Men's Soccer Announces Top-Flight 2009 Recruiting Class
March 12, 2009
FAIRFAX, Va. - George Mason men's soccer head coach Greg Andrulis announced today the addition of five student-athletes that will join the program for the fall of 2009. The highly-touted class includes four players who have spent time with the United States Youth National Teams as well as a junior college transfer. The class accomplishments include four team captains, three players who recently participated in the United States U-18 National Team Camp at the Home Depot Center, two players who have international appearances with the United States U-17 National Team, two ODP regional team members, an adidas ESP All-Star, an ESP/MLS Sum Cup Defensive MVP, a state Player of the Year, two state high school championship team members and a highly-regarded junior college forward who finished in the top-10 in the country in scoring.
The group represents five states (Virginia, Arizona, New York, Texas and Maryland) and some of the best club teams in the country (DC United, Albertson Academy, Dallas Texans and Real Salt Lake). The incoming class includes Cooper Barham (Odessa, Texas), Michael D'Arrigo (Tucson, Ariz.), Victor Freeman (Bowie, Md.), Alex Herrera (Arlington, Va.) and Ryan Reichmann (Hicksville, N.Y.).
"I am pleased to announce another outstanding recruiting class and welcome them into the George Mason soccer family," Andrulis said. "We have done an outstanding job attracting not only nationally-recognized players but great individuals as well. I would like to give special credit to assistant coach Nick Carlin-Voigt for his dedication and tireless work helping bring these elite student-athletes to George Mason.
"Both the playing ability and quality of character of these young men are outstanding and we are confident this class will immediately help us next fall. This recruiting class gives us exactly what we wanted as we addressed our positional needs lost to graduation. The group is full of proven winners with leadership qualities that will help them adjust to college soccer. Anytime you can attract players who have been selected to play with the National Team you have to be excited for the future. This incoming group will rate right up there nationally as one of the top classes in the country, similar to our class from last year. We are excited to start integrating them with our returning players."
The 2008 recruiting class consisted of some of the top attacking players in the country. Ryan Gracia and Axel Levry both came from the US U-17 National Team Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. and both were NSCAA Youth All-Americans. Eber Martinez spent time with the US U-17 and U-18 National Team programs and was a two-time Parade All-American. All three played a major role in the Patriots winning the CAA Championship. Gracia and Levry were named to the CAA All-Rookie Team and Eber Martinez had crucial goals in late-season wins over William and Mary and the Ivy League Champions, the University of Pennsylvania, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The incoming class joins a George Mason team that finished 14-7-2, won the CAA Tournament Championship, and extended its winning streak to eight straight with a first round NCAA win over Penn before bowing out in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to the eventual national champion Maryland Terrapins. Mason finished the season ranked 19th by Soccer America and 24th by College Soccer News.
Incoming Player Bios
National Team/Regional Team Experience: U-18 National Team Camp 2009, ESP All Star Selection 2007, U-17 National Team, U-17 National Team Trip to the Mondial Minimes International Tournament in Chantonnay, France, Region 1 team 2005-2008 with trips to Spain, Argentina, and Italy. VA State Team 2003-2008.
Club Team: DC United Youth Academy (2008), SYC Jr. Royals, Coached by Judah Cooks and John Maessner
High School: Virginia All-State selection as a sophomore and junior, First-Team All-Met as a junior, Two-time National District Player of the Year, Northern Region Player of the Year during his junior year.
Andrulis on Herrera: Alex is a very technical and talented player who can play anywhere in the backline or in the midfield. He is one of the top players in the DC Metro area, if not the state of Virginia and we are expecting big things from him during his career. He has proven himself at the club, state, regional and national team level. His experience in the DC United program will help prepare him for the transition to college soccer.
Herrera on Mason: I chose George Mason University because I feel like I can fulfill my goals of becoming a pro soccer player under the guidance and leadership of the coaching staff. I also wanted to go to a good all around school where I could focus and do my best. I feel like George Mason is the place for me.
National Team Experience: U-18 National Team Camp
Club Team: Real Salt Lake, the 2008 ESP/MLS Sum Cup Champions, ESP/MLS Sum Cup Defensive MVP in 2008, 2008 US Club National Champions, 2008 US Club Regional Champions, 2007 Super Y League Rocky Mountain Division Champions, Super Y League national semi-finalists 2007, Super Y-League National All-Star, Coached by Rick Shantz
High School: Southern Arizona Player of the Year 2007-08, 2008 Tucson 4A Player of the Year, First-Team All State 2006-2009, 4A State Champions from 2006-08, Two-time All-City Team selection
Andrulis on D'Arrigo: Michael was the best goalkeeper we saw at the 2008 adidas ESP/MLS SUM Cup Championship. He was the primary reason Real Salt Lake won the prestigious tournament as he was named the top goalkeeper at the tournament and we believe he is one of the top goalkeepers on the West Coast. His invitation to the US U-18 National Team Camp was well deserved. We believe the sky is the limit for him. He follows in a long line of other great goalkeepers I have coached and will immediately challenge our current keepers.
D'Arrigo on Mason: I chose George Mason because of the excellent coaching staff and the determination of the team to be successful on the national stage. I can't wait to join the Mason soccer family.
National Team Experience: U-18 National Team Camp 2009
Club Team: Team captain, Named Northeast Conference Starting XI by USSF Academy Scouts 2008, 2008 team reached Academy Finals at the Home Depot Center, New York ODP South 2006-08, Region 1 ODP Champions 2006-07, Coached by Adrian Gaitan
High School: Two-year team captain, Played four years of varsity soccer at Hicksville High School.
Andrulis on Reichmann: He's really a dominant presence in the backline and plays with a lot of passion. Ryan is a tremendous competitor and will bring a lot of intensity to the Mason Program. As a center back he knows how to organize his defense and communicates extremely well with his teammates. We saw him early on in the recruiting process and saw a lot of potential. We're not surprised that over the past year he has been added to the U-18 US National pool.
Reichmann on Mason: I chose George Mason University because I wanted to play at a high level of competitive soccer. I feel the superb coaching staff will bring me to this next level and beyond. The environment on campus at George Mason is a comfortable surrounding and the academic programs available will help me further develop my education.
National Team/Regional Team Experience: U-17 National Team Experience, Ballymena Northern Ireland International Tournament 2007, Region III ODP Team 2008-09, Costa Rica International Trip with the Region III team in 2009, ODP State Team 2006-2009, Coached by Anthony Esquivel
High School: UIL Region I First-Team selection in 2008, Team Captain 2008-09, Permian High School Defensive Player of the Year
Andrulis on Barham: Cooper is a very intelligent and driven young man who knows nothing but success. He has all of the character traits that we look for in a student-athlete. He holds himself to the highest standards both as a player and person. He's a left-sided player with great instincts and winning mentality. He can play not only left back but in the midfield as well. He has played for the U-17 national team and has represented our country well. Cooper is a natural leader and we are really excited to work with him this fall.
Barham on Mason: George Mason University is a great school with an awesome soccer program. I was looking for a program that is highly competitive and provides an excellent academic environment but also places a lot of emphasis on character and attitude. Coach Andrulis, Coach Carlin-Voigt and the team members made me feel so welcome at Mason, and I knew almost immediately it was the right place for me. I am really excited about next year and look forward to becoming part of such a great team!
At Louisburg College: Two-year leading goal scorer for top-25 junior college program in the country. Sophomore year finished with 22 goals and 16 assists in 19 games which was good for 10th in the country in total points. Freshman year finished with 20 goals and 10 assists in 19 games. Career totals of 42 goals and 26 assists at Lousiburg. Named First-Team All-Region and 2008 Louisburg College Offensive Player of the Year.
Andrulis on Freeman: Victor is a goal scorer who has produced on every team he has ever played for. He has yet to reach his potential and we are excited about coaching him everyday in our environment. He has soft feet and understands how to be dangerous. We expect him to be one of the players who can help replace the loss of Kwame Adjeman-Pamboe (drafted 28th in the MLS SuperDraft by the Colorado Rapids).
Freeman on Mason: I wanted to play for a top-25 program and continue to challenge myself as a soccer player and student. Coming to George Mason gives me that opportunity both athletically and academically.