UCLA head coach Jorge Salcedo has landed the top-ranked recruiting class in the country for the second year in a row, signing seven standouts to National Letters of Intent.
Four of the seven players in this class hail from the state of California, with one player coming from Washington, another coming from Ghana, and one other hailing from Virginia. In addition, five players have either competed for or trained with the U.S. Youth National Team, with two players earning caps for the team. Also, six of the seven players in this class are ranked among the top 150 recruits in the country according to both College Soccer News and Top Drawer Soccer.
The Bruins have already added forward Larry Ndjock from Loyola University Maryland as a part of this class, as he enrolled at UCLA in the winter and has already joined the program.
"The 2014 class is one that we are very proud of," head coach Jorge Salcedo said. "The group of guys that will be joining the UCLA Soccer family will have a tremendous impact both on and off the field. Throughout the recruiting process it became apparent that they were a special group because of their talents as soccer players, but also because of their desire to be the best they can be in all facets of their lives. This class absolutely addresses some of our needs for the 2014 season and we could potentially add more players down the road for this class. Each of them have a technical base that we require to play the dominant possession style we attempt to achieve game in and game out. The electric pace that will come from the attacking players in this group will add a dimension that will allow us to vary the way we attack teams. This is very exciting for us, because the 2014 class will join a team that brings back several integral players from a successful 2013 season.""
This is the fifth time that Salcedo has brought in the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in his tenure as UCLA head coach, signing the top-rated classes in 2004, 2006, 2010, 2013 and now 2014. The Bruins have also won six Pac-12 titles under Salcedo's leadership, have been to two College Cups (2006 and 2011) and have reached the NCAA Quarterfinals four times (2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011). In addition, Salcedo has been named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year on four occasions and has produced 22 MLS Draft picks in his 10 years as head coach. UCLA opened its spring spring schedule this past Wednesday with a closed door scrimmage against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
2014 UCLA Men’s Soccer Signing Class
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown||Previous School/Club Team|
|Seyi Adekoya||F||5-11||170||Seattle, Wash.||Lakeside School/Seattle Sounders Academy|
|Christian Chavez||F||5-11||170||Fontana, Calif.||A.B. Miller HS/LA Galaxy Youth Academy|
|William Cline||MF||5-10||165||Irvine, Calif.||University HS/Pateadores|
|Abu Danladi||F||5-10||175||Takoradi, Ghana||Dunn HS/Santa Barbara Soccer Club|
|Chase Gasper||D||6-0||180||Alexandria, Va.||Gonzaga College HS/Bethesda-Olney Academy|
|John Requejo Jr.||D||5-8||145||Carpinteria, Calif.||Carpinteria HS/Real SoCal|
|Joab Santoyo||MF||5-10||156||Chino Hills, Calif.||A.B. Miller HS/Arsenal FC Academy|
Click on each player's name to see a photo of him signing his letter of intent.
Seattle, Wash. (Lakeside School/Seattle Sounders Academy)
Forward - 5-11, 170
Earned three varsity letters in soccer at the Lakeside School (Lakeside, Wash.) under head coaches Mark Szabo and José Quiray...logged 26 goals and 11 assists in his three-year varsity career at Lakeside...rated as a three-star recruit by Top Drawer Soccer...received first-team WSSCA 3A All-State and All-Metro League honors in 2013...also earned All-Metro League honors in 2012...competed for the Seattle Sounders Academy team...ranked as the fastest player in the Seattle Sounders Academy.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “Seyi may be the sleeper of our class after we identified him at our summer camp. He is arguably the best central forward in the state of Washington and the fastest player in the Seattle Sounders Academy. Seyi is another player with tremendous raw pace who can keep teams honest with his ability to run behind and score goals while also checking underneath to combine and link play. We are very excited that Seyi decided to become a Bruin.”
Fontana, Calif. (A.B. Miller HS/LA Galaxy Youth Academy)
Forward - 5-11, 170
Earned a varsity letter in soccer at A.B. Miller High School in Fontana, Calif...has trained with the U.S. Youth National Team... ranked No. 88 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014…rated as a four-star recruit by Top Drawer Soccer…competed for the LA Galaxy Youth Academy, scoring nine goals in 26 matches...reached the Manchester Cup and National semifinals with club team Real SoCal...also led the LA Galaxy Youth Academy to the Generation Adidas Cup semifinals.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “Christian is a proven goal scorer in the US Development Academy, having found success with both the Real SoCal Academy and the LA Galaxy Academy. Chavez has the ability to play multiple positions in the attack and his ideas and execution in the final third will help our team for years to come. Christian knows how to compete for playing time as he currently plays on of the the most talented youth teams in the country in the LA Galaxy Academy. He gives us another four years of having a Chavez in our program after his brother, Victor, was drafted by the Portland Timbers this year after scoring some very big goals for UCLA.”
Irvine, Calif. (University HS/Pateadores Academy)
Midfielder - 5-10, 165
Attended University High School in Irvine, Calif., earning one letter in soccer as a freshman on varsity in 2010-11…led University to a second place finish in the Pacific Coast League and an appearance in the second round of the CIF Southern Section Playoffs in 2011, scoring three goals and recording six assists… ranked No. 115 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014…rated as a four-star recruit by Top Drawer Soccer…has trained with the U.S. Youth National Team…competed for the Pateadores Academy club team in 2011-12 and 2013-14…also played for club team Bristol F.C. England in 2012-13…captained Pateadores to two Dallas Cup quarterfinals…captain of the United States Region IV team in 2010…captained the Region IV team in the Florida Regional Showcase, leading the team against the youth academies of Costa Rica’s Premiere Division Teams: Liga Deportiva, Alajuelense, Brujas F.C. de Desamparados, Club Sport Herediano, and Deportivo Saprissa…also was named to the All-Star team of Florida Showcase… Alajuela and Saprissa teams recognized Will as Region IV’s “Man-of-the-Match” from their respective matches…served as the captain of the Cal South Olympic Development Program 2010...captained the team to a semifinal finish in the Nike Manchester United Cup in Oregon...captained Pateadores to the 2011-12 Academy Playoffs, with the team finishing as the 5th best team in the nation...starting center midfielder for the Bristol City F.C. England U-18s and Reserve Squad during 2012-2013 season…helped Bristol reach the fourth round of the 2012-13 FA Youth Cup.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “Will is a technically sound central midfielder with great feet and a quick soccer brain who was in the plans with Bristol City (England). Will was the MVP of our UCLA summer camp and demonstrated his speed of play and ability to break down defenses through his clean passing. He is another sleeper who was off most people’s radar. We think Will has a huge upside and we couldn’t be more excited that he turned down a professional contract to become a student-athlete at UCLA.”
Takoradi, Ghana (Dunn HS/Santa Barbara Soccer Club)
Forward - 5-10, 175
Attended Dunn High School (Los Olivos, Calif.) for four years (2011-14), earning three letters in soccer under head coach Mark Geriak... ranked No. 22 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014… also ranked as the No. 29 club player in the country by Top Drawer Soccer…earned All-CIF honors in 2012 and 2013…named the team MVP in both 2012 and 2013 and the team captain in 2013 and 2014…competed for the Santa Barbara Soccer Club under head coach Rudy Ybarra…led Santa Barbara SC to a number six national ranking…served as a guest player for the South Coast Strikers in the summer of 2012…played for the South Coast Strikers at the 2012 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland…was the second leading scorer in the tournament, scoring seven goals, including four against Tottenham Hotspur’s academy team…graduate of Ghana’s Right to Dream program, which helps young men from Ghana further their education with opportunities in the United States and other countries…also earned a letter in volleyball at Dunn High School in 2012.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “Abu is not only a wonderful player but a great person who brings out the best in everyone around him. His experience scoring internationally against some of the best youth academies in the world is significant. Abu comes from the Right to Dream program and is breath of fresh air, as he’s extremely appreciative and grateful for every opportunity presented to him. He doesn’t know the meaning of entitled and always puts the team first. Abu is an electric forward who has the pace and intelligence to stretch the game with the ability pull a rabbit out of a hat to win games. Adding Abu’s raw pace to our attack will add a different dimension from our successful teams the past few years and he’s someone we are very excited to blend into our group. Abu will be a wonderful ambassador for UCLA soccer both on and off the field.”
Alexandria, Va. (Gonzaga College HS/Bethesda-Olney Academy)
Defender - 6-0, 180
Attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C… earned two varsity letters under head coach Scott Waller…helped Gonzaga win WCAC championship in 2012…consistent member of the U.S. U-18 National Team…competed for the U.S. at the 2013 Limoges Tournament in France…also competed in the 2014 Copa Del Atlantico in Las Palmas, Spain…selected to the 2013 U.S. Nike National Combine at Nike Headquarters in Portland, Oregon…ranked No. 39 on Top Drawer Soccer’s Top 150 Recruits for 2014…also ranked No. 33 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014…member of the Bethesda-Olney Soccer Academy under head coach Matt Pilkington…helped team win the 2012 Dallas Cup…competed in a friendly tournament with Bethesda-Olney, playing against the Fulham U18’s, Queens Park Rangers U18’s, and Leyton Orient’s U18’s.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “Chase is currently a consistent performer with the U.S. U-18 national team and has played against Spain and France on international soil while spending time training at Fullham. He has a great defensive mentality and winning fabric to his character that helps him strive to be great. Chase will make marauding runs down the left flank as a wingback to join the attack and give our group width. We are very excited to continue to push and mentor Chase to reach his full potential."
John Requejo Jr.
Carpinteria, Calif. (Carpinteria HS//Real SoCal)
Defender - 5-8, 145
Attended Carpinteria High School (Carpinteria, Calif.) and Saint Stephens Episcopal School (Carpinteria, Calif.) for two years apiece…ranked No. 2 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014… also ranked as the No. 8 club player in the country by Top Drawer Soccer…extensive member of the U.S. Youth National Team, playing for the U-14, U-15, U-17, U-18 and U-20 teams...netted his first career U.S. U-17 MNT goal on June 25, 2012 against Costa Rica on at the Copa Saprissa Internacional Tournament in San Jose, Calif…has earned 38 caps for the U.S. U-17 MNT, recording several assists as well…competed at the 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Qualifiers…also played at the 2011 Nike International Friendlies, leading the U.S. U-17 MNT to the tournament championship…two-time NSCAA All-American…ranked the No. 1 defender in the country by Top Drawer Soccer…ranked as the No. 2 overall player in Southern California by Top Drawer Soccer as well…earned a varsity letter as a freshman at Carpinteria in 2010-11, playing attacking midfield…earned first-team All-CIF and Tri-Valley League honors…led Carpinteria to the CIF Division 5 Finals, scoring five goals and recording seven assists…participated for the Cal-South ODP and Regional IV ODP teams…captained Region IV ODP to the 2011 Championship…member of the P3-Peak Performance Project…competed for the Santa Barbara Soccer Club and Real SoCal U-16 and U-18 Academy teams.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: “John was the first member of our 2014 recruiting class to commit to UCLA. He is a versatile left-sided player who has extensive experience with the U.S. U-17, U-18 and U-20 National Team. His technique on the ball will allow him to thrive in our possession based attacking system as either a left winger or a left back. John understands how to compete against elite players and will continue to push himself to reach new heights while at UCLA. He is a also humble competitor who are we very excited to push and mold as we chase championships.”
Chino Hills, Calif. (A.B. Miller HS/Arsenal FC Academy)
Midfielder - 5-10, 156
Attended A.B. Miller High School (Fontana, Calif.) for four years, earning a varsity letter in soccer under head coach Josh Brown… ranked No. 65 on College Soccer News’s list of Top 150 Recruits for 2014…also ranked as the No. 48 club player in the country by Top Drawer Soccer…traveled with the U.S. U-14 and U-15 Youth National Teams through all trips, including international trips to Mexico and Croatia…invited to the U.S. U-18 National Combine in Portland, Oregon in 2013...competed for the Arsenal Academy FC club team…served as the captain of the U-15, U-15/16 and U-17/18 Academy Teams…led Arsenal to the Academy playoffs in each of the last two seasons…served as A.B. Miller’s captain for the majority of his freshman season...received best goal of the year and co-MVP honors.
Head coach Jorge Salcedo: "Joab is the captain and leader of his Arsenal Academy Team. He is a quick thinking central player with good passing range and youth national team experience. Joab is as equally talented in the classroom as he has above a 4.0 GPA and holds himself to the highest standards both on and off the field. He is exactly what we look for when recruiting as he’s an elite student in the classroom and technically proficient with a good understanding of how to keep the ball rolling forward."