DURHAM, N.C.—After just two full days of preseason practices the Duke men’s soccer team will face its first test in an exhibition against preseason No. 11 Clemson Friday afternoon. Kickoff is set for Aug. 10 at 4 p.m., at Koskinen Stadium. Admission is free.
The matchup against the ACC foe, which Duke is not scheduled to play during the regular season, will be the first of three exhibitions for the Blue Devils before starting the season Aug. 24.
Preseason Polls Are Out
Duke enters the 2018 campaign ranked 10th in the United Soccer Coaches poll, while Clemson is 11th. The No. 10 ranking is the highest for the Blue Devils since coming in at No. 4 heading into the 2007 campaign. Duke finished 2017 ranked 13th and Clemson 17th.
Looking at Duke’s 2018 Schedule
The Blue Devils are slated to face seven preseason top 25 programs, including five in the top 15, this season. Five of those are conference foes with No. 13 Georgetown and No. 20 Florida International completing the list. Duke’s matchup against the Panthers marks the first time the Blue Devils have faced a ranked opponent in the season opener since it played No. 20 Louisville in 2010.
Duke’s South American Adventure
The Blue Devils came into preseason camp after a fantastic adventure to Argentina and Uruguay in May. Duke, through supporters of the program, spent 10 days away and were able to experience everything from a Boca Juniors game to a local rugby match. The players also had the opportunity to take in local salsa dancing, receive a tour of where the Argentinian president works and of course eat many authentic meals. The team also played four contests and finished 2-1-1 overall. It was a great learning experience for the players and coaches as they delved into South American culture for the 10 days.
Veterans Join Blue Devils
Graduate students Kevin Feucht and Sivert Daehlie gave an already talented incoming group of freshmen a boost as veteran talents from UC Santa Barbara and Radford, respectively. They are enrolled in the Duke Fuqua School of Business Master of Management Studies program and have the potential to be major contributors as playmakers. Daehlie was a top scorer for Radford, while Feucht was a two-time All-Big West first team selection for the Gauchos.
Duke Incoming Class Among the Best
Buoyed by the addition of Feucht and Daehlie, Duke’s incoming class was tabbed as the nation’s sixth best group by Top Drawer Soccer. In addition to the veterans, Duke welcomes seven freshmen to the program. The group, featuring players from seven states and four with U.S. Youth National Team experience, will be a great addition to an already talented group of returning Blue Devils. Rookie Aedan Stanley is arguably the headliner. A center back, Stanley was called into the U.S. Under-20 National Team training camp in July.
A Glance at Clemson
The Tigers enter the 2018 season after 12-6-1 season that saw them lose in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Coastal Carolina. Robbie Robinson is Clemson’s top returning scorer after tallying four goals and an assist as a rookie to earn All-ACC Freshman Team honors. Freshman goalkeeper George Marks recently took part in the U.S. U-20 National Team Training Camp in Raleigh, N.C. He will vie for the spot left open by the graduation of Ximo Miralles. Overall, the Tigers feature a talented incoming class that was ranked second nationally and features five players.
Blue Devils Host 11 Home Games
Duke will kick off its home schedule with the annual John Rennie Nike Invitational Aug. 24-26. The Blue Devils host No. 20 Florida International and Vermont. Elon is the fourth squad. Duke will look to capitalize on its home slate at Koskinen that features three preseason top 25 programs, including No. 3 North Carolina Sept. 14. The rivalry game is slated to kick off at 5 p.m.