UK Men’s Soccer to Begin Conference Season at UAB

Posted at 6:06 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 18:06:48-04

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Kentucky men’s soccer team, off to a 3-0 start to the season and on the heels of a comprehensive win over No. 6 Louisville midweek, will enter Conference USA play against University of Alabama-Birmingham on Saturday night at BBVA Compass Field.

The CUSA.TV paid subscription service will broadcast the match.

The setup
The Wildcats will be making their first road trip of the regular season, having won their first three games of the season at home without conceding a goal.

Kentucky was victorious on Tuesday over No. 6 Louisville by a 3-0 score line.

Reigning Conference Offensive player of the Week, JJ Williams turned in a brace in the first half and has scored three goals in the last two games. Defensive C-USA Player of the week Aimé Mabika scored on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute.

Goalkeeper Enrique Facusse has not allowed a goal, and has made six saves on the season. He has played all 270 minutes for the Wildcats to date.

Kentucky was selected by league coaches to finish fourth in conference, while UAB was projected to finish eighth in the C-USA this season.

The quote
“Conference play is a completely different ball game,” Head Coach Johan Cedergren said. “The non-conference record doesn’t matter. Everyone is 0-0 in conference play. UAB maybe has had a little tougher start than they would like, but I know Coach Getman, I know how good of a job he does, I know they have some really special players.

“Two years ago we played them at their place and we ended up losing 2-1 on two set pieces, so there are some things we do that we’re going to have to work really hard in training to prepare for. With as young of a team as we have we have to understand the season isn’t over. We have 14 regular season games remaining. We’ve gotten better every game so far. The question is can we get even better now, and have a really good performance against UAB this Saturday?”


The opponent

UAB enters the C-USA portion of its season with a won-lost-drawn record of 1-3-0.  The Blazers will be seeking their first result at home, after falling last weekend in overtime Fairleigh Dickenson and being blanked 1-0 by Coastal Carolina.

UAB is lead by captains Mathieu Laurent and Eder Mora. Redshirt senior Laurent was selected to the Second Team All-Conference this season after starting in all 16 games last year. Redshirt Junior Eder Mora has had one of the four UAB goals on the season, with the others coming from all different teammates.

Heading up the Blazers coaching staff is icon Mike Getman, who is going into his 27th season with 274 wins at UAB. Getman has been a three time Conference USA regular season champion, with his last victory coming in 2011.  He has also had eight NCAA Tournament Appearances (last in 2014), which yielded 11 of his players being MLS Draft Selections.


The precedent 
UK is 8-6 against UAB all-time.

UK is 3-3 v UAB in Birmingham, and 0-1 in the present configuration of BBVA Compass Field as UK lost to UAB, 2-1, in the C-USA opener in 2016, the last time the two sides played in Birmingham.

Kentucky scored an 86th-minute winner to edge UAB 1-0 in front of 1,921 fans at The Bell last season in the C-USA opener.

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