All-American ideal

Mavs' Roy Abergil selected
to two All-America first teams

Roy Abergil scored 23 goals for Colorado Mesa this season, leading the Mavs into the NCAA playoffs for the third straight year. Abergil, a senior from Israel, was a first-team All-American for two associations — the Division II Conference Commissioners and the National Soccer Coaches.



To this day, Roy Abergil has only one regret about his soccer career at Colorado Mesa.

“I think overall I got everything I wanted from my soccer career but the national championship,” the senior forward said Thursday after receiving his second All-America honor in as many days.

On Wednesday, the Division II Conference Commissioners Association voted him onto its first team, and Thursday, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America did the same.

“That will always be missing in my mind. If I could do anything different in my career I would go back and do everything I could to beat Midwestern,” he said. “I won’t have another college opportunity to win a national championship, but we won every other title.”

Abergil, the high-scoring forward from Beer Sheva, Israel, finished with 49 goals and 19 game-winners in his three seasons with the Mavericks. He was third in the nation in goals scored this season with 23.

“I came in ready, with high expectations,” he said of his senior season. “Honestly, my goal was to go over the 20-something goals. I knew I could do it. I believe in myself and my teammates, and I achieved my individual goals.”

Missing the team goal of a national title still bothers him, because he and his teammates still believe they were the top team in the region. Now, though, Abergil’s focus is on two things: finishing his degree in business management, which he’ll do this month, graduating on Dec. 16, and a professional soccer career.

“That’s the goal. I don’t want to stop playing soccer,” Abergil said. “I like it and I think I’m good at it. I want to keep playing. I think I have at least 10 more years to play.”

He’d like to stay in the United States, and has a couple of options so far, with possible tryouts soon, but won’t rule out playing overseas if a U.S. team doesn’t invite him to camp.

“I’d like to stay here. I like the States, I fit here pretty good,” the 26-year-old said. “I believe I can make it to the next level and the next level and the next level.”

His coach, Todd Padgett, also believes Abergil can play professionally, and said by graduating a semester early, he can get a pro training camp invitation. Getting his foot in the door is the first step, and Abergil is ready to take it from there.

“What it will entail is Roy getting an opportunity and going somewhere and showing well to be part of a professional team,” Padgett said. “Our hope for Roy is he gets that opportunity and I believe he will get an opportunity to continue playing.

“If he does what he does, putting the ball in the back of the net, I believe someday he can play at the top level somewhere.”

Padgett inherited Abergil when he was hired at CMU, taking over in 2014, the first year Abergil was eligible to play. After serving his required three years in the Israeli military after high school, Abergil played on a semi-pro team for a year before deciding he wanted to go to school and play soccer in the U.S.

Former Mesa coach Josh Pittman saw a video of Abergil, brought him in for a tryout and eventually signed him. Because of the year of semi-pro soccer, the NCAA docked Abergil one year of eligibility, so he sat out the 2013 season.

As a sophomore, he scored 12 goals as the Mavericks reached the NCAA Division II Final Four. He followed that with 14 goals as a junior and exploded with 23 this season. The Mavericks reached the NCAA playoffs each of the past three years.

“There’s a lot of parts about his game that are really a cut above,” Padgett said. “His ability with the ball, his technical ability to adjust, and his ability to finish. He scores at a phenomenal ratio (60 percent of his shots were on goal, and he scored on 40 percent of his shots on goal) and that’s what sticks out the most for me, the ratio at which he scores.

“He’s been wonderful to have in the program the last three years. He’s special. As a team we had a great year; it didn’t end the like we wanted, but as a senior like Roy, giving so much to the program, it was great to see him earn first-team All-American, and it seems it was a unanimous selection. Twenty-three goals is going to be missed but hopefully he’ll get an opportunity at the next level to display his talent.”

Football: CMU safety Dustin Rivas was selected to the College Sports Information Directors Association’s Academic All-America second team this week.

The junior from Thornton has a 3.35 GPA in business administration. Rivas was fourth on the team with 63 tackles and led the Mavericks with five interceptions and four blocked kicks.


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