Carson-Newman Men’s Soccer Position Previews: The Midfielders

VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. -- This is the second part in a three-part series highlighting each of the Carson-Newman men's soccer positions for the 2019 season. The focus moves up the pitch to look at the midfielders.

This year, the midfield holds the second-largest number of Eagles with 11 projected to suit up this season. Of those 11, six are returning players from last year's roster.

"I think that this year with some of the additions and some of the guys we get back, I think it's a little bit more of a diverse group that will give us the option to change things during games and mix things up," Carson-Newman coach Stephen Lyons said. "Hopefully kind of bridge that link between the midfield and the attack that sometimes in some games we were lacking a bit last year. I'm excited to see them get going."

Leading the way for the mids is redshirt-junior Greg Evans (Wrexham, Wales), who was named a Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference first team selection heading into the season. He closed out the 2018 campaign as a second-team All-SAC pick after a season that saw him start in all 17 matches and playing in each of the 1,590 minutes the Eagles played. He logged his first career goal in C-N's 2-1 loss to then-No. 10 Lander a year ago.

Last year, Evans matched his assist count from the previous year at one while attempting eight shots, the most in a single season for his career. All four of his career shots on goal also came in the 2018 campaign.

Joining Evans in the midfield as a seasoned veteran is Evan Harr (Bristol, Tenn.). Last season, five of his 13 starts came at the midfield. Overall, the senior has started in 38 of the 45 matches he has played in. Within that span, he has scored just two goals, both of those coming in his freshman year in 2016.

"I think both Greg and Evan themselves have set the benchmark in their performances and the work-rate they put in for the team," Lyons said. "And, again, if everybody can match that and push them on, good things are gonna happen when you add talent to that mix."

Rounding out the slew of returners are Will Sainsbury-Logan (Norwich, England), Thaylan Silva (São Paulo, Brazil), Nic Carsh (Portland, Ore.) and Matheus Maia (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

Both Carsh and Maia will be looking to make their first starts with the Eagles this season. Carsh redshirted in his first season while Maia played in three games for a total of 51 minutes.

Before redshirting the 2018 season, Sainsbury-Logan made a splash in his freshman year with the Orange and Blue, starting in 14 of the 18 games he saw playing time in during that 2017 season. That same year, Silva made his debut with the Eagles by starting in eight of his 18 appearances. He tallied his first career goal in his first start against Catawba that season before scoring again in a 2-2 draw with Tusculum. Last year, he did not see time on the pitch until the beginning of October due to an injury.

"We've almost got two signings in getting Will Sainsbury and [Thaylan Silva] who only played a few games kind of coming off of an injury last year," Lyons said. "They both are looking fit and we're excited to get them back."

The Eagles welcome five newcomers to the mix at the midfield this season including Sofian Maghouz (London, England) and Nyasha Mwamuka (Newton, Wales).

Maghouz had a successful career at Barking Abbey School where he accounted for 19 goals with 20 assists through 38 games. The freshman was named an All-County Player while leading the league in assists and was tabbed his team's Player of the Season for the 2018-19 campaign.

Mwamuka comes to Mossy Creek by way of North Shropshire College and, most recently, University of Hull. At Hull, the junior played in 50 games, scoring 18 goals with 25 assists.

Also joining the unit of newcomers are Lucas de Wit (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), Harrison Collins (Cardiff, Wales) and Gabe Stevens (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)

"I think Nyasha and Harry Collins bring a level of maturity in their experience and Sofian as well is another exciting attacking player that we've added," Lyons said. "I'm excited to get to see them get going."

The men's soccer position previews wrap-up on Friday with a gander at the defenders and goalkeepers.

Flames next on docket for C-N
September 13, 2019 Flames next on docket for C-N