Four CCU soccer players make all-region squads

ccusoccer-portilloCoastal Carolina standouts Pedro Ribeiro, Justin Portillo, Shawn McLaws and Uchenna Uzo have been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire All-South Atlantic Region teams.

Midfield mates Ribeiro and Portillo earned first team honors, while backline anchors McLaws and Uzo garnered second team recognition. This is Ribeiro’s third straight season he has received All-South Atlantic Region honors. Portillo and Uzo each earned second team All-South Atlantic Region honors in 2012.

The quartet of Ribeiro, Portillo, Uzo and McLaws led the 2013 Chanticleers to a NCAA-high 19 wins, Big South regular season and tournament championships and the program’s third appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Third Round. Behind its four leaders, the Chanticleers finished the season ranked second in the country in goals (47) and points (138) and third in assists (44). CCU also held the 11th-best shutout percentage with a .500 clip.

The Chanticleer soccer program has had a total of 42 student-athletes represented on NSCAA All-Region teams since the 1986 season, including 13 over the past three seasons.

Ribeiro, a senior from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, was tabbed a consensus Preseason All-American coming into the season. In 2013 he was named the 30th-best player in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer.com and a MAC Hermann Trophy Semifinalist along with the Big South Attacking Player of the Year. He also earned Big South first team all-conference honors and was named to the Big South’s all-tournament squad along with the tournament MVP. He garnered College Soccer News National Team of the Week honors on Sept. 16 and Oct. 7. The field general for the Chanticleers, Ribeiro scored 11 times and dished out seven assists on the season.

Portillo earned his second consecutive second team all-region nod with his exceptional play in the Chanticleer midfield. The senior ranked 14th in the country with nine assists and 26th with a 0.43 assists per contest average. Portillo assisted on three game-winners during the season. He also garnered his third straight first team All-Big South honor in 2013. The New Orleans, La., native set the CCU career matches started and played records, despite missing the Chants three NCAA Tournament games due to injury.

McLaws, the 2013 Big South Defensive Player of the Year, was the anchor along the backline for a Chanticleer defense that ranked 11th in the country with a .500 shutout percentage. The Edmond, Okla., native is Coastal’s most versatile defender and led the defense to 12 shutouts during the 2013 campaign. Coastal Carolina posted a goals against average of 0.83 thanks in large part to McLaws’ marking ability of opposing team’s top scorers. McLaws was twice named the Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Week as his marks were held without a goal during the contest. He also earned his second career National Team of the Week nod from College Soccer News for his efforts in Coastal’s 1-nil win at 13th-seeded Charlotte in the NCAA Tournament Round of 32.

Uzo earned second team all-conference honors and was named to the conference’s all-tournament team. In addition, the junior was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11 for his work along the backline. With Uzo in the back, the Chants allowed only 20 goals, including a sparse five in conference play. The Lagos, Nigeria, native helped lead the Chants to a 0.83 goals against average and a .500 shutout percentage.

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