LEXINGTON, Ky. — United Soccer Coaches unveiled its group of 36 men’s soccer players named to the 2019 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List, which included a trio of rising juniors from the reigning Conference USA champion Kentucky Wildcats, on Thursday. Midfielder Kalil ElMedkhar, goalkeeper Enrique Facusse and defender Aimé Mabika were tabbed as early favorites to take home college soccer’s most prestigious individual award at the conclusion of the season.
A USC All-Southeast Region and All-C-USA first-team honoree as a sophomore, ElMedkhar scored 11 goals and assisted on 10 more in 2018. His assist total ranked seventh in NCAA Division I and second in school history, while his goal output ranked 27th in the nation. The Middletown, Delaware, native’s 32 points placed ninth overall, and his 31-for-47 (.660) shot accuracy was fourth best in the nation.
Facusse was tabbed a second-team USC All-American and first-team All-C-USA performer last year after setting UK single-season records for wins (19), shutouts (14) and goals against average (0.49). The 6-foot-3 former Montverde Academy (Fla.) standout from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, led the entire country in shutouts and ranked third in goals against average, complemented by the 11th-best save percentage (.836).
Mabika, who hails from Lexington, was voted to the third-team USC All-America and first-team All-C-USA defenses a season ago. With Mabika as its anchor, the 2018 Kentucky back line ended the season second in the nation by way of its 0.49 goals against average and .636 shutout percentage.
Awarded annually since 1967, the 10-pound crystal soccer ball goes to both the men’s and women’s USC National Players of the Year as decided by a panel of Division I coaches. Former Kentucky forward JJ Williams was one of three finalists considered for the accolade last season.