PHILADLEPHIA - In 2010, Penn put forth one of its best men's soccer seasons in the 106-year history of the program, winning 13 matches for just the fourth time, tying for second place behind the program-best 14 wins. Not content to rest on the success of a season which included over 549 consecutive minutes of keeping opposing teams off the scoreboard and an extra-time win in the NCAA Championships, head coach Rudy Fuller is primed to reload for the 2011 campaign with one of the most impressive recruiting classes in the annals of Penn men's soccer.
Fuller will welcome eight players to his club next fall, including three players who have played for the United States National Team in various capacities. The group includes one goalkeeper, one defender, two midfielders and four combo players whose versatility makes them dangerous at multiple positions. The Class of 2015 will descend upon University City from eight different states; including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Washington as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The player making the shortest trip to Penn's West Philadelphia campus will be goalkeeper Max Kurtzman from The Haverford School. Kurtzman hails from just up the Main Line in Bryn Mawr, Pa. and recently played for United States Under-18 Men's National Team after stints with the U-15 and U-14 teams. The No. 2 ranked goalkeeper in the country according to TopDrawerSoccer.com, Kurtzman was ranked the 17th-best overall player in the class by the same group. Kurtzman is a veteran of the renowned U.S. Development Academy program and was named the National Goalkeeper of the Year by the Development Academy in 2010 while playing for his club team, FC Delco.
Georgia native Agyeman Botchway recently added an invitation to the Under-18 Men's National Team camp to his invitation to attend Penn next fall. A player who can excel at both midfield and forward, Botchway will head to camp in February after previous time with the U-15 National Team. Botchway was heavily involved with the U.S. Development Academy, captaining the Concorde Fire U-16 and U-18 teams. A two-time Adidas ESP camp selection, Botchway was also named a Disney All-Star in 2010 and traveled to England to train at Chelsea FC.
The third Under-18 Men's National Team camp invitee who chose to attend Penn is combo forward/midfielder Duke Lacroix. A New Egypt, N.J. native who played prep soccer at Lawrenceville, Lacroix competed for the U-15 and U-14 National Teams previously. A product of the Development Academy program, Lacroix was captain of the NJSA 04 U-15/16 team in 2009. A four-time letterwinner at Lawrenceville, Lacroix led the team in scoring all four years.
"We are thrilled about our 2011 incoming class," Fuller said. "On paper, it is probably the most impressive group that we have recruited in my 13 years at Penn. It is full of talent, depth, and personality. My assistant, Rob Irvine, was instrumental in identifying these young men for our program and I think the class speaks for itself."
Fuller went on to highlight the qualities this group possesses which make him and his coaching staff excited to bring them to Penn.
"One of the things I like best about this group is the passion they have for Penn and our soccer program," said Fuller. "All of these young men are character guys with an abundance of talent. They have excelled in the classroom and on the field for their club and country. I firmly believe that it is one of the most talented incoming classes in the country and I look forward to integrating this group into our program. Fortunately, we have a tremendous group of returning players to usher these young men into our program and mentor them throughout the next year. Looking at our returners and our incoming class, I can say that the future is bright for Penn Soccer."
Introducing the Penn men's soccer Class of 2015:
Dacula, Ga./Marist School
High School: United States U-18 Men's National Team member (2011) ... United States U-15 Boys' National Team member (2008) ... ESPN RISE All-Georgia Preseason First-Team (2010) ... Played club for Atlanta Concorde Fire ... Captained U.S. Development Academy U-16 and U-18 teams ... 2010 Disney All-Star member, travelling to Chelsea FC in England ... Adidas ESP Camp selection (2008-09) ... 1993 Boys All-American (2007) ... Participated in Olympic Development Program (2007-08) ... Lettered four times at Marist School, captaining team senior season ... 2009 Georgia AAAA state champions ... 2010 Georgia AAAA state semifinalists ... National Merit finalist ... Marist National Achievement Scholarship Award winner ... Honor Roll student ... Active in community service, volunteering at UNIHEALTH Post-Acute Care and the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception St. Francis Soup Kitchen & Pantry ... Youth soccer referee.
Personal: Son of Henerietta Mono and Kingsley Botchway ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on Botchway: "Agyeman is one of the best attacking talents nationwide in the 2011 class. He was a member of the U-15 National team and has just been invited to the U-18 National Team. In addition to his national team experience, he has long been a stellar performer for his Concord Fire Development Academy team. He has incredibly soft feet for a player of his size. He passes well and looks to combine with those around him. Athletically, he is a handful. Size, pace, mobility - He's got it all. He has the potential to be one of the best players in the Ivy League. He is extremely eager to get started at Penn and we look forward to seeing him in the Red & Blue."
Weston, Fla./American Heritage School
High School: Received invitation to U-20 National Select Team of Puerto Rico (2010) ... Played for Weston FC Development Academy (2009-2011) ... Played for Weston Fury (2003 - 2009), serving as captain from 2008-09 ... Disney Showcase Top Flight Champions (2008) and Finalist (2009) ... Florida State Final Four (2007, 2008) ... US Club Regional Champions (2007) ... Florida State ODP Team (2006 - 2007 ... Super Y National Pool (2007) ... Three-year letterwinner at American Heritage School ... Captain Senior Year ... 2010 American Heritage Patriot Award for Leadership On and Off the Field ... ESPN RISE Florida Starting 11 (2010) ... National Merit Finalist ... National Hispanic Scholar ... AP Scholar with Distinction ... Biology Olympiad Semi-Finalist ... National Honor Society and National Science Honor Society member ... Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society member ... Pre-Medical Club vice president.
Personal: Son of Elaine Seibold and Ozzie deFaria.... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on deFaria: "Jason has consistently flown under the radar for a very good Weston Development Academy team. He has been a stalwart at the centerback position for Weston. He is a composed, intelligent defender that reads the game extremely well. His positional play is outstanding and his distribution is first rate. He was recently invited in with the U-20 Puerto Rican National team and I think he's got a bright future ahead of him."
Beverly Hills, Calif./Beverly Hills
High School: Played club with West Coast F.C. ... USL Super-Y League champion (2008) ... Participated in Cal South ODP (2008-09) ... Region IV ODP finalist (2009) ... Adidas ESP All-Star (2009) ... Barcelona Cup champion and tournament MVP (2008) ...Lettered four times at Beverly Hills High School ... Rookie of the Year (2008) ... Best Offensive Player (2009) ... All-Ocean League ... Finished career ranked in top-five all-time in assists at Beverly Hills High School ... Spent summer of 2008 training in Brazil at Atletico Paranaense Youth Academy ... Participated in Copa Brazil Sub-15 ... Trained with S.C. Internacional ... National Honor Society Member ... Honor Roll student.
Personal: Son of Florencia Lanus and Mariano Guerineau, Sr. ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on Gonzalez-Guerineau: "Mariano is someone we're very excited about. Prior to his arrival in the States, he turned down an invitation to the Boca Juniors youth system in Argentina and we are pleased that he did. He is a crafty, technical attacking player with outstanding quickness. He is very dangerous in 1v1 situations and is always looking to get to goal. We originally identified him at the Adidas ESP camp where he was named to the All-Star team and we have followed his progress ever since. He will fit in well with our style of play and we look forward to have him join us."
Bryn Mawr, Pa./The Haverford School
High School: No. 2 rated goalkeeper in Class of 2011 by TopDrawerSoccer.com and No. 17 overall player ... United States Under-18 Men's National Team (2009) ... United States Under-14 and Under-15 Boys' National Team (2006-08) ... U-15 National Team member for competition in Madrid, Spain (2008) ... U-14 National Team member for competition in Guadalajara, Mexico (2007) ... Two-time Adidas ESP All-Star (2008-09) ... Soccer America Rising Star (2007) ... Region I Olympic Development Team camp (2006-08) ... Eastern Pennsylvania State ODP captain (2006-08) ... Played club for FC Delco ... 2010 U-15/U-16 Development Academy National Goalkeeper of the Year (2010) ... U-15/U-16 Eastern Conference Regional Goalkeeper of the Year (2010) ... U-16 Development Academy Select National Team (2009) ... U-16 Development Academy Mid-Atlantic Regional Team (2009) ... EPYSA State Champion (2006-07) ... National League third-place finisher (2007-08) ... Nike Manchester United Premier Cup Finalist (2007) ... Five-time letterwinner, captaining his squad junior and senior seasons at The Haverford School ...Took over as starter in freshman season, finished high school career with 36 shutouts in 53 matches ... Two-time first-team All-Inter-Ac (2008-09) ... Second-team All-Inter-Ac (2007) ... Delaware County Player of the Year (2009) ... Main Line Player of the Year (2009) ... Two-time first-team All-Delaware County and All-Main Line (2008-09) ...Inter-Ac League champions (2007) ... Student Body vice president ... Haverford School Student Athletic Association president... Economics Club president ... 2008 National Spanish Exam silver medalist ... National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society member ... High Honor Roll student ... Also lettered in football and lacrosse.
Personal: Son of Amy Erlbaum and Charles "Chip" Kurtzman ... Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach Fuller on Kurtzman: "Max is the top goalkeeper in the 2011 recruiting class. He was named the US Development Academy goalkeeper of the year in 2010 and has also been a member of the U-18 National Team. Max was the first guy to jump onboard in this class and his passion for Penn and our soccer program are endless. He is an outstanding goalkeeper with tremendous shot-stopping ability. He is a natural leader and organizes his teams very well. His technical ability is so good that it is like having another field player in the back. There is no question that Max will continue the tradition of outstanding goalkeepers at Penn."
New Egypt, N.J./Lawrenceville School
High School: United States U-18 Men's National Team (2009) ... United States U-15 Boys' National Team member ... United States U-14 Boys' National Team member ... Played club for NJSA 04 in the Development Academy Program, coached by former U.S. Men's National Team player Tab Ramos ... Named captain of NJSA 04 U-15/16 team (2009) ... Four-time letterwinner at Lawrenceville ... Twice voted team captain (2009-10) ... Leading scorer at Lawrenceville all four seasons ... Mercer County Hall of Fame All-Star Invitational selection (2010) ... All-Mid-Atlantic Prep League (2007-10) ...
The Trentonian All-Prep first team (2008-09) ...
The Trentonian All-Prep second team (2010) ...
Trenton Times All-Area first team (2008-09) ... N.J. Prep All-Stars first team (2009) ... Also competed in both indoor and outdoor track and field ... Won a title at the 2010 Penn Relays in the Independent Schools 4x400 ... East Coast Relays 4x400 champion (2010) ... East Coast Relays Sprint Medley champion setting a new meet record ...
Trenton Times and
The Star-Ledger All-Prep (2010) ... Lawrentian Scholar-Athlete (2010) ... Selected by school to travel to England for a soccer/community service exchange program (2009) ... Participated in God's Child Project, helping build homes in Antigua ... Trenton After School Project counselor ... A Better Chance Scholar ... Volunteered in the nursery at Jackson Baptist Church.
Personal: Son of Mariel and Patrick Lacroix ... Enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach Fuller on Lacroix: "Duke is someone that will make an immediate impact on our program. He is a former member of the U-18 National team and has come up through the US Youth National team ranks. He may be the best athlete that I have recruited to Penn, and one of the best athletes to ever play at Penn. Duke has been a two-sport star throughout high school, and his 4x100 relay team won first place at the 2010 Penn Relays. He can play in a number of different positions in the attacking half of the field. He is a tremendous young man on and off the field and I fully expect him to make a lasting impact on our program."
Lindenhurst, Ill./Lakes Community High School
High School: Played club for Sockers FC Chicago in the United States Development Academy full-time ... Also played for Chicago Wind ... Won a State Cup championship with Chicago Wind ... Dallas Cup XXIX champion (2008) ... U-15 U.S. Soccer National League champions (2009) ... Sockers FC Top Talent participant (2009-10) ... Region II champions and national tournament qualifier ... Named to ODP Regional Team, leading all players in scoring at regional camp ... Adidas ESP camp invitee ... Participated in Chelsea FC Youth Camp, training in England ... Nike Cup selection ... Lettered twice at Lakes Community in freshman and sophomore seasons before committing to Development Academy full time ... Broke school record for most goals scored as a forward and most assists by a forward ... IHSA state semifinalist (2008) ... Spanish Club member ... Dean's List student ... Illinois State Scholar.
Personal: Son of Lisa Ghelardncci and John O'Brien ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on O'Brien: "Tom comes to us from the Sockers FC Development Academy team out of Chicago. He is another versatile attacking player who brings a lot of experience along with him. He has played a number of positions for his Sockers team and never failed to make a positive impact on the game. He's a fierce competitor with a great engine. He loves running at defenders and can be very dangerous when isolated 1v1. I love his attacking mentality and competitiveness and think he will fit in well with our team this fall."
High School: Played club soccer with Potomac Development Academy (2008-2010) ... As a member of Potomac Academy, won 2009 Disney Soccer Showcase, and lead the team by scoring four goals, including two in the final ... Prior to Potomac, played with BidVest Wits FC in South Africa (2007-2008) and Crystal Palace FC USA (2006-2007) ... Member of Maryland State ODP Team and Region 1 ODP Pool (2006-2008) ... Selected as part Region I ODP Team that participated at 2006 and 2007 Thanksgiving Interregional ... Captained Bullis his senior year ... Led Bullis in points his junior and senior seasons ... First-team All-IAC (2008-2010) ... Second-team All-Gazette (2010) ... Named in ESPN Rise Magazine (Greater D.C. Edition) Top Players (2010) ... Named Bullis Varsity Soccer Most Valuable Player (2010) ... NSCAA All-South Region Scholar (2010) ... Trained informally with Paris Saint-Germain U-17 Team (August 2009) ... "Outstanding Participant" in 2011 National Achievement Scholarship Program ... Captain of Bullis It's Academic Team ... Upper School Student Government Co-President ... One of chief organizers of Bullis' Haiti Relief Effort, which raised over $6000.
Personal: Son of Layn Saint-Louis and Renette Belizaire ... Lived in Johannesburg, South Africa during freshman year in high school ... Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach Fuller on Saint-Louis: "Kamar is someone that we saw very early in the process and identified at our Elite 300 Soccer Academy. He is one of those players that can play in any of the wide areas defensively or in the attack. His combination of pace, athleticism, and technical skill is impressive. He has been one of the top players on his Potomac Development Academy team over the past three years. He has a maturity well beyond his years and will be a great addition to our team."
Medina, Wash./Lakeside School
High School: Played club for Crossfire Development Academy ...Led Crossfire to the Development Academy U-18 championship game (2010) ... ODP National Camp invitee (2008) ... ODP Regional Camp invitee (2005-06) ... Two-time Nike Manchester United U.S. Premier Cup finalist (2007-08) ... Three-time Washington State Premier League champions (2004-05, 07) ... Three-time letterwinner at Lakeside School ... Captained team senior season ... Two-time Metro League champion (2008, 2010) ... Two-time first-team All-Metro League (2008, 2010) ... Named to Seattle Times All-Area team (2008), the first freshman ever to do so.
Personal: Son of Cindy Rintala and Frank Schott ... Sister, Jessica played soccer at Columbia, graduating in 2009 ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on Schott: "We are very pleased to have Louis join our program. I think he is one of the most underrated midfielders in the country. He helped lead his U-18 Crossfire Development Academy squad to the national championship game last summer and has been a consistent performer for them over the past few years. He is an extremely talented two-way central midfielder that is equally adept at creating opportunities and breaking up plays. I think he has the potential to make a big impact on our program."