AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron head men's soccer coach Caleb Porter officially announced the six members of the Zips' 2012 signing class Wednesday.
Included in the group are four of the top 11 recruits in the country, according to Top Drawer Soccer, which ranked the six-member class No. 1 in the nation. The group, which features a wealth of youth national team experience, includes two midfielders, two forwards, one defender and a goalkeeper.
Of the six recruits, five are members of their respective youth national teams, including four former members of the U.S. Under-17 team, and one that won a national championship in 2010 as an NSCAA Youth All-American.
Joining the Zips, who lost just two starters from last season's NCAA Round of 16 appearance, will be striker Alfred Koroma (Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll), defender Andrew Souders (Amherst, Ohio/Amherst Steele), goalkeeper Fernando Pina (Houston, Texas), midfielder Dillon Serna (Brighton, Colo./Horizon), winger Omari Morris (Toronto, Ontario/Pickering) and midfielder Matt Foldesy (North Olmsted, Ohio/St. Ignatius).
"My staff and I are extremely excited to welcome six very talented young men into the Akron program," Porter said. "Each of them bring a wealth of playing experience domestically and internationally and are also first-class individuals off the field.
"Over the past five years, we have been fortunate that many of the top players in the country have chosen Akron and without question, this is one of the finest recruiting classes we have ever assembled. I know their impact will be felt immediately and, with a very strong core group of returning players, we expect to continue competing for national championships in the years to come."
The 2012 class continues a trend of highly-touted recruiting classes under Porter, who completed his sixth season at UA last fall. Previous UA recruits earned a No. 1 ranking in 2009 and No. 2 rankings in 2010 and 2011.
Despite losing seven starters from their 2010 NCAA National Championship squad to the Major League Soccer SuperDraft, the 2011 University of Akron men's soccer team defied the odds by capturing their seventh consecutive Mid-American Conference regular season championship and advancing all the way to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive year.
Along the way, the Zips, who will return eight of 11 starters in 2012, rewrote the NCAA's all-time record for longest home unbeaten streak, finished among the top 15 teams in the country for both scoring offense and goals against average, and posted the second-highest team grade-point-average in Division I with an exceptional mark of 3.44.
Alfred Koroma - F - 6-0 - 160 lbs. - Southlake, Texas (Southlake Carroll)
No. 3-ranked recruit in the nation, according to ESPN RISE and Top Drawer Soccer (TDS) … ranked No. 4 by College Soccer News … also ranked No. 1 in the state of Texas by TDS … member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team … was recently called into U.S. U-20s camp, along with current Zips Wil Trapp and DeAndre Yedlin and Bryan Gallego… competed in the 2011 U-17 World Cup, alongside fellow UA recruits Souders, Pina and Serna, scoring two goals in four games … found the net in a 3-0 win against Czech Republic and a 2-1 loss to Uzbekistan … was in U.S. residency program longer than any other player on the most recent U.S. U-17 World Cup team, entering the program as a 13-year old in 2008 … was part of the U-14 Boys National Team pool prior to that … started three games and appeared in five during the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, scoring two goals … currently plays for Solar Chelsea SC of the US soccer Developmental academy.
Andrew Souders - D - 5-11 - 165 lbs. - Amherst, Ohio (Amherst Steele)
No. 6-ranked recruit according to Top Drawer Soccer … ranked No. 8 by ESPN RISE and No. 9 by College Soccer News … top-ranked recruit in Great Lakes Region (TDS) … team captain of the U.S. U-17 National Team … competed in the 2011 U-17 World Cup, alongside fellow UA recruits Koroma, Pina and Serna … played all 90 minutes against Cuba and Panama, and all 120 in a crucial semifinal victory()against El Salvador during the 2011 CONCACAF Championship … also started against Canada in the championship game … team earned a shutout in three of four matches he played in … joined residency in Fall of 2009 … currently plays for Columbus Crew Academy of the US soccer Developmental Academy.
Fernando Pina - GK - 6-0 - 180 lbs. - Houston, Texas (Challenge Early College HS)
Ranked 10th-best recruit in the country by Top Drawer Soccer … is also ranked No. 2, behind fellow Zips' recruit Koroma, in the state of Texas … ranked No. 18 by ESPN RISE and No. 26 by College Soccer News … is considered the top goalkeeper recruit in the nation (TDS) … was one of the leading keepers for the U.S. U-17 team … competed in the 2011 U-17 World Cup, alongside fellow UA recruits Koroma, Serna and Souders … started three games, allowing just two goals in 298 minutes during the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship … earned a shutout in a 1-0 win over Panama … made seven International appearances in 2011 and allowed just six goals … regular in U.S. U-15 national team camps in 2009 and was invited into U-17 residency that fall … was part of the U-14 and U-15 Boys' National Team programs before joining Residency … has played with the Houston Dynamo of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy since 2009.
Dillon Serna - MF - 5-7 - 135 lbs. - Brighton, Colo. (Horizon HS)
Ranked 11th-best recruit in the country and the top prospect in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions by Top Drawer Soccer … is also ranked 26th in the nation by ESPN RISE and 34th by College Soccer News … member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team … competed in the 2011 U-17 World Cup, alongside fellow UA recruits Koroma, Pina and Souders … started two games, including the championship match against Canada during the 2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship … recorded an assist against Cuba … joined Residency in the Fall of 2010 … has played for the Colorado Rapids Academy from 2009-12.
Omari Morris - F - 5-4 - 145 lbs. - Toronto, Ontario (Pickering HS)
Member of the Canadian Under-17 National Team … represented Canada in the 2011 U-17 World Championship … earned playing time in the team's first game against Uruguay … was the team captain for the Ontario U-14, U-15, and U-16 Provincial Teams … currently plays for Toronto FC Academy … scored 21 goals, including three game-winners, and recorded 11 assists as a freshman at Pickering High School.
Matt Foldesy - MF - 5-7 - 145 lbs. - North Olmstead, Ohio (St. Ignatius HS)
Ranked 55th-best recruit in the country by ESPN RISE and 63rd by College Soccer News … NSCAA Youth All-American … 2011 Ohio High School Boys Division I Player of the Year … ESPN RISE All-Ohio Team … Greater Cleveland Coaches and Officials Player of the Year … led St. Ignatius to a national championship – going a perfect 23-0 – as a junior and back-to-back state championships in 2010-11 … registered 42 goals, 31 assists and 16 game-winners (school record) in two seasons while compiling a 45-1 overall record with the Wildcats … played for Brad Friedel's Premier Soccer Academies as a freshman … sat out his sophomore season after transferring to St. Ignatius … plays club soccer with the Internationals SC in Cleveland which is a part of the US soccer Developmental Academy and is also coached by Akron associate head coach Jared Embick.
2012 Akron Men's Soccer Signees
Matt Foldesy, North Olmstead, Ohio, St. Ignatius HS, USSDA Internationals
Alfred Koroma, Southlake, Texas, Southlake Carroll, USSDA Solar Chelsea
Omari Morris, Toronto, Ontario, Pickering HS, Toronto FC Academy
Fernando Pina, Houston, Texas, Challenge Early College HS, USSDA Houston Dynamo
Dillon Serna, Brighton, Colo., Horizon HS, USSDA Colorado Rapids
Andrew Souders, Amherst, Ohio, Amherst Steele, USSDA Crew Academy