LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State men’s soccer senior midfielder Giuseppe Barone and redshirt-junior defender Patrick Nielsen were named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List on Thursday. The MAC Hermann Trophy, presented by World Wide Technology, is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year.
Barone and Nielsen are the first Spartans named to the Hermann Watch List since Ryan Sierakowski in 2017. Goalkeeper Avery Steinlage was named to the watch list in 2010. In 2014, midfielder Jay Chapman was named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, becoming the first Spartan in school history to achieve the feat.
“Patrick and Giuseppe are very deserving of being named to the Herman Trophy watch. They are both one of best at their positions in the country. Not only are they very good players, but they are good leaders and people. They are great representatives of MSU and the Big Ten Conference. We will rely on these two along with seniors Michael Wetungu and Michael Pimlott for a very competitive season,” said MSU head coach Damon Rensing.
A native of Grandville, Michigan, Barone earned first-team All-American honors last season as well as being named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year. Last season, he was MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist. Barone was second on the team in scoring last season with three goals and a team-leading 10 assists for 16 points.
Nielsen, a native of Copenhagen, Denmark, begins his second season with the Spartans in 2019. He earned first-team All-North Region honors, as well as first-team All-Big Ten accolades. Nielsen scored three goals with two assists for eight points, along with being a part of the stifling Spartan defense.
The due are two of four players from the Big Ten on the watch list along with Michigan’s Jack Hallahan and Indiana’s Jack Maher. A total of 36 players were named to the watch list.
The MAC Hermann Trophy Watch Lists are compiled by members of the United Soccer Coaches Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I All-America Committees. Fifteen semifinalists will be named for both the men’s and women’s MAC Hermann Trophy on December 3, while three finalists will ultimately be placed on the ballot for the coveted award on December 13. This year’s winners will be announced Jan. 10, 2020 at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
The Spartans begin action on Sunday, Aug. 18 in exhibition at UIC at 7 p.m. In its only home exhibition, Michigan State will face Butler on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. and will conclude the preseason at Xavier on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7 p.m.
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