop at 7 p.m. The regular season kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, as the Gamecocks host Clemson.

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