March 27, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--UAB men's soccer head coach Mike Getman announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent this week.
The signees include James Ngoe, Lars Willemse, Henrigue Sposito, Joseph Rund, Chandler Stroupe and Rami Dajani.
"I am very pleased with this group of players," Getman said. "I think they will make us a better team right away. We have had several top-20 recruiting classes in a row and I think this class fits right up there. We have been in the hunt for conference and national honors the past two years, and this recruiting class will help us achieve our goals."
Ngoe, a center midfielder, attended Dixons City Academy in Bradford, England, and played for several youth clubs, most recently the Bradford City FC. Ngoe also played for Huddersfield Town AFC, and appeared in many games in the FA Premier Academy League.
"James comes to us with a level of experience that is hard to find," Getman said. "He has played in a very demanding environment that will allow him to make a quick transition to college soccer. He is very quick with great touch and a tenacious attitude. I expect great things from him right away."
Willemse, a versatile defender from Wageningen, Netherlands, attended VWO for his high school education, and has played for the Vitesse FC youth team for the past seven years. The club is one of the top youth academies in Holland.
"Lars has played in a very demanding environment and been successful at the highest level," Getman said. "He has the versatility to play in several positions. I expect him to fight for a starting position right away."
Sposito is another center midfielder, and attended Colegio Imaculada Campinas in his home country of Brazi, has played on several youth clubs and was a member of America FC when they won the U-20 National Championship in 2011.
"Henrique is a very skillful player who brings a typical Brazilian flair to the game," Getman said. "I expect him to play a big role in our team."
The first of the recruits from the United States, Rund is a center back from St. Louis, Mo., where he attended Saint Louis University High School, who was the first-ever junior team captain in the school's history. Rund was a starter in each of his first three seasons, and earned all-state, all-metro and all-conference honors each season.
A member of the National Honor Society, Rund played club soccer for Tim Regan's St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri U-18 Academy team.
"Joe is a great leader and a complete player who has developed in one of the best youth systems in the country," Getman said. "He will add needed depth to our defensive line."
Stroupe, a defender from Birmingham, Ala., attended Oak Mountain High School and played for coach Ryan Patridge. He is currently playing in his senior season, and was tabbed with all-state, all-metro, and all-county honors following the 2012 season. Stroupe and his team were 6A state champions in 2011, and a finalist in 2012.
A member of the National Honor Society, Stroupe also plays for the Vestavia Soccer Club, which won the state championship in 2012. Stroupe led the team to Region 3 Premier League Championships in both 2011 and 2012.
"Chandler has all the tools to become a big-time player," Getman said. "He has size, speed and skills. I expect him to develop into one of our team leaders."
Rounding out the 2013 class is Dajani, a forward from Niles, Ill. Dajani played for coach Vic DiPrizio at Main East High School, and was tabbed with all-conference and all-state honors in 2012. Dajani was named team MVP following his junior and senior seasons, and has been installed in the Main East High School Hall of Fame.
In 2012, Dajani scored a school record 31 goals, and posted 88 in his career. He was the team's leading scorer every year. Dajani also plays club soccer with JaHbat in Chicago, coached by Kevin Francis.
"Rami is a very exciting player," Getman said. "He is quick, skillful and knows where the goal is. I expect him to make an immediate impact."