Men's soccer announces 2006 recruiting class

Aug. 1, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With training camp starting next week, the Jacksonville University men's soccer team has signed of 11 players who will join the Dolphins in 2006.

Making up the new faces for the Dolphins in 2006 are forward/midfielder Sebastian Lindholm (Taby, Sweden), midfielder Stefan Runeman (Jonsred, Sweden), defender Patrick Rundio (Lonsee, Germany), defender/midfielder Eddie Munnley (London, England), midfielder Ramak Niakan safi (Jacksonville, Fla.), goalie John Mills (Indianapolis, Ind.), goalie Matt Gilman (Ocala, Fla.), goalie Jason Paulsen (Jacksonville, Fla.), midfielder Andy Vassilo (Brownsburg, Ind.), midfielder/forward Matt Hoffman (Bridgeport, Conn.) and forward Jason Saunders (Rockledge, Fla.)

"I am very excited about this group," said JU head coach Mike Johnson. "They bring a unique blend of experience and talent. We definitely addressed our needs based on last year's team."

Lindholm, Niakansfai and Vassilo each come to JU as transfers for the 2006 season.

Lindholm, who spent his freshman season at the University of South Carolina, was voted the offensive MVP after leading the Gamecocks with seven goals and six assists in 2004.

"Sebastian is a very technical player who has already proven himself at the Division I level," Johnson said. "He is versatile and can play either midfield or striker positions."

Niakan safi played the 2005 season as a freshman at Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga. Niakasafi was a teammate of senior Tommy Krizanovic while they played locally for Englewood High School. During his time with the Rams, he earned 3A Player of the Year accolades.

"Ramak is a very dynamic and creative player with the ball at his feet," said Johnson. "He can play as an attacking midfielder or as a striker and is a very good one-on-one player with good speed."

From the oversea ranks, the Dolphins added Runeman, Rundio and Munnely. Runeman joins the Dolphins after playing his high school ball in Sweden, while Rundio was a teammate of current Dolphin, Phillip Meyner, in Ulm, Germany. Munnley played in London, England for the Middlesex youth team. From 2005-06, he spent the club season with the Fort Wayne Fever in Indiana.

The Dolphins also add a very talented class of freshman from America, which is highlighted by the program's first-ever high school All-America honoree.

Mills earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America high school All-America selection honors in 2005 while playing at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Ind. He also helped his school win the state championship and earned first team all-state accolades as a goalkeeper.

Gilman was a letterwinner at Ocala Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. An athletic 6-foot-3 goalie, he led his club team to a berth in the 2006 Florida State Club Final Four.

Paulsen played locally for Bishop Kenney High School in 2005. He earned Florida Times-Union first team honors while also spending time on his club team, the Jacksonville Fury.

Saunders, an athletic forward, was a three sport athlete at Rockledge High School in Rockledge, Fla. and Hoffman comes to the Dolphins after playing prep soccer in Connecticut. He also was a member of Connecticut's 88 Olympic Development Program state team as a midfielder.

"This class along with our group returning, should give us a great opportunity to compete day in and out to accomplish our goal of winning the 2006 Atlantic Sun Championship," said Johnson.

The Dolphins open the 2006 season on the road at UNC-Greensboro at 7 p.m. on Friday Aug. 25, in Greensboro, N.C.