Nine Tigers Garner ACC Men’s Soccer Recognition Wednesday
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nine members of the Clemson men’s soccer team received recognition from the ACC following Wednesday’s announcement of the 2020 All-ACC Men’s Soccer Team. The Tigers had three players named the league’s first-team, one player voted to the second-team, and three players named the third-team, along with two players selected as part of the All-Freshman team. Voting for the awards was conducted by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Clemson has combined to earn 14 All-ACC honors over the past two seasons, making the Tigers’ combined total in 2019-20 the most in program history since 1977-78. Wednesday’s announcement marks the second consecutive year that Clemson has had two players earn All-Freshman recognition and the sixth consecutive year the program has collected the honor.
Grayson Barber, Philip Mayaka and Kimarni Smith are Clemson’s three members of the league’s first team. Mayaka and Smith receive the first-team honor for the second consecutive year, while Barber adds the recognition to his second-team accolade earned in 2019. Clemson has collected seven first-team All-ACC honors over the past two seasons, the most of any ACC school during that time.
The Tigers’ three first-team members all moved on from the program following the conclusion of the 2020 fall season in pursuit of professional opportunities. Mayaka and Smith were taken No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, during the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, while Barber signed a Homegrown Player contract with Sporting KC.
Oskar Ågren is the lone Tiger named to the conference’s second team. The 2020-21 season has seen Ågren, a native of Malmö, Sweden, serve as the leader of Clemson’s defense while earning the start at center-back in each of his 15 appearances this year. The sophomore has helped the Tigers tally six clean sheets this season. A member of the conference’s 2019 All-Freshman team, Ågren has now received his first All-ACC nod.
Luis Felipe Fernandez-Salvador, Justin Malou and George Marks are Clemson’s members of the third team. Malou has earned his first All-ACC honor after being drafted 27th-overall by the Columbus Crew SC during the first round of the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. Malou has started in each of the Tigers’ 17 matches this season, splitting his time between center-back and right-back. The third-team honors are the first in the careers of Fernandez-Salvador and Marks. Marks is the first Clemson goalkeeper to receive All-ACC recognition since Andrew Tarbell in 2015. In the Tigers’ record book, Marks currently ranks 15th all-time in career saves (103) and ninth in career solo shutouts (12).
Hamady Diop and Ousmane Sylla are the two Tigers named to the league’s All-Freshman team. The pair of freshmen joined Clemson this past January after having spent the 2020 Fall Semester in their hometown of Dakar, Senegal, due to travel restrictions. Diop and Sylla have made an appearance in all six matches this spring, while Sylla has earned the start within the Tigers’ midfield each time out. Diop leads the team in penalty-kick goals, having already converted two this spring.
Photo courtesy of David Platt, Clemson Athletics.