April 6, 2014 – College Soccer News annually ranks the top forty recuiting classes in the country. In the past we have waited until August to issue our rankings but since more schools are now reporting their recruiting classes earlier than in the past (which we applaud) it was decided that sufficient information was available to go ahead and issue our rankings. The top five or so 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 twenty 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 academy, 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.
The Atlantic Coast Conference won the conference recruiting wars with seven of the top twenty classes. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 both had four teams in the top twenty.
The Bruins actually lost several very highly regarded recruits who initially committed then opted to enter the professional ranks, but don't shed any tears for them. For the second year in a row UCLA adds the number one recruiting class in the country. The old cliche that the rich get richer is clearly applicable to UCLA's recruiting class. The Bruins return senior All-American midfielder Leo Stolz and land the biggest transfer of the year in All-American forward Larry Ndjock from Loyola Maryland University who joins UCLA for his final two seasons, add to that U.S. National teamers defenders Chase Gasper and John Requejo, along with highly regarded midfielder Joad Santoyo, and forwards Seyi Adekoya, and Abu Danladi, and the Bruins are well positioned to reman a powerhouse for the next few years.
The Maize and Blue had as good a Signing Day as any team in the country. If you are looking for a program on the rise, then you need look no further than Ann Arbor and the Michigan Wolverines. U.S. National team members Nate Kohl, Evan Louro, Ahinga Selemani, and Billy Stevens, join Georgia State transfer and Manchester United Youth Academy player William Mellors-Blair to give the Wolverines a recruiting class that some would debate is the top class in the country. All are fierce competitors and could see action early on. If they stay together this class has the potential to bring a national championship to Ann Arbor before their tenure is over. .
In case you haven't noticed, great things have been happening at Georgetown over the past few seasons. The Hoyas have become one of the top programs in the country, and this recruiting class is a reflection of that. Coach Brian Weise has a knack for finding sleepers and turning them into professionals. U.S. National team players Arun Basuljevic, Chris Lema and Declan McCabe are as good as advertised, but don't be surprised if Matt Ledder and Kevin Vondrak become big time players in the future of the program.
John Kerr's recruiting classes at Duke over the the past few years have been top ten caliber by most standards and this class is no different. Midfielder Brian White, forward Jeremy Ebobisse-Ebolo, forward Bryson Asher, forward Cameron Mosely, and defender Carter Manley compirse a blockbuster recruiting class that will add a lot of firepower to the Blue Devil offense and should make an immediate impact. Simply put, this is an awesome recruiting class.
The Wolfpack are a program on the rise under head coach Kelly Findley who appears to have filled a lot of missing pieces with this class. Reed Norton, a talented and experienced junior transfer from Georgia Southern and former U-17 National team defender, will hit the ground running. Norton joins a class that boasts other National team players, Marius Heislitz, and Conor Donovan Add to that Zach Knudson and Caleb Duvernay and N.C. State looks like a team that will be competing for the ACC title very soon.
Jeremy Gunn can recruit. It wasn't long ago that Gunn made a Final Four run at Charlotte before taking over the reigns of the program at Stanford. With this recruiting class, it may not be very long before he has the talent to do the same in Palo Alto. Go ahead and write down the name of midfielder Corey Baird, ranked by College Soccer News as the number one player in the class of 2014, as someone who is going to make an immediate impact. In addition, Tomas Hilliard-Acre, Danya Kafai, Alex Ainscough and Drew Skundrich are all prime timers who join a Cardinal program that has quickly assembled a roster with the talent and the depth needed to compete for a Pac-12 Conference championship and national standing.
UC Santa Barbara
Another great haul for the Gauchos. This is a class with national and international experience. U-17 National team forward Adonis Amaya is a stud, as is midfielder Axel Mendez, add to that Ryo Fujii, Dalton Pando, Denis Kalamar, and internationals Ludwig Ahl (Sweden) and Julian Busch (Germany) and UCSB reloads with a class that fills all its needs. Tim Vom Steeg needed a deep and talented class and he got it. This group and the returning talent at UCSB will help ensure that Harder Stadium will be rocking in 2014 and beyond.
Wake Forest head coach Jay Vidovich has an eye for talent. He also has some key gaps to fill heading into the 2014 season due to graduation and the decision of forward Sean Okoli and defender Jalen Robinson to depart early to enter the professional ranks. Wake Forest has added a class that includes many under the radar guys but is loaded with talent. Highlighted by National team midfielder Kevin Politz form the New York Red Bulls, and the additions of Kris Reaves, Duncan McCormick, John Schuman, and defender sophomore Jared Odenbeck who transfers in from Georgetown, this class could prove to be the perfect storm for a tournament run for the always competitive Demon Deacons.
Hold that Tiger! This is Mike Noonan's highest-rated class at Clemson to date. The Tigers are starting to build momentum in the ACC, and every season under the guidance of Noonan, they seem to keep getting better. Add in a top ten 2014 recruiting haul and there is every reason to expect that trend to continue. Michael Melvin, Tyler Rider, Diego Campos, Gerald Vargas, and Saul Chinchilla all landed on CSN's top 150 list of 2014 recruits. Add in Grayson Raynor who flirted with being in the top 150 and transfer Iman Mafi from Gardner-Webb and you have a very impressive group of newcomers. All in all this class should have a positive impact on Clemson for years to come.
By the Northwestern standards established under the direction of Tim Lenahan, last sesaon was frankly a forgettable one. Hampered with injuries throughout, the Wildcats were 10-8-3 overall with a 1-4-1 mark in Big Ten play. They snuck into the NCAA Tournament, and lost early, but this class might change all that. Elochukwu Ozumba, a high scoring forward from the Houston Dynamo, is a differnece maker. Add newcomers John Moderwell, Sam Forsgren, Francisco Tomasino, New Zealand U-17 National teamer Riley Kelliher and redshirt transfer Nati Schnitman from UCLA into the mix and Lenahan has the makings of a team that should again be back in the hunt for the Big Ten title.
The Badgers lost a lot of talent from the 2013 team that returned the program to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in eighteen seasons. John Trask lost AJ Cochran, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, early to the MLS along with a huge senior class that included forward Tomislav Zadro who was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. A solid 2014 recruiting class was a high priority and Trask got it. Reinforcements are on the way to Madison in U-18 National team forward Mark Segbers who will add to the offense, along with an AJ Cochran-like defender in Michael Catalano out of the Chicago area. Both will fill major holes. Forward Tommy Barlow and defender Rahim Omar should also be immediate contributors.
The fact that the Tar Heels strugged to find their offense last year is ancient history now. What's important is that's not likely to be the case in 2014. Veteran forwards Rob Lovejoy and Andy Craven, who missed the 2013 campaign due to injury, are slated to return. In addition North Carolina will welcome a recruiting class that includes U.S. U-18 National Team member and NSCAA Youth All-American Alan Winn from Garland, Texas who is one of the top forwards coming out of the class of 2014. Winn will address the biggest need for the Tar Heels. The addition of goalkeeper James Pyle, forward Zach Wright, defenders Evan Krause and Luke Ciocca, and midfielders Andy Lopez and Jesus Bolivar in addition to transfers Tucker and Walker Hume from Rollins College will add depth to an already strong North Carolina squad.
It is always prudent to fear the turtle but this class comes with a "huge if." The X-factor of the class is Romain Gall, a midfielder from FC Lorient in France who gave a verbal to Maryland. If Gall goes to college Maryland will have landed one of the best talents in the country and a top ten recruiting class. If he signs a professional contract the class will still boast George Campbell and Jake Areman who will both be nice additions to a Maryland team that will begin play in the Big Ten Conference in 2014.
The Cavaliers return a solid core of players from a young team that advanced to the Final Four in 2013 a year ahead of schedule. A very strong eight member recruiting class is headed to Charlottesville that includes four players ranked by College Soccer News in the top 150 of the class of 2014. The headliner of the class is goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell who is ranked by College Soccer News as the ninth best player and the top netminder in the class of 2014. Add the athletism of defender Steven Gandy and midfielder Julian Cummings who played for the D.C. United Academy team and the play making abilities of U.S. U-17 National team midfielder Jake Rozhansky to an already talented roster and the sky is the limit for Virginia.
A very strong group of players will be joining a Charlotte team that won the Conference USA Tournament last year and has earned an invite to the NCAA Tournament four out of the past five seasons. Former U.S. U-17 midfielder Dean Rutherford is the marquee player of the class, but defender Malcolm Stewart, and forwards Harrison Steadman and Zhuvonte Wilson are proven goal scorers with star potential. This bunch could emerge as a class that proves to be the catalyst for another Charlotee run to the Final Four down the line.
Jamie Clark added three solid in-state prospects and then went elsewhere to pick up four more newcomers. The one constant with Clark's programs….they win. The Huskies lost defender Taylor Peay and long throw specialist Michael Harris due to graduation but return a solid core of players from the 2013 team that advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in the history of the program. Don't think a Jaime Clark coached team is one-dimensional. The 2014 class will build on the very solid foundation that is already in place. The late addition of attacking midfielder Henry Wingo out of the Seattle Sounders Academy was huge for Washington. Wingo, a linkman with pace and the ability to beat players 1 vs.1, will help Washington going forward. Add defenders Justin Fiddes out of the San Diego Surf Academy and Garret Jackson who played with the Crossfire Premier Academy to the mix and the end result is a Washington team that will once again make a run at the Pac-12 title and national standing.
Jeremy Fishbein's New Mexico teams have traditionally played some of the best soccer in college. A very attractive possession based system has worked very well for the Lobos over the years. New Mexico will be without center back Kyle Venter, goalkeeper Michael Lisch and midfielders Michael Calderon and Michael Kafari from the 2013 Final Four team, but a very well balanced nine member recruiting class is headed to Albuquerque that looks to be very capable of maintaining the tradition of success the program has enjoyed. Fishbein added two top 100 players from the State of Texas in midfielder Patrick Khouri out of the FC Dallas Academy and defender Matthew Dorsey out of the Houston Dynamo Academy. College Soccer News ranked Khouri as the number 54 player in the class of 2014 and Dorsey as the number 62 player. Both are talented playmakers to keep an eye on, but midfielder Sam Gleade out of Real Salt Lake Academy is a Fishbein type player, that should mold nicely into his system and may end up being the standout of the class.
All the Golden Bears did last year was go 14-5-2, produce two of the top picks in the MLS draft in defenders Steve Birnbaum and Christian Dean, earn the number one ranking in the country for six weeks, secure the number four seed in the NCAA tournament, and advance to the quarterfinals where they lost a heartbreaker to the Maryland. Kevin Grimes and his staf might not always get the credit they deserve, but this class may be a good starting point to make up for lost time. U.S. U-17 star defender Jorge Miranda is the big name on the list, but forward Paul Salcedo, and midfielders Aravind Sivakumar and Eloi Vasquez have been turning heads this year with their academy teams. Defender Ugo Rebecchini from Italy also has game. Don't expect last year's team to be the exception but rather the rule in the coming years at Berkley.
This is the second consecutive season in which Temple has added a very impressive recruiting class. Temple picked up a solid late recruit in Felipe Liborio out of California, but the key players in this class might be Ghanaian forward Sphiwe "Dinho" Zwane out of Trinity HIgh School in Louisville, Kentucky, Brendan Creed the capatin of Trinidad's U-17 team, Ollie Tynkkynen from Finland's U-19 National team, and goalie Joseph Melong from Shattuck St. Mary's. The newcomers join a Temple team that exceeded expectations last year with a 10-4-4 overall record and 3-1-4 mark in their first season of play in the American Athletic Conference.
The defending national champions may have the 20th ranked class in the country, but that's BBC, or as some around the country like to refer to it as, before Bobby Clark. Clark never seems to get the biggest names out of high school, but tends to bring in players that are dialed into his system of play and eventually turn into tenured pros. Clark's latest six member class fits that mold. Blake Townes who honed his game as a member of the U-18 Crew Academy Wolves is a crafty and gutsy midfielder who can do a lot of everything and do it well. He is ranked by College Soccer News as the number 50 recruit in the class of 2014. Defender Patrick Berneski and midfielder Jon Gallagher are players who will have a bright future and forward Jeffery Farina out of the Chicago Fire Development Academy is a classic back to the goal forward who should provide depth to the Irish. Athleticism is the name of the game for Notre Dame's six memer 2014 recruiting class.
Bronco head coach Cameron Rast and company add a small but strong class to a program that has a great soccer tradition. The class is highlighted by forwards Carlos Delgadillo from San Jose, California and Satoshi Chaffin from Puyallup, Washington who are ranked by College Soccer News as the number 56 and 71 players in the class of 2014. Forward Jonathan Jarrett from Lilburn, Georgia who played for the highly compeitive Concorde Fire is another very promising addition. The class also includes transfers center back Benjamin Kucera from Creighton and defender Alfred Edmonds Belmont University.
Creighton's seven member class will add depth and pace all over the park. Ricardo Lopez-Espin, ranked by College Soccer News as the number 46 player in the class of 2014, is a handfull as a forward, and Lucas Stauffer is a quality midfielder. Both Lopez-Espin and Stauffer come to Omaha from Shattuck-St. Mary's Academy. Add JUCO transfers Mikey Paye and Fernando Castellanos from Tyler JC and the Blue Jays could be back in form in 2014.
As has been the case now for several seasons, Akron lost several key players due to graduation and they must replace defender Bryan Gallego who elected to forgo his senior season to enter the professional ranks. No problem, the Zips still return a good amount of talent supplemented by a gifted twelve member recruiting class. U-17 National teamer defender Bryce Cregan is a big pick-up, as is highly regarded goal scorer Nate Shultz who played for the Internationals SC. Akron also received a major boost on the offensive side of the ball with the addition of junior transfer forward Sean Sepe, a 2013 All-Big East Second team selection from St. John's, who should make an immediate impact.
The Golden Hurricane have quietly been building momentum over the past two seasons and this class may provide them with the little extra something they need to have a really big season in 2014. Tom McIntosh drew heavily from talent rich Texas to land a vintage class that includes midfielder Zachary Jackson from Cypress and defender Jordan Speed from Mansfield who are ranked by College Soccer News as the number 32 and 97 players respectively in the class of 2014. Midfielder Geoffrey Dee from Germantown, Tennessee is among other members of the class who will add depth to a Tulsa team that has already established that it can win.
Connecticut was without a doubt one of the most talented teams in 2013 and fell just short of the Final Four. Losing one of the best forwards in the country in Mamadou Diouf and one of the best goalies to ever play in college in Andre Blake would sting most teams, but not UConn. Ray Reid returns the core of the 2013 team, and has added a talented bunch of newcomers that includes New York prime timers left back Dylan Greenberg out of the Alberton SC and midfielder Joseph Swenson out of the New York Red Bulls. History will tell us that Connecticut will add internationals to this recruiting class, and that Reid will once again have one of the most talented teams in the coutry.
It is no longer a secret that good things have happened at Xavier since Andy Fleming took over the reigns of the program in 2010. The program's consecutive streak of NCAA Tourney appearances came to a halt last year at three but this is a program that is now on the national landscape. Xavier's 2014 recruiting class may be small but it is explosive and it warrants attention. The class includes two of the top 150 players in the class of 2014 in U-18 National team midfielder Matthew Vasquenza and U.S. U-17 team defender Matthew Nance. Both will have an immediate impact on a team looking to fill major pieces. But the gem of the class may prove to be Eric McWoods from St. Louis, Missouri who is a powerful and fast forward. Although a raw talent, McWoods has a great deal of potential. Add in West Virginia transfer forward Majed Osman and Xavier likely has the ingredients needed to return to the NCAA Tourney field.
The Orange add a six member class that should help immediately as well as down the road. Junior forward Korab Syla, the NJCAA Player of the Year in 2012 at Herkimer County Community College and redshirt sophomore defender Liam Callahan who transfers in from Villanova where he was a starter last year should make an immediate impact. Freshmen midfielder Julian Buescher, a member of the U-16 and U-18 German youth national teams, and forward Danny Apajee who was the 2013 Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year are among other members of the class who should make a quick transition to the college game. Look for the Orange to begin to make their presence known as they enter their second season as a member of the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference.
Bryan Cunningham enters his eighth season at the helm of the UCF program with an eight member recruiting class. The Knights remained in state to secure forward Richard Prestridge from Orange Park and midfielder Walker Dawkins from Royal Palm Beach who are ranked by College Soccer News as the number 47 and 53 players respectively in the class of 2014. Both have the potential to add a little diversity to a UCF offense that will be led by junior forward Romario Williams who netted ten of UCF's twenty-two goals last year in route to being honored as the 2013 America East Offensive Player of the Year.
Although not a large class, the Golden Eagles landed a taltented class. However, this class took a tumble down the rankings when forward Andrija Novakovich, who was ranked by College Soccer News as the number eight recruit in the class of 2014 and a player that many felt might be the purest goal scorer in college soccer next year, elected to sign a professional contract with Reading FC of the English Football League. Nonetheless with a team that has the ability to finish in the air, and beat players 1 vs. 1, Marquette will enter the 2014 season on the short list of teams that have the potential to make a run at the College Cup. Add in an all-around player like central midfielder Martin Alba out of the Chicago Fire Academy to the recruiting class and Louis Bennett adds both quality and depth to an already loaded team. This is the second consecutive season that Marquette has brought on board a highly regarded recruiting class.
Mike Getman has added one of the more intriguing recruiting classes in the country. The class includes five members of five different national teams and Lawson Crider who is a transfer from Carl Sandburg College where he was a Junior College All-American. The marquee player of the class may be midfielder DeAndre Robinson who played for the Concorde Fire U-18 Academy and was a member of the U.S. U-17 and U-18 National Teams. Midfielder Michael Awaah played for the Ghanaian U-18 National team, cemter back Mathieu Laurent played for the Canadian U-17 National Team, midfielder David Valverde played for the Costa Rican U-17 National Team, and midfielder William White who is a transfer from the University of the South played for the Bermuda U-20 National Team.
Butler is back on the rise. The Bulldogs completed their first season in the Big East last year with an 11-8-1 overall record and a 4-5-0 mark in conference play. Paul Snape brings on board a class of players that could all challenge immediately for playing time. Forward Joey Bastian is a handful up-top and defender Bennett Kim is rock solid. Both played together for Carmel HIll School and the Indiana Fire Academy team. The real prize of the class could end up being Marco Charalambous from Nicosia, Cyprus who has multiple years of playing experience with the Cyprus National Team and has seen action in Europa League games. Charalambous has the potential to add a different dimension to the Bulldog attack before his stay in Indianapolis is over.
Some might think the Hoosiers should be ranked higher based on tradition alone. The bottom line is that on paper this class lacks the elite star power of some of IU's previous recruiting classes However it is among the most athletic classes in the country which means that it has a lot of potential. The Hoosiers made their 27th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tourney last year but had to win the Big Ten Tournament to do so. Todd Yeagley enters the 2014 with some gaps to plug due to the loss of six starters who accounted for 70% of the Hoosiers offensive productivity last year. Defender Grant Lillard out of the Chicago Fire, midfielder Matt Foldesy who transfers in from Akron, and forward Michael Riedford out of Reitz Memorial who was the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year are among the members of IU's eleven member recruiting class that could make an immediate impact. Keep any eye on this class.
A steady recruiting class that should help the Buckeyes improve on their 5-8-5 overall record in 2013. Ohio State adds highly regarded forward Marcus McCary from Madison, Wisconsin who played for FC Wisconsin, to go along with JUCO All-American midfielder Liam Doyle out of Cincinnati State. Keep an eye on Fikayo Idowu out of St. Andrews Episcopal High School in Ridgeland, Mississippi, a defender who is a raw athletic talent, but could have all the tools to become something special in Columbus.
The Crimson hasn't been an NCAA Tourney team since All-American forward Andre Akpan graduated in 2009. Last year Harvard showed promise with a 7-8-2 overall record that included a solid 5-2-0 mark in Ivy League play which was good for a second place finish. The Crimson has added a class that includes midfielder Samuel Brown from Ann Arbor, Michigan who playerd for the Crew Socer Academy Wolves and defender Christian Sady from North Andover, Massachusetts who played for the New England Revolution and has experience as a part of the U.S. U-18 National team. Brown and Sady are both top 100 recruits who could help Harvard get back into the hunt for an Ivy League title and a berth in the NCAA Tourney.
The Spartans are riding high after a banner 2013 season in which they earned their sixth invite to the NCAA Tournament in the past seven seasons and advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since the 1968 campaign. Damon Rensing recruited heavily in-state with six of his seven newcomers hailing from Michigan. Defender Jimmy Fiscus and midfielder Ken Krolicki who played for the Crew Academy Wolves are very solid additions. Midfielder Michael Marcantognini out of Saint Andrews College in Ontario is a goal scorer who could put his share in the back of the net before his tenure in East Lansing is over. Sophomore forward Jason Stacy who sat out the 2013 season after transfering in from Michigan was a prolific goal scorer at Forest Hills Central High School in 2011 and a two-time first team All-State selection.
Dave Giffard recruited heavily in the state of Virginia adding a deep and very athletic twelve member class that includes ten in-state players. Over the past few years the Rams have become one of the more interesting, intriguing, and competitive teams in the country. Clearly no one can accuse Giffard of playing an easy non-conference schedule. The Rams latest group of newcomers features midfielders James Ellis and Joseph Haney from Chesapeake, Virginia and midfielders Brandon Eaton and Kai Marshall who transfer in from Virginia Tech. The sleeper of the class could prove to be 120 pound midfielder Tyler Stowell from Lumbarton, New Jersey out of the Match Fit Academy. The future is bright at VCU.
San Diego State
Lev Kirshner has added a super sized seventeen member recruiting class that he hopes will give the Aztecs the edge they need to return to the NCAA Tourney for the first time since the 2006 season. The biggest shoes to fill are those of senior forward Jordan Ongaro, a First Team All-Pac-12 selection, who led the conference in goals scored with ten. Defender Brady Blackwell out of the Columbus Crew Academy and defender Jeffry Rhodes out of the Indiana Fire Academy are ranked by CSN as among the top 150 players in the class of 2014. Midfielder Pablo Vazquez out of San Jacinto College is among other members of the class who could help fill the void on the offensive side of the ball.
SMU is coming off a rare three win season in which they netted a total of only thirteen goals. With this class Tim McClements may have added the athleticism the Mustangs need to up their win total, compete favorably in the American Athletic Conference, and get back on track. Jared Rice out of the Dallas Texans Academy is a solid midfielder and Avery Miller out of the Crossfire Premiers Soccer Club is a top level goalkeeper. The class also includes transfers goalkeeper Nick Ruiz who was a starter last year at the University of Massachusetts and defender Danny McQuaid from Otero Junior College.
The fact that the Dragons have earned back-to-back berths in the NCAA Tournament and that they won both the CAA regular season and tourney titles last year has not occurred by accident. Doug Hess has done a good job of broadening his recruiting base, bringing on board talented, soccer savvy, and team oriented players, with a winning mindset, as reflected in his 2014 eight member class that should keep Drexel at or near the top of the table in the CAA. Midfielders Erik Alexandersson from Sweden, Joseph Rodriguez who played for the Match Fit Academy and Sander Yu who played for the Continental FC Delco Academy are among the members of what looks to be a very productive recruiting haul.
The Flyers have a void to fill in the back due to the graduation of defenders John Howe and Jonathan Nelson and in the midfield due to the graduation of All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection Abe Keller. Dennis Currier did a good job of addressing those needs by bringing on board a nine member recruiting class that includes five defenders and four midfielders with an impressive background of competitive play. Brandon Moore out of the Dallas Texans Soccer Academy, Connor Ballantyne out of the Vardar Academy and NSCAA High School All-American Nick Hagenkord out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Kansas are among the members of a class that has plenty of upsides.
Some might overlook this group because it only includes only five signees,but if the goal of recruiting is to plug gaps and add both short and long term value then this class deserves inclusion. Keegan McHugh who played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher is among the top center midfielders in the class of 2014 and will likely contribute immediately. Redshirt sophomore forward Garet Christianson who transfers in from Eastern Illinois where he was an All-Sumit League First Teamer last year should also make an immediate impact. Midfielder TC Hull from the talent rich Chicago area has a lot of upsides as a goal scorer. Midfielder Lance Ramsey is a sleeper but looks to be have a great deal of potential as a role player. Goalkeeper Joe Smith is another solid addition.