UConn Legends - MSOC Defender Chris Gbandi - 2000 Herman Award Winner

The Heisman Trophy usually goes to the Nation's Best College Football Player...Or does it ?? It's very, very rare a defensive player wins it. In fact, only one in 1997 when Charles Woodson of Michigan took the honors. In Soccer, the Hermann Trophy as the Nation's Top College Soccer Player can go to a defender. Alexi Lalas of Rutgers won it in 1991. And in 2000, UConn's Chris Gbandi took the Award while leading the Huskies to it's second National Championship....

Gbandi was born in Bong, Liberia and moved to Houston, Texas in his youth. When he arrived in Storrs in 1998, the Huskies began a dominant four year run in Big East Regular Season play. Four Regular Season Titles and one Tournament Crown in 1999. 35-6-2 in those four seasons as balance on both ends of the pitch led to great success. In 1999 and 2000, the Huskies playing in the Men's College Cup Final Four...Losing a 4ot marathon to Santa Clara in the 99' Semi's and winning the 2000 crown in Charlotte for Coach Ray Reid..During that 2000 Title run, the Huskies beat Dartmouth, #2 Clemson in OT, Brown, #6 SMU and Creighton. And in that stretch, allowed just one goal over 5 games, shutting out it's last three opponents. .

Gbandi's Final Three seasons with the Huskies, he racked up a lot of personal hardware. A 3 Time All Big East Selection, Twice Named the Defensive Player of the Year, the first such defender to do so...An All American in 1999 and in 2000 with Brett Rahim joining him on the 2000' team. At the College Cup in 2000, Gbandi was the Defensive MVP and just prior to the National Championship Game with the Blue Jays, Chris Gbandi became the second Husky to win the Hermann Award. Since then, O'Brien White joined the club, winning the Award in 2007.

Gbandi was the first overall pick of the MLS Dallas Burn (later Dallas FC) in 2002. But after a torn ACL in 02', Gbandi played 111 games with Dallas, netting 3 goals before playing 2 years in Norway's First Division with Haugesund. Finally playing one last MLS season with Miami FC in 2010.

Coaching was next as he joined the UConn Staff in 2011. Dartmouth was next where he became an Associate Coach in Hanover...And in 2016, Gbandi became the Head Coach in Boston with Northeastern, where he'll begin his 5th year as the Top Dog in 2020.

2000 was a great season for UConn Men's Soccer...A National Championship and the National Player of the Year. Chris Gbandi, a UConn Legend...

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