JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The JU men’s soccer team has begun to fill holes in the roster by signing 13 players for the upcoming season. Head coach Ryan Pratt and his staff has stayed busy since the end of the season hitting the recruiting trails hard. This will be the first full offseason that Pratt and the coaching staff have had to properly recruit as he was brought in last February.
“I am really pleased not only with the quality of our incoming class, but how well they will complement the returning players next season,” said Pratt. “We have addressed some very specific needs within our team, while also adding considerable depth to the roster. It's imperative we bring the right kind of student-athletes into our program and university. We have worked hard to create a challenging yet rewarding environment as we continue to strive towards changing the culture of this program. This is a hard working group of young men. Each possesses a great attitude; each is excited about the vision of the program and each is not only committed but also motivated by the challenge that lies ahead as we re-establish this program on the regional and national levels. As we look to add two or three more student athletes to this class, I want to thank my assistant coaches (Coach Eason and Coach Dailey) for their hard work in assembling this class of student athletes.”
Marc Meny – 6’2, Bethlehem Catholic High School (Phillipsburg, N.J.)
A transfer from Quinnipiac University, Meny comes to Jacksonville after spending one season with the Bobcats. He was a four year starter playing a majority of his high school career in the net at Bethlehem Catholic. His senior season he was named team MVP and was an All-Area honorable mention.
Liam O’Connor – 6’0, Mullen High School (Evergreen, Colo.)
Starting in every game his senior season, O’Connor led the school to its first ever soccer championship title. He was named team MVP and selected to the all-conference and all-state first teams. O’Connor is also a member of the Colorado Rush academy team where they were 2008 and 2009 state champions.Defenders
Mathias Axelsson – 5’9, Hartford University (Jorlanda, Sweden)
Axelsson started 37 of 38 games in his first two years at Hartford University registering a total of six assists. Before his year at Hartford, he spent a season at the University of Gothenburg. He had success on various clubs leading the teams in scoring and represented Sweden on the under 18 national team in 2009.
Dylan Christie – 6’0, IMG Academy (Nassau, Bahamas)
Hailing from the Bahamas, Christie has spent time with the Bahamas national team including world cup qualifying as well as helping IMG reach the academy league playoffs. He was named the MVP of his team his senior season.
Kevan Wright – 5’11, Bartram Trail High School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Wright was a four-year starter at Bartram Trail High School where he was named to the All St. Johns River Athletic Conference team twice. As a senior and team captain, he helped lead his team to a district semi-finals appearance and was selected to play in the All-State game.
Christopher Azar – 5’6, Bishop Kenny High School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Azar was a three year starter at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville where he played midfield. The Crusaders won the district the past three seasons. He was a member of the Jacksonville FC team that won the Florida state cup and was a regional finalist in 2012.
Jack Burns – 5’9, Crofton (Portsmouth, England)
Burns was a member of the Portsmouth FC academy team from 2008-2012. Prior to Portsmouth, he was a member of the Chelsea FC Academy from 2005-2008.
Miguel De La Fuente – 5’8, The Futeca School (Guatemala, Guatemala)
Miguel comes to JU after playing for Futeca in Guatemala. He led Futeca to a semi-final finish at the prestigious San Diego Surf Cup. De La Fuente was also a member of Guatemala’s Under 20 National team.
Amr Mortagy – 6’0, Clemson University (Cairo, Egypt)
After spending his freshman season at Clemson, Mortagy is transferring to JU. Prior to Clemson, he played at the American International School as well as for the Al Ahly Football Club. His team finished second in the league in 2009 and first in 2010. Mortagy also was a member of the U18 Egyptian National Team.
Riley Perrin – 5’11, Bishop Kenny High School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Perrin started his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons at Bishop Kenny helping them reach the regional finals his senior season. In his last season, Perrin was team captain and named the MVP after recording 12 goals and 15 assists. He was also a member of the JFC team that was ranked second in the state and sixth in the region.
Adam Stenson – 6’0, The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
A four year starter, Stenson helped lead his team to the state championship this past season finishing with four goals and eight assists during his senior campaign. He started every game on three straight district title teams. Stenson is also a member of JFC winning the Florida State Cup and the Disney Soccer Showcase Championship in 2011. He also led the team to a Southern Regional runner-up finish in 2012.
Kacper Grzeszczak – 5’10, Mandarin High School (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Hailing from Poland, Grzeszczak played high school soccer at the local Mandarin High School. He led his team to the conference championship where he was named to the all-star team. As a junior, the Mustangs were state runner-ups and Grzeszczak was named the High School 5A Dairy Farmer Player of the Year. He was also a member of JFC.
Alejandro Zelaya – 6’0, Colegio Valle Verde (Guatemala, Guatemala)
Zelaya comes to JU after playing for Colegio Valle Verde in Guatemala. He helped lead his team to the state championship his junior season. Zelaya was also a member of the U17 Guatemala National Team.