ATLANTA, Ga. – Belmont men's soccer alums Jay Ayres and JP Rodrigues were named to the Atlantic Sun All-Decade team (2000-2009), the conference announced Friday morning.
Ayres, who competed as a Bruin from 2004-07, is both two-time ASUN Defensive Player of the Year and two-time First Team All-ASUN honoree. The Valrico, Fla. native also garnered ASUN All-Freshman Team accolades in 2004. Additionally, Ayres succeeded in the classroom, as he was named to the Academic All-ASUN roster in each of his final three seasons at Belmont.
Rodrigues (2003-05) joins Ayres as the only other Bruin in program history to be awarded conference Defensive Player of the Year. During his time in Nashville, Rodrigues became a two-time First Team All-ASUN selection and earned academic all-conference honors in 2004.
Over the span of Rodrigues and Ayres' careers, Belmont racked up nearly 40 victories. The duo also spent time at the professional level after their respective collegiate careers.
Ayres played with the Nashville Metros of the United Soccer League (USL) before being signed by the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS in 2008. Ayres made his professional debut for the Earthquakes on April 30, 2008 in a US Open Cup match versus Real Salt Lake.
Rodrigues, like Ayres, played with the Nashville Metros in the 2004-05 season before being picked by Miami FC in the 2006 USL Draft. He went on to play professional indoor soccer for the Orlando Sharks and the Milwaukee Wave of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) for a handful of years before returning to South Beach in 2010.
Rodrigues went on to earn an assignment to D.C. United of the MLS later in 2010 before moving to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League (NASL). He also earned 23 international caps for the Guyana National Team, taking part in FIFA World Cup qualifiers in 2010 and 2014. Rodrigues officially retired from his professional career in 2014.
To be named to the All-Decade Team an individual must have competed for at least two years in the decade as an ASUN student-athlete. Individuals that obtained one of the following criteria were named to the team; three First Team All-Conference selections, four All-Conference selections, multiple Scholar-Athlete/Player of the Year honors or ASUN Hall of Famer.
Individuals that obtained at least two of the following criteria were also named to the team; Player/Tournament MVP/Freshman/Defensive Player/Goalkeeper/Scholar-Athlete of the Year, three All-Conference selections, two First Team All-Conference selections.