ROSEMONT, Ill. – Penn State’s soccer student athletes Liam Butts, Brandon Hackenberg and Pierre Reedy were selected as the Big Ten Players to Watch as announced by the conference office on Thursday afternoon.
Butts, a sophomore student in Lawrenceville, Georgia, is honored for the first time of his career in the preseason. The forward was a first-team All-Big Ten winner, United Soccer Coaches All-North Region second-team award and a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team after leading the Nittany Lions by nine goals. including five game winners, most of them in the conference. This preseason Butts was added to the MAC Hermann Watch List and is considered by Top Drawer Soccer as the best XI player of the second team and the 23rd player.
Hackenberg, a Redshirt senior from Palmyra, Virginia, receives the preseason award for the second consecutive season. The defender and team captain was a first-team All-Big Ten winner and a third-team winner of the United Soccer Coaches All-North Region a season ago. He started all but one game on the backline and contributed to six shutouts. In this preseason, Hackenberg is classified by Top Drawer Soccer as Preseason Best XI of the third team and as the 31st player. Hackenberg was also drafted 22nd overall in the first round of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft to Orlando City SC.
Reedy, a senior Redshirt from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, is honored for the second consecutive year and third time in his preseason career. The midfielder and team captain returned to the field in 2019 after missing the last two seasons due to injury. Reedy had four assists in 16 games last season.
Indiana was unanimously voted the league’s favorite for the preseason by the nine men’s soccer coaches. The Nittany Lions, runners-up at the conference as of 2019, are voted third according to the poll.
Butts, Hackenberg, Reedy and the 2020-21 roster open the season under third-year head coach Jeff Cook against Maryland # 21 at Holuba Hall on Friday, February 19.
Current Big Ten guidelines prohibit the general public from attending Penn State men’s home games this season.
2020-21 Big Ten men’s soccer players on watchlist
Victor Bezerra, Sun., F, Indiana
Spencer Glass, Sr., D., Indiana
Daniel Munie, So., D, Indiana
Paul Bin, Sr., F., Maryland
Eric Matzelevich, Sr., F, Maryland
Brett St. Martin Jr., D., Maryland
Umar Farouk Osman, Sr., D / M, Michigan
Jackson Ragen, Sr., D., Michigan
Marc Ybarra, Sr., M., Michigan
Jack Beck, Jr., M., State of Michigan
Michael Miller, Sr., M., State of Michigan
Farai Mutatu, Jr., F, State of Michigan
Ugo Achara Jr., Sun., F, Northwestern
Rom Brown, Fr., M., Northwestern
Bardia Kimiavi, Jr., M., Northwestern
Matteo Bennati, Sr., M., State of Ohio
Devyn Etling, Jr., F, State of Ohio
Joshua Jackson Ketchup, Sr., State of Ohio
Liam Butts, Sun., F, Penn State
Brandon Hackenberg, Sr., D., Penn State
Pierre Reedy, Sr., M., Penn State
Pablo Ávila, Jr., M., Rutgers
Hugo LeGuennec, So., D, Rutgers
Jackson Temple, Sun., M, Rutgers
Andrew Akindele Jr., F., Wisconsin
Zach Klancnik, Sr., D., Wisconsin
Sven Kleinhans, Grad., GK, Wisconsin
2020-21 Big Ten Men’s Football Pre-Season Survey
- Penn State
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
* – unanimous selection