GREENWOOD, S.C. - Redshirt-senior midfielder Ryan King continues to make program history as he has been named a Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA) First-Team All-American.
King is the first Laker to do so in the program's history.
King's selection is just the fifth in the history of the men's soccer program and the first since Alhagi Toure was named to the Third-Team in 2013. Prior to that Ryan Pugh was a Third-Team choice and Igor Lukic Honorable Mention in 2010 with Jamal Geathers earning Honorable Mention recognition following the 2007 season.
Additionally, he is the only representative from the Peach Belt Conference on any of the three teams and one of just four from the Southeast Region. Of those, Wingate's Paul Ngongo (the Southeast Region Player of the Year) landed on the First-Team while the Bulldog's Elliot Cutts was Second-Team. Chowan's Toby Sims' Third-Team selection was the only other from the Region while Cutts was the only other midfielder named from that group.
The All-American selection is the first of King's career and the 78th overall in Clayton State Athletics history. He joins teammate Tim Neusesser (Bad Berleburg, Germany) on that list, who was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America First-Team honoree earlier this month.
Together, that makes them the first pair of teammates in the history of the men's soccer program to earn First-Team All-America(n) honors in the same season.
In terms of men's soccer All-Americans, King becomes the 13th such honoree with Neusesser, the other four D2CCA/Daktronics selections, four National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/United Soccer Coaches (USC) choices and a pair of NAIA honorees. Of those, only King, Neusesser, Igor Lukic (2010, NSCAA) and Josh Grenier (2000 NSCAA) have been named to the First-Team.
RYAN KING - THE 2019 CAMPAIGN
In a season that broke records and challenged others, King was a key reason for the program's turnaround from just three wins a year ago to tying for the third most wins in team history at 14-6 this season.
This year he saw action in 17 of a possible 20 games, registering an impressive 17 goals and two assists for 36 points. His goal total tied for the Southeast Region lead and his point total was just one off of that lead, trailing only Ngongo in both categories.
In terms of NCAA Division II national statistical rankings, he placed in the Top-10 in four major categories for much of the season. He would rank third in goals per game (1.0), eighth in total goals and points per game (2.12) and 13th in total points.
Those performances have netted him significant hardware throughout the year as he was named to the First-Team of both the D2CCA and United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region squads, making him eligible for All-American honors by the USC as well.
Additionally, he was the fifth Laker to be chosen as the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, was an All-PBC First-Team selection and was the league's Gold Ball Award honoree as the leading scorer. On top of that he also led in points and was a perfect 5-of-5 on penalty kicks.
King was also a three-time PBC Player of the Week selection in 2019, which is a program record. Following a five goal week that was capped by all three scores in a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory at No. 7 Francis Marion on November 2, he also became the first Laker to be named the United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week, that coming on November 5.