Written by: Billyle Alman
Francis Atuahene and Jack Hallahan sat out Michigan’s most recent exhibition vs. UW Green Bay (3-0 Win on August 19th)
Known commodities in the attacking third, Jack and Francis looked to be on rest in the most recent competition. Both players were seen getting touches on the ball during warm-up and half time, but neither suited up in last week’s tune-up. We think Hallahan will be back in the line-up for the Wolverines on Friday Night, but with the performance of newcomer Mohammed Zakyi, at the #9 spot, we don’t expect Coach Daley to rush Atuahene back.
Zakyi is not Atuahene, but don’t be surprised to see Zakyi in and a rested Atuahene. Preserving the All-Big Ten talent, Francis, could be the smart move.
Choice at goalkeeper Friday Night
First, both Henry Mashburn and Andrew Verdi are capable and ready to step in as starters for Michigan. They split 90 the last time out as we assume the decision had not been made.
With four non-conference dates before the Big Ten opener, Michigan has enough opportunities to continue to give both goalkeepers minutes. That said, expect Daley’s choice at GK to start Friday’s match to be the individual who won the job early. From there on it will be that individual’s spot to lose.
William & Mary
W&M picked 1st in preseason CAA poll
In a poll taken by the 9 head coaches in the Colonial Athletic Association, The Tribe finished first. This club defeated Michigan in Virginia last season and return 20 players from their 2016 squad.
According to tribeathletics.com, “W&M finished last season at 12-7-2 on its way to a berth to the CAA Championship match. The Tribe also put together a pair of five-match winning streaks in a season for the first time since 1996. Offensively, W&M ranked among the national top 10 in nearly every category, including eighth in scoring offense (1.95).”
Midfielder Antonio Bustamante tabbed preseason All-American
William & Mary feature other standouts in Ryder Bell (F) and Marcel Berry (M), but for Bustamante, “The honor adds to a growing list of preseason accolades for Bustamante. He was one of 31 players nationally to be named to the Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Watch List, college soccer's version of the Heisman Trophy, by the United Soccer Coaches (USC). Bustamante was also named the CAA Preseason Player of the Year by vote of the league's coaches.” - tribeathletics.com
Though Michigan will be happy to host it’s regular season opener this Friday here at UMSS, William & Mary seems to be the class of the Mid-Major landscape in the Colonial Region. Michigan is simply fine-tuning it’s style of play ahead of Big Ten Season, but this match could go a long way in regards to an at-large NCAA bid should Michigan be in contention this fall.