Feb. 10, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Six prospects signed National Letters of Intent and will join the UAB men's soccer team for the 2014 season. This recruiting class includes five members of five different national teams and the 2013 goal-scoring leader in junior college soccer.
"This is a fantastic recruiting class that fills all of our needs," head coach Mike Getman stated. "Adding five players with national team experience along with an NSCAA All-American is very unique. I don't think there is a better class anywhere in the nation."
Michael Awaah, Lawson Crider, Mathieu Laurent, DeAndre Robinson, David Valverde, and William White all will join in 2014.
Awaah, a defensive midfielder hailing from London, England, attended St. Thomas Moore. The defensive midfielder played for several clubs in England including Arsenal Academy, Leyton Orient, and Millwall Academy. In addition, he was a member of the Ghanaian U18 National Team.
"Michael has all the tools to be an impact player," commented Getman. "He is quick, tenacious, and has great skills. I expect him to play a major role in our team."
Crider, a forward from Mayfield, Ky., played for head coach Allen Eskridge at Carl Sandburg in 2013. At Carl Sandburg, Crider led the nation in goals en route to NSCAA All-North Region First Team and NSCAA All-America First Team accolades. Prior to Carl Sandburg, the forward was at the University of Kentucky, redshirting in his only season there. He played high school soccer at Shattuk-St. Mary's and Graves County High School.
"Lawson is a great finisher," said Getman. "He has scored goals for every team he has played for. I expect him to do the same at UAB. He is also a great leader who makes the players around him better."
Laurent, a center back out of Markham, Ontario, attended ESC Renaissance and played club soccer for Vaughn Azzurri under head coach Patrice Gheisar. The center back was a member of the 2013 Canadian U17 National Team. The squad participated in 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and the 2013 U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, he was a member of the 2013 Team Ontario, winning a bronze medal at the Canada Games.
"Mathieu is a great athlete who has the skills and understanding to make an impact right away," added Getman. "He is the perfect combination of size, speed, skill, smarts, and hard work."
Robinson, an attacking midfielder hailing from Snellville, Ga., attended Brookwood High School and played club soccer for the Concorde Fire U18 Academy Team under head coach Gregg Blasingame. The No. 30 recruit in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer.com is a two-time member of the United States National Team. Robinson was a member of the U17 and U18 national teams.
"DeAndre is a top class attacking midfielder, who I expect to make a major impact on our team," said Getman. "He has everything you want in a player; skill, speed, vision, and intelligence. He will make us better right away."
Valverde, a center midfielder out of Mobile, Ala., played at Davidson High School under head coach Kevin Delange. The in-state prospect was a member of the 2013 Costa Rican U17 National Team, playing in 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Valverde has been invited to train with the Costa Rican U20 National Team this upcoming summer. In addition, the center midfielder played in the Alabama High School All-Star Game as a member of the South squad.
"David is a top class player," stated Getman. "His touch, vision, and passing make him special. His experience with the Costa Rican National Team gives him that something extra. I expect David to be an impact player right away."
White, a defensive midfielder from Bermuda, played at the University of the South in 2013 and enrolled at UAB in January 2014. He played high school soccer at St. Andrew's College in St. Aurora, Ontario under head coach David Manning. White is a two-time member of the Bermuda National Team. The defensive midfielder was a member of the U17 and U20 national teams. As a member of the U17 team, White participated in 2013 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
"Having William with us this spring is a huge advantage," concluded Getman. "He is already settling in with our team and becoming a team leader. He is quick and skillful, but also has great size. He will make a big impact on our team."
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