The Dave Brandt-led Hope College men’s soccer team tied for third place in the 2018 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Flying Dutchmen totaled 20 points and shared their spot in the eight-team poll with Kalamazoo College.

MIAA coaches could not vote for their own teams. Calvin is a unanimous preseason favorite with seven first-place votes. Adrian came in second with 18 points and followed by Hope, Kalamazoo (one first-place vote), Albion (35), Alma (36), Trine (39), and Olivet (49).

This is Brandt’s first season as head coach. He brings his championship pedigree to Hope College after successful college stops at Division III Messiah College (Pa.), and the Division I United States Naval Academy (Md.).

Brandt won six NCAA Division III national championships in 12 seasons at Messiah and guided Navy to its first postseason win in 41 years. He also coached professionally in the United Soccer League for Pittsburgh.

At Messiah, Brandt led the Falcons to six NCAA Division III national championships, eight final fours, and a 246-25-14 record over 12 seasons between 1997-2008. He reached the 200-win mark faster than any other coach in NCAA history — doing so in 2006 in 220 matches over a span of 10 seasons.

At Navy, Brandt guided the Midshipmen to a 64-47-22 record over seven seasons, including a 35-17-8 mark over the final three. In 2013, Navy made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1989 and recorded its first NCAA postseason win since 1972.

Joining Brandt is his son, Danny, as an assistant coach, and Tyler Robinson as a volunteer assistant coach. Danny Brandt played on the 2018 NCAA Division III national champion at Messiah College (Pennsylvania). Tyler Robinson was a decorated goalie at Michigan State University and previously was the varsity boys soccer coach at Hamilton High School. He remains the varsity girls soccer coach at Hamilton. 

The Flying Dutchmen kick off the 2018 season on Friday-Saturday, August 31-September 1 at home with the annual Cal Bergsma Memorial Tournament at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.

The August 31 game against Manchester University (Indiana) starts at 5 p.m. and is part of Community Day that celebrates Hope College’s relationship with the City of Holland. Community Day includes a picnic, football and men’s soccer games, and admission to Windmill Island.

The Flying Dutch will host a Purple Community benefit game for Van Andel Institute on Saturday, September 15. Kickoff vs. Saint Mary-Of-The-Woods College is 2:30 p.m. at Van Andel Soccer Stadium.

Hope's MIAA opener is Wednesday, October 3 at Calvin. The Flying Dutchmen will play a single round of league games this season for the first time since 2010.