University of Akron head men's soccer coach Caleb Porter announced the Zips' 2011 signing class Tuesday.
In all, the Zips will welcome seven incoming freshmen and two transfers, including the NSCAA National High School Player of the Year as well as the NAIA National Player of the Year, following their historic 2010 NCAA National Championship season. Of the seven first-year players, three are ranked in the top 10 of Top Drawer Soccer's Top 100 recruits while five were ranked in College Soccer News' Top 150 overall. These rankings do not include international students or transfers.
Midfielder Wil Trapp (Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln HS), defender/midfielder Bryan Gallego (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon HS), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea HS), forward Diego Navarrete (Santiago, Chile/SSCC Manquehue), attacking midfielder/forward Luke Holmes (Oldham, England/Our Lady's R.C. HS/Notre Dame College), defender Kayvon Afsarifard (Chardon, Ohio/St. Ignatius HS/Loyola University Chicago), defender Kyle Culbertson (Olentangy, Ohio/Olentangy HS), forward Andy Chiu (El Paso, Texas/Cornado HS) and midfielder David Murrow (Cleveland, Ohio/Strongsville HS) will continue their careers with the Zips this fall.
"With the departure of seven starting players and five underclassmen, we certainly had some major holes to fill," said UA head coach Caleb Porter. "However, I am confident that this group will help us maintain our standard of excellence on and off the field. This class offers a mix of very talented and experienced freshman, who have played at the youth international level, as well as some transfers and international players, who will bring much needed maturity to the group.
"When you build a team, having a variety of pieces and the right types of players is very important. Each of these young men were identified because they fit our style of play and also because they bring something a little different to the table. Due to losing so many underclassmen early, we also needed to be very diligent to remain a balanced team with quality options at every position. I believe we have done that with these players.
"Also, we will still look to add one, maybe two more recruits as
the spring progresses; most likely coming from overseas.
Regardless, I expect several of these newcomers to step in
immediately. Combine that with an experienced group of returning
players, and our expectation is to hopefully be competing again for
a national championship next fall."
Wil Trapp (5-8, 150)
2010 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year ... fifth-ranked recruit in the country by both Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News ... Top Drawer Soccer five-star recruit ... member of the U.S. U-18 men's national team ... also competed with the U-14's and U-15's ... Columbus Crew Academy team captain for the U-16 and U-18 age groups ... two-time Columbus Crew Academy player of the year (2009, 2010) ... Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year (2009) ... compiled a 41-1-2 record over a two-year high school career at Gahanna ... clinched the Golden Lions' first national championship in 2009 with the game-winning penalty kick in the shootout ... two-time high school All-American.
Bryan Gallego (5-10, 165)
10th-ranked recruit in the nation and a five-star prospect, according to Top Drawer Soccer ... captain of the U.S. U-18 Youth National Team ... also a member of the U-20s ... Parade All-American ... four-time all-state honoree ... three-time team captain at the N.Y. Red Bulls Academy (U-16, U-17 and U-18) ... won three state cup championships, one regional championship and a national title ... also won three straight high school state championships at Kinnelon HS.
DeAndre Yedlin (5-8, 150)
Ranked seventh in the nation among all 2011 recruits by Top Drawer Soccer ... ranked 12th by College Soccer News ... NSCAA Boys Youth All-American ... invited to the U.S. Soccer U-18 Men's National Training Camp and the 2010 SuperElite International Showcase ... named to USSDA 93 Academy Select Team in 2009 and 2010 ... ODP state team starter from 2006-2009 ... national U14 ID camp in 2006 ... National Super Y Team invitee in 2007 and 2008 ... starter on the Sounders FC Academy team ... won the Washington state championship in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Diego Navarrete (5-11, 158)
Won three straight Chilean national titles with his club team, Universidad Catolica (2008, 2009, 2010) ... team also won the Nike Cup in 2008 ... totaled 35 goals in 30 games over the past two seasons ... placed second in the 80-meter hurdles at the 2006 South American Championships ... was a four-time Chilean national champion in the 80m and 100m hurdles ... mother, Monica Munoz, held the Chilean record in the 1500 and 3000 in track ... father, Victor, played soccer in Temuco for the Chilean Team ... brother, Mauricio, played professional soccer in Chile ... other brother, Pablo, is an NCAA All-American for the track team at Florida State.
Luke Holmes (5-7, 150)
Transfer from Notre Dame College where he was the NAIA National Player of the Year (2010) and a First Team All-American ... will have one year of eligibility remaining ... led the Blue Falcons to the their first national championship game with a 23-0-1 record last fall ... scored five goals and added two assists in five games at the national tournament en route to being named the National Tournament Most Valuable Player ... ended his junior campaign as the program's all-time leader in goals (70) and points (164), and second in assists (25) ... ranked third in the country in goals (24) and points (58) last season ... named to NSCAA All-America Second Team as a sophomore after earning honorable mention honors as a freshman.
Kayvon Afsarifard (5-10, 175)
Transfer from Loyola University Chicago ... will have three years of eligibility remaining ... appeared in nine games as a first-year player with the Ramblers ... led St. Ignatius to the state championship in 2008 and a runner-up finish in 2009 ... was named the Cleveland Plain Dealer Player of the Year as a senior ... ESPN Rise All-America Second Team.
Kyle Culbertson (5-10, 140)
NSCAA Youth All-American ... 42nd-ranked recruit in the nation, according to College Soccer News ... All-District First Team honoree in 2009 ... ODP State Team ... won the Ohio South State Cup Championship in 2008 after being a finalist in 2006 ... Olentangy High School team captain and MVP ... Columbus Crew Soccer Academy.
Andy Chiu (5-8, 155)
Real Salt Lake Academy ... 10th-best recruit in the state of Texas, according to Top Drawer Soccer ... all-state first team performer as a senior ... sister, Jenny (15), is a current member of the US U-17 Women's National Team ... competed in the United States Soccer Federation National Academy League playoffs in 2008 with Andromeda SC ... Texas Fire 93 club team won the Texas State Championship in 2010.
David Murrow (5-7, 150)
ESPN Rise first-team all-state as a senior ... graduated from Strongsville High School after transferring from Padua Franciscan following his sophomore season ... finished high school career with 13 goals and 32 assists ... participated in the ODP region II holdover camp and the region II pool ... plays for the Internationals Soccer Club under the direction of current UA associate head coach Jared Embick ... team won three state cup championships and one regional championship ... placed fifth in the nation for academy at finals week in California in July of 2010.
2011 Akron Men's Soccer Signees
D Kayvon Afsarifard, 5-10, 175, Chardon, Ohio/St. Ignatius HS (Loyola University Chicago)
F Andy Chiu, 5-8, 155, El Pasco, Texas/Cornado HS
D Kyle Culbertson, 5-10, 140, Olentangy, Ohio/Olentangy HS
D/M Bryan Gallego, 5-10, 165, Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon HS
M/F Luke Holmes, 5-7, 150, Oldham, England/Our Lady's R.C. HS (Notre Dame College)
M David Murrow, 5-7, 150, Cleveland, Ohio/Strongsville HS
F Diego Navarrete, 5-11, 158, Santiago, Chile/SSCC Manquehue
M Wil Trapp, 5-8, 150, Gahanna, Ohio/Gahanna Lincoln HS
D DeAndre Yedlin, 5-8, 150, Seattle, Wash./O'Dea HS