Men's Soccer Recruiting Class Garners National Ranking

Philadelphia – The 2005 University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer recruiting class has been ranked 30th in the nation by Collegesoccernews.com, it was announced Wednesday. Penn is the only Ivy League school represented on the list.

The Class of 2009, consisting of ten freshmen and one transfer, will help replenish a roster that lost9 seniors to graduation last year. All11 have seen outstanding success with Olympic Development Programs, club and high school teams.

A pair of forwards join the squad in Michael Klein (Brookfield, Wisc.) and Omid Shokoufandeh (Los Angeles, Calif.). Klein was a Region II ODP team member and recently led FC Milwaukee to a berth in the U-18 nationals, while Shokoufandeh is a player for the Cal-South ODP and has been in the Region IV Olympic Development pool.

In the midfield, Josh Baugh (Dale City, Calif.), Andrew Chesser (Henderson, Nev.), Alex Grendi (Huntington, N.Y.) and Kevin Unger (Menomonee Falls, Wisc.) will wear the Red and Blue this season. Baugh is a former Cal-North ODP member who helped lead his club team Santa Rosa United to a berth in the national championships. Chesser is a former member of the Nevada ODP, while Grendi is a current member of the Region I Olympic Development team. Unger, a Regional II ODP pool member who joins high school teammate Michael Klein at Penn, led his high school team to a state title in 2003.

Sophomore defender Keith Vereb (Bowie, Md.) is the lone transfer, coming to Penn from Maryland, where he appeared in five games last year. Joining him on the backline are freshmen John Elicker (West Chester, Pa.), Andrew Ferry (Wyndmoor, Pa.) and Ryan Porch (Marlton, N.J.). Elicker is a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP and captain of the state champion FC Delco Black club team. Ferry was also an Eastern Pennsylvania ODP team member while Porch played for the Region I Olympic Development Team.

Drew Healy (Wilmington, Del.) is the lone goalkeeper in the Class of 2009. He has been a Delaware ODP member since 1999 and he helped his club team Concord Roma to three straight state titles.

“With nine players graduating this year, our coaching staff worked very hard to identify a group of student-athletes that could carry on what those nine young men have started,” eighth-year Head Coach Rudy Fuller noted. “The departing class captured the 2002 Ivy League Championship, participated in the 2002 NCAA Tournament, and also led the team to a national ranking in the NSCAA Top-25 each of the past three years. It was imperative that we bring in a large, talented group and fortunately for us, we’ve been able to do that with this recruiting class. These young men are anxious to join our program and are eager to help Penn soccer succeed in the years ahead.”

The men’s soccer team will begin the 2005 campaign at Temple on Sept. 6 at 3:30 p.m.

-Written by Tim Flynn, athletic communications assistant