+ It all counts beginning Wednesday as UNCG takes to the home turf to face Charlotte at 7 p.m. It will be the regular season head coaching debut of interim head coach Justin Maullin. The Spartans went 1-1 in the exhibition season, defeating No. 11 Duke on the road, 1-0, and dropping a 3-0 decision against North Carolina last Saturday at home.
+ Wednesday night is the 15th ever meeting between the schools in men's soccer. Charlotte holds a 7-6-1 advantage in the all-time series.
+ Charlotte went 1-0-1 in the preseason, playing Coastal Carolina to a scoreless tie and defeating Winthrop, 1-0, on the road last Thursday night. The 49ers received votes in the NSCAA preseason poll and was No. 25 in the College Soccer News preseason Top 30. The 49ers went 11-3-6 last year and return eight starters among 15 returning letterwinners. Charlotte advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year, but was knocked out in penalty kicks by UNC Wilmington.
+ The Spartans are winless in their last three home openers, having tied Dayton in 2007, lost to Winthrop in 2008 and tied Marshall last season. UNCG's last season-opening win (home or away) came in 2007 when it blanked Georgetown in Harrisonburg, Va., 3-0. At home, in the Division I era, the Spartans are 134-49-12 (.718 winning percentage).
+ UNCG played in front of a crowd of 3,064 last Saturday night against North Carolina – the fifth-largest crowd for a UNCG men's soccer game at UNCG soccer stadium. The stadium opened in 1991.
UNCG coach Justin Maullin discusses the end of preseason workouts and Wednesday night's opener against Charlotte
+ UNCG and Charlotte played to a 2-2 tie in a rain-soaked Homecoming match last year at UNCG Soccer Stadium. Thomas Campbell scored twice in the game for the Spartans. The match was halted with 15:12 to play by referee Jorge Gonzalez as there was standing water in several areas of the field. The match began in a steady rain, which became a prolonged heavy downpour about midway through the first half. According to the national weather service, nearly a half-inch of rain fell in the first hour that the match was played, with the rain falling even harder throughout halftime and into the second half. UNCG got on the board quickly as Campbell headed a cross at the near post. It was just enough to redirect it past the keeper and the Spartans led, 1-0, with just 2:19 gone in the match. Charlotte (4-1-2) tied it at 30:08 on a header by Andres Cuero. Luke Exeley's free kick found Cuero, who got a head on it just inside the near post to even the score. As the rain fell harder and water stood throughout the field, both teams took advantage to score their next goal. UNCG's Matt Foxx had a cross from the left side stop dead in the middle of the box. Campbell blasted it past the keeper from 12 yards out for a 2-1 Spartan advantage with 21:25 to play. Charlotte took advantage of the weather, as well, however, to tie it a little more than five minutes later. A loose ball bounced around between four or five players that couldn't get it out of the slop. The ball popped up into the air and Charles Rodriguez bicycle kicked it home to knot the score with 16:06 left.
+ UNCG was picked sixth this week in the Southern Conference men's soccer coaches preseason poll. The Spartans' Will Mack earned preseason all-conference honors. College of Charleston was picked to win the league.
+ UNCG returns just nine players from the 2009 roster, but interim head coach Justin Mallin 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.
+ 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.
+ UNCG takes to the road for three straight after Wednesday night, beginning with a trip to the Heartland to face Creighton in Omaha, Neb., Saturday night. Game time is set for 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local)