ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis head men's soccer coach Mike McGinty today announced the Billikens' 2012 recruiting class. The 11 standouts, which include a pair of St. Louis natives who are transferring from other Division I institutions, begin their eligibility in the fall.
The two transfers are Richie Hoffman (St. Louis, Mo./SLUH/Loyola Chicago) and Josh Kohring (St. Louis, Mo./Webster Groves/SIUE). The incoming freshmen are Donte Brangman (Bermuda/Montverde [Fla.] Academy), Patrick Conroy (O'Fallon, Mo./DeSmet), Tyler David (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville), Isaac Fraley (Tulsa, Okla./Jenks), David Graydon (Kildare, Ireland/Montverde [Fla.] Academy), Khalil Karl (Lockhart, Texas/Lockhart), Jair Minors (Bermuda/Montverde [Fla.] Academy), Dirk van der Velde (Turlock, Calif./Pitman) and Evan Wright (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley).
"I want to give credit to assistant coaches Jason O'Keefe and Mark Santel for doing a good job hitting the streets and identifying these players," McGinty said. "We believe these are championship-caliber players. We are confident that this group is going to leave a lasting impression on the program. We firmly believe this is as good as any recruiting class anywhere in the country. They are going to add a lot to the talented team we already have."
Richie Hoffman - MF - St. Louis, Mo. / SLUH / Loyola Chicago
Hoffman transfers to SLU from Loyola Chicago with four years of eligibility after taking a redshirt season last year ... his senior season at SLUH, tabbed the 2010 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year ... helped the junior Billikens to a third-place state finish his senior year ... named NSCAA All-Region and was a member of the 2010 ESPN Rise All-Missouri Team ... two-time All-State selection ... was prep teammates with current Billiken Nick Maglasang.
McGinty on Hoffman: "Richie is a tough midfielder from SLUH. He is good with the ball and we are excited to have him on the team. He is rehabbing from injury and may not play with us in the spring, but we are excited for his future as a Billiken."
Josh Kohring - MF - St. Louis, Mo. / Webster Groves / SIUE
Kohring appeared in eight games last year for the Cougars and enters the program with three years of eligibility ... two-time All-Conference pick and Scholar-Athlete at Webster Groves High School ... member of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher US Soccer Development Academy squad.
McGinty on Kohring: "Josh is a great addition for us. We are happy to have him in the program as we recruited him out of high school. He has good size and will contribute in the midfield. He is also an exceptional student and is exactly the type of student-athlete we are looking for."
Donte Brangman - MF - Bermuda / Montverde Academy
Brangman is an ESPN Rise Top 150 recruit from Montverde Academy under the direction of Mike Potempa ... helped take his high school to an ESPN Rise National Championship ... is a member of the Bermuda National team ... was high school teammates with fellow Billiken newcomers Jair Minors and David Graydon.
McGinty on Brangman: "Dante is a complete all-around player, and he's comfortable in a number of positions. He's got a lot of good qualities. It is going to be a fun thing for us as a staff to get to know him as a player. He has great upside and a lot of ability. I'm looking forward to working with him."
Patrick Conroy - MF/DEF - St. Louis, Mo. / DeSmet
Conroy comes to the Billikens from DeSmet, where he was under the tutelage of Greg Vitello, Steve Fuchs and former Billiken Josh Aranda ... plays club soccer for nationally ranked Lou Fusz Gold coached by Don Popovic ... as a senior, was named captain and led the Spartans to the 2011 Missouri state championship with a 25-4-1 record ... earned first team All-State accolades ... also the captain of his club team, which went to the state cup championship, Region II championships and competed in the USYSA National League ... his uncle, Don Aubuchon, played for Saint Louis from 1974-77.
McGinty on Conroy: "Pat is a great example of the type of young man we want: great character, great leadership and great academics. He gives us everything we could ask for on the field. He's a natural leader and a natural winner, leading DeSmet to a state title and being a leader for Lou Fusz here in town. He's a guy that has played every single position, and finds a way to always be on the winning team. We are really excited to have him here."
Tyler David - MF/DEF - Minneapolis, Minn. / Lakeville North
David plays for the Minnesota Thunder US Soccer Academy under coach John Lowery, where he has been the team captain for five years ... in 2011, played in 23 matches, accruing four goals ... father was the National American Soccer League Player of the Year ... mother played college soccer at Arizona State
McGinty on David: "Tyler is a fantastic kid and a great athlete. Academically, he is off the charts. Tyler is positive, confident and comfortable playing in a number of positions. He has a good soccer background; both his parents were elite players. I'm excited to see him in our environment to see where it takes him. He has a great upside and potential."
Isaac Fraley - DEF - Tulsa, Okla. / Jenks
Fraley is a second-team All-State selection from Jenks High School under coach John Timmons ... was a member of the Tulsa Soccer Club Hurricane, coached by Steve Earle, that won five Oklahoma state championships ... his club team finished fourth in the national championship in Phoenix and won the 2011 US Youth National League Championship.
McGinty on Fraley: "Isaac is a kid we identified about a year and a half ago. He came to our ID camp, and we got to work with him pretty closely. He is tough and a hard worker. He has great academics, great character and gives us a defender with some toughness that we're looking for."
David Graydon - MF - Kildare, Ireland / Montverde Academy
Graydon is another standout from Montverde Academy in Florida under the direction of Mike Potempa ... an ESPN Rise All-American, top 150 recruit, ESPN Player of the Week and league MVP ... scored 10 goals and had 18 assists for Montverde, which finished the year with a 23-0-4 record and the POWERADE FAB 50 No. 1 ranking for winter high schools ... in the off-season, competed in the prestigious MILK Cup in Northern Ireland.
McGinty on Graydon: "David is a big-time player. He is creative with a great attitude and a great mentality. He is someone that I enjoy watching play, and I am excited to get to work with him. I really look forward to being a part of his development.
Khalil Karl - MF/DEF - Austin, Texas / Lockhart
Karl was a member of the Lonestars SC of the US Soccer Academy led by Bruce Talbot ... helped the Lonestars to a third-place finish in the USSF Development Academy in 2011-12 ... as a junior at Lockhart, scored four goals in a district game, finishing the season with 26 tallies.
McGinty on Karl: "Khalil is the exact kind of player we want in our program. He's an absolute star in the classroom, in the community and on the field. He has natural leadership qualities. Having him in our program is going to be great for us."
Jair Minors - MF/F - Bermuda / Montverde Academy
One of three members of the Montverde Academy, under the direction of Mike Potempa, to commit to Saint Louis ... played for the Bermudan National Team with fellow signee Donte Brangman ... has elite speed, expected to be one of the fastest athletes on the Billikens ... helped Montverde to a 23-0-4 as a senior.
McGinty on Minors: "Jair is an exciting player who will help us in our attack. For Bermuda, he's played as a forward or as an attacking midfielder. He has electric pace and a knack for the goal. He really brings an element that we were lacking as far as a dynamic, attacking player."
Dirk van der Velde - DEF - Turlock, California / John H. Pittman
Van der Velde is a defender from Turlock, California ... played for the Turlock F.C. under Dana Taylor ... club team was ranked seventh in the nation in 2011 ... his father, Chris van der Velde, was a professional golfer and was named the top golfer in Holland several time.
McGinty on van der Velde: "Dirk has a great background. He is from Holland but has been in the United State for a number of years. He is a tough player with a great soccer IQ. He's very self-motivated and a guy that will give us everything he has every day of the week."
Evan Wright - GK - Kansas City, Mo. / Blue Valley
Wright is a keeper for Sporting KC Soccer Academy, playing under John Perry and Paul Rideout ... a 2011 NSCAA High School All-American at Blue Valley High School under K. Dean Snell ... as a senior, notched six shutouts and recorded 182 saves.
McGinty on Wright: "Evan is a great person and a great goalkeeper. He plays club for Sporting Kansas City, and I know they have high hopes for him. He is an excellent student and the type of player we want in the program - someone who may get a degree in engineering and work long-term in that field, or become a professional goalkeeper. That's the kind of kid he is. He has a great attitude and a great upside."