Men’s Soccer Lands Three is the ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team

ATLANTA, Ga. – With the start of the 2022 men’s soccer season just around the corner, the ASUN Conference has announced its preseason all-conference team and annual coaches’ poll. After a successful first campaign in the league that saw the Bears Capture a share of the ASUN regular season title, Central Arkansas was justly rewarded by the league’s head coaches.

“Obviously very pleased for these guys, I thought each one was very deserving of this honor,” Head Coach Frank Kohlenstein said. “We feel like the leadership qualities and the skills that each one of these guys have, we can do a lot of really good things this year.”

Bringing back a number of key pieces from last season’s squad, the Bears claimed three spots on the all-conference squad, Landing one in each phase of the game.

Up top for the Bears, Sebastian Andreassen captured a spot among the forwards, looking to make his mark in his first season on the pitch for Central Arkansas. After transferring in from Young Harris, the Alesund, Norway native suffered an injury prior to last season, delaying his much-anticipated debut in the Purple and Gray. Now healthy and ready to test his mettle, the forward brings a wealth of goal scoring and size to the top of the formation for the Bears.

Karim Diao, one of two unanimous selections, took home a spot on the league’s preseason list after earning a First-Team All-ASUN slot after a successful year in 2021. Scoring 13 points on six goals and an assist last season, Diao looks to continue that momentum into this season. The Frenchman’s pace and physicality in the midfield should continue to give opponents fits as the senior looks to build on an already impressive resume.

Also back from a season-ending injury, Brady’s Knutson proved himself worthy after leading a defense that recorded seven shutouts last year. Knutson’s abilities on the back line proved invaluable, stifling offenses during the first half of the season en route to an 8-1 record through the first weekend of October. Back in action after his recovery, Knutson and the defense will continue to make life difficult for opposing offenses in Central Arkansas’ second season in the ASUN.

Although the Bears ultimately came up short of a conference tournament championship last season, the team proved that the new conference would not take long to adjust to, as Central Arkansas claimed a third regular season conference title in four years in 2021. With a host of high-octane returners, the Bears will pair an offense that was top-three in the conference with a defense that allowed the second-fewest goals in the league. The Bears were only behind ASUN Tournament Champions Lipscomb in the coaches’ poll.

“The preseason poll is nice, it tells us that teams recognize the Threat we can be and were last season,” Kohlenstein added. “We won’t put too much stock in it, but we’ll do our best to live up to it.”

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