George Kiefer's third recruiting class at N.C. State adds depth and helps address the voids that must be filled due to departures. The class includes two transfers who should challenge for a starting role and four true freshmen with impressive resumes that include high level competitive experience. Additional signings are anticipated later in the year.
Departures and Gaps – The Wolfpack lose seven seniors including starting defenders Simon Blotko and Christoph Schneuwly. Blotko was a three-year starter and team captain. Schneuwly was a two-year starter who transferred in after two seasons at Tyler Junior College. The Pack will also be without the services of stellar midfielder Manny Perez (1g, 5a) who elected to enter the professional ranks after his sophomore season. The experience that Blotko and Schneuwly brought to the backline will be missed. Perez. the 2017 ACC Freshman of the Year, was an impact player and playmaker who will not be easy to replace.
Opportunities for Improvement – N.C. State allowed a total of twenty-four goals last year with three goals in losses on the road to Wake Forest, Pitt, UNCW, and Clemson. The Wolfpack was 2-7-0 overall when playing away from home and 0-4-0 on the road in conference play. Improvement on the road is needed in order to move upward in the higly competiive Atlantic Coast Conference.
Coach's Recruiting Class Comment – Kiefer stated, "We are finally at a point in recruiting where we can be really specific from a standpoint of what the team needs, and I'm excited with how each of these players fits in."
Summary – The overall trend line is clearly upward at N.C. State. The Pack qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018 to earn a berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992. They recorded a ten win season in 2018 for the first time since 2012 and secured the program's first win in the NCAA Tournament since the 1994 season. This is the third year in a row that Kiefer has added a highly regarded recruiting class which bodes well for the continued success of the program. Kiefer's initial recruiting class (2017) now has the advantage of two years of playing together which is a plus in terms of the experience and toughness needed to win on the road in the ACC.
George Asomani – Midfielder – Accra, Ghana – Monroe College – A junior transfer who played two seasons at Monroe College. Named a 2018 NJCAA First Team All-American. Scored two goals and contributed two assists in 2018 season. Named 2018 Regional Championship Player of the Year.
Sheldon China – Forward – Clayton, North Carolina – Played for three seasons at the North Carolina FC Academy. Played in twenty-three contests scoring a total of seven goals in the 2017-2018 season.
Kendall Edwards – Defender – Lilburn, Georgia – Plarkview High School – Played for Atlanta United Academy – 2018 United Soccer Coaches Youth Boy All-America selection. Played with USL side Atlanta United II. Athletic and versatile center back who will challenge for a starting role. Has played with both the United States and Jamacan national team.
Jamie Smith – Defender – Sutton Coldfield, England – Limestone College – Junior transfer from Limestone College. Started thirty-seven contests with five goals and two assists during two seasons. 2018 Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team and Second-Team All-Conference Carolinas selection. 2017 Second Team United Soccer Coaches All-Southeast Region.
Tonny Temple – Midfielder – Millville, Pennsylvania – Played for the Philadelphia Union Academy. 2018 United Soccer Coaches Youth Boys All-East Region Team. Will add offensive punch. Scored seven goals in twelve contests with the Philadelphia Union U-18/19 Team. Spent time with the U.S. National Team's residency program in Bradenton.
Roberto Ydrach – Midfielder – Orlando, Florida – Played for the New York Red Bulls Academy (2017-2019) and Orlando City SC Academy (2015-2018). Played in seventeen contests for the New York Redbulls Academy during the 2017-2018 season.
Pablo Pedregossa – Defender – Villareal, Spain – C.D. Castellon – Played for C.D. Castellon in the Spanish Second Division.
Win Ellis – Goalkeeper – Evergreen, Colorado – Played for the Colorado Rapids.
David Merola – Goalkeeper – Cary, North Carolina – Played for the North Carolina FC Academy.