3 Rough Riders on Hermann Trophy Watch List

Written by Michael Lewis

There was little doubt the Long Island Rough Riders were a quality side this past USL League Two season.

After all, they reached the league championship match earlier this month.

The team was reminded how much quality it had when three players were named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List for the 2022 fall college season this week.

Hofstra University goalkeeper Wessel Speel and forward Ryan Carmichael and West Virginia University defender Bjarne Thiesen selected to the prestigious list of 38 men’s players.

Speel, a junior, recorded a 1.24 goals-against average and six shutouts in 18 games encompassing the USL League Two regular season and playoffs. He secured a 4-1 record in the postseason, losing to the Ventura County Fusion in the final on Aug. 6.

With Hofstra, Speel was a preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association selection after he registered 72 saves, a 0.90 goals-against average and eight shutouts last season. He also earned All-CAA and All-region honors.

Carmichael, another junior, formed a dynamic attacking duo with Hofstra graduate Matthew Vowinkel, finished the League Two campaign with 13 goals and four assists in 17 matches. Another preseason All-CAA selection, Carmichael led the nation in scoring in 2021 on the strength of 39 points on 15 goals and nine assists. He also was a first-team all-region and All-CAA pick last season.

Carmichael did not score in Hofstra’s 2-1 season-opening win over Fordham University on Thursday, Aug. 26, but he set up the game-winning goal with one second remaining in regulation. His short pass found an onrushing Eliot Goldthorp in the penalty area for the winner.

Thiesen anchored the Rough Riders’ tough backline, competing in 12 regular-season contests and all five playoff matches. He played 1,305 minutes. An All-America third team selection by United Soccer Coaches in 2021, Thiesen scored two goals and helped West Virginia record nine clean sheets in 2021. He started all 21 matches, totaling 1,980 minutes.

A third Hofstra players also was named – Hendrik Hebbeker.

The Hermann Trophy is awarded annual by the Missouri Athletic Club. It is the nation’s highest individual honor recognizing the national player of the year as determined by the voting of Division I coaches who are members of United Soccer Coaches.

The women’s Hermann Trophy Watch List was announced on Aug. 18. Fifteen men’s and 15 women’s players will be unveiled as semifinalists on Nov. 30. The top three players will be selected as finalists on Dec. 7.

The winner will be revealed at a ceremony at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo. on Jan. 6, 2023.

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