Lodge, Walker Named Preseason All-Conference USA

IRVING, Texas -- Kentucky men’s soccer sophomore forward Matt Lodge and junior defender Brad Walker have been voted to the preseason All-Conference USA team in a voting of the nine league coaches, it was announced by the league office Wednesday afternoon.

The league coaches voted 11 players on the All-Conference USA preseason squad and with two UK players selected, had the second-most preseason all-conference honorees. Tulsa juniors Austin Neil and Justin Chavez were named preseason C-USA Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively.

A native of Rossington, England, Lodge led UK in scoring as a true freshman, totaling six goals and two assists (14 points), leading the club with 43 shots, 19 shots on goal and three game-winning goals. Lodge, an All-Conference USA selection in 2009 by the league coaches, started off the year on a tear, netting his first career goal in the second game of the season and adding an assist in a win over No. 18 Illinois-Chicago, the third game of the year. Lodge kept up his streak of points in four straight games with a two-goal game against SIU-Edwardsville and a goal against Alabama A&M. Lodge later added a goal at Memphis and a game-winner at South Carolina.

Walker, a 6-foot-2 defender, has been a fixture on the backline for the last two seasons, helping UK form a steady defensive unit. In 2009, Walker netted one goal and added an assist, with his goal at Illinois-Chicago functioning as a game-winning goal. Walker’s assist in 2009 came on Oct. 28 at UCF in a 2-1 UK win that helped the Wildcats secure a postseason berth. In his two-year career, Walker owns two goals and one assist, firing 26 shots and 11 shots on goal. Walker joined All-American defender Barry Rice and four-year starting goalkeeper Dan Williams in helping anchor a UK defense that led the league with a 0.78 goals-against average in 2009. In 2009, Walker was named All-Conference USA by the league coaches.

Kentucky opens its 2010 season with three exhibition matches, beginning Aug. 23 at Dayton. UK will open its regular-season on Sept. 3 with the annual UK Invitational, hosting Eastern Illinois at 7:30 p.m. ET.