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Charlotte 49ers team to beat in Conference USA men’s soccer

Charlotte 49ers striker Kyle Parker is Conference USA’s preseason offensive player of the year and on the Hermann Trophy watch list.
Charlotte 49ers striker Kyle Parker is Conference USA’s preseason offensive player of the year and on the Hermann Trophy watch list.

The Charlotte 49ers continue to gain some impressive preseason men’s college soccer attention.

The 49ers, who won last season’s Conference USA regular-season championship and played in the NCAA tournament for a fifth time in six seasons, were voted by C-USA’s coaches to win this season’s title. Charlotte received six first place votes, ahead of New Mexico (one) and Kentucky.

49ers senior striker Kyle Parker was named the league’s preseason offensive player of the year and is also on the preseason all-conference team with Charlotte junior midfielder Brandt Bronico and senior defender Biko Bradnock-Brennan. Parker (a former Marvin Ridge High star) and Bronico were also named to the watch list for the Hermann Trophy, which goes to college soccer’s top player.

Parker led C-USA with 25 points last season (nine goals, seven assists). Bronico added six assists, while Bradnock-Brennan anchored a defense that allowed .92 goals per game.

The 49ers, who return nine starters from last season’s team that went 14-4-1, opens this season at defending national champion Virginia on Aug. 29. Charlotte has been ranked 17th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll.

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