December 16, 2016
COLLEGE BOOT SPOTLIGHT: ABDOU MBACKE THIAM
Meet the Candidates, and Vote!
UConn sophomore forward Abdou Mbacke Thiam is one of three nominees for the New England Soccer News menís college player of the year and the Soccer News Net Menís College Boot, recognizing the national player of the year.
Thiam scored 10 goals (six game-winners) in 17 games as the Huskies (11-7-1) advanced to the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals. Thiam was joined on the All-AAC First Team by teammates Kwame Awuah and Jake Nerwinski. Thiam totaled three conference goals, tied for second, and eight conference points, also second on the AAC list, behind Central Floridaís Matias Pyysalo, who had six goals and 14 points.
Thiam, named to the NSCAA All-East Region Third Team, has converted 21 goals (10 game-winners) in 39 career games, 22nd on the all-time UConn list. Thiam, 24, who played for Diambars Academy, a club administered by former France national team stars Bernard Lama, Patrick Vieira, et al., in Senegal, replaced Orlando City SCís Cyle Larin, the MLS Rookie of the Year, as the Huskiesí go-to striker in 2015.
Thiam was named the New England Soccer News Player of the Week for the weeks ending Aug. 28, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.
Fan voting accounts for 40% of the total toward selection of the Soccer News Net College Boot, and the winner of the popular voting receives the Soccer News Net Supportersí Choice award.