Baltimore area stars among just 25 players honored on elite national squad


USA Today has announced its 2019-20 Preseason All-USA Today Boys Soccer Team and it includes three Baltimore area players.

Seniors Ben Bender of Calvert Hall, Mason Christian of McDonogh and Spencer Hanks of Arundel were all named to the 25-man squad compiled Sheldon Shealer of TopDrawerSoccer.com for USA Today.

The criteria for selection includes past performance, level of competition and strength of schedule.

Bender, a midfielder/forward who has committed to play his college soccer for the University of Maryland, is coming off a season in which he scored 10 goals for the Cardinals. He is also a standout with FC Baltimore Christos, which was the champion of the NPSL Mid-Atlantic Division.

Christian is latest of a long line of All-Americans at McDonogh. He netted 11 goals and added six assists in 2018 to help the Eagles win the MIAA A Conference championship. He will play his college soccer at James Madison University.

Hanks was a 1st-team All-Metro pick in both the Baltimore Sun and Washington Post last year, as he scored 21 goals and helped the Wildcats reach the regional finals. He will play next year at UMBC.

Pictured above (from left): Ben Bender, Mason Christian and Spencer Hanks.