Feb. 21, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -
Michigan State head men's soccer coach Damon Rensing has announced that six players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Spartan soccer program. A combination of six freshmen and three transfers will join the Spartans' roster for this upcoming fall season.
"We are extremely excited about this class. Their accomplishments individually, with their teams, and in the classroom speak for themselves, said head coach Damon Rensing, who will start his fourth season this fall as the program's head coach. "We have a very good combination of players from the state of Michigan and throughout the country. Several of these student athletes will compete for playing time right away.
"I would like to commend our recruiting coordinator and Assistant Coach Kylie Stannard for his help in assembling this great class," continued Rensing. "We are happy to bring these players into the Spartan Soccer Family."
The freshmen additions include: Zach Bennett (Plano, TX), Jay Chapman (Campbellford, Ontario), Sean Conerty (Ada, MI), Jerome Cristobal (Sterling Heights, MI), Andrew Herr (Millersville, PA), and Zach Hollstrom (Fort Zumwalt, MO).
The three players who will transfer to MSU for the fall season are Brent McIntosh (Oakland, MI/Schoolcraft), Ben Myers (Charlevoix, MI/Clemson), and Luke Norman (Rochester, MI/Wake Forest).
The incoming group joins 17 returning players from the 2011 season. All six of the incoming freshmen are ranked in the top 150 recruits by College Soccer News, and most are ranked in ESPN Rise and/or Top Drawer Soccer polls as well. Canadian under-17 National Team and World Cup Star Jay Chapman heads the list as the #15th ranked prospect in the nation. The class includes one goalkeeper, two defenders and six midfielders.
"We are really excited about our returning players and combined with six very talented freshmen and three experienced transfers, we feel very good about where Michigan State Soccer is headed for the fall of 2012 and beyond."
(Goalkeeper; Plano, TX / Plano Senior High School)
#128 College Soccer News
#132 ESPN Rise
Enrolled at MSU in January after graduating a semester early from high school ... Will provide an immediate impact with the Spartan goalkeeping corps ... Joins the Michigan State program after lettering three years at Plano High School ... As a freshman, helped guide the Wildcats to a 5A State Championship as well as back to back Regional Finals as a sophomore and junior ... Listed No. 128th among the nation's top prospects ... Bennett earned All-District and All-Conference honors for his efforts as a junior ... Had a very impressive club career competing with the Solar Chelsea club out of Dallas, Texas. Bennett was a three year starter on both the under 16 and under 18 US Soccer Developmental Academy squads ... Member of the National Honor Society.
Coach Rensing on Bennett: "Zach is already enrolled here at MSU. We have had a great core of goalkeeper's here at MSU and Zach is on par with some of the greats we have had in this program. He is a very good athlete and strong in the air. What has impressed me the most early on is his temperament and willingness to learn. Zach's experience with Kevin Smith and the Solar club has prepared him well for the Big Ten."
(Midfielder; Campbellford, Ontario/- Holy Trinity Catholic)
#15 College Soccer News
Comes to the MSU after a standout youth soccer career in Ontario, Canada ... Represented his country at the Under-17 FIFA World Cup, helping guide Canadian side to a runner up performance in CONCACAF qualifying, helping Canada to qualify for the FIFA under-17 World Cup for the first time since 1986. The Canadians went on to finish third place last summer in their group while picking up two draws in Mexico ... Picked as the 15th ranked recruit by College Soccer News ... Competes year-round for Toronto FC - one of the top MLS youth Academies ... Helped lead TFC to a 5th place finish in the MLS Generation Adidas Cup in Dallas with a record of 2-1-2 in the summer of 2011.
Coach Rensing on Chapman: "Jay is a special player, no doubt. He is exceptional on the ball, sees the game very well, and can make the final pass that few college players can make. Jay can play anywhere in the center midfield or up top. Playing for Dario Gasparotto and the Ajax club for most of his youth career has given him a great base. Combine that with his experience with the U-17 World Cup and playing with Toronto FC Academy and we feel Jay can impact our line up right away."
(Midfielder; Ada, Mich. / Forest Hills Central)
#43 College Soccer News
#111 ESPN Rise
Ranked 43rd in the nation by College Soccer News ... Named to the NSCAA All-American Team as well as being runner up for the MHSAA Mr. Soccer award -the best player in Michigan high school soccer... Four year starter at Forest Hills Central ... During his senior campaign, led the Rangers to a District title and Regional Championship, scoring 42 goals and adding 22 assists ... Earned MHSAA First Team All-State honors and was placed on the MHSAA Dream Team ... During his four year stint at Forest Hills Central, scored 100 goals and dished out 64 assists... Named MHSAA Division I Second Team All-State as just a sophomore and was an honorable mention honoree after an injury-plagued junior campaign ... Had an equally impressive club soccer career, competing with the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors ... Helped lead the Crew to three US Soccer Region II championships as well as four consecutive USYSA National Championship Tournaments from 2008-2011 ... Helped the Crew to a USYSA National Title in 2011 and was crowned as the Golden Boot Award winner as the tournament's MVP for his efforts ... Was also an Olympic Development Program participant at the State and Regional level from 2006-2008.
Coach Rensing on Conerty "Sean is not only one of the top seniors in the state of Michigan, he is one of the top attacking players in the Midwest. Not playing for an Academy team has him a little under the radar. He can play out wide or in the middle of the park. He impacts the game from either position. He strikes a very good ball and is underrated in his passing ability. Most of all Sean is a fierce competitor which will translate well to Big Ten. His team, the Grand Rapids Crew, and coach Remco Bergsma are proven winners having won the U-17 National Championship"
(Defender, Sterling Heights, Mich./ Stevenson )
#45 Top Drawer Soccer
#48 ESPN Rise
#138 College Soccer News
Tabbed as the 45th ranked recruit in the nation, according to Top Drawer Soccer... A three time US Soccer National Team selection and two time MHSAA Dream Team Selection (one of the top 11 high school players in the state of Michigan ... Competed on the under-14, under-15 and under-17 US National Teams and spent a year in Bradenton, Florida as part of US Soccer's prestigious residency program in 2010 and 2011 ... Played club soccer with the Crew Soccer Academy Wolves - one of the top youth clubs in the nation out of the Metro-Detroit area ... A three year starter at Sterling Heights Stevenson and led the Titans to two district titles and a state championship game appearance as a junior ... Finished his three year career with 46 goals and 22 assists ... Was twice selected MHSAA Division I First Team All-State and MHSAA Dream Team... A member of the National Honor Society and Student Council.
Coach Rensing on Cristobal "We are really excited to have Jerome join our program. His play with the US Youth National Teams has prepared him well. Jerome is technically very sound, reads the game well, and never checks out of a game mentally. Most importantly, Jerome is a versatile player. He can play anywhere in the midfield or as a wide back. Jerome comes from one of the top academy clubs in the country, The Crew Soccer Academy-Wolves."
(Midfielder; Millersville, , Penn/ Penn Manor)
#150 College Soccer News
The 150th ranked prep star in the nation by College Soccer News ...Was twice named to the Lancaster-Lebanon All-Conference team and led the Comets in scoring, accumulating 40 goals and 30 assists in three seasons ... At the club level, competes with FC DELCO, one of the most historic clubs in the nation out of Philadelphia ... Has led FC DELCO the past two seasons as the team's captain, while also participating with the Philadelphia Union Academy.
Coach Rensing on Herr "Andrew attended our Elite College Prospect camp last winter and did extremely well. He has great pace and the ability to run at players. He commutes a good distance to play and train for FC Delco and the Philadelphia Union which shows his commitment to being a good player. He can play either outside back or wide midfielder. His best days of soccer are definitely ahead of him, and we are looking forward to that.
(Defender; Fort Zumwalt, Mo./Fort Zumwalt)
#84 ESPN Rise
Currently ranked as the 84th ranked prospect in the country and was selected to the West Team in the High School All-American Game this past year in Birmingham, Alabama ... Competing in one of toughest high school associations in the country, was a three year starter at Fort Zumwalt High School... Helped guide the Jaguars as a captain during his senior season, as well as a conference championship ... Three-time First Team All-Conference selection , and named First- Team All-State and All-Metro as a senior ... Plays club soccer for Scott Gallagher with the nationally renowned US Soccer Developmental Academy out of St. Louis, Mo. ... A member of the National Honor Society.
Coach Rensing on Hollstrom "Zach fills a specific need for the center back position. He has good size, runs well, solid on the ball and is very good in the air both offensively and defensively. Playing for Tim Leonard and the Scott Gallagher club will definitely speed his development up. He reads the game well and is becoming a good leader of the backline. Zach defines the true meaning of student-athlete as he excels in the classroom."
(Midfielder; Rochester, Mich/ Stony Creek (Schoolcraft College)
Joins the Spartans after a two-year standout career at Schoolcraft College Twice earned NJCAA Region XII First Team honors ... Scored 14 goals and handed out 21 assists in his Schoolcraft career ... Helped the Ocelots, ranked first in the country, to the Region XII soccer championship, but fell in the District Final in a penalty shootout in 2011 ... Schoolcraft finished that season a school-best #6 end of the year ranking ... Competed with the highly regarded club out of Detroit, Vardar SC, and the USYSA Region II team ... Earned All-Oakland Activities Association honors three times as well as being named to the All-State First-Team twice with Stony Creek High School ... Was a club and ODP teammate of fellow Spartan newcomer Luke Norman on Vardar SC and the 1989 USYSA Region II Team ...Helped guide the Cougars to the State Championship match as a sophomore.
Coach Rensing on McIntosh "We are looking forward to adding Brent to our roster. He comes from one of the top junior college programs - Rick Larson does a great job coaching at Schoolcraft. Brent is a very skilled, attacking player who can either score goals or set up his teammates, and can either play wide or underneath the forwards. I had the pleasure of working with Brent when he was a youth ODP player and am looking forward working with him once again. As a more experienced player, Brent will challenge for a starting spot right away."
(Midfielder; Charlevoix, Mich. /Charlevoix (Clemson)
Started his collegiate career at Clemson, where he played in 14 games and scored one goal - the game winner against rival and nationally ranked South Carolina - for the Tigers ... Enrolled at MSU in January and has begun training with the team ... Played his club soccer with the Vardar SC Academy out of Detroit, as well as earning MHSAA All-State First Team honors twice for Charlevoix ... Completed his high school career with the Rayders scoring 87 goals and dishing out 67 assists , good for sixth all time in MHSAA history. Was the President of the National Honor Society at Charlevoix.
Coach Rensing on Myers "We are excited to have Ben return to his home state of Michigan, after a successful freshman campaign at Clemson. He enrolled at MSU this January and the transition has been seamless. He has a very good work rate and is an efficient passer of the ball. He will definitely add depth to our center midfield and could challenge for a starting spot in our lineup."
(Midfielder; Rochester, Mich./ Stony Creek (Wake Forest)
Transferred from Wake Forest, with one season of varsity eligibility remaining ... Enrolled at MSU for the 2012 spring semester and will look to earn his graduate degree this upcoming year ... Had a stellar three year campaign with the Demon Deacons playing in 64 games (including the NCAA College Cups in 2008 and 2009) ... Scored six goals and had a pair of assists as an outside back ... Earned MHSAA All-State honors four times while representing Stony Creek ... Named to the MHSAA Dream Team as a junior and senior while leading the Wildcats to the State Championship match and was runner up for the Mr. Soccer award in Michigan in 2007 ... Was a club and ODP teammate of fellow Spartan newcomer Brent McIntosh on Vardar SC and the 1989 USYSA Region II Team ... Parade First Team All-American, and participated in the McDonald's All-American Game.
Coach Rensing on Norman "Luke comes to Michigan State with one year of eligibility remaining. His experience from Wake Forest, having played in two College Cups, will help with our players right away. He is a dynamic wide player who can play on either side of the field. He loves to take people on, and that is something that is hard to bring out of players. For Luke, it comes naturally. I expect Luke to not only impact MSU, but the Big Ten conference as well."