Recruiting

Recruiting

College Soccer News 2015 Top 50 Recruiting Classes Updated

August 10, 2015 - College Soccer News has updated its rankings of the 2015 College Soccer Recruiting Classes to include additions and changes and has expanded its rankings to reflect the Top Fifty Recruiting classes in the country. CSN's initial recruiting class rankings were issued on February 11, 2015 based on the information that was available at that time and was limited to only thirty teams. The rankings are a projection of the impact that the classes will have on their respective programs and the extent to which they fill and strengthen the voids that exist. The real test of that will be determined over the next few seasons on the field of play.  

1

Maryland- Some may argue about #1 but if you look at what Maryland lost and what Maryland gains in this class it is as special as it gets.  National team players Jorge Calix, Sebastian Elney, Eryk Williamson, Daniel Reeves, Connor Smith, and Amar Sejdic will make a huge impact in College Park next season, and players like Andrew Samuels, Adolfo Ovalle and Aaron Franco might give Maryland the deepest class in the 2015’s.  Remember the name Adolfo Ovalle, he may not have the resume of those with national team experience, but he may end up being the best player coming to College Park next season, IF he doesn’t sign with Real Salt Lake. Late addition - Maryland might be the only school in the country to lose out on a pro and yet strengthen the class.  The Terps lost Adolfo Ovalle when he signed a pro contract with Real Salt Lake, but they added left back Diego Silva to the class, an addition that solidifies Maryland as the #1 overall recruiting class for 2015.

2

UCLA- The Bruins never seem to skip a beat in recruiting and this year is no different, they load up yet again.  Jose Hernandez, Erik Holt, Malcolm Jones, Robert Knight, Stephen Payne, Jackson Yueill and David Villegas are heavy hitters to a program that loses very little from a team that made a run to the national finals last year.  This class is balanced front to back, and will help strengthen the notion that UCLA will once again be a favorite to get back to the NCAA National Finals. Expect UCLA’s class to help add depth to a program that has never been lacking in talent. Of all the talent coming into Westwood, Malcolm Jones might be the most ready to come in and play right away. Jones is an athletic and talented defender who should fit right in with the Bruin's backline.  Late addition - The Bruins added forward Abdullah Adam who is a transfer from Lyon College (NAIA) and midfielder Tobi Henneke who played for TSV 1860 Munich, the same club that former Bruin All-American and 2014 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Leo Stolz played for.  

3

South Florida- There is no team in the country that prospered more from the transfer market this year than South Florida.  Brendan Hines-Ike from Creighton and Michael Bajza from North Carolina State are just the tip of the iceberg.  National Junior College Player of the Year Nazeem Bartman from Tyler Junior College, Jamaican Youth National Team forward Kendan Anderson from ASA Junior College, and Australian International Melvin Beckett from Lewis and Clark Junior College highlight a Bulls class that could give them the talent to make a final four run. Nazeem Bartman was compared to Dom Dwyer by Tyler coach Steve Clemmons who had both players, that should be all you need to know.  Late addition - Freshman defender Prosper Figbe out of the Loomis Chaffee School. 

4

Virginia- The signing of Edward Opoku late upgrades a class that was already loaded with top talent. Committments from Derrick Etienne, Wesley Wade, Christophe Koffi, and Malcolm Dixon would have made this a top ten class, add Opoku to the mix and this class has the making of being special.  The reigning national champs became deeper and more athletic with this group, expect all these players to play a part in the coming years. Opoku might end up being the best player in this class. If he can adjust to the physical play of college soccer, he could one of the better ones to come through the University of Virginia, and that alone says a lot.

5

Georgetown- Youth National team players are becoming a norm at Georgetown, and this class is no different.  The additions of youth national teamers Peter Schropp and James Marcinkowski fill needs for Georgetown.  Will Carlson, Ethan Lockner, Kyle Zajec, and Brendan McDonough will add depth to a program that has become a consistent top 10 program.  James Marcinkowski is the best keeper in the class, has great hands, distributes well, and he can play with his feet as well as any field player in the country, expect him to play in between the pipes, sooner rather than later.

6

UCSB-  If South Florida had the best transfer market this year UCSB wasn’t too far behind.  Transfer additions are led by Michigan transfer Ahinga Selemani, Duke transfer Seo-In Kim, Kevin Armstrong from New Mexico, Kevin Feucht from the College of Charleston, and Adepapo Adeniyi from the University of Mobile.  Add that to Right to Dream star Geoffrey Acheampong, Youth National Teamer Konstandin Moni, and UCSB has enough fire power to make a strong run in the NCAA tournament in the coming year. Geoffery Acheampong has special qualities to his game, expect him to come in and impact UCSB immediately.  The addition of freshman forward Jorge Ruiz, a member of the U.S. U-18 National Team, added icing to the cake of this already banner class.  

7

North Carolina - Another year and another solid recruiting class for North Carolina.  Alex Comsia from Canada’s U20’s should help immediately, but Will Campbell, Dominic Jensen, Alex Moztarzadeh, Jelani Pieters, Johan Welch and Martin Salas could certainly be contenders to a North Carolina team that is looking to make another deep run in the tournament next season. Late addition - North Carolina moves up the charts from the initial recruiting class rankings with the late addition of Sean Wilson from the Philadelphia Union. A holding mid, Wilson make a major impact for the Tar Heels right away.

8

Wake Forest- Get to know the name Jack Harrison. The midfielder from the Berkshire school is as good as anyone in the country and should make an immediate impact for the Demon Deacons.  Add Youth National teamer Bradley Dunwell, as well as academy standouts Nathanael Rennhack and Samuel Raben and the class fills itself with depth to an already talented Wake Forest team.  Late addition - Midfielder Logan Gdula who played club soccer for Oakwood Academy. 

9

Syracuse - Anyone following college soccer knows that the run Syracuse made last year was no surprise.  Over the last few years their recruiting classes have been consistently top-tier.  This year is no different.  Youth national teamers Austin Aviza, Christopher Gomez, and Miles Robinson should all help immediately.  JUCO All American forward Ben Polk from Herkimer will be a handful up top.  Add Morgan Hackworth, Jordan Hagman from Europe, and the class should help to keep Syracuse on the rise as they move forward.  Change - forward Spencer Held who played for Real So Cal initially committed to Syracuse but subsequently changed and committed  to California. Late additions - Forward Adnan Bakalovic out of the Revolution Empire Academy and Andeas Jenssen out of the U-19 Stabaek Academy team in Norway.  

10

Ohio State- For the first time in school history, Ohio State lands a top ten recruiting class.  Led by four recruits with youth national team experience including Junior College All American Yaw Amankwa, University of Michigan transfer Nate Kohl, U-18 national team players Grzegorz Solawa and Parker Siegfried this class has the makings of something special and adds strength and depth to an already strong side.  Add former College Soccer News Freshman All American transfer Christopher Froshauer from Dayton who joined the program in January in goal, and #100 recruit Abdirizak Mohamed in the fall, with seven starters returning from a team who made the NCAA second round, there might be something brewing in Columbus for the next few seasons to come. Amankwa is the key to the class and his transition from junior college to DI might determine just how good Ohio State will be in the coming season.

11

Stanford - The Cardinal didn’t need a big class based on what they have coming back next season, but their additions should certainly play a part in the immediate future.  Stanford’s addition of Youth National Team player Amir Bashti is just the start of the class.  Expectations are high for Pierce Ashworth, Tanner Beason, Colin Hyatt, and Justin Kahl to come in and keep this Stanford program among the elites of the West Coast and nationally. 

12

UPenn - UPenn had a rough 2014 season going 6-9-2 overall, this class might help soften the blow to the past, and lay a nice pathway into the future.  No Ivy League school has a more impressive class coming in than UPenn.  Youth national team players include Nigel Blackwood, Gavin Barger and Etan Mabourakh as well as former youth national team players Erik Swenson and Gideon Metrikin.  Add Eremuse Momoh, Scott Forbes and Timmy Barger to the mix and UPenn has one of the more impressive classes in the country.  UPenn’s class has the players it’s only a matter of time to see how quickly they fit into the college game. Late addition - sophomore midfielder Joe Swenson who played for the New York Red Bulls Academy transfers to Penn in from Connecticut.

13

Michigan State- Michigan State lost more this year than maybe any other team in the country that made the NCAA tournament, with the graduation of both mids, both forwards, and one centerback.  It might be a rebuilding year in East Lancing but this class could help.  Led by Hunter Barone and scoring sensation Ryan Sierakowski from Chicago to help lead the offense, and Connor Corrigan and Kaden Keller to help add to the defense this is the type of class that has the bite and grit that has made Damon Rensing so successful in his time at East Lansing.  Michigan State’s offense might rely heavily on Sierakowski next fall, and if he is able to mold to the DI level his impact might be felt immediately by the Big Ten.

14

Oregon State-  Oregon State landed the biggest surprise on signing day with the addition of Christian Lucatero, a midfielder out of Houston that certainly bolsters the class.  Don Tchilao out of Arizona is a name to get familiar with as he was a goal scoring machine in high school.  Add to that Carter Auth, Nick Bellenger, Nathan Braaten, David Brown, John Chambers, Hassani Dotson, and Evan Sungvornrajasabn and you have a class that adds depth to a program looking to grow.  The strength of this class will rely heavily on whether or not Lucatero makes it to campus in the fall, or if the Dynamo will sign him to a homegrown deal. Late addition - Defender Caleb Michael who played for the San Jose Earthquakes USSDA U-18 team. 

15

SMU - The Mustangs named former assistant coach Kevin Hudson Head Coach, and things look to be getting brighter in Dallas since the new move.  A program rich in tradition SMU is looking to bounce back into national prominence after falling below its normal standards over the last few seasons.  The class is highlighted by U20 National Teamer Caleb Smith, who originally had given a verbal to Duke, but chose to stay closer to home.  Thomas Barboza has pro like talent and Matthew McLaughlin is a handful up top.  Transfer Taylor Curtis from Louisville will join Christian Boorom, Kevin Meinecke, Bryan Missana, Keaton Parks, Philip Ponder and Andrew Ramsey round out the class for new Head Coach Kevin Hudson.  Late additions - Midfielders Emil Cuello and Gunnar Stray-Gundersen from Utah who played club for La Roca 97.  

16

Cal State Fullerton-  Cal State Fullerton landed the top recruit in the country in 2015 with Amirgy Pineda, the big question is will he arrive on campus by the fall as clubs from all over have expressed interest in the midfielder’s services.  Elijah Barajas, Jake Fischer, and Oscar Flores round out a class that will help to add depth to a Fullerton team that made the NCAA tournament last season.  Pineda is the real deal, if he makes it to campus for the fall his impact will be felt immediately. 

17

Indiana- Indiana’s recruiting class will be a handful in the coming years.  Local products Rece Buckmaster and Jeremiah Gutjahr are as good of midfielders as you can get.  Add Andrew Gutman, Jordan Kleyn, Sam Stockton, Austin Panchot, and Cody Jewett to the mix and this class will be contending for the Big Ten title for the next four years. Buckmaster should be the next great midfielder to be produced by Indiana. He is clean on the ball, with great vision, and is excellent at unlocking defenses. 

18

Providence - Providence’s magical run in the 2014 season to the final four should come as no surprise to anyone who follows college soccer.  Craig Stewart has made Providence a top level program since taking over as head coach in 2012 and this recruiting class should help sustain the rise in the program.  Youth National team players Brendan Constantine, and Guyllain Kabala should all see time in their first season at Providence.  Add John Hamilton, William Risigo, and Alex Vigliotti to a roster that was already deep and final fours may become a common place for the Friars.  Change - Midfielder Zachary Herivaux who was initially reported as a Providence recruit elected to sign a Homegrown Player contract with The New England Revolution.  

19

Saint Louis - The Billikens had a great run in 2014, but with key loses in major positions this might be a class looked at to impact the program right away.  The class is highlighted by Matheus Martins Silva from Montverde, and youth national team forward Nash Popovic. Both could see time right away.  Eric Davies, JT Cook, Jeffery Palomarez, Ben Yeager, Brady Lenius, and Anthony Brown are all good players that add depth, and could see quality minutes in the coming season.  St. Louis has a lot of pieces to replace BUT if Popovich can come in and score goals, St. Louis won’t miss the graduating seniors too much.  Late addition - Midfielder Lennart Hein from Germany who most recently played for SV Todesfelde. 

20

Penn State- Everything in Happy Valley changed when U20 National Team center back Robert Sagel decided to transfer from Temple. Sagel helped make a good class turn into a very good class.  DC United product Brennan Ireland, Canadian youth National teamer Dayonn Harris, Travis Keil, Ibrahima Kouyate, Wes Bergevin, McKinley Curran, and Austin Maloney round out a very promising class in Happy Valley.  Dayonn Harris is the key piece to the class. He is athletic and technical and should be difficult for Big Ten teams to deal with when he goes forward.  

21

California - Head coach Kevin Grimes continues to prove that he is one of the better coaches in all of college soccer.  A coach that over the last few seasons, has taken good players, and made them into MLS first rounders.  This class may just follow suit.  Highlighted by US National team goalie Jonathan Klinsmann who is the son of Jurgen Klinsmann, this class also brings in  Adam Eaton, Samuel Junqua, Shinkya Kandono, Christian Segovia, and Noah Texter.  It may not seem like a big name class now, but give Grimes time and history will tell you that there will be an MLS first rounder in the group.  Late addition - Forward Spencer Held who played for Real So Cal and initially signed with Syracuse.  

22

Monmouth - Monmouth’s Head coach Robert McCourt might be one of the best kept secrets in college soccer, since 2004 McCourt has gone 120-44-36 and this class might just help add to the win totals. U-18 National team defender Kyle Duncan headlines the group, but Jalil Blalock and Zachary Perez have the skill and talent to help right away.  Add Daniel Aversano and Chase Covello into the mix and Monmouth looks to have another team that could be marching into the NCAA tournament.  Duncan is the impact player in this class. Expect him to be an immediate impact for Monmouth and a player that will help carry the program into the NCAA tournament for the next four years.  Late additions - Midfielder Anderson Asiedu out of St. Benedict's Prep. and forward Jassiem Wahtuse. 

23

Washington - Jaime Clark has a knack for finding hidden gems from all over the country.  With the loss of Christian Roldan, Darwin Jones, Andy Thoma, and Spencer Richey to Major League Soccer, Clark attempts to reload the Huskies with the new group.  Led by National Team defender Quentin Pearson and Joey Parish, this well balanced recruiting class will add depth to the Huskies.  Add Corban Anderson, Ryan Degroot, Kasey French, Andrew Conwell, and SaifKerawala and Washington shouldn’t skip a beat in the coming season.

24

North Carolina State - The Wolfpack land a quality class with the addition of Aidan Wixted, Tyler Gabarra, Stephen Elias, Ben Locke, Lesley Nchanji, and Tanner Roberts.  Roberts and Wixted might be the keys to the class.  Roberts is a strong powerful forward who had no problem scoring goals for his academy team, and Wixted might be the guy to take the place of Conor Donavan who signed early with Major League Soccer.

25

Notre Dame - While some programs try to reinvent themselves on the recruiting trail, Bobby Clark continues to focus on the approach that has made his teams at Notre Dame a national brand. The Irish have added seven players in the 2015 class, all guys that will fit a system that has made Notre Dame a powerhouse since Clark arrived at South Bend.  Sean MacLeod could see minutes right away, and Ian Aschieris, Myles Brown, Sean Dedrick, Felicien Dumas, and Thomas Ueland will add depth to a Notre Dame side that made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament last season.

26

Northeastern - The biggest sleeper of all classes might be Northeastern.  A program that struggled in 2014 has a recruiting class that should help them reload immediately.  Led by Kevin Carvalho from Philadelphia Union, and Andrew Lombard from the Red Bull this class is very good. Christopher Flores can be a difference maker going forward.  Finish the class with Adam Gibbs, Alexandre Reissmann, Chris Scatterday and Tristian Tippeconnic and there is enough here for Northeastern to have something special in the coming seasons.

27

Tulsa - Tulsa has been a consistent winner over the last few years, competing for conference titles throughout, and this class should only help continue the trend.  This class is highlighted by U18 National team forward Juan Sebastian Sanchez, a creative forward who has a knack for scoring goals. The additions of Ashby Clark, Marcel DaSilva, Keegan King, Munashe Raranje and Miguel Velasquez all will add depth to a very good Tulsa side.

28

Michigan - The Wolverines who had the #2 recruiting class in 2014 fell short of the expectations the program was building toward.  With three freshmen transferring after their first semester in Ann Arbor (Selamani, Kohl, and Duska) Michigan will look to reload with this coming class.  Remember the name Francis Atuahene, the midfielder is as good as any player in the country and the addition of Marcello Borges from the Red Bull might help soften the sting of those who left Ann Arbor after a lackluster season.

29

Marquette - The Golden Eagles lost some quality pieces in 2014, with Axel Sjoberg, Charlie Lyon, and Coco Navarro going to the professional ranks, so recruiting was a major priority for Marquette.  Midfielder Ruben Sanchez and defender Kees Westra highlight the class, but Luis Barraza and Tobin Howell could be contributors depending on how quickly they can adapt to the speed of college soccer.

30

UC Irvine - The Anteaters went 16-6-3, only to lose to Providence who eventually made a final four run.  With a large number of players returning this recruiting class just adds to the strength of a program that could make a deep run again this season.  Ivan Canales and Jorge Lara are two guys to keep an eye on, but Daniel Crisostomo, Julian Font, Luis Leon, Michael Lopez and Alex Waldron are all capable of coming in and getting minutes.  Look for a big year from UC Irvine in 2015.

31

Creighton - Creighton never seems to skip a beat and their consistency in winning comes with their consistency in recruiting.   Remember the name Evan Waldrep from this class, he’s as good as any midfielder in the class, add goalie Jacob Rooth and Peter Prescott to the class and expect Creighton to continue its excellence in college soccer.  The class is small, but little was needed to a team that only lost a few key players from a team that went 16-3-3.

32

New Mexico - The Lobos are a constant powerhouse, and this class should help to keep them that way.  Lead by JUCO All-American Yuri Domician, Aaron Herrera, Andy Rios, Devin Boyce, and  two internationals in Kasper Kajermo from Sweden and Simon Spangenberg from Belgium, this class will help reload an already powerful program.

33

Wisconsin- Wisconsin was young last season, and some might even had called it a rebuilding year, but with his players a year older and an impressive recruiting class Coach Trask has to be pleased with the direction the badgers are going.  Lead by New Zealand U20 Sam Botherton and US U18 defender Elan Koenig, Wisconsin has key pieces to add on to a big returning class.  Add in Abdul Kooistra, Isaac Schlenker, Sully Tesch and Jack Wells and expect Wisconsin to be competing for the Big Ten title in the coming years.   

34

Dartmouth - The Big Green brings in a very talented class for 2015, a class that includes Justin Donawa, Jordan McNair, Us Youth national teamer Amadu Kunateh, James Handal, Max Heffron, Max Lurie, EduvieIkoba, and Noah Paravicini.  Expect Justin Donawa to be an impact player right away. Donawa, a mid out of the Berkshire academy, has the pace and skill out wide to set himself apart at the college level.

35

Louisville - Louisville adds four transfers in Ethan Decker (UCONN), Theo Jamiloux (Florida Atlantic), Daniel Johnson (Maryland), and Nedin Zukanovic (Lindsey Wilson) as well as newcomers Tate Schmitt, Max Stiegwardt, and Oliver Calvo.  Ethan Deck might be the key addition in the class.  If he can find a goal scoring touch, Louisville will be a tough team to beat.

36

Princeton - Former United States Youth national team defenders Jeremy Colvin and Henry Martin headline the Princeton class, but Will Lentz, Danny Hampton, Sean McSherry, Bryan Prudil, and Moyin Opeyemi will certainly help Princeton as they fight for an Ivy League title in 2015.  Expect Purdil to create havoc for opponents in the coming years for Princeton.

37

UMBC - This class positions UMBC for continued success. Coming off a final four run and having to replace key pieces to a very talented team for any program is difficult, but UMBC might have done so with this class.  Lead by U.S. youth national teamer Patrick Jean-Gilles this class adds depth and strength all over the pitch.  Tyler Ward out of Georgia, and Riley Collins, James Gielien, David Harris and Kyle Saunderson add depth to a talented UMBC team.

38

Northwestern- Northwestern adds another solid recruiting class.  Lead by US Youth national teamer Shannon Seymour this class will replace many needed pieces that Northwestern lost to graduation.  Add in Camden Buescher, Benjamin Miller, Emmett Gordon, Robbie White and Jake Roberge and there are a lot of positives going forward for Northwestern.

39

Clemson - The Tigers return a good core of players from a team that had a very impressive 2014 season.  They also will be bringing in a class that can help keep those standards high.  Michele Bottari from South Carolina, Johnny Heckman out of Tennessee, Trey Langlois from Florida and Amit Tal out of Chicago will help add depth to a team that seems to be finding their way in the ACC.

40 Grand Canyon University -  In case you were wondering, Schellas Hyndman can coach and in case you were wondering it might only be a matter of time before Grand Canyon University becomes a national power.  A 2015 class that contains Christian Ramirez from FC Dallas, Damien Germain who led the country in goals at the Developmental Academy level, and Alex Radilla make for a good building block to get the program to a Hyndman-like standard.
41

San Francisco - A deep and talented class is headed to Eddie Soto in 2015.  Headliners include Sean Bowman from the Seattle Sounders and Hunter Ashworth from the Pateadores and New Zealand’s Youth national team, as well as Andre Glasnovi from Croatia, Santiago DiGiuseppe from the LA Galaxy, Evan Williams from the Strikers, Noah Leong from the Pateadores, Jordan Hughes from Australia and transfers Ryan Buckingham from Massachusett and Kevin De La Torre from UCLA. Keep a close eye on Bowman who has a knack for scoring goals and could be a big land for Soto and San Francisco.

42

Denver - Jamie Franks' first recruiting class as the head coach at Denver is a very good one.  The six member class includes an influx of top notch talent that includes midfielder Ryan Barlow out of the FC Dallas Academy, forward Andre Shinyashiki out of the Montverde Academy, and defender Tosh Samkange out of the Seattle Sounders Academy. 

43

Furman - The Paladins add a very impressive recruiting class to a team that returns ten starters from the 2014 squad that captured the Southern Conference Tournament championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  Midfielders Danny Kierath who played for the GSA Phoenix 97 Red and Josiah Baker of played for Georgia United are among the highly regarded members of Doug Allison's six  player 2015 recruiting class.  

44

Xavier - Andy Fleming has done an excellent job of recruiting players who have produced big time results. The Musketeers are coming off a 15-6-2 season in which they reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the history of the program.  Fleming has added a twelve member recruiting class that should help ensure that the trend line continues upward at Xavier.  The class includes NSCAA All-American midfielder Robert DeWitt who was also named the Missouri Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year and defender Connor Maki out of the IMG Academy. 

45

Florida Gulf Coast University - If you are looking for an emerging power on the recruiting trail, look in the direction of FGCU.  The Eagles have won the Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship for five consecutive seasons and have earned an invite to the NCAA Tournament three times in only four seasons of eligibility.  Bob Butehorn will welcome a fourteen member class to Fort Myers that includes several impact sophomore transfers. The class also includes highly regarded freshman midfielder Dennis Zapata who played for the Orlando City U-18 Academy.

46

Boston College - Ed Kelly has added a twelve member recruiting class that he hopes will give the Eagles the edge they need on both sides of the ball to get back into the NCAA Tournament field in 2015 after a two year absence.  Forward Simon Enstrom from Sweden, midfielder Joshua Forbes from Germany, defender Rodolfo Postigo from Venezuela and midfielder Raphael Salama from Spain are among the international players in the class who have the potential to make an impact. Forward Tommy Garcia-Morillo out of the Weston FC Academy and Gulliver Preparatory is among other members.   

47

Temple - The Owls seek to rebound from a disappointing 2-14-2 overall record last year with the addition of a fourteen member recruiting class that includes nine freshmen and five transfers. The transfers include junior forward Jorge Gomez from the University of Madrid, junior defender Carlos Moros Garcia out of Valencia University in Spain, and junior midfielder Justin Stoddart out of Lewis and Clark Community College.

48

Akron - The Zips have added a six member recruiting class to the 2014 team that won both the MAC regular season and tournament titles and earned the program's twenty-ninth NCAA Tournament berth  Recruiting is all about supplementing what you currently have and Akron's six member class should fit in nicely with the returning players.  The class includes  midfielder Pau Belana from Spain, defender Alonzo Clarke out of the D.C. United U-18 team, goalkeeper NIck Costa and midfielder Matthew Harter who played for the Internationals SC,  defender Barth-Luther Mouafo who is a junior transfer from Garner-Webb, and graduate student Goncalo Soares who played for Benfica in Lisbon, Portugal.

49

San Diego State - Lev Kishner has added an eleven member class that could enable the Aztecs to move upward in the very competitive Pac-12 Conference.  Forward Pablo Pelaez who has been a member of several U.S. National Teams looks to be the marquee player of the class.  Sophomore transfers forward Jeroen Meefout from Maryland and midfielder Simon Said from Rider, forward Luke Ackerman, midfielder Dallin Cutler, and midfielder Edin Sinanovic are among other members with the potential to contribute right away. 

50

Wright State - Wright State has added a class that has the potential to be a difference maker. The eleven member class should enable the Raiders to build on the success that they enjoyed last year when they won twelve games and advanced to the finals of the Horizon League Tournament.  The class includes midfielder Jeff Rhodes who is a transfer from San Diego State, NJCAA All-Americans defender Kaique Fernandes and goalkeeper Will Lukowski, NSCAA High School All-American forward Tristan Lule, and midfielder Jackson Dietrich who was the Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year. 

50

FIU - Scott Calabreze will enter his second season as the head coach at FIU with the addition of a ten member recruiting class that should help him put his stamp on the program.  The class consists of four transfers and six freshmen with the potential to up the level of play at FIU sooner rather than later. Transfers include defender Thibault Civalier from ETSU, midfielder Brad Fountain from Northeastern, and defender Paul Marie from Newberry College.  Midfielder Inigo Sagarduy out of the Kendall Soccer Academy is among the freshman who could contribute.   

 

College Soccer News 2015 Top 30 Recruiting Classes

February 11, 2015 - College Soccer News issues its initial rankings of the Top 30 Men's College Soccer Recruiting Classes in 2015 based on the information available at this time.  When it comes to recruiting the rich always seem to get richer so to speak but there were some noticeable surprises this year. The landscape may change in the coming months as additional information becomes available regarding who is going to go where so in August College Soccer News will update its rankings based on the additional information available at that time and will expand its rankings to include the Top 50 Recruiting Classes in the country.  


1.  Maryland - Some may argue about #1 but if you look at what Maryland lost and what Maryland gains in this class it is as special as it gets.  National team players Jorge Calix, Sebastian Elney, Eryk Williamson, Daniel Reeves, Connor Smith, and Amar Sejdic will make a huge impact in College Park next season, and players like Andrew Samuels, Adolfo Ovalle and Aaron Franco might give Maryland the deepest class in the 2015’s.  Remember the name Adolfo Ovalle, he may not have the resume of those with national team experience, but he may end up being the best player coming to College Park next season, If he doesn’t sign with Real Salt Lake.


2.  UCLA - The Bruins never seem to skip a beat in recruiting and this year is no different, they load up yet again.  Jose Hernandez, Erik Holt, Malcolm Jones, Robert Knight, Stephen Payne, Jackson Yueill and David Villegas are heavy hitters to a program that loses very little from a team that made a run to the national finals last year.  This class is balanced front to back, and will help strengthen the notion that UCLA will once again be a favorite to get back to the NCAA National Finals.  Expect UCLA’s class to help add depth to a program that has never lacked in talent.  Of all the talent coming into Westwood, Malcolm Jones might be the most ready to come in and play right away, an athletic, and talented back could fit right in with the Bruins backline.


3.  South Florida - There is no team in the country that prospered more from the transfer market this year than South Florida.  Brendan Hines-Ike from Creighton and Michael Bajza from NC State are just the tip of the iceberg.  National Junior College Player of the Year Nazeem Bartman from Tyler Junior College, Jamaican Youth National Team forward Kendan Anderson from ASA Junior College, and Australian International Melvin Beckett from Lewis and Clark Junior College highlight a Bulls class that could give them the talent to make a final four run. Nazeem Bartman was compared to Dom Dwyer by Tyler coach Steve Clemmons who had both players, that should be all you need to know.


4.  Virginia- The signing of Edward Opoku late upgrades a class that was already loaded with top talent.  Verbals from Derrick Etienne, Wesley Wade, Christophe Koffi, and Malcolm Dixon would have made this a top ten class, add Opoku to the mix and this class has the making of being special.  The reigning national champs became deeper and more athletic with this group, expect all these players to play a part in the coming years.Opoku might end up being the best player in this class, if he can adjust to the physical play of college soccer, he could one of the better ones to come through the University of Virginia, and that alone says a lot.


5. Georgetown- Youth National team players are becoming a norm at Georgetown, and this class is no different.  The additions of youth national teamers Peter Schropp and James Marcinkowski fill needs for Georgetown.  Will Carlson, Ethan Lockner, Kyle Zajec, and Brendan McDonough will add depth to a program that has become a consistent top 10 program.  James Marcinkowski is the best keeper in the class, has great hands, distributes well, and he can play with his feet as well as any field player in the country, expect him to play in between the pipes, sooner rather than later.


6.  UC Santa Barbara - If South Florida had the best transfer market this year UCSB wasn’t too far behind.  Transfer additions are led by Michigan transfer Ahinga Selemani, Duke transfer Seo-In Kim, Kevin Armstrong from New Mexico, Kevin Feucht from the College of Charleston, and Adepapo Adeniyi from the University of Mobile.  Add that to Right to Dream star Geoffrey Acheampong, Youth National Teamer Konstandin Moni, and UCSB has enough fire power to make a strong run in the NCAA tournament in the coming year. Geoffery Acheampong has special qualities to his game, expect him to come in and impact UCSB immediately.


7.  Wake Forest- Get to know the name Jack Harrison, the midfielder from the Berkshire school is as good as anyone in the country and should make an immediate impact for the Demon Deacons.  Add Youth National teamer Bradley Dunwell, as well as academy standouts Nathanael Rennhack and Samuel Raben and the class fills itself with depth to an already talented Wake Forest team.


8. Syracuse - Anyone following college soccer knows that the run Syracuse made last year was no surprise.  Over the last few years their recruiting classes have been consistently top-tier.  This year is no different.  Youth national teamers Austin Aviza, Christopher Gomez, and Miles Robinson should all help immediately.  JUCO All American forward Ben Polk from Herkimer will be a handful up top.  Add Morgan Hackworth, Jordan Hagman from Europe, and Spencer Held from California, and the class should help to keep Syracuse on the rise as they move forward.


9. Ohio State - For the first time in school history, Ohio State lands a top ten recruiting class.  Led by 4 recruits with youth national team experience including Junior College All American Yaw Amankwa, University of Michigan transfer Nate Kohl, U18 national team players Grzegorz Solawa and Parker Siegfried this class has the makings of something special and adds strength and depth to an already strong side.  Add former College Soccer News Freshman All American transfer Christopher Froshauer from Dayton who joined the program in January in goal, and #100 recruit Abdirizak Mohamed in the fall, with 7 starters returning from a team that made the NCAA second round in 2014 and there might be something brewing in Columbus for the next few seasons to come. Amankwa is the key to the class and his transition from junior college to DI might determine just how good Ohio State will be in the coming season.


10. North Carolina - Another year and another solid recruiting class for the Tar Heels. Alex Comsia from Canada’s U20’s should help immediately, but Will Campbell, Dominic Jensen, Alex Moztarzadeh, Jelani Pieters, Johan Welch and Martin Salas could certainly be contenders on a North Carolina team that is looking to make another deep run in the tournament next season.


11.  Stanford - Stanford didn’t need a big class based on what they have coming back next season, but their additions should certainly play a part in the immediate future.  Stanford’s addition of Youth National Team player Amir Bashti is just the start of the class.  Expectations are high for Pierce Ashworth, Tanner Beason, Colin Hyatt, and Justin Kahl to come in and keep this Stanford program among the elites of the West Coast and Nationally.


12.  Penn - The Quakers had a rough 2014 season going 6-9-2 overall, this class might help soften the blow to the past, and lay a nice pathway into the future.  No Ivy League school has a more impressive class coming than Penn.  Youth national team players include Nigel Blackwood, Gavin Barger and Etan Mabourakh as well as former youth national team players Erik Swenson and Gideon Metrikin.  Add Eremuse Momoh, Scott Forbes and Jerel Blades to the mix and Penn has one of the more impressive classes in the country. Penn’s class has the players it’s only a matter of time to see how quickly they fit into the college game.


13.  Michigan State- Michigan State lost more this year then maybe any other team in the country that made the NCAA tournament, with the graduation of both mids, both forwards, and one centerback.  It might be a rebuilding year in East Lancing but this class could help.  Led by Hunter Barone and scoring sensation Ryan Sierakowski from Chicago to help lead the offense, and Connor Corrigan and Kaden Keller to help add to the defense this is the type of class that has the bite and grit that has made Damien Rensing so successful in his time at East Lansing.  Michigan State’s offense might rely heavily on Sierakowski next fall, and if he is able to mold to the DI level his impact might be felt immediately by the Big Ten.


14.  Oregon State -  Oregon State landed the biggest surprise on signing day with the addition of Christian Lucatero, a midfielder out of Houston that certainly bolsters the class.  Don Tchilao out of Arizona is a name to get familiar with as he was a goal scoring machine in high school.  Add to that Carter Auth, Nick Bellenger, Nathan Braaten, David Brown, John Chambers, Hassani Dotson, and Evan Sungvornrajasabn and you have a class that adds depth to a program looking to grow.  The strength of this class will rely heavily on whether or not Lucatero arrives on campus in the fall, or if the Dynamo will sign him to a homegrown deal.


15.  SMU - The Mustangs named former assistant coach Kevin Hudson Head Coach, and things look to be getting brighter in Dallas since the new move.  A program rich in tradition SMU is looking to bounce back into national prominence after falling below its normal standards over the last few seasons.  The class is highlighted by U20 National Teamer Caleb Smith, who originally had given a verbal to Duke, but chose to stay closer to home.  Thomas Barboza has pro like talent and Matthew McLaughlin is a handful up top.  Transfer Taylor Curtis from Louisville will join Christian Boorom, Kevin Meinecke, Bryan Missana, Keaton Parks, Philip Ponder and Andrew Ramsey round out the class for new Head Coach Kevin Hudson.


16.  Cal State Fullerton -  Cal State Fullerton landed the top recruit in the country in 2015 with Amirgy Pineda, the big question is will he arrive on campus by the fall as clubs from all over have expressed interest in the midfielder’s services.  Elijah Barajas, Jake Fischer, and Oscar Flores round out a class that will help to add depth to a C.S.Fullerton team that made the NCAA tournament last season.  Pineda is the real deal, if he makes it to campus for the fall his impact will be felt immediately. 


17.  Indiana - Indiana’s recruiting class will be a handful in the coming years.  Local products Rece Buckmaster and Jeremiah Gutjahr are as good of midfielders as you can get.  Add Andrew Gutman, Jordan Kleyn, Sam Stockton, Austin Panchot, and Cody Jewett to the mix and this class will be contending for the Big Ten titles for the next four years. Buckmaster should be the next great midfielder to be produced by the Indiana, clean on the ball, great vision, and excellent at unlocking defenses.


18.  Providence -  Providence’s magical run in the 2014 season to the final four should come as no surprise to anyone who follows college soccer.  Craig Stewart has made Providence a top level program since taking over as head coach in 2012 and this recruiting class should help sustain the rise in the program.  Youth National team players Brendan Constantine, Zachary Herivaux, and Guyllain Kabala should all see time in their first season at Providence.  Add John Hamilton, William Risigo, Alex Vigliotti and Kyler White to a roster that was already deep and final fours may become a common place for the Friars.


19.  Saint Louis - The Billikens had a great run in 2014, but with key loses in major positions this might be a class that will be called upon to impact the program right away. The class is highlighted by Matheus Martins Silva from Montverde, and youth national team forward Nash Popovich. Both could see time right away.  Eric Davies, JT Cook, Jeffery Palomarez, Ben Yeager, Brady Lenius, and Anthony Brown are all good players that add depth, and could see quality minutes in the coming season.  Saint Louis has a lot of pieces to replace but if Popovich can come in and score goals, the Billikens won’t miss the graduating seniors too much.


20.  Penn State - Everything in Happy Valley changed when U20 National Team Center back Robert Sagel decided to transfer from Temple, he helped make a good class turn into a very good class.  DC United product Brennan Ireland, Canadian youth National teamer Dayonn Harris, Travis Keil, Ibrahima Kouyate, Wes Bergevin, McKinley Curran, and Austin Maloney round out a very promising class in Happy Valley.  Dayonn Harris is the key piece to the class, athletic and technical and should be difficult for Big Ten teams to deal with when he goes forward. 


21.  California -  Head coach Kevin Grimes continues to prove that he is one of the better coaches in all of college soccer.  A coach that over the last few seasons, has taken good players, and made them into MLS first rounders.  This class may just follow suit.  Highlighted by US National team goalie Jonathan Klinsmann who is the son of Jurgen Klinsmann, this class also brings in  Adam Eaton, Samuel Junqua, Shinkya Kandono, Christian Segovia, and Noah Texter.  It may not seem like a big name class now, but give Grimes time and history will tell you that there will be an MLS first rounder in the group.


22.  Monmouth - Monmouth’s head coach Robert McCourt might be one of the best kept secrets in college soccer, since 2004 McCourt has gone 120-44-36 and this class might just help add to the win totals. U18 National team defender Kyle Duncan headlines the group, but Jalil Blalock and Zachary Pereira.  have the skill and talent to help right away.  Add Daniel Aversano and Chase Covello into the mix and Monmouth looks to have another team that could be marching into the NCAA tournament.  Duncan is the impact player in this class, expect him to make an immediate impact for Monmouth and a player who will help carry the program into the NCAA tournament for the next four years


23.  Washington - Jaime Clark has a knack for finding hidden gems from all over the country.  With the loss of Christian Roldan, Darwin Jones, Andy Thoma, and Spencer Richey to Major League Soccer, Clark attempts to reload the Huskies with the new group.  Led by National Team defender Quentin Pearson and Joey Parish, this well balanced recruiting class will add depth to the Huskies.  Add Corban Anderson, Ryan Degroot, Kasey French, Andrew Conwell, and Saif Kerawala and Washington shouldn’t skip a beat in the coming season.


24.  North Carolina State - The Wolfpack lands a quality class with the addition of Aidan Wixted, Tyler Gabarra, Stephen Elias, Ben Locke, Lesley Nchanji, and Tanner Roberts.  Roberts and Wixted might be the keys to the class.  Roberts is a strong powerful forward who had no problem scoring goals for his academy team, and Wixted might be the guy to take the place of Conor Donavan who signed early with Major League Soccer.


25.  Notre Dame - Bobby Clark adds seven players in the 2015 class, all guys that will fit a system that has made Notre Dame a powerhouse since Clark arrived at South Bend.  Sean MacLeod could see minutes right away, and Ian Aschieris, Myles Brown, Sean Dedrick, Felicien Dumas, and Thomas  Ueland will add depth to a Notre Dame side that made it to the third round of the NCAA tournament last season.


26.  Northeastern - The biggest sleeper of all classes might be Northeastern.  A program that struggled in 2014 has a recruiting class that should help them reload immediately.  Led by Kevin Carvalho from Philadelphia Union, and Andrew Lombard from the Red Bull this class is very good.  Mohamed Kenawy has youth national team experience, and Christopher Flores can be a difference maker going forward.  Finish the class with Adam Gibbs, Alexandre Reissmann, Chris Scatterday and Tristian Tippeconnic and there is enough here for Northeastern to have something special in the coming seasons.


27.  Tulsa - Tulsa has been consistent over the last few years, competing for conference titles throughout, and this class should only help continue the trend.  This class is highlighted by U18 National team forward Juan Sebastian Sanchez, a creative forward who has a knack for scoring goals.  The additions of Ashby Clark, Marcel DaSilva, Keegan King, Munashe Raranje and Miguel Velasquez all will add depth to a very good Tulsa side.


28.  Michigan - Michigan who had the #2 recruiting class in 2014 fell short of the expectations the program was building toward.  With three freshmen transferring after their first semester in Ann Arbor (Selamani, Kohl, and Duska) Michigan will look to reload with this coming class.  Remember the name Francis Atuahene, the midfielder is as good as any player in the country and the addition of Marcello Borges from the Red Bull might help soften the sting of those who left Ann Arbor after a lackluster season.


29.  Marquette - Marquette lost some quality pieces in 2014, with Axel Sjoberg, Charlie Lyon, and Coco Navarro going to the professional ranks, so recruiting was a major priority for Marquette.  Midfielder Ruben Sanchez and defender Kees Westra highlight the class, but Luis Barraza and Tobin Howell could be contributors depending on how quickly they can adapt to the speed of college soccer.


30.  UC Irvine - The Anteaters went 16-6-3 in 2014, only to lose to Providence who eventually made a final four run and with a large number of players returning this recruiting class just adds to the strength of a program that could make a deep run again this season.  Ivan Canales and Jorge Lara are two guys to keep an eye on, but Daniel Crisostomo, Julian Font, Luis Leon, Michael Lopez and Alex Waldron are all capable of coming in and getting minutes.  Look for a big year from UC Irvine in 2015.


2014 Top 40 Recruiting Classes

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.     

    

#1

UCLA 

 

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.   

 

#2

Michigan 

 

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.    .     

 

#3

Georgetown

 

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.   

 

#4

Duke

 

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. 

   

#5

N.C. State

 

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. 

 

#6

Stanford

 

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.      

 

#7

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.  

 

#8

Wake Forest 

 

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. 

 

#9

Clemson

 

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. 

 

#10

Northwestern

 

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.   

 

#11

Wisconsin

 

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.  

 

#12

North Carolina

 

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. 

 

#13

Maryland

 

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.  

 

#14

Virginia

 

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.  

 

#15

Charlotte 

 

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. 

 

#16

Washington

 

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.  

    

#17

New Mexico

 

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.  

 

#18

California 

 

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.   

 

#19

Temple 

 

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.  

 

#20

Notre Dame 

 

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. 

 

#21

Santa Clara 

 

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. 

 

#22

Creighton  

 

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. 

 

#23

Akron 

 

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. 

 

24

Tulsa

 

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.  

 

#25

Connecticut 


 

 

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.

   

#26

Xavier

 

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.  

  

#27

Syracuse

 

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.   

 

#28

UCF 

 

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.

  

#29

Marquette

 

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.

 

#30

UAB

 

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.  

 

#31

Butler

 

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. 

   

#32

Indiana 

 

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.  

  

#33

Ohio State 

 

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.   

 

#34

Harvard

 

 

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.  

 

#35

Michigan State

 

 

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.  

 

#36

VCU 

 

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. 

 

#37

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.

 

#38

SMU 

 

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.

 

# 39

Drexel

 

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.      

 

#40

Dayton

 

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.  

 

#40

SIUE 

 

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.  

 

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