Men's Soccer Inks Five Recruits
Feb. 27, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - As Joe Baum enters his 31st year as head coach of the Michigan State men's soccer program, he will seek out his 300th career win with a team that features 20 players from Michigan, including five new additions for the fall of 2007, as he announced Tuesday that Matt Cebula, Jeremy Clark, Nosa Iyoha, Kolt Martin, and Spencer Thompson will join the Spartans.
"Our 2007 recruiting class is the strongest we have had in several years," said Baum, who is four wins shy of becoming the 52nd coach in NCAA history to reach 300 career wins. "This class brings back a depth of talent to our MSU program that we lacked this past fall 2006. We expect a number of these recruits to be immediate program contributors."
The group also has a close relationship with one another, as Cebula, Clark and Thompson all played together on the Olympic Development Region II team, taking trips to Italy and Argentina together. Iyoha, Thompson and Clark played together with the Vardar Stars soccer club and they all also travelled together with the Region II club to Costa Rica.
Cebula (Grand Rapids, Mich./East Kentwood), a defender/midfielder, was a member of the Olympic Development Program Region II Team the last four years. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Cebula served as a captain for coach John Conlon at East Kentwood and was a member of the 2006 Michigan Dream Team. Playing for coach Dan Orao with the Grand Valley Premier Soccer Club, he helped the team to the 2005 State Cup Championship. He is the son of Mark and Linda Cebula.
Clark (Sterling Heights, Mich./Henry Ford II), a goalkeeper, was a member of the Olympic Development Program Region II team for the last four years and was a member of the adidas All-Star Team in 2005 and an adidas ESP participant in 2005 and 2006. He also helped lead his club team, the Jason Davis-coached Vardar Stars, to a ranking of ninth in the nation by Soccer America. A two-time captain for coach Dave Crawford at Henry Ford II, Clark was a Second Team All-State selection in the fall. He is the son of Gary and Gina Clark.
Iyoha (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Pioneer), a defender/midfielder, was a five-year member of Michigan's ODP program. He also earned a slot on the 2006 Region II team as a pool player, traveling to Costa Rica, before earning a spot on the team this year. A First Team All-State selection for coach Chris Morgan at Ann Arbor Pioneer in 2005, he also was a member of the Michigan Dream Team and played for Davis with the Vardar Stars. He is the son of Felix and Bridget Iyoha.
Martin (Mason, Mich./Mason), a defender, helped Mason High to three straight conference and district championships. A three-year letterwinner and one-year captain for coach Paul Kato, Martin earned all-conference, all-district and all-region honors as a senior. He was also Honorable Mention All-State. The son of Shelley and Blanche, Martin also played for the TNT Soccer Club for coach Bill Boyle.
Thompson (Shelby Township, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate), a midfielder, was a member of the ODP Region II team from 2003-07, also traveling to Austria with the club. He was a member of the 2005 adidas All-Star Team and like Clark was a 2005 and 2006 adidas ESP participant. Playing for Thaire Muktar at De La Salle, he helped lead the team to a state championship as a junior, helping him earn his first of two selections to the All-State first team and the Michigan Dream Team. The son of Frederick and Loretta Thompson, Thompson also played for Davis on the Vardar Stars.
"Defenders Kolt Martin and Matt Cebula are both athletic and skillfull, while midfielders Spencer Thompson and Nosa Iyoha are excellent both offensively and defensively, while also displaying great work rates," Baum said. "Goalkeeper Jeremy Clark is solid in all aspects of his game, displaying a player's maturity well beyond his years."
The Spartans finished the 2006 season 10-6-2 overall and 1-3-2 in the Big Ten. The team made waves with two major upsets, defeating No. 3 New Mexico, 1-0, on Sept. 1 and No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth, 1-0, on Sept. 8. The program also has just been the recipient of a $750,000 contribution from Doug and Valerie DeMartin of Summit, N.J., to renovate the soccer stadium at Old College Field.
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