This week, the Hoosier Network is taking a look back at the best Indiana athletes of the decade. We surveyed current and former beat writers, along with others in the IU Athletics sphere, to see who they believe the best of the best are.
The final rankings will be published Friday, and leading up to that we'll have guest columns from voters where they make a case for certain athletes. Today, Hoosier Network co-founder Josh Eastern runs down the accomplishments of the top-ranked soccer player of the decade, Andrew Gutman.
Todd Yeagley, Brian Maisonneuve, Danny O’Rourke, Ken Snow, Armando Betancourt, Angelo DiBernardo, Andrew Gutman.
Seven names that I’m sure Indiana soccer fans know and remember quite well. They form a pretty exclusive fraternity. All of them are winners of the MAC Hermann trophy (MAC Player of the Year or Hermann award winner before 2002) and all played at Indiana. Those seven names make up the most MAC Hermann award winners of any one school.
But only one of those names played during this decade at Indiana. Andrew Gutman was able to break a drought of 14 years without a Hoosier winning the award when he won it in 2018. It was a very deserved award for Gutman whose quality showed every match.
But left backs aren’t supposed to impact games as much as Gutman did during his time at Indiana.
Just by position name, you wouldn’t expect much to come from a left back. He is a defender, after all. Most of the attention usually goes to the attacking players who score the goals.
But in IU coach Todd Yeagley’s system, Gutman thrived in the left back position. Not to get all tactical, but a big emphasis in Indiana’s system is to get the outside backs up the field to create overloads in wide positions and whip balls into the box.
Gutman fit that description impeccably. He scored goals, provided assists, and was a pain for the opposition to deal with.
The MAC Hermann award, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and more All-American honors completed his list of achievements during his senior year. That went along with his team-leading 11 goals along with nine assists, good for (only) second on the team.
In each of his four seasons, he featured on an All-Big Ten team. The first two seasons were the second team, but in the latter half of his IU career, he was named to the first team. The last two seasons of Gutman’s time at Indiana featured two straight College Cup appearances.
Both, however, fell just a bit short of the ultimate goal of capturing that ninth star. That isn’t the most important thing.
What is important is the dominance he displayed and his journey to get to where he got in Bloomington. As Eddie Cotton so exquisitely wrote in 2018, his journey was a bit different than others who make their way to Indiana. Most are highly touted recruits, but Gutman flew under the radar. In the end, it proved to be a more than worthwhile addition for Yeagley and the Hoosiers.
In a program with a history as rich as Indiana, it’s hard to leave a legacy because the level of excellence that is required. Gutman was able to do that. Through his attacking ability as a defender, he was able to leave a legacy that people will remember for a long time.
What he did in Bloomington was enough to earn him a contract with Scottish Premiership side, Celtic, who has its own illustrious history, and has since played in MLS too.
So when you add it all up, it’s a no-brainer. MAC Hermann award winner, the Big Ten double in 2018, two College Cup appearances, All-American teams, All-Big Ten teams. The list could go on. And it’s why Andrew Gutman is one of the top players of the decade at Indiana.
Previous Best of the Decade columns
Tevin Coleman, by Mike Miller