The men’s soccer team announced Friday that
six new players will join the squad for the upcoming 2007 season.
“We have a great class coming in this year,” Coach George Kiefer said. “We really focused on bringing in players that were talented academically and athletically, but also have outstanding character. This class really fits the bill for us.”
The six new recruits hail from all over and provide the Bulls with talent at every position.
Freshman goalkeeper and former Pinellas County Player of the Year Jeff Attinella is expected to have an impact on the Bulls’ goalkeeping corps right away as he joins Diego Restrepo and another unnamed recruit.
“He’s a very good goalkeeper coming in,” Kiefer said. “We also have a third goalkeeper coming, and obviously we have Diego, so I expect the three of them to compete and push each other.”
On the defensive side, Kiefer added a pair of freshman defenders with Jermaine Hardy and Andre Mittoo. Hardy comes to USF as a transfer student from Jefferson College in Missouri. As team captain, he guided his team to a NJCAA national title. The Jamaica native has played on his nation’s under-15, 17 and 20 national teams as well. His freshman counterpart, Mittoo, comes to USF from Plantation where he won two state championships in 2004 and 2006 at American Heritage High School.
Only one midfielder has been added to the roster. Javed Mohammed, a native of Trinidad, has played on the Trinidad & Tobago U-17 national team and served as a captain. His previous accomplishments have played little importance in catching Kiefer’s attention.
“Accolades play no factor,” Kiefer said. “Each coach on this team has seen these guys play – you can throw their rÃ©sumes out. Come August, they are USF soccer players.”
At forward, the Bulls have two new exciting additions in Bernardo Anor and Alejandro Taylor. Anor hails from Caracas, Venezuela and brings a plethora of international experience playing for the Venezuelan national teams from the U-15 level to U-20. His counterpart, Taylor, attended the adidas ESP camp, which is designed for the nations’ top 150 male soccer players. He was a highly decorated high school player and was the team’s captain during his senior year.
A consistent theme among the new recruits is their experience in leading teams. Of the 10 new recruits Kiefer is expected to announce this summer, six were captains at some point.
“We’re always looking for guys with strong character and leadership skills,” Kiefer said. “In this case, it just kind of happened, but we’re happy that it happened.”
Bulls staying in Ray Jay
The University of South Florida and the Tampa Sports Authority have agreed in principle on a deal that will keep the USF football team’s home games at Raymond James Stadium for at least another five years. The deal will extend through the 2011 season with an option of a five-year extension that would keep the Bulls in Raymond James through 2016. USF can terminate the contract without penalty by providing a two-year notice if the school decides to build an on-campus stadium before the deal expires. The Bulls are 46-10 at Raymond James Stadium, including 21 consecutive wins from 2000-2003, the nation’s second longest home winning streak.
Grothe on Maxwell Award watch listSophomore quarterback Matt Grothe is one of 65 players named to the Maxwell Award watch list for the 2007 season. The reigning Big East Rookie of the Year is the first USF player to be named to the watch list for the award, which is given each year to college football’s most outstanding player. Grothe is one of 10 sophomores and eight Big East players on the list. Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn won the award in 2006.
-Eric Moeller also contributed to this report.