Former Knight Eduardo Jimenez is playing professionally in the North American Soccer League with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. The midfielder, who concluded his collegiate career in the fall, signed with the team in early April.
Jimenez appeared in 68 career contests for the Knights and scored four goals with five assists. In 2012, he played in all 18 matches and recorded one goal and one assist. Jimenez was a member of two NCAA Tournament squads during his time in Orlando.
The North American Soccer League has 11 teams, including three in Florida.
Former UCF goalkeeper Sean Johnson has been selected to the U.S. Men's National Team squad that will face Costa Rica and Mexico in upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. The U.S. will face Costa Rica in Colorado on March 22 and meet Mexico in Mexico City on March 26.
The United States is one of the six CONCACAF nations competing in the final round of qualifying for a berth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
A Lilburn, Ga. product, Johnson made his international debut Jan. 22, 2011 against Chile at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. Johnson earned his first start for the U.S. Men's National Team and earned the shutout in a 0-0 draw with Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas Jan. 29. The 23-year-old 'keeper has been capped three times.
Now in his fourth year as a professional, Johnson started the first three matches of the season for the Fire and earned his 16th career shutout in a 0-0 draw at Sporting Kansas City March 16. In 2012, Johnson appeared in a career-high 31 regular season matches for the Men in Red and recorded five shutouts en route to a 1.24 goals against average that was the lowest in his professional career. Johnson made 108 saves in 2012, including a career-high ten saves against the San Jose Earthquakes July 28.
Johnson will miss the Fire's match against Chivas USA at Toyota Park on Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 p.m. CT (My50 Chicago/UniMas/107.9 La Ley).
In his professional debut over the weekend, Deshorn Brown quickly showed the Colorado Rapids why he was a great selection in the recent MLS SuperDraft. The former Knight earned the start at forward in the Rapids' season opener at FC Dallas and recorded four shots, including a pair on goal, in 83 minutes.
On Saturday, Brown and fellow rookie Dillon Powers were two of the most impressive players on the field for Colorado coach Oscar Pareja in a 1-0 defeat.
"You want to have the result, but with this philosophy that we have here we're not afraid to throw the young guys in there, because they deserve it," Pareja said after the game at FC Dallas Stadium. "I thought the performance today by Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown was great."
In the 13th minute, the two linked up for arguably the Rapids' best chance on goal on the night. Powers chested down a ball at midfield, turned and lifted a perfect pass to Brown, whose ensuing effort on goal was well saved by FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez.
Colorado will make its home debut Saturday vs. the Philadelphia Union.
Brown was tabbed by the Rapids with the No. 6 overall pick in the SuperDraft. As a junior in 2012, he recorded
Former UCF star Sean Johnson made his first start in goal for the U.S. Men's National Team in a friendly against Canada Tuesday evening in Houston. Johnson was called upon to make one save en route to the shutout in the scoreless draw.
He was making his third overall appearance with the national team. His lone stop came against Dwayne De Rosario in the sixth minute. After chasing a long cross down in the box, De Rosario hit a volley with his left foot from a tough angle toward the left side of the goal, but Johnson quickly reacted to bat away the 10-yard shot.
Johnson, who plays in the MLS with the Chicago Fire, is currently in camp with the national team. The U.S. will face host Honduras on Feb. 6.
A tough overtime loss for the UCF men's basketball team
overshadowed career games for Keith Clanton and Tristan Spurlock, the Knights
will look to bounce back this weekend when they hit the road again and travel
to Houston to take on the Cougars Saturday night.
Clanton scored 36 points and Spurlock added a double-double
with 23 points and 11 rebounds in UCF's 88-85 overtime loss against ECU. The
Knights will face the Pirates one more time this season when ECU travels to
Orlando on February 9th.
The women's basketball team will be back home this upcoming
weekend after a tough 69-54 loss against the SMU Mustangs. UCF will host the
Southern Golden Eagles Sunday afternoon in the UCF Arena.
The women's track and field is coming off a very successful
Kentucky invitational where the team finished witheight marks that rank among the NCAA's top 10
and a new freshman record in the 3,000 meters by Anne-Marie Blaney.
The Knights will travel to Gainesville to compete in the
Gator Invitational and to Birmingham, Alabama to take part in the Auburn
Also, keep a close eye Thursday night on the MLS Draft. UCF
men's soccer standout Deshorn Brown is expected to be a Top 10 selection. Find
out more about Brown and the rest of the UCF athletic squads in the video
TopDrawerSoccer.com recently published its list of the top players in Conference USA in 2012 and a pair of Knights were recognized. Junior forward Deshorn Brown was No. 6 and senior defender Andrew Quintana was listed at No. 8.
In his first year at UCF, Brown garnered NSCAA All-South Region First Team and All-C-USA First Team honors after recording 13 goals. He led C-USA and ranked fifth nationally in points per game at 1.81 and was tops in the league and sixth in the country in goals per game at 0.81.
A four-year starter at center back, Quintana started all 18 matches this past season. He ranked second on the squad with 1,671 minutes.
After posting an impressive 1-0 victory over No. 17 SMU
Sunday, UCF has moved to fifth in the NSCAA South Region Poll. North Carolina
is first in the poll, followed by Wake Forest, Elon and Furman. UCF is the
highest-ranked team from Florida in the regional polls.
The Knights will have more chances to move up in the poll,
starting Sunday when they play at Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane are currently
receiving votes in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25.
UCF senior defender Ben Hunt was selected as the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week Monday after leading the Knights to a pair of shutouts. In the video below, Hunt talks about UCF's defensive effort and the 1-0 victory over No. 17 SMU.
Major League Soccer recently released a list of the top 24
players in the league under 24 and former Knight Sean Johnson was recognized
near the top rankings. The Chicago Fire goalkeeper earned the No. 4 spot on the
list. Johnson was recently called into U.S. National Team camp and has excelled
for the Fire in 2012.
Johnson played for the Knights from 2008-09
and was selected by Chicago in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Click here to read more about Johnson and the MLS 24 Under 24 list.
Following its match against Jacksonville Friday, the Knights
will have a long break before their next contest - the team will play at
Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. The break will sure come in handy for the
Knights, who will need to plan for a formidable opponent.
The Eagles went 12-6-2 last year and posted an impressive
2-1 win in September of 2011 over the then-No. 8 Knights in Orlando. The teams
met again in the first round of the NCAA Championship and the host Knights won
1-0 in double overtime.
Florida Gulf Coast is 3-3 this season, but has faced a
challenging schedule. The Eagles began the campaign with a contest at No. 2
Akron, and then played at No. 16 Georgetown. The team owns a 3-0 neutral-site
win over South Carolina, and has also defeated Iona and Bucknell.
TopDrawerSoccer.com lists Florida Gulf Coast at No. 38 in
its Tournament 48 Rankings.
Losses are something teams
never want to deal with, but there can be value in learning from them. Despite
the UCF men's soccer team's 2-0 loss to No. 11 Old Dominion Saturday night,
head coach Bryan Cunningham knows playing against one of the top teams in the
nation can only help his squad.
The defeat was the Knights' first of the season.
"We'll be better because of this game," Cunningham said. "We
have a good team and we're only going to get better. You learn from wins and
you learn from losses."
According to College Soccer News, four of UCF's upcoming
opponents are currently ranked in the Top 30 national poll. The Knights' next
opponent - California - received votes in the CSN ranking. Playing a daunting
schedule will benefit the Knights in the post-season.
"You always want to play the best so you can move up the
rankings and get into the [NCAA] Tournament," senior forward A.J. Nelson said.
"Getting those good tests will help us come tournament time. It's a good thing
for us and we'll get some good results out of it."
Old Dominion was the first ranked team the
Knights faced this season.
"It's tough, but it's a good test early," Nelson said.
"Hopefully we can learn from it and move forward."
After a two-goal performance in his UCF debut Friday at Florida Atlantic, UCF junior Deshorn Brown was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week Monday.
Against FAU, the forward recorded the game-winning tally in the 59th minute, less than two minutes after the Owls tied the game. The score was a bullet to the top left side of the goal that beat FAU keeper Jeremy Crumpton.
Brown's first goal came in the 51st minute when he took a cross from Omar Vallejo in the box and beat Crumpton in the lower left corner. A native of Jamaica, Brown took three shots versus the Owls. He was one of 11 players nationally to be recognized by College Soccer News.
With the regular season set to open Friday, UCF is listed in TopDrawerSoccer.com's initial Tournament 48 rankings. The media outlet projects the 48 teams it expects to make the NCAA Championship and UCF is 26th on the list.
The Knights have made two-consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship, advancing to the second round each year.
Head coach Bryan Cunningham's squad will open the campaign Friday at Florida Atlantic. UCF's home opener is Sept. 1 vs. Old Dominion. Six of UCF's 2012 foes are listed in TopDrawerSoccer.com's rankings.
UCF will conclude the exhibition portion of its schedule
Sunday when the Knights host Florida Tech at 2 p.m. at the UCF Soccer Complex.
Admission is free for the contest.
The Knights will be playing their third exhibition contest
in six days. On Friday in Orlando, UCF rallied to pickup a 2-2 draw versus
Mercer. Both of UCF's goals came in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
Deshorn Brown scored to cut the Bears' lead to a goal and then assisted on
McKauly Tulloch's tying score.
Following the matchup with Florida Tech, UCF will open the
regular season at Florida Atlantic on Nov. 24. The squad's home opener is Sept.
1 against Old Dominion.
With their practice scheduled for this evening, the Knights had time Friday for its annual photo day. UCF took its head shots and team photo, and the senior class got in front of the camera with the UCF video services staff to film some promotional clips.
Incoming UCF junior transfer Deshorn Brown picked up a
big honor Tuesday when he was named to the 2012 PDL All-League Team. The
forward, who will begin his career with the Knights in August, was one of 11
players from the league's 73 teams to be honored.
Playing for Reading United in Pennsylvania, Brown scored
13 goals in 13 matches.
A native of Jamaica, Brown was a two-time NAIA
All-America First Team selection at the University of Mobile. In 2011, he led
all NAIA players with 32 goals.
During non-conference play, a pair of teams who competed in
the NCAA Championship in 2011 will visit the UCF Soccer Complex. The Knights
will host Old Dominion on Sept. 1 and also welcome Charlotte, the national
runner-up, on Sept. 26. In this video, UCF head coach Bryan Cunningham
talks about hosting high-caliber opponents.
When the Knights face host California on Sept. 7, UCF fans
will be able to follow the action from the West Coast. The match is scheduled
to air nationally on the new Pac-12 Network, which is scheduled to make its
debut in August.