Aug. 21, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Former Kentucky men’s soccer stars Marco dos Santos and Barry Rice will join the 2012 UK men’s soccer staff, it was announced on Tuesday by UK head coach Johan Cedergren.
Cedergren, along with UK assistant coaches David Casper and Erik Imler, have completed their coaching and support staff with the addition of the duo of former UK stars. Dos Santos will serve as the graduate assistant director of operations and Rice will function as the undergraduate assistant coach.
“We are really thrilled that Marco and Barry can join the staff,” Cedergren said. “They both had tremendous playing careers at Kentucky. Having been through the league as student-athletes and their experience leading their collegiate teams really is a wonderful asset to the program, not just to the student athletes but for the coaching staff. Both will help us in a variety of roles and David, Erik and I are really looking forward to working with them throughout the season.”
The UK duo are two of the most decorated performers in program history, with dos Santos serving as a goal-scoring weapon for the Wildcats from 2008-09 after arriving in Lexington from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Dos Santos finished his UK career with six goals and eight assists in 39 games, firing 69 total shots and netting one game-winning goal. In 2008, dos Santos played in 20 games with five goals and five assists, before tallying one goal and three assists in 2009.
“Being back with the UK men's soccer team has been both rewarding and fun,” dos Santos said. “It has allowed me to share all that I have learned in my past years of playing. I am looking forward to the season and the opportunity to work with a great group of coaches and student-athletes.”
A native of Parma, Ohio, Rice is the most heralded player in the history of the program, as the only two-time All-America selection in school history. The former physical defender started all 78 games of his four-year career, tallying 12 goals and seven assists on 87 shots. He was named an All-America in 2009 by Collegesoccernews.com and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. In 2008, Rice was named a third-team All-American by Collegesoccernews.com and second-team by Soccer America. Rice’s dominating nature on the backline for UK created the necessity for a new stat to be tracked, the percentage of contested headers that Rice won vs. the ones he lost. In 2009, Rice won 81-percent (126-of-155) contested headers and in 2008 won 87-percent (189-of-218), including 32-of-36 in a win over Memphis. Following his career at UK, Rice signed a contract with D.C. United in Major League Soccer.
“I am very excited to be back working with UK,” Rice said. “The program means the world to me and gave me great opportunities in the classroom and on the field. I would not been able to accomplish the things I did without its help. Now I have a chance to give back and help other players achieve their goals. It’s just a great overall feeling and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I love this place.”
Kentucky will open its 2012 season on Aug. 26 at Dayton, and will kick off its home schedule on Sept. 7 vs. St. Josephs at the UK Soccer Complex.