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2005 Top 25 Recruiting Classes

College Soccer News determined its 2005 recruiting class rankings with input from key soccer individuals throughout the country. The 2005 selections again confirm that the schools with a winning tradition and with national exposure have an easier go of it when it comes time to attracting the "prime timers." The goal was to use objective criteria to compare the classes to avoid the trap of ranking a class high based on the name of the school rather than the overall strength of the recruiting class. The methods used by College Soccer News to rank the recruiting classes too into account the extent to which a recruiting class filled the perceived gaps a team needed to fill, as well as the overall potential of the recruits. Individual players were evaluated based on a combination of their high school, club, ODP, and regional and national experience. Playing experience against top level competition is a big factor. The rankings factored in extra credit to a recruiting class if the class signaled a step upward for the program. Those programs that overachieved, and there were a few more than the usual number who did in 2004, are recognized in our rankings.

2005 Men's Top 25 Recruiting Classes
1. Indiana - No real surprise here. The program's tradition is often cited by Indiana recruits as a big factor in their decision to become a Hoosier. This nine member class includes five Parade All-America selections and appears very capable of continuing the winning ways and creating a little history of their own. Forward Lee Nguyen who was the National Gatorade Boy's Soccer Player of the Year is joined by fellow Parade All-Americans forward Darren Yeagle the Kentucky Player of the Year, midfielder Brad Ring the Illinois Player of the Year, back Chris Schuler and goalkeeper Chay Cain. Keeper Joe Andrews, midfielders Lee Hagedorn and Brian Ackley and defender Kevin Sparks round out the best class in the nation.
2. Maryland - Terp head coach Sasho Cirovski calls this class "one of the most talented and deep classes that we've ever brought to Maryland." The class contains one transfer student and ten true freshmen. The transfer, senior forward Marc Burch, from Evansville will help immediately. Marquee freshmen in the class include midfielder Robbie Rogers and keeper Chris Seitz who have U.S. national team experience and High School All-Americans A.J. Delagarza and Matt Beckman who are defenders and Michael Marchiano and Kevin Tangney who are midfielders. If they stay together this bunch will eventually give Cirovski a national title.
3. Duke - For the 2nd year in a row the Blue Devils snare one of the very top recruiting classes in the nation. The class includes five NSCAA High School All-Americans. Forward Mike Grella from Glen Cove, N.Y. is one of many prime timers in this class who will make an immediate impact. Grella was named the 2004 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year. Defenders Darrius Barnes from Raleigh, N.C. and Graham Dugoni from Portland, Oregon, forwards Pavelid Castaneda from Babylon, N.Y. and Brad Ramsey from Winston Salem, N.C. and keeper Brendan Fitzgerald from Boxford, Massachusetts round out the class.
4. UCLA - The Bruins have earned 22 consecutive NCAA Tourney berths and three consecutive Pac-10 Conference titles. This six member recruiting class should do their part to keep both of those streaks alive. All-American forward Jason Leopoldo out of Thousand Oaks High School is a member of the U.S. U-18 national team pool and the Region IV ODP team. All-American Sal Zizzo out of Patrick Henry High School is a member of the U.S U-18 national team and the Region IV ODP team. Defenders Sean Alvarado from Newark, New Jersey and Brad Ruskin from Bradenton, Florida are rare non-California UCLA recruits.
5. North Carolina - Another marquee class comes to Chapel Hill. The question is whether or not Tar Heel mentor Elmar Bolowich can mold all of that talent into a cohesive team as he did in 2001 when the Heels won the National Title. Stephen Bickford, the 2004 NSCAA Boys High School Player of the Year, highlights the nine member recruiting class. Bickford found the back of the net a mere 124 times during his three year tenure at Green Hope High School. The class also includes highly touted midfielder Scott Campbell from Plantation, Florida and transfer forward Ben Hunter who was an NAIA All-American at the University of Rio Grande.
6. St. John's - The Red Storm has some gaps to fill due to graduation but this class looks to be just what the doctor ordered. Dave Masur goes coast to coast to obtain a balanced recruiting class that includes a combination of talented true freshmen with a ton of competitive high school, ODP and club play and a transfer or two who should help out immediately. Midfielder Anthony Beltran from Claremont, California is one of several new freshmen recruits who will challenge for playing time.
7. SMU -Schellas Hyndman didn't have to stray beyond the boundaries of the State of Texas to corral this talented and very balanced eight member recruiting class. The class includes Parade All-America midfielder Jeff Harwell, NSCAA All-America midfielder Richard Oliva, midfielder Daniel Lopez who tallied 52 goals and contributed 32 assists at Red Oak High , and NSCAA All-America forward Paulo DaSilva. This talented bunch of home grown Mustangs will win a lot of games during their tenure at SMU. "We believe this is a great class for us and will contribute to our program right away," stated Hyndman.
8. Wake Forest - A large but talented 11 member recruiting class will join the program that has earned the top seed in the NCAA Tourney two out of the last three years. Vidovich and assistant Bobby Muuss can recruit as demonstrated by the 2005 class that includes three high school All-Americans. The class is highlighted by midfielder Jamie Franks who was the New Jersey High School Player of the Year and a two-time NSCAA All-American selection, midfielder Cline Bean a two-time Youth All-America selection, and forward Marcus Tracy, who was an NSCAA All-American and the 2004 Connecticut Player of the Year.
9. Virginia - A very talented and tough four member class. Graduation and the decision of Hunter Freeman to leave early to enter the professional ranks depleted the Cavalier defense. This class will help fill that void. George Gelnovatch stated, "We signed one of the best defensive classes in the country." The class includes athletic centerback Bakary Soumare from New York, agile back Robert Rogers from Fairfax Station, Virginia who has been playing with the U.S. U-20 national team, goalkeeper Michael Giallombardo from Manalapan, New Jersey, and forward Antonio Di Maggio from River Edge, New Jersey out of Bergen Catholic High.
10. Michigan - Steve Burns calls it a "class that is easy to get excited about." The class includes All-American forward Steven Bonnell who was named the Michigan Player of the Year, defender Michael Holody who was a five-time member of the Midwest Regional ODP team, midfielder Alex Morisset who plays club soccer for the Michigan Metrostars, forward Jake Stacy who was named Michigan's Mr. Soccer for 2004, and defender Chase Tennant, an NSCAA All-American, and goalkeeper Patrick Sperry who played club for the Chicago Magic.
11. UC Santa Barbara - A class that is solid from top to bottom. Playing for the national title as UCSB did in 2004 never hurt anyone recruiting wise. The Gauchos have some big shoes to fill due to loss of five starters due to graduation but this class should help ease the pain. Veteran U.S. Youth National Team midfielder Eric Avila is a prime timer who will contribute immediately as should two-time NSCAA High School All-American midfielder Alfonso Motagalvan and forward Paul Kierstead from Phoenix, Arizona. Tim Vom Steeg tabbed the class as "the deepest we have ever seen at UCSB in terms of talent."
12. South Florida - Seven freshmen and four transfers join George Kiefer and the USF men's soccer program in 2005. This class could be very explosive. The class includes transfers Sammy Castellanos from Rutgers, Brett Wagner from Jacksonville and Andre Townsend from Richmond. It features two-time NSCAA High School All-American forward Jordan Seabrook as well as Yohance Marshall and Kevon Neaves from Trinidad and Tobago. Marshall has been a member of the U-17 National Team and Neaves, who was named the 2005 Trinidad High School Player of the Year, is a member of the U-20 national team.
13. Boston University - An impact class that is very deep and talented. Freshman midfielder Zach Bauer is an NSCAA All-American and among the top recruits in the country. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty led the Chicago Sockers to five straight state titles. Forward Petur Sigurdsson is a member of Iceland's U-21 national team. Forward Dan Schultz is an NSCAA All-American from Cincinnati. Keeper Joe Cullaro from New York, New York, forward Jim Oh from Austin, Texas, and midfielder Andrew Bassi are all talented. Transfers Jaryd Goldberg from Boston College and Felix Vincent from Villanova will contribute right away.
14. California - Kevin Grimes has led the Golden Bears to a school-record four straight NCAA Tournament appearances but has some big gaps to fill going into the 2005 campaign. The eight member 2005 recruiting class must contribute or that string may be in jeopardy. Grimes has a good eye for talent so look for this class to step up to the plate. The top Golden Bear recruit is midfielder Ryan Villalpando from San Jose, California. Defender Patrick Marion and forward Jonathan Terrazas are very solid. Transfer midfielder Brad Yuska from Indiana, who has four years of eligibility remaining, should be a big plus. A very good class.
15. Clemson - The Tigers seek to get back on track in 2005 after a 2004 season in which they were 8-9-1 overall and 2-5-0 in ACC play. Trevor Adair has added a 7 member class that features forward Dane Richards who was the junior college National Player of the Year out of San Jacinto Junior College. Other transfers who add immediate experience are defender Alan O'Hara out of Thomas University, Shannon Cole out of Schoolcraft J.C. and Michael Usry from Winthrop. Freshman defender David Newton from out of Wando High School is an NSCAA All-American and was named the South Carolina Player of the Year .
16. New Mexico - Jeremy Fishbein is 43-14-5 since taking over the reigns of the Lobo program in 2002. Fishbein labels his 2005 class as "one of the best incoming classes ever at New Mexico." The eight member class includes 3 upper classmen and five true freshmen. Transfers include senior defender Josh Brown from Portland and junior midfielder David Peplinski from St. Louis. The five freshmen have an excellent background of club and ODP play. Forward Brandon Barklage out of Christian Brothers High School in St. Louis, Missouri and the Scott Gallagher Soccer Club is among the freshmen who should make an impact. If they stay focused this class will be extremely competitive and very effective.
17. Boston College - Last year freshman Charlie Davies gave the Eagles the offensive punch they needed to get back on track. Ed Kelly's 2005 recruiting class contains a couple of new faces that may not have the impact that Davies had but they will likely contribute immediately. New Yorkers midfielder Michael Konicoff out of Suffern High School and forward Justin Flood out of Hauppauge High School were NSCAA All-America selections who are impact players. Joey Clark out of St. Benedict's High School in New Jersey is talented and athletic. Freshmen will have to help fill the gaps if the Eagles hope to fare well in ACC.
18. Notre Dame - Bobby Clark described it as "The class we were looking for." The Irish lost three starting defenders and All-American goalkeeper Chris Sawyer to graduation. As would be expected, Clark focused his recruiting efforts on the defensive side of the ball. Defenders Jack Traynor from Missouri, Kyle Dagon from California, and Cory Rellas from Texas will compete for playing time as will keepers Luke Seibolt and Andrew Quinn. Midfielder Matt Besler from Kansas played on the Region II ODP team and forward Bright Dike out of Edmond North High School in Oklahoma will add balance and depth to the Irish attack.
19. Connecticut - Ray Reid adds an intriguing and diverse eight member class. Midfielder O'Brian White who is a member of the U-20 Jamaican national team highlights the class. California defender Kwame Siriboe out of the Pateadores soccer club is a prime timer with U.S. U-18 national team experience. Defender Grayson Glass has a solid background of club and ODP play. Keeper Alex Horwath out of McDonogh High is a tough and talented netminder. Midfielders Joe Boa who may be the sleeper of the class and Stephen Cenatiempo from Connecticut, Abe Chehebar from New York and Dori Arad from Israel round out a group that should add value to a Connecticut Team that returns almost everyone from the squad that won the Big East Championship in 2004.
20. Oregon State - A very athletic class that appears to have the level of quickness and speed needed to be able to favorably compete in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference. Oregon State mentor Dana Taylor stated, "The student-athletes in this recruiting class are a clear indication of where OSU soccer is and represents a commitment to where we are going." The nine member class features forward Josh Cameron, central midfielder Tracy Hasson, central defender Joel Loreth, and back Ryan Quinlivan, Daniel. Freshman defender Daniel Leach from Australia who played with the Australian U-17 National Team and midfielder Lucus Egenwell from Sweden add an international flavor to a class that should help the Beavers rebound from the disappointing 8-10-1 season they experienced in 2004.
21. Washington - Dean Wurzberger likes home grown talent and again stays pretty much within the boundaries of the State of Washington to bag his five member 2005 class. Wurzberger stated, "Once again we remain committed to basing our Husky soccer team around the best talent the State of Washington has to offer and then supplementing with some key players from outside the state." The lone player from outside the state, Jordan Katz, is a prime time midfielder from California out of Capistrano Valley High School and the Irvine Strikers FC. Forward Michael DeSimone from Mariner High School in Everett, Washington, midfielder George John a NSCAA All-American out of Shorewood High School in Shoreline, Washington, forward Taylor Cochran from Snohomish, Washington and keeper Ryan Hawkins from Shoreline, Washington are all very steady and capable players.
22. UAB - Mike Getman calls it a class that "is shaping up to be one of our best recruiting classes ever." The group includes defender Alandus Brooks who has U.S. U-17 National Team experience, midfielders Carlo Schiavoni and Derek Rios who were Canadian U-20 National Team members, and Wes Johnson out of Parkview High in Georgia and Trey Gregory, Andrew Riley and Dean Sorrell out of Birmingham Oak Mountain High who were on state championship teams. Forwards Two-Boys Gumede out of the Javanon Soccer Club and Jonah Stewart from Vestavia Hills High and transfer Brian Garcia an All-Conference midfielder from Missouri-Kansas City round out a class that should contribute immediately.
23. Portland - Bill Irwin calls it one of the best recruiting classes in Portland history. This eight member class features forward Alex Elliott from Vancouver, B.C. out of Magee Secondary where he tallied 78 goals and 39 assists and defender Patrick Jurney from Albuquerque, New Mexico out of Albuquerque Academy where he was named the 2004 New Mexico State Class 4A Player of the Year. Defender Drew Chrostek, and midfielders Bryan Irwin, Bryan Knapp, Steven Hosseinmardi and transfer midfielder Ryan Oakes from the University of San Francisco, and goalkeeper Daniel Rhine out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Arizona round out a class that has the potential to shine over the next four years.
24. Loyola Maramount - LMU mentor Paul Krumpe does an excellent job of identifying talent. A solid class that will contribute right away and continue to improve. Krumpe stated, "Our focus of this recruiting class has been to bring in defenders and players suited to a defensive midfield role." He accomplished that and then some with this 8 member 2005 class. Defender Jay Singh from California and midfielder Will Freriks from Colorado are among those who should contribute right away. Singh was a 2004 NSCAA High School All-American and Region IV team member. Transfer Trini Gomez from UCLA who is a former member of the U.S. U-17 national team will add extra punch to the attack in the midfield.
25. Stanford - Bret Simon welcomes an eight member recruiting class to The Farm that he describes as "deep, talented, and versatile." T.J. Novak, who was named the Missouri state Player of the Year, should contribute immediately either up-top or in the midfield. Defenders Michael Alexander from Sarasota, Florida and Tim Jones from Lawrenceville, Georgia are among others who may challenge for playing time right away. Midfielder Ryan Imamura, who is a transfer from Cornell, should strengthen the Stanford defense. It is a good class but they are going to have to be very good to give Stanford the boost they need to get back on track.
For more information on college soccer recruiting and a complete list of the Top 40 classes, you can visit:

  • College Soccer News