College Soccer News expands its ranking of the 2020 recruiting classes to include the top forty teams.
The initial ranking issued in April that only included the top ten teams remained pretty much intact. The difference in the level of talent among the classes this year was very thin.
Transfers were more prevalent across the board this year perhaps impacted by the restrictions that suspended in-person recruiting and on-campus visits. International players again figured prominently in the recruiting strategies of many programs.
College Soccer News’ recruiting class rankings are based on two factors. The first is the level of success that individual members have had against the highest level of competition. The second is a projection of the ability of the entire class to meet the short and long term needs of the program. Since it was difficult to make a distinction between the level of talent in many classes, the order of the rankings often came down to the perceived potential of the class to meet immediate needs
In college sports, annual recruiting results tend to fall into a pattern with the traditional powerhouses almost always attracting their share of the top talent. That was the case again this year but as always there were a few surprises.
|#1||Duke||The Blue Devils landed an elite class with plenty of star power. John Kerr has added an extremely talented, deep, and balanced ten-member class that is arguably the strongest from top to bottom as any in the country. The class includes defender Antino Lopez, midfielder Peter Stroud, and goalkeeper JT Harms who are all ranked among the top fifty members of the high school class of 2020 by College Soccer News and whose resumes include playing with the U.S. U-17 National Team. |
Defender Lewis McGarvey from Belfast, Northern Ireland and midfielder Santa Ihara who was the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year out of Montverde Academy are among other members of the class. If this group stays together, they will win a lot of games during their stay in Durham.
|#2||Indiana||The Hoosiers are in familiar territory with a very highly regarded class. Todd Yeagley did an excellent job of merging a top-notch recruiting class in with returning players last year. Yeagley will have the opportunity to do that again in 2020 with another banner class on board in Bloomington. The fall season has been cancelled but the possibility still exists for a spring season. |
The good news is that the Hoosiers do not have the immediate needs to address this year that they had this time last year. Junior transfers center back Callum Stretch, an All-Summit League Second Team selection and two-year starter at Denver, and outside back Nyk Sessock, a starter for the past two seasons at Pittsburgh, should hit the ground running. Midfielders Kyle Folds and Emerson Nieto out of the Indiana Fire Academy and forward Lukas Hummel out of the Saint Louis FC are among a highly regarded group of incoming freshmen who are impact players. Forward Nathan Ward and defenders Joey Maher, and Lawson Redmon round out a talented class that is eager to do their part to carry on the winning tradition that exists at IU.
|#3||Georgetown||The Hoyas were no doubt eager to defend their first national championship but the decision of the Big East to cancel the fall season means that they will have to wait a while to do that. Nonetheless a national championship pays dividends on the recruiting trail. The 2020 recruiting class at Georgetown validates that premise. Hoyas head coach Brian Wiese enters the 2020 campaign with a solid nucleus of returning players but also a few significant voids to address due to departures on both sides of the ball. The 2020 recruiting class which spans the nation looks to be just what the doctor ordered. |
The nine newcomers have resumes that include top level competitive play that will enable this group to help fill immediate voids while developing the skills needed to play an even greater role in the future. Forwards Marlon Tabora Ponce and Pranav Jha, midfielders John Franks, Chris Hegardt, Trevor Burns and Kyle Linhares, defenders Kenny Nielsen and Dominic De Almeida, and goalkeeper Ryan Schewe round out a dynamic and soccer savvy class that will compete for playing time right out of the gate.
|#4||SMU||The Mustangs annually bring on board a banner recruiting class which always includes an impact player or two from talent rich Texas. Their twelve member 2020 class is no exception. The class is headlined by four transfers who are likely to make an immediate impact for a team that is coming off an impressive 18-2-1 season in which they won the American Athletic Conference title for the third consecutive year and advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Junior midfielder Skage Simonsen, a transfer from St. John’s where he was the 2018 All-Big East Freshman of the Year and a 2019 All-Big East Second Team selection, and sophomore forward Papa Ndoye, a transfer from LIU who was the NEC Rookie of the Year, are formidable additions who should help fill the void that exists due to the graduation of All-American forward Garrett McLaughlin (16g, 5a). Junior center back Timo Hummrich, a transfer and two-time All-CAA selection from Delaware, and sophomore back Judson Burns, a transfer from Clemson, should help fill the gap that exists due to the graduation of All-American defender Eddie Munjoma (12g, 8a) and Philip Ponder.. Midfielder Cesar Garcia who played for FC Dallas and forward Jose Ortiz out of the Solar Soccer Club are among the freshmen who hail from Texas who could make an immediate impact. Midfielders Tyler Oakson, Nathan Ashley, Kellan Barry, Cody Black, and Harvey Castro and goalkeeper Tyler Oakson round out a solid recruiting class that will join an SMU side that is slated to return eight starters.|
|#5||Virginia||The Cavaliers have some big shoes to fill due to the early departure of four players to enter the professional ranks. George Gelnovatch and his staff did a good job of addressing both pressing and long term needs by bringing in a thirteen member class that includes several experienced transfers who should hit the ground running and a contingent of talented freshmen who address long term needs. Graduate student Louis Evans, a transfer from Davidson, and junior Oliver Gerbig, a transfer from Coastal Carolina, are among the newcomers who should help out in the back. Graduate student Joan Gilbert and highly skilled freshman Jules Anderson are among the newcomers who should press for playing time in the midfield. Sophomore transfer Kevin Ogundugu from Portland and freshmen Kaya Ignacio and Leo Afonso are among the members of the recruiting class who look to be in the mix up top. The class is further strengthened by freshman Holden Brown out of the Indiana Fire Academy who ensures down the road strength in goal.|
|#6||Wake Forest||The Demon Deacons consistently recruit well on a national scale. Wake Forest enters its fortieth season of men’s soccer in 2020 with another very talented and balanced recruiting class on board. The Demon Deacons may have had the number one class in the country if defender John Tolkin and midfielder Bryce Duke who initially indicated they were going to Wake Forest had not elected to enter into the professional ranks. Regardless, this nine member group is a top tier caliber class with the skills needed to fit in nicely with Wake Forests’ possession oriented style of play in which everyone on the pitch is capable of adding to the attack. The class includes Prince Amponsah out of the NYCFC Academy, Cristian Escribano out of the FC Dallas Acadmey, and Jahlane Forbes out of the Orlando SC Academy, Hosei Kijima out of the IMG Academy and Garrison Tubbs out of Atlanta United FC Academy. The midfielders are Chase Oliver out of the Atlanta United FC Academy, Oscar Sears out of IFK Stocksund, and Colin Thomas out of the United Futbol Academy. Thomas Raimbault out of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Academy is the lone forward. The future is bright at Wake Forest.|
|#7||Louisville||John Michael Hayden has added a ten-member recruiting class that has the potential to strengthen the Cardinals on both sides of the ball and create upward movement in the hierarchy of the highly competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Forwards Aboubacar Camara out of the Philadelphia Union and Nico Diaz who honed his skills with Inter Miami CF and the Orlando City SC Academy are among the newcomers who should add punch to the attack and help fill the void that exists due to the departure of Cherif Dieye (7g, 6a). Defenders Sebastian Falsone out of DC United and Bryce LeBel who played for the New York Red Bulls should help fill the void that exists on the defensive side of the ball. Highly regarded goalkeeper Osmar Chavero out of the Houston Dynamo and midfielders Macoumba Ba out of the Montverde Academy, RC Schmeider who enrolled in January out of the Internationals SC and Eric Danquah out of Montverde Academy are among other members of a balanced recruiting class that will join a solid contingent of returning players.|
|#8||North Carolina||North Carolina has added a recruiting class that should help the Tar Heels rebound from a 7-7-4 season in which they were uncharacteristically absent from the NCAA Tournament field. This is a well rounded class with a great deal of potential from top to bottom but it will likely require some seasoning. The class includes defenders Axel Alejandre who played with the U.S. U-17 National Team and Riley Thomas out of the United Futbol Academy. The class also contains several highly regarded midfielders including Yaya Bakayoko out of Martin Luther King High School in New York, Jameson Charles out of the Minnesota Thunder Academy, Ernest Bawa out of the Taft School, Garrett Kessel who played with the North Carolina Fusion, Jonathan Sinclair who played for F.A. Euro and Tim Schels who is from Germany. Akeim Clarke out of the Loomis Chaffe School and Malik Henry who hails from Canada are among the forwards in the class.|
|#9||Clemson||Another great haul for the Tigers. Mike Noonan seeks to build on the momentum of a banner 2019 eighteen win season with the addition of ten very productive newcomers. The class includes polished midfielder Callum Johnson who transfers in from Boston College where he scored eight goals and contributed ten assists while appearing in fifty-two contests over three years. The class also features defenders Ben Erkens who was the Gatorade South Carolina Boys Soccer Player of the Year, Brandon Parrish who was the Tennessee Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year, Titus Sandy Jr. out of highly regarded Charlotte Soccer Academy, and Harmady Diop out of the Montverde Academy. Forward Tyler Hutchinson out of the Barca Residency Academy, midfielder Josh Hallenberger out of the Houston Dyanmo Academy, midfielder Ousmane Sylla out of the Montverde Academy, and goalkeepers Trevor Manion out of the Penn Fusion Soccer Academy and Seth Wilson out of the FC Dallas Academy who has played with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team round out the class. Talented midfielder Tanner Tessmann who initially signed to play both football and soccer at Clemson instead elected to enter the professional ranks signing a homegrown contract with FC Dallas.|
|#10||Stanford||Stanford’s 2020 recruiting class may not be as strong as the 2019 class that included college ready forwards Ousseni Bouda and Gabe Segal, midfielder Cam Cilley and defenders Keegan Hughes and Keegan Tingey but then again it does not necessarily need to be and for that matter few classes in the country will be. Nonetheless, Jeremy Gunn will welcome another recruiting class to The Farm that will create competition for playing time, add depth, help address the gaps that need to be filled, and that looks to be aligned well with a very talented and experienced contingent of returning players. The class includes defenders Conner Maurer out of the New York Red Bulls, Noah Adnan out of the Bethesda Soccer Club and Ryan Dunn who played for the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club and the Carolina Rapids. Maurer is ranked by College Soccer News as one of the top fifty players in the 2020 high school class. The class also includes midfielders Connor Evans out of the Portland Timbers Academy, Layton Purchase out of Real Colorado and Aiden Weaver who played for the Pennsylvania Classics. Highly regarded goalkeeper Eliot Jones who played for the New England Revolution whose resume includes playing time with the U.S. Youth National Team rounds out a very talented class.|
|#11||Portland||Nick Carlin-Voight enters his fifth season as the head coach at Portland with a 2020 recruiting class that could give the Pilots the edge they need to overtake St. Mary’s in the West Coast Conference race perhaps in the spring of 2021 and return to the NCAA Tournament field after being absent in 2019. Carlin-Voight went the transfer route to snag two proven dynamic playmakers. Forward Jason Reyes, a junior transfer from Kentucky who scored eleven goals and contributed six assists the past two seasons, and graduate student midfielder Miguel Yuste, a 2019 First-Team All-Ivy League selection at Yale, will add an additional dimension to the offense. Defender Paul Odendahl, a graduate student transfer from Coastal Carolina will add experience to the backline. Defender Kevin Bonilla, a U.S. U-20 Team member out of the FC Dallas Academy and midfielder Nicholas Fernandez out of the Barca Academy are among a very promising and motivated group of freshmen.|
|#12||Syracuse||Ian McIntyre adds a monster 2020 recruiting class that draws heavily upon transfers. This is a talented, athletic and experienced group but much will hinge on how well they merge in with returning players to produce a unified team. Transfers include graduate student forward Matt McDonnell who was a 2019 All-Patriot League Second Team selection, midfielders junior Manuel Busquets who was a 2019 All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection at Duquesne and sophomore Rogue Viegas who scored fourteen goals last year at Monroe College. Defenders include graduate student transfer Maxwell Kent from Macalester College and sophomore Abdi Salim who is a transfer from Buffalo State College where he was the 2019 SUNYAC Defensive Player of the Year. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Russel Shealy transfers in from Maryland where he started five contests last year.|
|#13||Akron||Akron reloads as well as any team in the country but last year the bounce in the level of their play that normally occurs didn’t happen. As a result opponents exploited the weaknesses that existed and the Zips string of twelve consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament unexpectedly came to an end. The remedy may be on the way via a 2020 recruiting class that should enhance the level of competition for playing time across the board and help fill the gaps that exist. Members who enrolled in the spring include midfielders Ryan Combe who played with the Raca Sport Club U-19 team in Brazil and Hazem Sohby who is a senior transfer from Ottawa University in Arizona and defender Jordan Seaman out of the Internationals Soccer Academy. Other members include goalkeeper Josue Hangi who played for Atlanta United, forward Damon Williams out of South Carolina United who will add depth up-top, midfielders Dyson Clapier out of the Portland Timbers Academy and Connor Lee out of the Internationals Soccer Academy, and defenders Paul Jones who played with South Carolina United and Nick Scott out of the Internationals Soccer Academy.|
|#14||Michigan||The Wolverines nine member class will help address immediate needs and provide a solid foundation upon which to build for the future. Midfielder junior Cameron Martin who transfers in from the University of San Francisco and freshmen midfielders Bryce Bleveins out of FC United, Bode Saul out of the De Anza Force, Quin Rogers out of the De Anza Force, and Simon Vasquez out of Weston FC and goalkeeper Jamis Fite are among the promising newcomers who make this class special.|
|#15||UCLA||The Bruins have some catching up to do. Ryan Jordan added an eleven member recruiting class that is a step in the right direction for a team that was 6-9-3 with a 2-6-2 in Pac-12 play last year The class includes two transfers and three international students. Junior forward Kevin Diaz, a transfer from Cerritos College, should add to the attack. Freshmen midfielders Tucker Lepley who played with Sporting Kansas City and Andrew Valverde who was the California Gatorade Boy’s Soccer Player of the Year are among several members of the class who should add depth in the middle of the park. Junior defender Ahmed Longmire, a transfer from Utah Valley University, is a tough and experienced addition on the defensive side of the ball.|
|#16||Sand Diego State||This looks to be among San Diego State’s most highly regarded recruiting hauls. The eleven member recruiting class has the potential to bring about upward movement. New head coach Ryan Hopkins signed three newcomers while eight of the newcomers were signed before Hopkins took over the reins of the program in January from Lev Kishner. The Aztecs need playmakers on both sides of the ball but the first order of business for Hopkins will be tightening up a porous San Diego State defense that allowed a total of thirty-seven goals last year in route to a 4-12-2 overall record and a 1-9-0 mark in Pac-12 play. Freshmen defenders Elias Katsaros and Bryson Hawkins who played with the Seattle Sounders, Bryson Hawkins who played with the Seattle Sounders, Kevin Peraza out of the IMG Academy, and Fritz Oestreicher who played with Kickers Offenbach in Germany and goalkeeper Aiden Hanes out of the LA Galaxy are among the newcomers with the potential to help shore up the defense.|
|#17||UCF||There is a distinct international flavor to UCF’s 2020 recruiting class. The seven member class includes players from five different countries spread across four continents. Nonetheless it has a Florida connection with two of the newcomers, forward Lucca Dourado and defender Anderson Rosa, coming from the Montverde Academy and three of the newcomers, goalkeeper Tyler Lavigne, defender Brennon Neff, and defender Juan Ramos having honed their skills playing with the Orlando City Development Academy. The class also includes redshirt sophomore defender Lenny Cidolit who is a transfer from the University of Montpellier and redshirt midfielder Ariel Hardar who was a member of the U-21 Israeli International team.|
|#18||Maryland||Maryland added a small but strategically focused class that will add value to the Terps pressure and possession oriented style of play and help address the void that exists in goal due to the recent decision of sophomore netminder Niklas Neumann, a 2019 All-Big Ten Second Team selection, to enter the professional ranks in Germany. Forward Jacen Russel-Rowe, a member of the Canadian U-17 National Team who also played with Toronto FC, is a playmaker who will add another dimension to the Terp offense up top. Ben Bender who played for Calvert Hall and the Baltimore Armour and Joe Suchecki who played for the NYCFC Academy will add skill and depth to the midfield. Jamie Lowell out of the Seattle Sounders Academy is a highly regarded goalkeeper who should be in the hunt to fill the now vacant goalkeeper position.|
|#19||FIU||Kyle Russell who was named the FIU head coach in February is out to a strong recruiting start. Russell went the transfer route to snag several proven playmakers who are capable of making an immediate impact. Sophomore forward Rasmus Tobinski who scored ten goals last year at Vermont and was named to the America East All-Conference First Team is a finisher who will add pop and physicality to the attack up top. Transfer midfielders include junior Mauro Bravo who was an All-MAAC First Team selection last year at Iona College, sophomore Jeremiah Edouard who played in sixteen contests with seven starts last year at East Tennessee State, and graduate student Kareem Riley who was an ASUN Second Team member last year at Florida Gulf Coast and has played with the U-20 and U-23 Trinidad and Tobago National Team. Sophomore defender Philip Hildebrandt transfers in from East Tennessee State where he was a starter last year. The class also includes junior goalkeeper Jonah Penaranda who is a transfer from Pittsburgh and Brison Moorhead who is a transfer from George Mason where he was a starter last year. Freshmen midfielders Tavon Musselden, Omri Ezra and Colby Atkinson and forward Kerry Sarmiento provide a solid foundation for the future.|
|#20||UNCG||Chris Rich is off to a strong recruiting start as he enters his second season as the Spartan’s head coach with a balanced twelve member recruiting class that includes seven transfers. Rich mined the state of North Carolina for five recruits, added three from other states, and four international players. Transfer midfielders junior Izaiah Vignali from UNC Ashville, redshirt freshman Brennan Conger from Indiana, sophomore Mani Austmann from Akron, junior Fernando Garcia from Northeast Texas Community College and sophomore Maycol Reyes from Hill College should add offensive firepower. Sophomore goalkeeper Jarrett Payne from UNC Ashville and sophomore defender Myson Darden from Appalachian State are among the transfers who will compete for minutes on the defensive side of the ball. Forward Daniel Mangarov who played for Atlanta United and whose resume includes experience with the US U-15 and U-17 Youth National Teams is among several freshmen in the class with a big upside.|
|#21||James Madison||Paul Zazenski and his staff lost a lot of talent due to graduation. They have addressed that by adding a very solid and extremely balanced thirteen member class with a background of very competitive play that should facilitate their transition to collegiate soccer and provide a solid foundation for the future of the program. The class consists of twelve freshman and one transfer. Junior forward Luca Erhardt transfers in from Monroe Junior College where he tallied thirty-one goals during his two-year tenure and was named a First Team All-American. Midfielder Alex Krakowiak out of Toronto FC looks to be among the freshmen with the ability to step right in and make a contribution. Ditto that for defender Josiah Blanton out of the Concorde Fire Development Academy on the defensive side of the ball. Defenders Ian Graham, Yanis Lelin, Jordan McMillen, Yanis Lelin, and Chay Strine, midfielders Aexl Ahlander, Ethan Taylor, Rasmus Strangholt, Demitri Turner and Nate Corely and forwards Luca Erhardt and Mason Christian round out what looks to be a very versatile and high energy class.|
|#22||Yale||There is no doubt that Kylie Stannard and his staff are thrilled with this class. Yale needed to bring on board a strong class to capitalize on the momentum generated by the 2019 team that won the Ivy League title and they got it. The Bulldogs added a versatile eleven member class with an impressive record of competitive play. The class includes one transfer and ten freshmen. The lone transfer in the class is junior midfielder Jules Oberg from Williams College where he was a two-year starter. The class includes a solid contingent of freshman midfielders led by Anders Jasson out of the NYCFC Academy who has played with the U.S. U-17 National Team, Matias Alberola out of the Real Colorado Academy, Quanah Brayboy and Sandor Pelle who played for Phoenix Rising FC, and Jonathan Seidman out of the FC Westchester Academy. Forwards include Kahveh Zahiroleslam who played for the DeAnza Force and Oliver Van Spaendock who played for Beachside SC. Defenders Sam Harshe who played for the Michigan Wolves and Jamie Orson out of the United Futbol Academy and goalkeeper Chris Edwards out of the Solar Soccer Club round out a class that should win a lot of contests.|
|#23||Virginia Tech||This recruiting class helps to take the sting out of the departure of the most decorated senior class in the history of the program. Junior transfer Cameron Joice from Monroe College who was a member of Austria’s U-17 National Team should add additional punch to the attack up top. Junior transfer Kyle McDowell from Ottawa University who was a first team NCCAA All-American and sophomore transfer Diogenes Kinyua from Appalachian State will add depth to the midfield. Junior transfer defender Zane Bubb is among several of the newcomers with the experience to immediately strengthen the backline. Midfielder Emmanuel Ameres who played for the Clearwater Charges is among the freshmen in the class who could push for playing time.|
|#24||High Point||Zach Haines will enter his second season as the head coach at High Point with the addition of an eleven member recruiting class that features several transfers who should help address the immediate voids that exist and a contingent of freshmen who bode well for the future of the program. The transfers include redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Ricky Ceballos from Akron who will be in the hunt for the vacant job between the pipes due to the graduation of Keegan Meyer, midfielders junior Sebastian Chalbaud who was a 2019 All-ASUN First Team selection from Stetson and senior Mason Marcey from Valparaiso and graduate student transfer forward Victor Pimentel from the University of Mobile.|
|#25||Saint Louis||This group could give Saint Louis the edge they need to turn the corner. The Billikens have garnered significant talent especially on the offensive side of the ball. Kevin Kalish enters his third season as the head coach at Saint Louis with an eleven member recruiting class that includes midfielders Edvardo Rodrigues and Caleb Iverson, forward Erich Legut, and defender Edward Mensah who were high school All-Americans. Forward Patrick Weah who played for Minneapolis United and midfielders Mason Leeth who played for Sporting Kansas City and Brian Johnson who played for the Houston Dynamo are among other members of the class who have the potential to make a significant impact.|
|#26||Xavier||Andy Fleming is bringing in the pieces that should give the Musketeers the bump they need to rebound from a challenging roller coaster 2019 season in which they were 8-8-1 with a 3-6-0 mark in Big East play. The class, which consists of one transfer and seven freshmen, includes several somewhat under-the-radar prospects with a big upside. Redshirt junior midfielder Justus Kauppinen, whose resume includes playing time with Finland’s National Team, transfers in from Virginia Tech. The class also includes freshman midfielders Paul Bogarin out of the Indiana Fire Academy, Parker Crowell out of Cincinnati United Premier and Jerome Jolly who played for Preston North End. The Musketeers bolstered their backline with the addition of highly regarded freshmen Jansen Miller out of the Saint Louis FC Academy, Matthew Trakszelis out of FC United Academy and Sondre Taklo who played for Aalesunds FK in Norway.|
|#27||Utah Valley||Good things are happening at Utah Valley under Gregg Maas. Utah Valley’s 2020 class bodes well for continued success. Midfielder Jamie Dunning who has experience playing with both the US and Canadian U-17 National Teams and midfielder Erwin Martinez who has been a member of the US U-18 National Team headline the class. Both have the potential to be a program lifter as freshmen. Maas dipped into the junior college ranks to sign defender Cameron Weston, a United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American at Iowa Lakes Community College, who contributed fifteen goals and fourteen assists during two seasons. He also added experience with the addition of graduate student defender Erik Lyons, a transfer from Saint Mary’s, who appeared in thirty-six contests over three seasons. Midfielder Stephane Giorgi from France, forward Eli Nixon who was Utah Gatorade Player of the Year, defender Joe Wren who played for the Hawai Rush and netminder Shae Wirt who was the 5A Kansas State Goalkeeper of the Year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School are among other members of what looks to be a very productive class.|
|#28||VCU||Dave Giffard accurately described his 2020 class as the most solid from top to bottom that VCU has had in his ten years at the helm of the program. When it is all said and done the accomplishments of this group could significantly warrant a higher ranking. This very balanced and athletic nine member class features forwards Nolan Coetzee and Elton Quintanilla, midfielders Tariq Moutaouakil, David Hughes, Andrea Nguionza, William Hitchcock, and Jonathan Kanagawa and defenders Scott McLeod and junior Noah Wright who is a transfer from Alvernia University.|
|#29||North Carolina State||Recruiting is about addressing current areas of need while providing a solid foundation for future seasons. NC State’s recruiting class checks both of those boxes. The class includes forward Pau Palacin out of the University of Valencia, midfielders Declan Brose who is a sophomore transfer from Wake Tech and junior Alex Hernandez who is a transfer from Appalachian State, defenders Marco Cottone out of the Met Oval Academy, Alex Darko who played for the Phoenix Academy, and junior Parker Cross who transfers in from Appalachian State where he was a starter last year. Goalkeeper Tyler Perrie out of the DC United Academy rounds out the class.|
|#30||Oakland||This large eighteen member class is arguably among the best and deepest in Oakland history. Eric Pogue and his staff have reason to be excited about the potential of their predominantly international-based sixteen member 2020 recruiting class. This group, which includes players from twelve different countries, has the ability to take the program at Oakland to new heights. Credit Pogue for adding a group of newcomers with the athleticism and technical proficiency to be difference makers. Redshirt freshman midfielder Owen Smith, sophomore midfielder Ville Ahola who is a transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson, defender Julien Beausire who was selected to the Swiss National Team, defender Kieran Hayes who played with the Newcastle Jets in Australia, defender Jaiden Ramsay-Kelly who played for the Woodbridge Strikers in Ontario, and defender Nicholas Rolink who played for the Javanon FC are among a very promising Oakland class.|
|#31||Charlotte||Consistency and stability. Two positive traits at Charlotte that are reflected in the fact that the 49ers have earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament seven out of the eight seasons that Kevin Langan has been the head coach. Credit Charlotte with bringing on board a balanced eight member recruiting class that includes six freshmen, five from North Carolina, who are already familiar with each other through highly competitive club play and should fit in well with a Charlotte team that returns seventeen letterwinners including nine starters. The class includes goalkeeper Jordan Charles, defender Justin Deffenbaugh, forward Jonathan Nyandjo, and midfielder Andre Vicharelli who all played with the Charlotte Independence Development Academy. Midfielders Carson Griffin and Yang Scofano who played for the Charlotte Soccer Academy round out the freshmen in the class. Junior transfer forward Alex Willis out of Northern Kentucky University who was the 2018 Horizon League Freshman of the Year and a College Soccer News All-Freshman selection will add to the attack up top while sophomore transfer goalkeeper Daniel Kuzemke from Clemson will be in the hunt for the vacant job in goal due to the graduation of Elliot Panicco who was a four-year starter.|
|#32||Notre Dame||Defender Paddy Burns who captained Northern Ireland’s U-18 squad headlines Notre Dame’s relatively small but very solid six member recruiting class. The class also features highly regarded goalkeeper Bryan Dowd who honed his skills between the pipes playing for the FC United Development Academy and the Chicago Fire, midfielder Matthew McLaughlin out of Saint Ignatius High School and Club Ohio, midfielder Matthew Radivojsa who played for Toronto FC’s U-19 team, and forward Daniel Russo who plays for the NY Red Bulls’ U-19 team. This class strengthens the Irish on both sides of the ball.|
|#33||South Carolina||Mark Berson entered the 2020 season with the same level of enthusiasm and competitiveness that he brought to the pitch when he started the varsity men’s soccer program at South Carolina in 1978. Berson and his staff welcomed an eleven member 2020 recruiting class to Columbia that includes several newcomers with the skill, experience and toughness needed to make an impact. Junior forward Innocent Twishime who transfers in from Salt Lake Community College where he was an All-Conference First Team selection and freshmen midfielders Andrew Rosenbaum and Lorenzo Nagy are among those who should add an additional dimension to the attack. Highly regarded defender Jake O’Connor, Christian Klaus who was the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, and Sekou Soumah who has played with the Colorado Rapids and Philadelphia Union are among the defenders with the potential to tighten up a South Carolina defense that allowed a total of twenty-seven goals last year.|
|#34||Campbell||The Camels made their presence known on the national scene last year with a banner 17-3-2 overall record and 8-0-0 mark in Big South Conference play. Dustin Fonder has added a thirteen member recruiting class that should fit in nicely with the eight starters that are slated to return. Fonder has mined the NAIA and NJCAA ranks to secure five newcomers who will bring collegiate experience and a winning background to the table. Junior forward Daniel Hernandez out of Central Methodist, junior midfielder Jake Morris out of Tyler Junior College who may be the jewel of the class, junior midfield Alec Nguyen out of Pima Community College, sophomore midfielder Diego Konicks and junior defender Demario out of Richland College are the newcomers out of the NAIA and NJCAA ranks. Fonder also added junior transfer midfielder Aldo Taranti from Appalachian State and junior defender Jamie Lamb who is a transfer from Purdue Fort Wayne. Forward Gerard Broussard out of Richmond United and midfielder Sami Charaf Amal are among the freshmen who are likely to contribute sooner rather than later.|
|#35||Denver||The Pioneers have added a nine member recruiting class. The class includes seven freshmen with an impressive record of competitive club play and two transfers who should help Denver rebound from the first season in which the program had a losing record under Jamie Franks. Transfers include sophomore forward Griffin Meyer who found the back of the net eleven times last year at Colorado College and defender Jake Mecham who was a starter last year at UNLV. Freshmen include forward Jason Robles out of the Colorado Rapids Academy, midfielders Ben Smith out of Real Colorado, Brennan Gac out of Maryland United, and Lukas Fisher out of the Portland Timbers Academy, and defenders Ruaridh Fraser out of the Houston Dynamo, Ronan Wynne out of Wellington Phoenix SC, and Cade Austin out of the Broomfield Soccer Club.|
|#36||University of South Florida||This class will strengthen the Bulls on both sides of the ball. Forward Oscar Resano from Mexico will add quickness and touch on the ball up top. Midfielders JT Cooper who played for the Clearwater Chargers and Donovan Hesselmeyer who played with the Orlando City Development Academy should make a quick transition to the college game and add depth to the midfield. Max Gottwald will add toughness to the backline. Forward Segun Afolabi who played for NASA Tophat, and midfielders Shion Soga who played club for the Michigan Jaguars, Josh Gomina who played for Black Rock FC and Brian Schaefer out of Fletcher High School who played for Jacksonville Armada are all positive additions with a background of competitive play that bodes well for the future of the program. |
|#37||Creighton||Johnny Torres enters his second season as the head coach at Creighton with a very good Bluejay class that is a step in the direction of getting back to a level of play that will yield a berth in the NCAA Tournament after a three year absence. The Bluejays signed a class that was focused on the offensive side of the ball which is an area where Creighton clearly needs to up their productivity without a decline on the other side of the ball. The addition of midfielders Owen O’Malley out of the North Carolina FC Academy, midfielder Colin Alba, midfielder Landon Sloan who was the North Carolina Soccer Coaches Player of the Year, midfielder Mark O’Neill, and junior transfer Alejandro Maillet from Kansas Community College and senior forward transfer Diego Gutierrez from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and freshman forward Steevie Lamarre could prove to be just what the doctor ordered on the offensive side of the ball. Junior defender Mitch Dobson who transfers in from Monroe College and freshman goalkeeper Nathan Schnur round out the class.|
|#38||Army||Any hope of a double-digit win season at Army and upward movement in the Patriot League is contingent on improvement on both sides of the ball. That’s a task made more challenging due to the graduation of defender Zac McGraw who was a four-year starter and team leader and forward Keenan O’Shea who was a four-year starter and the go-to man on the offensive side of the ball. The good news is that reinforcements are on the way via Russell Payne’s 2020 eleven member recruiting class. The newcomers have the potential to strengthen Army on both sides of the ball. Defenders Nick Atkinson out of the North Carolina FC, Alec Schwartzman out of the NYSC, Hamza Shehata who played for the New York Red Bulls Development Academy and sophomore Jack Eaton who is a transfer from Valparaiso will bolster the defense. Sophomore transfer forward Colman Kim from Fairfield and freshman forwards Joey Hickson who played for the Michigan Crew Wolves U-19 team, Sal Rasizzi out of NYFC and Sean Lee who played for the Loudoun Soccer Club are among the newcomers who could add an additional dimension to the offense up top. Midfielders Drew Clement, Daniel Hoffman and Atef Sikazwe round out a class that his a big upside.|
|#39||Kentucky||The Wildcats have earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament in six of the eight seasons that Johan Cedergren has been the head coach. Kentucky had nineteen wins in 2018 and thirteen in 2019. The Wildcats have some gaps to fill due to departures, but the 2020 class that includes freshmen midfielders Andrew Erickson out of the San Antonio City Soccer Club and Enzo Mauriz out of Sporting Kansas City, forward Ben Damge out Cincinnati United Premier, defender Jalen Bigby out of the Crew SC Academy and goalkeeper Eric Walker out of the St. Louis FC provides a solid foundation upon which to build.|
|#40||Penn State||Jeff Cook enters his third season at the head coach at Penn State with the addition of a small but talented recruiting class that should help the Nittany Lions build on a very successful 2019 season in which they went from a 6-9-2 overall record in 2018 to a 12-4-3 overall record and returned to the NCAA Tournament field for the first time since 2014. The class includes freshmen midfielder Peter Mangione who has played with the Baltimore Celtic and the Baltimore Armour, defenders Femi Awodesu and Tyger Evans out of the Philadelphia Union Academy, goalkeeper David Adelsberg out of the Pateadores Academy and forward Jace Orves out of the Players Development Academy.|