TAMPA – The University of South Florida men’s soccer program announced the addition of seven players that will join the team for the 2012 season.
"We are extremely excited about the recruiting class that we signed," head coach George Kiefer said. "We feel that we have quality student-athletes both athletically as well as academically that will help us move our program towards our goal of winning a national championship."
The Bulls are coming off of a Big East Red Division Championship and a Final 8 appearance in the 2011 season, tying the program’s best ever finish in the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulls have added Edwin Moalosi, a 5-foot-5-inch forward from Otse Botswana. Molasi will join the Bulls after playing two seasons with Lincoln Junior College, where he scored 44 goals and tallied 25 assists in those two years.
After his sophomore season, Moalosi was named a NJCAA First Team All-American, and was ranked in the top 10 in the nation in goals and points.
After the success of the Tyler Junior College trio from a year ago (Dom Dwyer, Kyle Nichols and Brenton Griffiths) head coach George Kiefer has went back to Tyler to sign another standout midfielder.
Samuel Hosseini, a Cologne, Germany native, joins the Bulls as a 6-foot-1-inch midfielder who was a junior college All-America in 2011 at Tyler. Hosseini was named a NJCAA All-American and the NJCAA Scholar Athlete of the Year for all sports. He was also named the Region 24 Player of the Year after leading Tyler to a 18-1-4 record last season.
To go along with Moalosi and Hosseini, are two more transfers, Humberto Betran and Juan Carlos Garcia.
Betran is a 5-foot-6-inch forward from Mexico City, Mexico, who will join the Bulls after playing one season at Division II Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia. Betran led the team in goals (12) and points (29) as a freshman and was named to the NSCAA Division II All-Region Team as well as the All-Conference Team. Prior to Davis and Elkins, Betran played for one of the top Mexican clubs, Atlante’s Youth Team in Mexico. Betran scored 28 goals in 25 games to lead the entire league in scoring.
Garcia transfers to USF from Schoolcraft College in Michigan where the 6-foot defender led his team to an undefeated season and a Region 12 NJCAA Championship in 2012. Garcia anchored a backline that gave up just nine goals the entire season. Prior to college, Garcia played club ball with the Sub-20 San Augustin Del Caraiso, and was a member of the Districto Capital De Caracas. Garcia also attended high school at the Colegio La Salle La Colina.
The Bulls also add a pair of talented high school standouts to the mix in Matthew O’Neal and Mike Mitchell.
O’Neal comes to USF from Callaway High School in Jackson, Miss. O’Neal is one of the top center backs in the country where he played his club ball for Central Jackson Mississippi. O’Neal was also a member of the Mississippi Olympic Development Program (ODP) and the Region III ODP Team. O’Neal represented Region III internationally on several occasions. In 2010, O’Neal attended Callaway High School where he was named ‘Mr. Callaway 2011-12.’ O’Neal was also named MVP of the Callaway High School soccer team and was a four-time state champion in track and field. O’Neal was also a member of the National Honor Society.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-four-inch keeper from Bradenton, Fla. comes to USF from Braden River High School. The Florida native played three years at the IMG Soccer Academy (U.S. Soccer Development Academy) and one year with the Clearwater Chargers (U.S. Soccer Development Academy). During his junior year, Mitchell posted 17 shutouts in 23 games with a goals against average (GAA) of 0.39. Mitchell also trained with the Tottenham Hotspur in London, England during the summer of 2011.
Finally, comes Mario Mesen, a 6-foot-1-inch defender from Brujas, Costa Rica and the Universidad De Hispananoamericano. Mesen attended Colegio Monterrey during high school, and also spent time with the Costa Rican Youth National Team.
For tickets to see the 2011 Big East Champions in action, or for all news and notes about the USF men’s soccer team, visit GoUSFBulls.com or follow the team @USFMSoccer on Twitter.