+ The Spartans take the pitch in their first preseason contest of the 2010 campaign when they visit Duke on Saturday night. The Blue Devils are ranked No. 11 in the NSCAA's preseason poll and No. 15 in College Soccer News.
+ The teams last met October 13 of last season in Durham. Duke won that game by a 3-0 score, scoring just before half and then twice in a span of 62 seconds in the second half to put the game out of reach. The Blue Devils' win avenged UNCG's win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament the year before, 2-0, in Durham. UNCG and Duke last met in the preseason in August 2008, a 1-0 win by the Spartans at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
+ A new era in Spartan men's soccer began Tuesday when interim head coach Justin Maullin led the team onto the North practice field for the first day of training camp. Maullin replaced Michael Parker back on January 8 after Parker announced his retirement. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Maullin had served as assistant coach at UNCG for the last five seasons before receiving the interim tag last January.
+ The Spartans played their annual alumni scrimmage on Thursday night, ripping the alumns by an 8-1 score. The alumni team included recent graduates David Worthen and Michael FitzGerald among others.
+ UNCG returns just nine players from the 2009 roster, but brought in a strong group of new players to join four returning starters. Goalkeeper Peyton Ford returns between the posts. The midfield should be solid with returnees Will Mack, Cruz Oronos and Matt Strine, a fifth-year senior out of Spring, Texas. Ross Burki transferred into UNCG from Dutchess Community College and will also provide solid experience in the middle.
UNCG coach Justin Maullin discusses preseason camp thus far and the upcoming preseason slate.
+ The Spartans hope an offense that has struggled the last two seasons is sparked by the host of new talent, including a pair of brothers. Incoming freshman Duke Garner joins his brother Eli, who has transferred from North Carolina to UNCG. Matt Foxx and Michael Bonilla also return up front.
+ Among the new players this season, the Spartans certainly have an international flavor to them. Oddur Gudmundsson and Fannar Arnasson join the team from Reykjavik, Iceland. Mahdi Ali comes from Helsinki, Finland and was born in Somalia. Hakan Ilhan hails from Stuttgart, Germany.
+ The Blue Devils feature Herman Trophy candidate Andrew Wenger. A sophomore defender, Wenger was the ACC Freshman of the Year last season, starting all 21 games at center back. He anchored a defense that recorded seven shutouts, while adding four and three assists on the offensive end of the field – good for 11 points (third best on the squad). Wegner scored in Duke's win over UNCG last season – a header off a corner kick just 8:40 before intermission to put the Blue Devils on the scoreboard. Wenger is also a preseason All-American selection.