Men's Soccer Announces 2017 Signing Class
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 05/08/2017
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

LEXINGTON, Va. – Heading into his second season at the helm, VMI men's soccer head coach Michael Bonelli announced Monday the addition of 16 newcomers to the program as his first signing class at the Institute.

“We are really excited to announce our 2017 recruiting class,” he said. “I would first like to thank our assistant coach, Charlie Hubbard, for his tireless work. Charlie is a rising star in our business and has a bright future ahead of him.

“We have made a major statement with our 2017 class. We have identified a number of needs for this coming fall and we expect this class, combined with our returning players, to build VMI into a first class Division I soccer program.

“VMI is a special place and we believe the sky is the limit. With our premier academic programs, we strongly believe we are a very attractive option for high level student-athletes nationwide.”

Below is a capsule of each incoming recruit:

Pa Alieu Ann
Position: Center Midfielder
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Club Team: CASL Red
High School: Athens Drive High School
Coached by Jeff Nelson at Athens Drive HS in Raleigh, North Carolina … played one year of JV and two years of varsity as a center midfielder and center defensive mid … named the 2016 Athens Drive soccer MVP … named SWAC All-Conference in both 2015 and 2016 … earned a 2014 Leadership Award … owns the school's single season record for assists set during the 2015 season … participated in the NC State Cup from 2014-17 … CASL college combine national league participant in 2017 … played club soccer for CASL Hawks, 97 Black and 98 Red … member of the National Honor Society.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Pa is a two-way midfielder who covers a lot of ground on the defensive side of the ball, and is also technical with a very good range of passing."

 

Will Duggan
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Lorton, Va.
Club Team: SYC (South County-Springfield Youth Club)
High School: South County High School
Lettered two years at South County HS in Lorton, Va., as a forward and wing … played on both the ODP-Germany and Virginia state teams … played for the nationally ranked SYC Strikers Blue club team for eight years … competed in the Virginia State Cup and helped team qualify for the final four and finals four times … helped team to three titles in the National Capital Soccer League … helped team to two championships in the Eastern Developmental League … team earned two titles in the Virginia Premier League … one-time league champs in the USA Champions League … participated in several national tournament, including the Disney Showcase, Adidas Cup, Dallas Cup, National Premiere League Championships, Jeff Cup, CASL Showcase and so forth … varsity soccer academic honor roll in 2016 for maintaining a 3.5 GPA.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Will is a tough, hard-working flank player who is very versatile and can also play in the center of midfield.”

 

Cooper Duplantis
Position: Center Back
Hometown: Apex, NC
College Transfer: American University (2015-16)
As a freshman in 2015, played in eight games and earned one start … as a sophomore in 2016, played in nine games and had two starts.
High School: Cardinal Gibbons High School
Coached by Tim Healy at Cardinal Gibbons HS in Raleigh, N.C. … Triangle Soccer Player of the Year as a senior in 2014 … four-year letterwinner as a defender … captain of the state championship team as a senior in 2014 … named All-State and All-Region as a senior … MVP of the 2014 3A state championship game … earned All-Region honors as a junior in 2013 … played club soccer for the Triangle Futbol Club … captain of the 2014 Region III finalist club … Top 20 nationally ranked club in 2014 … member of the National Honor Society and the student council.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Cooper is a veteran center back with two years of Division I experience in the Patriot League. He has very good technical ability and great tactical awareness. His game experience in the Patriot League should help strengthen our back line this fall.”

 

Michael Hoffman
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Grafton, Va.
Club Team: Virginia Legacy
High School: Grafton High School
Coached by Johnny Yu at Grafton HS in Yorktown, Va. … lettered one year as a goalkeeper … played three years of club ball for Richmond United Development Academy … selected to the Olympic Development Program VA state team from 2011-13 … played with the Legacy '76 National Professional Soccer League and started on the reserve team … member of the National Honor Society as well as the Math and German honor societies … given the West Point Leadership award, was a VA Boy's state delegate and ranked No. 1 JROTC cadet at the school … earned the National Sojourner Award and the Daedalion Achievement award.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Michael is a very good shot stopper with good tactical awareness. He distributes the ball very well out of the back and has the mentality we are looking for in a goalkeeper.”

 


Jack Holley
Position: Center Back
Hometown: Roanoke, Va.
Club Team: Roanoke Star
High School: North Cross School
Coached by James Brown at North Cross School in Roanoke, Va. … team captain … named to the All-Tournament team as a senior and received second team All-Conference honors … also played four years of lacrosse and two years of basketball … second team All-Conference lacrosse midfielder … also played for the Roanoke Star club team … participated in CCL Showcases, the State Cup and CASL Showcases.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Jack has great size and athletic ability. He is also a very hard worker and we believe he has a huge upside. He is going to develop into a very good player for our program.”

 

Seth Holzmann
Position: Forward
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
Club Team: San Antonio Texans
High School: Claudia Taylor Johnson High School
Prepped at Claudia Taylor Johnson HS in San Antonio, Texas … the school's all-time leading goal scorer … named first team All-State as a senior and named to the San Antonio Express News Super Team ... as a junior, earned the school's single season scoring record en route to being named to the 6A All-Area team, first team All-Region and first team All-District 26 … MySanAntonio Player of the Week … played club soccer for SA United for seven years … WDDOA Division I U18-U19 first place finish … helped team to first place at the President State Cup … helped team to second place at the Western District President's Cup.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Seth is a dynamic one-on-one attacker with a nose for the goal. He also will connect penetrating passes in the attacking third of the field, which we hope will translate to a number of assists in future contests.”

 


Chris McGhan
Position: Midfielder
Hometown: Springfield, Va.
Club Team: SYC (South County-Springfield Youth Club)
High School: Robert E. Lee High School
Coached by John Milward at Robert E. Lee HS in Springfield, Va. … played one season as a center mid and outside back, recording seven assists and playing over 1,100 minutes on the pitch … has played for the SYC Strikers club team since he was nine … played in the State Cup semifinals and helped team to Virginia Premier League and CASL Showcase titles … participated in the Disney Showcase … received a Scholar-Athlete for having the highest GPA on the team … honored for academic excellence for maintaining a 3.5 GPA all three years at the school.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Chris is a hard-working midfielder who can play out wide or in the center of the park. His excellent work rate and drive combined with his technical ability makes him a very versatile player.”

 


Fabian Munoz-Velasquez
Position: Center Midfielder
Hometown: Burke, Va.
Club Team: SYC (South County-Springfield Youth Club)
High School: Lake Braddock Secondary School

Coached by Joseph Soos at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Va. … three-year member of the varsity team as a center mid … as a junior in 2016, named honorable mention All-Conference ... also a member of the SYC Strikers Blue 98 club team … member of the ODP district, state and region team … ODP national finalists in 2015 … captain of 2014 ODP team that won a regional tournament championship … A/B Honor Roll member.

       
Bonelli Quote: "Fabian is a technical center mid who has the ability to keep the ball under pressure. He also has a very good range of passing with the ability to switch the point of attack."

 

Bachir Niang
Position: Forward
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
Club Team: Beach FC
High School: Tallwood High School
Prepped at Tallwood HS in Virginia Beach, Va. … four-year varsity starter as a midfielder and forward … named Team MVP and second team All-Conference as a senior … played club soccer for the Rush Select, Rush Academy and Beach FC … member of the honor roll.

       
Bonelli Quote: "Bachir is a dynamic one-on-one attacker, who plays out wide or up top. He has the ability to break defenders down and find good service."

 

Kasey Perea
Position: Center Back
Home Town: Fort Worth, Texas 
Club Team: FC Dallas
High School: North Crowley High School
Coached by Browning Stupp at North Crowley HS in Fort Worth, Texas … four-year letterwinner as a center back … earned first team All-District honors as a senior and second team All-District honors as a junior … played club soccer for North Texas ODP '98 and Solar Chelsea 99B Red … helped Solar Chelsea to a state title in 2014 and a bronze medal at the national championship that same year … played for the FC Dallas Youth 98B West team from 2015-17 … played in the USYSA National League from 2013-15, earning a Region III championship in 2014 … participated in the Disney Showcase from 2013-14 and the Dallas Cup from 2014-16 … member of the National Honor Society.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Kasey is tough, technical defender. He is a very good technical player for a center back, which gives him the versatility to play in the center of midfield.”

 

Richard Quispe
Position: Left Back
Hometown: Stafford, Va.
Club Team: Arlington Attack Red
High School: Brooke Point High School
Coached by Aaron Plummer at Brooke Point HS in Stafford, Va. … as a junior, named second team All-Conference as a center back … sophomore year named honorable mention All-Conference as a center mid … named Most Improved on the team his freshman year in 2014 … played club soccer for FC Richmond, VSA, Arlington Attack, the ODP state team, National League and Regional League … received an Academic Excellence award every year from 2013-17.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Richie is a talented outside back, who is good with both feet. He has a good range of passing and is a solid one-on-one defender.”

 

Hector Rivera
Position: Center Midfielder
Hometown: Chesterfield, Va.
Club Team: FC Richmond
High School: Cosby High School
Coached by Mike Anderson at Cosby High School in Moseley, Virginia … two-year letterman at center defensive midfield … named first team All-Conference, All-Region and All-State … as a senior recorded two goals and 12 assists … also a member of the U.S. Soccer Academy for the past four years as a center defensive midfielder, logging two goals and 15 assists … played for the FC Richmond U19 and Pro 23 teams, and the USSDA Richmond United … named a three-star prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com … has international experience representing the U.S. in Portugal … two-time futsal champion … member of the Puerto Rico national team (1998 pool) … named a Scholar-Athlete by the school.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Hector is a very good overall technical soccer player. He has a very good knowledge of the game and good tactical awareness. He will be very effective for us on both the attacking and defensive side of the ball.”

 

Ben Skibicki
Position: Center Back
Hometown: Springfield, Va.
Club Team: SYC (South County-Springfield Youth Club)
High School: West Springfield High School
Coached by Josh Harris at West Springfield HS in Springfield, Va. … three-year letterwinner as a center back … two-time second team All-Conference honoree … team captain as a junior and senior … also served as a captain for the SYC Strikers Blue … member of the National Honor Society.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Ben has very good size and moves very well for a center back. He reads the game very well from the back and has good technical ability."

 

Willson Tuck
Position: Defender
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
Club Team: Beach FC
High School: First Colonial High School
Prepped at First Colonial HS in Virginia Beach, Va. … four-year letterwinner as a center back … named All-Conference as a junior … helped team to the 2016 6A state finals … played club soccer for Beach FC the past two years and for VA Rush for the previous five years … member of the Virginia Southeast District ODP top travel team and Rush VSSOA Academy as well as the Germany Soccer All-Star Select team … also played volleyball for three years and wrestling for two … member of the National Honor Society … president of the Student Advisory Board … vice president of the SCA Leadership Workshop staff … AP Scholar … Eagle scout.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Willson is an excellent athlete with very good size. He is very good in the air and a solid all-around defender.”

 


Zach Wiley
Position: Defender
Hometown: Forest, Va.
Club Team: Roanoke Star
High School: Jefferson Forest High School
Coached by Jed Zaring at Jefferson Forest HS in Forest, Va. … four-year letterwinner as a defender … as a junior named first team All-District and second team All-Conference … helped team to a conference runner-up finish as a sophomore with two goals and an assist on the year … scored two goals and had an assist to help team to a conference title as a freshman … also swam for two years in high school … played club soccer for the Roanoke Star Soccer Club U14-19, CCL Select (2016) and ASL All-Stars (2015) … member of the National Honor Society … four year Honor Roll member … earned an Academic Achievement award all four years.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Zach is a tough, hard-nosed defender who will get stuck in to tackles. His passion and drive is the type of mentality we need in our defenders.”

 

Jesse Zavala
Position: Right Back
Hometown: Georgetown, Texas
Club Team: Lonestar
High School: Georgetown High School
Coached by Wes Kidd at Georgetown High in Georgetown, Texas … three-year letterman as a midfielder … as a freshman, named first team All-District and the District Newcomer of the Year … named the Austin American Statesman Newcomer of the Year … first sophomore team captain in the history of the program … as a sophomore, named first team All-District … also a captain as a junior and again named first team All-District … played club ball for Force FC, helping team to a state championship in 2014 and 2015 … helped Force FC to a regional final in 2014 and regional quarterfinal in 2015.

       
Bonelli Quote: “Jesse is one of the best one-on-one defenders I have seen in a long time. He has good pace, good technical ability, and a high level of fitness, which helps him get forward in the attack.”


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