Barry Rice Named First-Team Preseason All-America

Aug. 26, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Senior Kentucky men’s soccer defender Barry Rice – the only two-time Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in league history – has been named a first-team preseason All-American by Soccer America, it was announced Wednesday.

Rice, a native of Parma, Ohio, became the third UK player in program history to be named an All-American in 2008. A two-time C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, Rice was named to the first-team in the preseason listing by Soccer America. Rice has been honored in the 2009 preseason as an All-American by College Soccer News and as preseason C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, in a voting of the conference coaches. In addition, Rice is on the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List, annually given to the top player in college soccer.

A three-year starter, Rice has been arguably the best player in UK history, totaling 10 goals and seven assists in 60 career games, ranking sixth all-time in UK history with six game-winning goals.

A supremely athletic defender, Rice is such a force in the air that a new individual stat was charted during the 2008 season, the percentage of headers won vs. headers lost. In 2008, Rice won 189-of-218 contested header attempts on the year, an impressive 87-percent clip. A leader on the field, Rice’s best game came in a 0-0 draw in the regular-season finale against Memphis, when he won 32-of-36 contested header attempts.

In 2007, Rice had to carry the load for an injury-depleted UK team that needed goal-scoring threats. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder, finished 2007 with a team-high seven goals and one assist, notching six of his seven goals in the form of headers off set pieces, with three coming as game-winning goals.

Kentucky, which finished the 2008 season ranked No. 21, totaled an impressive 0.80 goals against average, scoring 41 total goals and ranking 15th in the NCAA in scoring offense. UK finished second in the C-USA regular-season and tournament championships, falling in the C-USA Championship on penalty kicks to No. 7 Tulsa. The Wildcats return their trio of captains from 2008, including Rice, senior midfielder Jason Griffiths and senior keeper Dan Williams.  

UK opens its regular season with the annual University of Kentucky Invitational, hosting IUPUI in the season-opener, Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

2009 Soccer America Men’s Preseason All-Americans

First Team
GK – Jovan Bubonja, UIC, Senior
D – Mark Blades, Northwestern, Senior
D – Joel Gustafsson, St. John’s, Senior
D – Ike Opara, Wake Forest, Junior
D – Barry Rice, Kentucky, Senior
M – Corben Bone, Wake Forest, Junior
M – Craig Henderson, Dartmouth, Senior
M – Michael Stephens, UCLA, Senior
F – Andre Akpan, Harvard, Senior
F – Samson Malijani, Fairleigh Dickinson, Senior
F – Andrew Wiedeman, California, Junior

Second Team
GK – Brian Perk, UCLA, Senior
D – Tennant McVea, Loyola (Md.), Senior
D – Ofori Sarkodie, Indiana, Senior
D – Chris Schuler, Creighton, Senior
M – Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Akron, Junior
M – Nelson Becerra, St. John’s, Senior
M – Stephen McCarthy, North Carolina, Senior
M – Toni Stahl, Connecticut, Senior
F – Bright Dike, Notre Dame, Senior
F – Irving Garcia, UC Irvine, Senior
F – Casey Townsend, Maryland, Sophomore

UK RECEIVING VOTES IN SOCCER TIMES TOP-25

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After finishing the 2008 season ranked No. 21 and riding a school-record 10-match unbeaten streak, the Kentucky men’s soccer team has opened the preseason receiving votes in the Soccer Times preseason top-25.

With eight votes for the top 25, UK is essentially ranked No. 35, checking in fourth in Conference USA, just behind No. 13 Tulsa, No. 27 SMU and No. 30 South Carolina.

Soccer Times Top-25
1. St. John's
2. Maryland
3. Wake Forest
4. North Carolina
5. Creighton 
6. Akron
7. Indiana
8. California
9. Northwestern
10. South Florida
11. Illinois-Chicago
12. Notre Dame
13. Tulsa
14. California, Santa Barbara
15. Connecticut
16. Virginia
17. California-Irvine
18. UCLA
19. Dartmouth
20. Michigan State
20. Loyola (Baltimore)
22. Saint Louis
23. Michigan 
24. California-Davis 
25. Louisville

Others receiving votes: Drake 27, SMU 27, California Poly 24, Boston College 17, South Carolina 13, Dayton 12, Harvard 10, Ohio State 10, Boston University 9, Kentucky 8, George Mason 7, Evansville 5, San Francisco 5, Charlotte 3, Duke 3, Denver 2, Georgetown 1.

*2009 UK opponents in bold.