Brittney Kuras is gone. Khalil Mack is gone. Javon McCrea is gone.
Gentlemen, turn your eyes to Russell Cicerone - the next dominant UB star. After a breakout freshman season that earned him MAC Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-MAC honors, Cicerone joined local NPSL club FC Buffalo to keep his game legs under him for the summer.
For UB, Cicerone's 6 goals in 2013 were a program high dating back to 2009, but his sophomore season is already off to a white-hot start despite UB not starting play until mid-August, as he led FC Buffalo in scoring on his way to a club record in 2014.
Before the start of the FC Buffalo season I told you to follow the midfield star, and he broke out with 2 goals and an assist in his first game. He never cooled off, and on Wednesday was named to the All-NPSL first team - a Top XI pulling from dozens of teams nationally.
FC Buffalo owner and avid Bulls backer Nick Mendola is looking forward to even greater heights with Cicerone:
"I know I can speak for our coaches, staff and players when I say this is a huge and well-deserved honor for a creative and industrious player. We’re looking forward to building on this success together next summer."
The NPSL is a semi-pro collection of leagues that is unofficially the fourth tier of American soccer, but is also a common landing place for collegiate players looking to keep up their fitness and form. Current USMNT member Chris Wondolowski got his start with the Chico Rooks of the NPSL before graduating to MLS.
Four of the 11 players on the All-NPSL team came from FC Buffalo's Great Lakes Conference, demonstrating that Cicerone spent the summer finding success against some of the best amateur competition in the country.
You'll get plenty of chances to see Cicerone in the Blue and White this fall, starting on Aug. 17 when UB heads to Rochester for an exhibition against Genesee Community College at 12:30 pm. UB will have two more exhibitions before their first regular season match is set for Aug. 29 at San Diego at 7:00 pm.