Wake Forest defensive midfielder Ian Harkes won the MAC Hermann trophy Friday, beating out Maryland’s Gordon Wild and Florida Gulf Coast’s Albert Ruiz for the honor, which is awarded to the country’s most valuable player.
Wild, in his first year for the Terps, followed up his freshman year at USC Upstate with a spectacular season for Maryland in 2016. The German native was a perennial threat on the counter attack. He punished defenses with his skillful technique on the ball and elusive movement off it.
The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Wild was continuously on the scoresheet in his first season in College Park. He netted 17 goals for Maryland in 2016, the most from any Terp since Patrick Mullins in 2013. He also earned Big Ten Tournament Most Valuable Offensive Player honors.
Perhaps his, and Maryland’s, biggest regret was not being able to bring home a National Championship for the No. 1 Terps. Maryland was brutally knocked out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when the Providence Friars came back from a 4-1 deficit to beat the Terps at Ludwig Field.
Wild, the Terps most potent offensive player from 2016, will most certainly play a major role in Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski’s plans for the upcoming season. Wild and Amar Sejdic, Maryland’s center attacking midfielder, are both juniors in 2017. They figure to lead the team’s offense.
The Terps lost five defensive starters to graduation: their goalkeeper, right back, center defensive midfielder, and both center backs. But the silver lining here is that Maryland will retain all its offensive starters from 2016. Emmanuel Korvah is the Terps only graduating player from the offense, and he only played a limited role.