DURHAM, N.C.—It’s been a busy offseason for Duke men’s soccer with current Blue Devils winning honors, recent graduates moving on to the next level and a new addition joining the Duke family. The Blue Devils are back in action with practice soon, working toward taking a big step forward in 2019.
McKenna Signs with Falkirk FC
Former Blue Devil captain Ciaran McKenna, who graduated in December, recently signed a sixth-month contract with Falkirk FC in Falkirk, Scotland. Founded in 1876, Falkirk FC competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. He saw action at center back in Falkirk’s 1-0 win over Ayr United.
McKenna, an All-ACC third team pick in 2018, played outside back for the Blue Devils this past season. The team’s undisputed leader, McKenna started all 19 games and scored twice on set pieces. He was an incredibly versatile player for the Blue Devils, playing everywhere from center midfield to striker to center back and ultimately settling in at outside right back.
For his career, McKenna played in 61 career games with 37 starts. He registered six goals and an assist for 13 points. Off the field, the Glasgow, Scotland native was a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll selection.
Wrapping up Postseason Honors
Rookies Issa Rayyan and Aedan Stanley left their marks after outstanding first seasons with the Blue Devils. Both were named to the Top Drawer Soccer Freshmen Best XI first team. The duo also was ranked among the top five freshmen by Top Drawer Soccer. Rayyan came in at No. 3 and Stanley at No. 5. Starters in all 20 games, they played at opposite ends of the field with Stanley anchoring the defense at center back and Rayyan a playmaker on offense.
Rayyan was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and finished with six goals and three assists for 15 points. Stanley, meanwhile, helped Duke post six shutouts and played a team-high 1,831 minutes. Both earned ACC All-Freshman Team recognition, while Rayyan also was picked for the All-ACC second team.
Ali Curtis Returns to MLS Front Office
Former Blue Devil star and 1999 Hermann Trophy winner, Ali Curtis recently was named Toronto FC General Manager. He previously served as the sporting director for the New York Red Bulls and oversaw the club win the 2015 Supporters’ Shield and finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2016. Curtis still holds the career (53) and single-season goals (17) records and ranks second in career points (134). Curtis was drafted second overall in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by the Tampa Bay Mutiny and remained in the league for three seasons.
Jeremy Ebobisse Back in the Crest with the U.S. National Team
Jeremy Ebobisse, after helping the Portland Timbers advance to the MLS Cup, is receiving his first call-up to the senior men’s national team after representing the United States at the youth level. This past season, Ebobisse started nine regular season games for the Timbers and scored twice and added two assists. In the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, Ebobisse started six games, scoring a goal and an assist.
Sergi Nus Joins the Blue Devils
Duke welcomes a new addition to the team this January when Virginia standout Sergi Nus joins the Blue Devils as a graduate student transfer. Nus was a two-time All-ACC pick as a center back for Virginia before missing the 2018 season to injury. He also was a threat offensively, scoring six goals in 2017. He is enrolled in Duke’s Master of Liberal Arts Studies program.