Catching up with men’s soccer’s new transfers

USF has added nine new transfers to its roster, four of which are offensive players, three defensive players and two goalies. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

With a handful of departures from the 2022-23 season, the men’s soccer team has filled in the gaps with nine new transfers announced for this season.

So far, the Bulls have reported four new offensive players, three defensive players and two new goalkeepers. 

Here’s a sneak peek of what the new players could bring to South Florida.

Offensive Players

Max Wilkens — Forward 

Forward graduate student Max Wilkens was the first signee the Bulls declared on Jan. 12. 

Wilkins played for four years at Georgia State University, totalling 2,068 minutes of playing time with the Panthers (12-4-3, 4-2-2 Sun Belt).

In 50 games with Georgia state, he accumulated 14 goals and 28 points for his team, creating a 43% shots on goal average.

He was also named the 2022 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4, 2022.

Tyler Richardson — Center midfielder 

Incoming freshman midfielder Tyler Richardson was revealed on the same day. His club  announced his commitment to South Florida on Aug. 23, 2022.

At Jacksonville FC, Richardson played in the highest bracket of competitive soccer called MLS Next for the U17 team. 

He was also a frequent recipient of the Jacksonville FC Team of the Week award, and was selected to the 2022 MLS Next Cup All-star Team. 

During his 2020-21 season with Jacksonville FC, Richardson was the lead scorer on his team and was invited to train with the Orlando City Pro Academy at 16 years old. 

Jalen Anderson — Forward 

Joining Wilkens on the top offensive line this year is senior forward Jalen Anderson, who was announced on Jan. 31. At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Anderson was a key player on his team’s roster. 

With 2,965 minutes of playing time throughout his four seasons there, Anderson started in 40 out of the 50 games he played. He has a career total of 78 shots with 34 of them on goal. 

Similar to Wilkins, Anderson finished his stint at UNCW (6-4-7, 5-1-3 CAA) with a 43% shots on goal average through four seasons. He also made six game winning goals throughout his four years there. 

Marco Astorga — Attacking midfielder  

The final offensive player that the Bulls have claimed is sophomore attacking midfielder Marco Astorga on April 11.

Astorga played in all 17 games his freshman year at Azusa Pacific University with eleven starts and a staggering amount of play time during his two seasons there. 

Accumulating 2,225 minutes of playtime at Azusa (6-8-4, 4-3-3 Pacific West), Astorga made eight goals with seven assists. He started in all eleven games that he appeared in during his sophomore season.

Through two seasons he took 62 shots, with 29 of them were on goal, giving him a 46% shots on goal average.

In the game against Chaminade University in his 2021 season, Astorga placed the game winning goal from 20 yards out, while providing the assist to their first goal. 

Defensive players

Mikhail Keise — Center back 

Three new on-field defenders were announced to join the back line of the USF’s men’s soccer team, with the first being incoming freshman center back Mikhail Keise on Jan. 12. 

Keise, who is currently 17, plays for the Inter Miami CF Academy in Fort. Lauderdale. This is a prestigious competitive club that only allows players to join solely through invitation.

Like Richardson, Keise plays in the highest level of competitive soccer at his club (10-9-5), MLS Next Pro. 

Richard Thompson Jr. — Outside back

South Florida announced their second defender recruit, sophomore Richard Thompson Jr. from Wilmington University, on Jan. 31.

Thompson’s eye for open space on the field can help create opportunities for South Florida’s strikers to score goals. 

From the backline, Thompson has scored three goals and given 15 assists to his teammates. During his two seasons he totalled 42 shots with 19 of them being on goal. 

Dagur Hafthorsson — Outside back

Following Thompson, the addition of freshman outside defender Dagur Hafthhorsson will help solidify USF’s defensive line even more. The declaration was made on the same day as Thompson’s.

Coming all the way from Iceland, Hafthorsson is currently playing on loan at Grotta FC. He has a current market value of €25,000 in Europe. 

Aside from his local club, Hafthorsson has played on the U19 Iceland International team up until 2022 where his eligibility ended due to his age.

Cam Pelle — Goalkeeper 

With the absence of ex-starting goalkeeper Jackson Weyman this season, their first announcement for a potential starter was made on Jan. 12 as well, with redshirt junior goalkeeper Cam Pelle joining from Elon University. 

Pelle, who stands at 6 feet 5 inches, did not make any appearances during the 2022-2023 season. 

In his two other previous seasons at Elon (11-5-3, 6-1-2 CAA), Pelle averaged 1.6 goals against him per game. He finished his time with the Phoenixes with a 73% save average.

Jorge Ortega — Goalkeeper 

Sophomore goalkeeper Jorge Ortega announced he was transferring from Eastern Florida State College on Feb. 21.

Out of the two new goalkeeper signees, Ortega has the upperhand in terms of minutes played last season. The Mexican native totaled 909 minutes in his lone season with the Titans and started in all eleven of his game appearances. 

Ortega only allowed nine goals in and had 44 saves during his debut season. He also had a high save average of 83%.