UNCG's men's soccer recruiting class ranked No. 13 by College Soccer News
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro’s incoming class of men’s soccer student-athletes has been rated the 13th best in the country according to College Soccer News’ rankings released this week.
The Spartans will welcome 12 new players into camp when pre-season practice opens August 7. UNCG will look to defend its Southern Conference championship and return to the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. The Spartans have advanced to the NCAA Tourney’s Round of 16 each of the last two years.
It is the fourth consecutive year that CSN has rated the Spartans’ incoming class in its Top 40. UNCG’s last three classes have been rated 31st, 26th, and 39th, respectively. Interestingly, the class ranked 39th included Hermann Award candidate Randi Patterson, who returns for his senior season this year.
UCLA had the top recruiting class with eight of its 12 signees previously earning All-American honors. Indiana was second, followed by North Carolina, Maryland and New Mexico.
UNCG’s 13th ranked class was rated just ahead of No. 14 Duke. The two teams will meet in an exhibition match on August 16 at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The incoming class is made up of forward Travis Young, goalkeeper Chad Janda, midfielder Matt Strine, midfielder Chris Denuna, midfielder/forward Michael Bonilla, goalkeeper Nathaniel Berry, midfielder Corey Maret, midfielder Chris Ethier, midfielder/defender Matt Betts, defender Matt Elliott, forward Jarrett Gautreau and defender Ryan Davis.
Gautreau scored 39 goals and added 26 assists for Dutchtown HS near Prarieville, LA. He graduated as Dutchtown’s all-time leading scorer. A four-year starter, he amassed 96 goals and 61 assists, playing in 106 of 109 possible matches during his four years. A three-time District MVP and a two-time all-state selection, he also holds school records for goals and assists in a game. He was also an adidas Elite Soccer Program invitee, making the fourth signee to attend the camp for the nation’s top players.
Bonilla, a native of Lawrenceville, GA, is a four-year starter at Collins Hill HS. He earned first-team all-county honors as a sophomore and second-team honors as a junior. A member of the Georgia and Region III ODP squads, his team was a national finalist in 2005. Playing for the Concorde Fire soccer club, his team won the 2005 Disney showcase.
Berry is a native of Holly Spring, NC. He previously attended Southeast Raleigh Magnet School before enrolling at IMG Academy in Florida this academic year. Before leaving for IMG, Berry played for the Triangle Futbol Club and was a member of the North Carolina ODP squad. He was also an invitee to the 2005 Adidas Elite Soccer Program to compete against the top players in the country.
Maret is a two-time Player of the Year at Forest HS in Ocala, FL. A first-team all-state selection each of the last two years, he holds the county scoring record with 102 goals and 60 assists in his Forest career, including 24 this season. His team advanced to the 5A semifinals, where they were upset earlier this month, and finished with a 19-5-3 mark. Maret was also the captain of the Florida ODP squad this past summer. Expected to play in the midfield at UNCG, he plays club soccer for HC United and head coach Kelvin Jones, who has produced several outstanding college soccer players.
Ethier, a Beverly, MA, product, was an NSCAA Adidas All-American this past year. He is three-time Eastern Massachusetts All-Star and an all-state selection. As a senior, he had 10 goals and 16 assists and was named the Northeast Conference’s Player of the Year. He is also a member of the Massachusetts and Region I ODP squads. He played his club soccer for the Aztec Club squad, winning the 2005 PASL National Indoor Championships.
Betts, a native of Apex, NC, was an all-state selection at Apex HS where he led his team to the state title this season. The MVP of the state title game, Betts was invited to the Adidas ESP twice and has been a member of the North Carolina and Region III ODP teams. Expected to be a defender and midfielder at UNCG, he has twice played in the ODP National Championships. He has been invited to play in the East-West All-Star Game on July 18, 2006 at UNCG Soccer Stadium.
Elliott is a product of North Mecklenberg HS. His team won 25 in a row before losing to Betts’ Apex squad in the state title game. The Charlotte, NC native was Conference Player of the Year as a junior and twice earned all-state honors. Elliott is a nominee for the Wendy’s High School Heisman this season. He is also a member of the State and Regional ODP squads, was an ODP Regional All-Star and participated in the MLS Combine earlier this year. A defender, he will also play in the East-West All-Star Game this summer.
Davis, a two-time all-state selection, is a native of Raleigh, NC. Playing at Leesville Road HS, Davis’ squad won the 4A state title in his junior season. A defender, he earned team MVP honors in his senior campaign. A three-year member of the State ODP team, he also has participated in two adidas ESP camps. He plays his club soccer for Triangle Futbol Club.
Young will transfer from Kentucky, where he played 17 matches with 11 starts last season. Young recorded two goals and one assist for five points. A native of Raleigh, NC, Young attended Ravenscroft HS where he was a two-time all-state selection and earned Triangle Independent Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors in 2004. He graduated as the second-leading scorer in conference history. He played for coach Al Pastore’s Triangle Futbol Club and was a member of the U.S. National Team under-16 squad and North Carolina’s ODP program in 2000 and 2004. He is also a past participant of the adidas ESP camps. Young was a midfielder at Kentucky, but is expected to move forward at UNCG.
Strine was a midfielder at Klein Oak HS in Spring, TX. He earned all-district, all-area and all-state honors as a junior. He plays club soccer for the Houston Texans and head coach Lee Baker. His club squad has won the state title each of the last three years and also won a regional title and finished third nationally in 2004. They were a Disney finalist in 2005.
Denuna is a product of St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metiarie, LA, where he earned five varsity letters. He is a two-time all-state and four-time all-district selection. Denuna has played club soccer for the Lafreniere Soccer Club, New Orleans Soccer Academy and the New Orleans Shell Shockers. He was a Super Y-League Regional Pool Team selection and a Louisiana ODP selection.
Janda is a goalkeeper from Athens Drive HS in Raleigh, NC. A three-year letterwinner, he earned all-conference honors as a junior and senior and also earned Academic All-Conference. He was a member of the North Carolina ODP program in 2003 and 2004 and won state titles with the CASL club team in 2004 and 2005.
Furman was the only other Southern Conference squad to appear on the Top 40 list. The Paladins’ incoming class was ranked No. 33.
COLLEGE SOCCER NEWS TOP 40 RECRUITING CLASSES
3. North Carolina
5. New Mexico
9. Wake Forest
10. South Florida
11. San Diego
13. UNC Greensboro
15. Santa Clara
16. Notre Dame
17. San Diego State
18. St. John’s
19. South Carolina
20. St. Louis
22. UC Santa Barabara
23. Penn State
27. Boston University
29. Central Florida
31. Loyola Marymount
32. Virginia Tech
37. Cal State Northridge
39. Oregon State
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