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SLU men's soccer team is No. 10 in preseason rankings

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St. Louis University soccer

St. Louis University men's soccer coach Kevin Kalish, center, is hoisted up by his team after they won the men's soccer Atlantic 10 championship game at Hermann Stadium in St. Louis on Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. 

The St. Louis University men’s soccer program reestablished itself as a national contender in 2021 and rode that success to a No. 10 preseason ranking for the 2022 season in a poll released Tuesday by the United Soccer Coaches.

The Billikens finished last season at No. 7 after reaching the national quarterfinals before losing six players in the MLS draft and eight to professional contracts.

SLU returns two starters in John Klein, who led the country in assists in 2021, and Christian Buendia. Coach Kevin Kalish added a group of 14 newcomers, consisting of five Division I transfers and nine freshmen.

SLU does not have any regular-season opponents that are ranked in the top 25. The Billikens will play at No. 19 Missouri State in an exhibition game on Aug. 14. SLU was 16-1-4 last season.

It is the highest SLU has been ranked to open a season since 2004, when the Billikens were No. 4. They open the season at Louisville on Aug. 25.

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