Stanford men among best soccer players in the nation

Drew Skundrich was named to Top Drawer Soccer's third team preseason Best XI list. Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics.

Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Foster Langsdorf, Drew Skundrich and Logan Panchot have been named to preseason best XI teams by Top Drawer Soccer.

Hilliard-Arce was voted to the first team, Langsdorf the second, Skundrich the third and Panchot the freshman team. Stanford's four preseason honorees are tied with Virginia for the national lead.

No. 1 Stanford, which swept its exhibitions against Portland (3-0) and Pacific (1-0), opens its regular season on Friday at San Jose State at 5 p.m.

The Cardinal's regular-season home opener against No. 14 Creighton on Friday, Sept. 1 will be Cardinal Kids Day and fans can receive up to two free youth tickets with the purchase of a paid adult ticket.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance will also receive the t-shirt celebrating the program's back-to-back national championships.

Hilliard-Arce, Langsdorf and Skundrich are three seniors who have been integral part in the most successful period in Stanford men's soccer history. Since their arrival on campus in 2014, the Cardinal is the winningest program in the country by percentage with an overall record of 46-8-11 (.792) and has won back-to-back national championships and three consecutive Pac-12 titles.

All-Americans last season, Hilliard-Arce and Langsdorf are also on this year's watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Stanford is the only school in the country returning multiple 2016 NSCAA All-Americans this year and also the only one with multiple players on the Hermann Trophy watch list.

Skundrich is in his second year as co-captain, serving this season along with Hilliard-Arce. He was second on the team goals (4) and third in points (11) in 2016. After starting all 23 games at right back during 2015's championship run, Skundrich moved to the central midfield and again started all 23 matches in the most recent title campaign. He was selected to both the NSCAA All-Far West Region second team and the All-Pac-12 second team and was also named NSCAA Scholar All-West Region.

Panchot is part of Stanford's highly-touted freshman class, widely considered the best in the country. A veteran of the U.S. Soccer system since 2011, he started both of the Cardinal's exhibitions at right back.

One of six programs to win back-to-back national championships and the first to do it in a dozen years, this season the Cardinal will attempt to become just the second program to win three straight NCAA titles (Virginia; 1991-94).

Stanford, which returns nine of its 11 starters, including 100 percent of its goals scored and over 90 percent of its assists, will also enter the 2017 season with an active shutout streak of 548:29.

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