What to anticipate from FAU men’s soccer’s 2022 season

FAU plays its season-opener against Lynn University on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m.


Eston Parker III

University Press stock photo of midfielder Jose Alastuey.

Richard Pereira, News Editor

How they finished in the Fall 2021 season: 9-7-3 (2-4-2 C-USA), runner-ups in the Conference USA Tournament, did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.


Make a great first impression in the American

This will be the Owls’ first season playing in the American Athletic Conference, being one of the first FAU programs to do so.

While the Owls will not have to worry about the likes of the University of Kentucky and Marshall University anymore, their competition does not get any easier for them.

What the AAC has to offer for men’s soccer involves the University of Tulsa and the University of Central Florida (UCF). Tulsa, ranked 11th in the nation, is defending its title while UCF took home the conference championship in the Spring 2021 edition. 

Not only that, the Owls also have to continue playing former C-USA foes Charlotte and Florida International University (FIU), with the latter ranking 18th in the country respectively.

To ensure they can pull off upset victories regardless of playing at home or on the road, FAU must prepare its defense for what the best AAC teams have to offer heading into the season.


Retool the offense

The Owls have their work cut out for them when it comes to rebuilding the offense. Of the four forwards who played in the Fall 2021 season, only one remains for this season. 

FAU saw a majority of its scoring from two players who have since left: forwards Ivan Mykhailenko and Filip Jauk. Mykhailenko led the team with nine goals and Jauk followed with eight, as FAU had one of its better offensive seasons.

The Owls finished the season ranking fifth in C-USA for goals scored and shots attempted last season, having 30 goals and taking 190 shots in total. Compared to the FIU Panthers, who led the conference in scoring averaging 2.35 goals per game, FAU contrasts by averaging 1.58 goals per game.

To keep up with the best AAC teams, it is urgent for the Owls to figure out how to balance the offense with consistent goalscorers.


Have more defensive consistency

After making program history on the defensive end of the pitch by allowing 11 goals for an average of 0.92 goals conceded per game in the Spring 2021 campaign, the Owls conceded 31 goals the following season.

Despite allowing more goals, FAU stepped up its defense during the 2021 C-USA Tournament. The team even saw key players such as Tom Abrahamsson and Chadi Mayati be crucial to denying goalscoring opportunities on their inspiring run to the C-USA Championship game.

Priorities for the team on defense this season must be apparent: force opposing offenses to make mistakes more frequently and keep the ball away from them.


Darkhorse AAC contenders?

This season will be one of the most interesting in the program’s entire history.

Looking back on the milestones the team made last season, head coach Joey Worthen intends to continue building the team and have them compete for championships and NCAA Tournament appearances, even in the AAC.

“It doesn’t get any easier, necessarily, but that’s another big thing that I like. I didn’t want to go to a school where we could play bad teams and just win the conference easily because that doesn’t set you up for success. That doesn’t prepare you as a player if you want to move to the next level,” Worthen said. “We [have] a big challenge but I think that again, those are the kind of guys we recruit in here, guys that want to meet that challenge and help exceed any expectations.”

While not many expect the Owls to win the AAC Championship in their first season, if they can show they are capable of getting wins against stronger opposition, their potential can be as high as ever.

FAU will kick off its season hosting Lynn University on Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. To view the full  schedule, click here.

Richard Pereira is the News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @Rich26Pereira.