Penn State Men’s Soccer’s Liam Butts, Brandon Hackenberg Included In Preseason Top 100

Penn State men’s soccer had two players included in TopDrawerSoccer’s preseason 100 players to watch throughout the nation.

Forward Liam Butts leads the way for Jeff Cook’s program, entering the season at No. 21. Future Orlando City SC defender Brandon Hackenberg wasn’t far behind at No. 31.

Butts had an impactful freshman year in 2019, as the joint-leading scorer for Penn State alongside current professional Aaron Molloy with nine goals. He’s the second-highest rated player in the Big Ten behind Indiana’s Spencer Glass (No. 4).

The forward was one of just two freshmen in 2019 to be selected on the All-Big Ten first team. Now, it appears as if the ex-Atlanta United academy member is the front-runner for conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Penn State men’s soccer will be in good hands on both sides of the ball this year. On the defensive end, it will be thanks to the veteran leadership of Hackenberg. Now a graduate student, the brother of former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg is seen as the third-best player in the conference.

Hackenberg has played a total of 45 matches in his career in State College, and joined Butts and Molloy on the 2019 All-Big Ten first team.

On Thursday, four Penn State women were selected to the female edition of the list. Sam Coffey led the way for the Nittany Lions at No. 2 overall, while Kerry Abello (No. 43), Cori Dyke (No. 75), and Ally Schlegel (No. 79) rounded out the Nittany Lions’ presence in the rankings.

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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