Last week the UNM men’s soccer program announced six members of the 2015 recruiting class, a group that has big shoes to fill, as four former Lobos are currently in preseason with MLS clubs and a fifth is on trial with the USL LA Galaxy II.
Two or three additional players are expected to sign in the upcoming months.
“Through the efforts of associate head coach Paul Souders and assistant coach Mike Graczyk, we have attracted outstanding young men to the University of New Mexico,” head coach Jeremy Fishbein said.
With the bar set high, Fishbein said the new players made the cut due to their “excellence in the classroom, excellence in the community and excellence on the playing field.” These three attributes, Fishbein said, define the program.
First on the list is Yuri Domiciano, a 6-foot defender from Brazil. Domiciano was an NSCAA Junior College First Team All-American at Iowa Western Community College last season. He transferred to UNM this spring semester and has gotten a head start on working with the Lobos.
Fishbein said to win games you not only need to score, but also prevent other teams from scoring. To achieve this the team needs a strong defense, so he expects Domiciano to replace defender Mathew Gibbons, who will be graduating this spring.
The other defender coming in is New Mexico native Aaron Herrera. Herrera spent the last three years with MLS Real Salt Lake’s academy in Casa Grande, Arizona.
“Aaron is a quality player,” Fishbein said. “He spent some time with the under-18 national team, and he’s played against the best competition in the country. He’ll be a kid ready to come in and compete from day one.”
The recruiting class also includes three midfielders. Two of them are Europeans who have represented professional clubs in their native countries: Kasper Kajermo and Simon Spangenberg.
Kajermo, a native of Sweden, played for Hammarby IF’s U19 and U21 teams. Fishbein said he is a “dynamic two-way player” who has a “real sense of professionalism.”
Spangenberg, who’s originally from Belgium, spent the last two seasons on the U21 team of Waasland-Beveren in Belgium’s first division. Fishbein described him as a player with an “incredible feel for the game.”
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The third midfielder is Devin Boyce. He comes from the Scott Gallagher Soccer Club in St. Louis, Missouri and was consistently among the team’s most influential players. His father, Barney Boyce, played professionally in the , and .
The Lobos picked up goalkeeper in Andy Rios from Highlands, Texas. Rios spent the last three years with the Houston Dynamo’s academy where he trained with Michael Lisch, a former Lobo and current professional Dynamo keeper.
Fishbein said that although it is still early, he is already excited about the new players and proud of the commitment they’ve shown so far.
“This group of student-athletes will represent Albuquerque, the state of New Mexico and our University in exemplary fashion,” he said.
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @cisabelg.