College Soccer News annually ranks the top forty recuiting classes in the country. The rankings are issued in August to help ensure that they are based on the best possible information. The top two or three classes should not come as a big surprise to anyone but beyond that there is no doubt a lot of room for debate about who won the recruiting wars. Parity makes for a lot of classes that are very close to one another. Once you go beyond the top fifteen classes, the difference between recruiting classes is perhaps as small this year as it has ever been.
The criteria that College Soccer News utilizes for its rankings applies a lot of weight to the degree to which a recruiting class meets the perceived gaps a team needs to fill and the overall potential of the recruits to increase the competitiveness of the team. Individual players are evaluated based on a combinaiton of their club, high school, ODP, and regional and national team experience. Playing experience against top level competition is a key factor. Transfers are taken into consideration in the rankings of classes.
The rankings factor in extra credit if a class signaled a significant step upward for a program. Programs that overachieved are reflected in the rankings. The exceptions always make things interesting and are an early indicator of shifts in conference races as well as standing on the national scene.
The final rankings include input for very knowledgeable indvidiuals throughout the country. The rational behind individual team rankings are listed. Our intent is to create interest in the upcoming season but if nothing else it gives the pundits something to scrutinize. That's fine with us as long as the focus is on college soccer. A lot of time and effort is put into developing the rankings based on the information available but we don't claim to be able to predict the future.
The Atlantic Coast Conference won the conference recruiting wars with seven of the top twenty classes.
Even with the loss of Paul Arriola UCLA secures the #1 spot. With Nathan Smith, William Raygoza, Michael Amick, and Kevin De La Torre all top twenty five recruits, the loss of Arriola will sting, but they have more than enough talent in this class to make up for his pro departure. Transfers junior defender Aaron Simmons and sophomore Jordan Vale are huge additions. Add defender Michael Griswald and midfielder Brian Iloski to the mix and UCLA has a class that most others would envy. The key to this class may be keeping it together.
A loaded class that some could argue is the number one class, falls just short at the number two spot. This blockbuster class includes Nicko Corriveau, Jordan Allen, Riggs Lennon, Patrick Foss, and the goalkeeping transfer of Jeff Gal from Creighton's Final Four run last year. When it is all said and done this class might turn out to be the best of the bunch and Virginia may be on a path to another championship run.
Fear the turtle! Zack Steffen is one of the best goalies to come into the college soccer ranks in a long time. The FC Delco product could boast the biggest impact for a Maryland team that is already loaded with talent. U-18 National Team player Suli Dainkeh and defender Alex Crognale could be major factors for the Terps this season as incoming freshmen in Maryland's last season as a member of the ACC.
Brian Weise's run to the Final Four shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who follows college soccer, the surprise would be if Georgetown doesn't make it back sooner rather than later. Forwards Brett Campbell and Alex Muryl should be dynamic up-top as incoming players. Add defender Josh Yaro and midfielder Bakie Goodman to the mix and you have an awesome recruiting class.
If anyone has any knocks on Ray Reid and the University of Connecticut, it is that often they have some of the most talented teams in the country but they seem to hit roadblocks in the midst of their NCAA tournament runs. This is the type of recruiting class that may propell the Huskies past the roadblocks and into the Final Four. Cyle Lorin and Ethan Decker will add offensive firepower to an already strong attack. Scott Levene will be a solid back-up to junior Andre Blake, arguably the best goalie in college soccer for the past two seasons who turned down the MLS to go back to UConn. But the diamond of the class could be Kwame Awuah, a left sided player who is as good going forward, as he is defending. Expect big things to come from this class.
Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina. The Tar Heels never have a drought when it comes to recruiting, and this year is no exception. Led by U.S. National teamers Colton Storm and Jalen Markey this class boasts two of the strongest defenders in the country. Add newcomers Warren Marshall, and Eric O'Brien to the list, and it's no wonder North Carolina will again be a strong contender to reach the Final Four in 2013.
Indiana's National Championship run may have come as a surprise to many due to the up and down season the Hoosiers had throughtout the year, but just like his father Jerry, come tournament time Todd Yeagley played a high pressure system that enabled his team to win the national championship. This year's class may have some of the bigger sleepers in the coutnry. With the early graduation of forward Tommy Thompson who will join his brother midfielder Tanner Thompson from out of California, as well as defender Billy McConnell and goalkeeper Colin Webb this would already be a top fifteen class, but when you add junior transfer Dylan Mares to the mix, this becomes the type of class that has all the makings of another major tournament run.
Chaka Daley's class took a big hit when defender Matthew Miazga signed with the New York Red Bulls first team in June. But with five of the top one-hundred and fifty players still expected to arrive in Ann Arbor in August they still boast a strong enough class to be in the top ten. Left back Rylee Woods should see significant minutes right away, as should center back Lars Eckenrode. Brett Nason, Andre Morris, and George Tsirukis should also be major factors. Transfer Marcos Ugarte, an All-Big East Freshman performer at Providence where Daley coached prior to arriving in Ann Arbor, is another very solid addition.
By Wake Forest standards, some might say there has been a drought in Winston-Salem for the men's soccer program. A team that over the last decade has been one of the premier teams in the country has bowed out of the NCAA Tournament much earlier than expected the last few years. That trend is likely to change soon. The Demon Deacons had the number one recruiting class in the coutry last year. This year they again bring on board a stellar group that boasts Jacori Hayes, Rafael Fagundo, Hunter Bandy, and Hayden Partain. The Deacs have momentum and a ton of talent. There is an excellent chance that Wake Forest will be back in the Final Four soon.
|The Paladins did well once again on the recruiting trail adding an eight member class that includes three players, center back Trevor Haberkorn (#25), forward Bobby Edet (#28) and forward Evan De Ycaza (#75) who are ranked by College Soccer News as among the top one-hundred players in the high school class of 2013. Late signee, forward Lewis Hawke from Howwood, Scotland could prove to be a valuable addition to the offense.|
One thing is for sure about Jeremy Gunn, wherever he goes they win. Stanford might have had an off-season last year, but with this recruiting class things seem to be looking up in a hurry in Palo Alto. Jordan Morris had dominated the U.S. Academy season in his first year, and for it, was called into the US U-20 camp by Tab Ramos. Mark Verson is a player with a nose for the goal, and Marshall Glover will add a piece to the backline that the Cardinals are in need of. Get ready for Stanford to begin to make their presence known.
George Kiefer has added yet another stellar class at South Florida. The class is headlined by forward Lindo Mfeka from Durbin, South Africa who is ranked by CSN as the number eight ranked recruit coming out of the class of 2013. Mfeka is an explosive speedster who will be an impact player. The class also features highly talented midfielder Marcus Epps from Jackson, Mississippi who played for the Chicago Fire Academy. Midfielder Cameron Thomas who played for the Clearwater Academy is another member of the class who is an extremely capable finisher. This is a group that will put plenty of wins on the board during their tenure in Tampa.
Mark Berson will welcome a seven member recruiting class to Columbia that includes four players ranked by College Soccer News as among the top 100 recruits in the high school class of 2013. Berson did a great job of attracting top in-state talent. The class includes defender Trey Gill (#27) who was named the Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year, forwards Hamilton Carlin (#36) and Eli Dent (#66) who played for South Carolina United, and midfielder Koty Millard (#80) from Columbia who is an NSCAA High School and Youth All-American.
This is a blockbuster nine member class that is neck and neck with any class in the country. The Eagles have landed five freshmen and four transfers. Junior forwards Phil Sandgren from Lindsey Wilson College and Cole DeNormandie from the University of Cincinnati are impressive additions who will add offensive firepower. The class also features freshman forward Isaac Normesinu, an NSCAA High School All-American, who is ranked by CSN as the number fifty-five player in the class of 2013 and NSCAA High School All-American midfielder Zeiko Lewis.
A dynamite class that reinforces the fact that Jamie Clark can recruit. The Huskies needed help on the offensive side of the ball and they got it plus more with this twelve member recruiting class. The class features forward Mason Robertson who is ranked by CSN as the number forty player in the class of 2013. Clark stated, "Mason is as talented a player as I've recruited. He has the ability to play anywhere down the middle of the park and should find a way to contribute very quickly." The class also includes defender Jose Ocampo who played for Crossfire Premier and is ranked the CSN as the number seventy-four recruit in the class of 2013. Freshmen midfielder Cristian Roldan and forward Dom Dismuke are among others with huge upsides. Junior forward Darwin Jones who transfers in from HIghline Community College is strong and fast and ready to contribute.
This is one of the best if not the best recruiting classes that Marquette has ever signed. The class features incoming freshmen midfielders Coco Navarro and Louis Bennett II who are ranked by College Soccer News as among the top one-hundred fifty recruits in the class of 2013. The class also includes 2012 NSCAA High School All-Americans midfielder Daniel Szczepanek, defender Jake Taylor, and goalkeeper Kyle Gress. Junior transfer midfielder Brady Wahl who has been a starter at Ohio State for the past two seasons should contribute immediately.
Tim Vom Steeg has added a recruiting class that leans less heavily on players with a year or two of collegiate experience under their belts than past classes. The class includes freshmen midfielder Drew Murphy and goalkeeper Josh McNeely who honed their games playing for the LA Galaxy. Junior transfers Reed McKenna from UCLA, Isaiah Trejo from Louisville and Adis Islamovic from Diviion II Southern Polytechnic are all solid additions. Freshmen forwards Ismaila Jome who was the 2012 Minnesota High School Soccer Player of the Year and Armand Bagramyan from La Canada, California are goal scorers.
The Wolfpack have added a balanced eleven member recruiting class that includes NSCAA Youth All-American and U.S. U-18 National Team member forward Travis Wannemuehler who is ranked by CSN as the number thirty-three player in the class of 2013 . The class also features highly regarded midfielder Roland Minogue who is ranked by CSN as the number seventy-nine recruit in the class of 2013. Sophomore midfielder Holden Fender who transfers in from UCLA is among other members of the class who should make an immediate contribution.
The Irish will make the move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013 with the addition of a five member class that includes three players ranked by CSN as among the top one-hundred and fifty players in the class of 2013. The newcomers include midfielder Brandon Aubrey (#24), midfielder Oliver Harris (#71) and defender Matt Havrowski (#104). Bobby Clark stated, "We feel we have a very good group."
|Temple will begin play in the American Athletic Conference with a banner class that they will be able to build on in years to come. David MacWilliams brought on board an impressive group consisting of eight freshmen and three transfers. Three of the freshmen are ranked by CSN as among the top one hundred players in the class of 2013. Midfielder Miguel Polley (#57) who played for Albertson SC and has been a member of numerous U.S. National Teams, defender Robert Sagel (#65) out of the Shattuck St. Mary's Academy team, and defender Stefan Mueller (#83) out of the BW Gottschee Academy team are key members of a very talented and promising Temple recruiting class. Redshirt forward Donovan Fraser who transfers in from Maryland is among other very solid additions.|
|Ken Lolla didn't waste any time filling the gaps that he needed to fill to remain competitive. The class includes immediate and future contributors. The ten member class includes six transfers who enrolled during the spring semester. Lolla added a major influx of mature talent. Midfielders Derek McCaffrey, Nolan Moore, James Ockford, and John Strong are among the transfers who should hit the ground running. Freshmen midfielder Andrew Brody (#44) and defender Michael DeGraffenreidt (#114) are ranked by CSN as among the top recruits in the class of 2013.|
You need look no further than smooth forward Brody Huitema to see why Duke's five member recruiting class deserves a spot among the top twenty-five. Huitema, who is ranked by CSN as the number seven player in the class of 2013, is a pure goal scorer and difference maker. When it is all said and done he may very well end up having the greatest impact of any freshman in the country. Duke's class also includes talented and experienced goalkeeper Alex Long who transfers in from South Carolina and freshman midfielder Seo-In Kim who played for the Sporting KC Academy team.
|Jared Embick's first recruiting class is a good one. The marquee player of the class is midfielder Adam Najem who is an NSCAA Youth All-American and was rated by CSN as the number nineteen recruit coming out of the high school class of 2013. The class also includes NSCAA High School All-American Tyler Sanda who was named the Ohio Division I Co-Player of the Year and defender Brett Gravatt out of the IMG Academy in Bradenton. The class has an international flair with defener Louis Cross, forward Ismail Seremba, and forward Sam Gainford all hailing from England.|
|Those who only focus on the top two or three conferences may have a hard time accepting it but this class is for real and has penlty of upsides. It is noteworthy that a player from High Point has been named the Big South Conference Freshman of the Year three out of the past four seasons. Dustin Fonder's 2013 recruiting class includes U.S. U-18 National Team member midfielder Tony Murrillo and highly regarded defender Dolu Oyewole out of the DC United Academy. Junior transfer Sonny Mukungu is a very solid addition to the HPU defense who should see lots of playing time.|
Tim McClements needed a deep class and got it. As in the past, the Mustangs did a good job of attracting talented players from Texas. Why go elsewhere unless absolutely necessary. Nine of the eleven newcomers hail from Texas. The class has excellent quicks and the touch on the ball needed to break down defenders. Midfielder James "Brody" Hickey who played club for the Dallas Texans, midfielder Anthony Jeffries who played club for he Chicago Fire Academy, and midfielder Marco Carrizales who played club for FC Dallas are among the impact players in this class.
The Musketeers will make the transition to the Big East in 2013 with the addition of a nine member recruiting class that will help coach Andy Fleming fill some of the gaps that exist due to graduation. Defender Jacob Smith out of the Concorde Fire Academy, defender Walker Andriot who was named the Kentucky Youth Soccer Association Player of the Year, and defender Todd Pratzner out of the PA Classics Development Academy are among the newcomers who have the tools to make an immediate impact. Xavier will seek to earn their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tourney.
The Knights make the move to the American Athletic Conference with a super sized fourteen member recruiting class that includes defender Javier Clavijo who is an NSCAA Youth All-American and ranked by CSN as among the top one hundred and fifty recruits in the class of 2013. Junior transfer Soren Yuhaschek who was an NJCAA All-American out of Darton College and freshman Joe Amico are among the defenders in the class who should contribute. Junior transfer Leon Carby from High Point University is among several very talented midfielders who are solid additions.
The facts speak for themselves. Recruiting is all about results. Tim Lenahan has a keen eye for talent as reflected in the success that newcomers like Nikko Boxall, Tyler Miller, and Joey Calistri among others have achieved over the past few seasons. The Wildcats have added a six member recruiting class that features midfielder Brandon Medina Ruiz out of St. Ignatius College Prep and defender Nathan Dearth out of Montour High School who were ranked by CSN as among the top one hundred and fifty players in the class of 2013. Midfielder Jeffrey Hopson who played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher is another talented addition with a ton of potential.
John Bluem has added a solid group of newcomers who should help the Buckeyes get back into the NCAA Tourney field after being absent for the past two seasons. Forwards Christian Soldat who played for the Dallas Texans and Danny Jensen who played with the Weston FC should add a little punch to the offense. Back Diego Aguirre out of the Weston FC is a solid addition to the defense. Bluem did a good job of landing a class that includes more than the average number of very promising players.
Kevin Grimes once again mined talent rich California to secure another very talented and soccer savvy recruiting class that is loaded with players who have a background of very competitive academy play. Forward Christian Thierjung and midfielder Jose Carrera-Garcia are among an eight member recruiting class that will join a solid core of returning players to give the Golden Bears the edge they need to to improve on last year's 8-7-3 overall record and 3-5-2 mark in Pac-12 play.
Jeremy Fishbein traveled to New Zealand to sign forwards Caleb Hilbron and James Wypych. Midfielder Nick Thiros (#115) is ranked by CSN as among the top one hundred and fifty players in the class of 2013. Midfielder Niko Hansen is an NSCAA High School All-American who scored a total of thirty-five goals his senior season at Jesuit HIgh School in Northern California. Goalkeeper Michael Lisch transfers in from Wake Forest where he was the starting netminder. Transfers Oneil Fisher from Tyler Junior College and Rene Reyes from Jacksonville are positive additions.
The 49ers will make the transition from the Atlantic 10 to Conference USA in 2013 with a solid nine member recruiting class that is loaded with immediate and future contributors. Junior transfer Monbo Bokar from N.C. State will make an immediate impact up-top. Ditto that for sophomore transfer Conor Agnew in the midfield. Freshman Hans Honer is an athletic goal scorer and a very solid addition. NSCAA High School All-American midfielder freshman Brandt Bronico is among the other members of the class who will make their presence known before their tenure in Charlotte is over.
Syracuse had a breakout fourteen win season last year with an impressive run to the Sweet Sixteen. The Orange have added an intriguing class that when it is all said and done may prove worthy of a much higher ranking. This skilled class includes defender Oyvind Alseth and forward Emil Ekblom from Norway and midfielder Chris Nanco and forward Alex Halis from Canada. The Orange stayed close to home to add talented midfielder Mike Koegel from New York. Syracuse lost a couple recruits that would have resulted in a much higher ranking but nonetheless this is a class to keep an eye on in a program that will make the transition from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference with a ton of momentum.
Paul Holocher has added a seven member recruiting class that should keep the trend line moving upward at Cal Poly. Last year the Mustangs recoreded eleven wins including six in Big West Conference play. The big catch in the class is winger Justin Dhillon who put a total of forty-four in the back of the net in two seasons for the Los Angeles Galaxy Academy. Dhillon is a 2012 NSCAA Youth All-American and was ranked by CSN as the number nine recruit in the class of 2013. Winger Ariel Lassiter and striker Kaba Alkebulan are among other members of the class who have the potential to add an additional dimension to the Cal Poly attack.
Rudy Fuller added a small but powerful four member recruiting class that should give Penn a real lift on the offensive side of the ball. Midfielder Travis Pillon who has been a member of several U.S. National Teams is the headliner and will hit the ground running. Forwards Samuel Hayward out of the Solar Chelsea Soccer Club and Alex Neumann out of the PDA Academy are explosive finishers with big play ability. Midfielder Matt Poplawski who played with Crossfire Premier may prove to be the best pure athlete of the bunch.
|Bob Warming picked up midfielders Connor Maloney from Harrisburg and Bruno Marangoni from Mercersburg, but also recruited well out of state adding a ten member recruiting class. Maloney is an NSCAA High School All-American who found the back of the net a total of one hundred and ten times during his career at Bishop McDevitt High School. Warming dipped into Canada to sign forward Mark Wadid and midfielder Michael Wagenknecht who have played together on the Canadian U-18 National Team. Warming stated, "If they put in the hard work, this can be one of the very best classes of players I have recruited."|
|Creighton will begin a new era in 2013 when they make the move from the Missouri Valley Conference to the new Big East Conference with a nine member recruiting class. The headliner of the group is NSCAA Youth All-American midfielder Ricardo Perez who should help ease the loss of Jose Gomez. Perez is ranked by CSN as the number sixteen player in the class of 2013. The strength of this class will likely ultimately be determined by the contribuion of international midfielders Fabian Herbers and Marvin Iskra from Germany. Freshman netminder Michael Kluver was named the 2013 Gatorade Nebraska Soccer Player of the Year. Freshman defender Ben Bakke who played for the MInnesota Thunder is a solid addition with the size and the grit needed to make an impact.|
The Lions picked up two top one hundred picks when they signed forward Nicholas Pappacena (#98) and defender Rhys Williams (#89) who played for the Weston Academy. Both are tough competitors. A Columbia offense that netted a total of only twelve goals last year can use help. Look for Pappacena to contribute to the attack from day one. Williams is a very impressive addition to a Columbia defense that allowed a total of only sixteen goals last year. Defender Joseph Morris from London and transfer midfielder Ron Zori from St. John's are among other members of a very athletic class that has the potential to be a difference maker for head coach Kevin Anderson. This class should lead to good things for Columbia.
The Johnnies signed two top of the line incoming freshmen in the country in Miguel Alves and Jean Leveille who played club for PDA and for national champion St. Benedict's in Newark, New Jersey. Both are swift left sided players who have the versatility to play in the midfield or in the back. Alves,a relentless worker, looks to be a strong candidate to fill the vacancy created by the graduation of Jack Bennett. Junior transfer Casey Osborne from Atlanta out of Tyler Junior College is a tough competitor who will add value as a center back or possibly up-top. Osborne was the 2012 Junior College Division I National Player of the Year.
Dan Donigan focused his recruiting efforts on the State of New Jersey adding an eight member recruiting class that is highlighted by Erik Sa who played for the Redbull U-18 Academy team and is considered to be among the top incoming midfieders. Defender Spencer Hambleton out of highly regarded St. Benedict's has all the tools to become an impact player. Midfielder Andrew Weber from Andover, New Jersey was a three-time Sussex County Player of the Year who should fit right in. Donigan stated, "We brought on some guys that we feel have the ability to step onto the field immediately and have an impact."
Although not a big class in quantity, John Trask did bring in quality. Forward NIck Jones who was ranked by CSN as the number eleven player in the class of 2013 is the marquee player of a small but very solid five member Wisconsin recruiting class. Jones played for the U-18 St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy team. Jones is a true goal scorer who will put the rock in the back of the net a lot before his time in Madison is over. Trask stated, "Nick combines big time athleticism, work rate and technical ability for a forward his age."
Gradute student transfers midfielder Thomas McNamara and Bobby Belair from Brown are very solid additions who will likely be difference makers on the offensive side of the ball for the Tigers. McNamara was an All-Ivy First Team selection last year. The Tigers mined Florida for talent and signed freshmen midfielders Alex Happi and Thales Moreno and defender Mariq Hill from Montverde Academy. Moreno was named the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. The nine newcomers will join a Clemson squad that returns nine starters.
There is plenty of talent in this eight member recruiting class starting with goalkeeper Kyle Dal Santo who was among the top goalkeepers in the class of 2013. Dal Santo played for the Chicago Fire Academy. Center back Austin Ledbetter who played for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy team is a very solid addition. Ditto that for midfielder Jason Hackett who also honed his skills while playing for Scott Gallagher.
College Of Charleston
The Cougars make the move to the Colonial Athletic Association with a nine member recriting class that includes several players who will likely contribute from the get-go. Freshman winger Ike Crook from Federal Way, Washington who played for the Seattle Sounders Academy squad is an offensive threat due to his quickness. Center midfielder Erik Clark out of powerhouse Wando High School was named Mr. Soccer for South Carolina. Forward Adam Noel comes to Charleston from Trinidad and Tobago were he played on the U-20 National Team. This is an athletic class that will help plug the holes that exist at the C of C due to the graduation of a very strong senior class.
|Tom McIntosh has a good eye for talent and for adding players who fit well within Tulsa's system of play as reflected in his seven member 2013 recruiting class which includes several underated stars as well as several headliners. Freshman goalkeeper Jake McGuire who played with the Chivas USA Academy squad is among the top incoming goalkeepers in the country. Midfielder Ray Saari from Kansas City, Missouri is an NSCAA High School All-American out of Oak Park High School where he had seventy-eight career goals and was named the 2012 Missouri Offensive Player of the Year. Midfielder Camero Drackett from Flower Mound, Texas is a solid addition. Junior transfer defender Byron Knowles-Ramirez from Lubbock Christina University should slot in at the left back position.|
Ken Arena takes the next step at FIU with a noteable recruiting class that will help the Panthers on both sides of the ball. Freshmen midfielder Ismael Longo out of the Weston FC and defender Vincent Reyes who played with the LA Galaxy are solid additions who will likely see plenty of playing time right away. Junior transfer midfielder Roberto Alterio from South Florida will add punch and experience to the attack. Freshman forward Jamar Campion-HInds is a speedster from Coral Springs, Florida with a ton of potential. This class looks to be the start of something special at FIU.
The programs in mid major conferences are often overlooked when it comes to evaluating recruiting classes. The bottom line is that the Raiders added a very promising class that includes a significant number of players with the potential to make an impact. The jewel of the class may prove to be redshirt freshman forward Omari Morris who transfers in from Akron. Sophomore midfielder Wesley Cain who transfers in from Northwestern Ohio is another impressive addition. Wright State also landed two promising prospects in NSCAA High School All-Americans midfielder Sam DeRoy from Powell, Ohio and forwad Eric Lynch from Bellbrook, Ohio who have impressive resumes. The potential exists for this class to be a real difference maker for Wright State.