Cedergren, men’s soccer look to build on past successes



By Boyd Hayes | Assistant Sports Editor

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How fitting that UK men’s soccer will play its home games in front of a backdrop of towering construction.

After a hopeful finish to a transition-filled 2012-13 season, construction will be a recurring theme for head coach Johan Cedergren and his team moving ahead.

“It’s been an exciting 18 months since I took over,” Cedergren said. “It was a good season last year, and now it’s just a matter of – what are we going to do going forward?”

Taking the helm in December 2011, Cedergren implemented an aggressive attack style. The difficult transition to a new style led the Cats to a 1-3 start last season.

A 1-0 victory on the road at No. 18 Louisville shined the light of a new dawn on the season, as the Cats would continue to a 9-4-2 finish in their final 15 games.

Featuring in the Cats’ turnaround were respective All-Conference-USA selections in senior midfielder Matt Lodge and junior forward Tyler Riggs, who combined for 14 goals and seven assists on the season.

Among the many accomplishments of last season is the first NCAA Tournament bid since 2003 as well as the highest team GPA and the first top-25 RPI finish in program history.

With Lodge now graduated and 2011 All-Conference-USA midfielder Cameron Wilder drafted in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft, Cedergren is left with only four seniors and one junior.

Among this season’s upperclassmen are senior defender Steven Perinovic and senior goalkeeper Jack Van Arsdale, both 2012 All-Conference-USA selections.

Joining the new ranks is a young cast of freshmen, including defenders Alex Bumpus and Jordan Wilson, and midfielder Kaelon Fox.

Bumpus played for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer at the academy level, while Fox was selected as an All-American and the Player of the Year for Kentucky by the NSCAA. From Auchterarder, Scotland, Wilson played for the Glasgow Rangers at the academy level, as well as with the Scottish National Team.

“I think you can already tell that the guys coming in are a really high quality freshman group,” Cedergren said.

As upgrades on the UK Soccer Complex continue, so do upgrades on Cedergren’s team, while the final products simply remain visions.