Travis Clark, TopDrawerSoccer.com
There's no better way to recognize its ascension than last year's national tournament, where UNC Charlotte made a run to the title game. "It is very competitive," Fordham head coach Jim McElderry told TopDrawerSoccer.com of the A-10. "I think some of the top end teams have established themselves in their region whatever region their in, to be successful. Whether it's beating local teams that are good teams or being able to play out of region."
Meanwhile, George Washington, which won the regular season Atlantic 10 title, saw longtime coach George Lidster retire after 24 years in charge. Craig Jones, who had been the team's top assistant for the last three years, was named as Lidster's replacement and will look to return the Colonials to the top of the standings.
But the bulk of the attention next fall in the conference is certain to fall on the shoulders of UNC Charlotte. Despite the coaching change, and the loss of talent like Charles Rodriguez and Evan James, the 49ers bring back leading scorer Giuseppe Gentille and new head coach Kevin Langan probably won't suffer too significant of a drop-off.
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