LEXINGTON, Va. – Heading into his third season at the helm, VMI men's soccer head coach Michael Bonelli announced Tuesday the addition of 11 new signees to the program.
This year's recruiting class includes four from the Commonwealth, two from North Carolina, two from Texas, one from Maryland, one from Florida and one from Oregon.
"We are really excited to announce our 2018 class," said VMI head coach Michael Bonelli. "We identified a number of needs for this fall, and I know our 2018 class is going to fill these needs. We have taken great strides as a program over the last year, and we are looking forward to making an impact in the fall. Our 2018 recruiting class, combined with our highly motivated returning players, is going to give us the talent, drive, and work rate to elevate the level of our program this fall.
"I would also like to thank our coaching staff of Charlie Hubbard and Gerard Miniaci for their hard work on this recruiting class. Their efforts have put our program in a great position to take huge strides forward in 2018."
Below is a capsule of each incoming recruit:
Name: TJ Hurd
Home Town: Jacksonville, NC
Club Team: Wilmington FC
High School: Jacksonville High School
Played four years of varsity soccer … named team captain as a junior and senior … All-State recipient … 2x All-Region, 3x All-Conference and 3x All-Area honoree … JDNews Athlete of the Week … selected to All-Region ODP team in 2016 … National Honor Society member … JHS Academic Award all four years …Cardinal ambassador for the school … NC Boys State 2017 ... also played lacrosse and baseball
Bonelli Quote: "He is an athletic flank player who has the ability to play as a winger or outside back for our program. He is good in possession with a good range of passing."
Name: Carson Knox
Home Town: Magnolia, TX
Club Team: Houston Dynamo Youth
High School: Magnolia High School
Coached by George Kelley for three years on the varsity team as a midfielder … Offensive MVP … two-time First Team All-District honoree … scored nine goals as a junior and seven as a senior …Top Draw Soccer Academy Showcase U16 standout … National Honor Society officer.
Bonelli Quote: "Carson is a very smart and technical soccer player. He has good tactical knowledge and a good possession rate."
Name: Mattheau Martin
Home Town: Woodbridge, VA
Club Team: Northern Virginia SC
High School: Forest Park High School
Coached by Simone Qura and Wes Nelson at Forest Park HS in Woodbridge, Virginia … has started as a forward since his freshman year … Cal-South ODP poolee … Florida Youth Soccer Olympian … named to CCL United 2018 senior team.
Bonelli Quote: "Mattheau is a dynamic attacking player who will help our attack reach the next level. He has great athleticism, technical ability, and good tactical awareness."
Name: Jared Nenno
Home Town: La Plata, MD
Club Team: Arlington SC
High School: North Point High School
Prepped at North Point HS in Waldorf, Maryland … played travel soccer in Arlington instead of Maryland high school soccer … coached by VMI alum John Sollock … Principal’s Honor Roll all four years … top 10 percent of graduating class.
Bonelli Quote: "He is good shot stopper with good technique. He is very consistent with a very good work rate."
Name: Jason Nunez
Home Town: Springfield, VA
Club Team: DC United Academy/BRYC
High School: Bishop O’Connell
Coached by Chris Jennings at Bishop O’Connell HS in Arlington, Va. … four-year letterman as a center back … WCAC Honorable Mention … helped team to first seed in 2017 and second seed in 2016 … team went undefeated in WCAC in 2016 … state runner-ups in 2015 … WCAC runner-ups in 2014 … 2019 State Cup runner-up … named to Top Drawer Soccer All-America watch list in 2017.
Bonelli Quote: "Jason is a very good 1v1 defender with good technical ability. He is very clean technically and has the ability to drive a ball. This gives him a good range of passing."
Name: Logan Pheng
Home Town: Richmond, VA
Club Team: Richmond Kickers
High School: JR Tucker High School
Coached by Jim Dorron for three years as a midfielder/center back at JR Tucker HS in Henrico, Virginia … named honorable mention as a junior after scoring a goal and two assists … served as a team captain as a senior … named to Honor Roll every year … member of the Advanced College Academy and will graduate with an associate’s degree … National Honor Society.
Bonelli Quote: "Logan is an athletic hard-working flank player who also has the ability to play centrally. His work rate and technical ability make him a versatile player who can play in a few positions for our program."
Name: Marco Reyes
Home Town: Houston, TX
Club Team: Texans SC Houston Academy (USSF)
High School: I University Prep
Coached by Justin Sharrock at I University Prep in Grapevine, Texas … lettered four years as a defender … over his career scored seven goals and five assists … during his tenure named team’s Newcomer of the Year, district Newcomer of the Year, second team All-District, honorable mention All-District … also named Defensive Player of the Year (twice), All-District first team and team MVP … helped team to fifth round of the playoffs … twice led team to the second round of the playoffs.
Bonelli Quote: "Marco has great size, technical ability, and good tactical knowledge. He will improve our program on both sides of the ball. His range of passing from the center back position should give us a different dynamic going forward this fall."
Name: Justin Riescher
Home Town: Coral Springs, FL
Club Team: Boca United Academy (USSF)
High School: J.P. Taravella High School
Prepped at J.P. Taravella HS in Coral Springs, Florida … participated in the U13/14 US Developmental Academy Weston Summer Showcase in 2015 … competed in the U15/16 US Developmental Academy Weston Summer Showcase in 2016 … helped team to No. 12 ranking at the U15/16 US Developmental Academy playoffs …full-time starter at the U18/19 US Developmental Academy for Boca United.
Bonelli Quote: "Justin is a two-way midfielder who covers a lot of ground on the defensive side of the ball. He is a technical player with a very good range of passing."
Name: Broden Schull
Home Town: Portland, OR
Club Team: Portland Timbers Academy (USSF)
High School: Westview High School
Prepped at Westview HS in Beaverton, Oregon … starting goalkeeper as a freshman and senior … as a senior only allowed eight goals all season … helped team to a 17-1-1 record as the Oregon 6A state champions … as a freshman in 2014 named Second Team All-Metro League … as a senior named 6A Goalkeeper of the Year, First Team All-State and First Team All-Metro … also played club soccer for the Portland Timbers where he started 29 of 33 games at goal … made Honor Roll for three years and named to school’s All-Star Academic team.
Bonelli Quote: "Broden is a very good shot stopper with good tactical awareness. He distributes the ball very well out of the back, which will improve our ability to clear our lines, and start our attack from deeper areas."
Name: Colby Swanson
Home Town: Virginia Beach, VA
Club Team: Beach FC
High School: Floyd E. Kellam High School
Prepped at Floyd E. Kellam HS in Virginia Beach … member of Beach FC club since 2008 as the team’s sole goalkeeper … named team captain and MVP due to leadership and tenacity in goal from 2016-18 … also played from 2011-14 for SpVggWeil-Stuttgart German team as the lone American on the team … named to Principal’s Honor Roll as a freshman and senior … named to Honor Roll as a sophomore and junior … also played safety/kicker on the football team.
Bonelli Quote: "Colby is a very aggressive goalkeeper with a good work ethic. He has the ability to work through adverse situations."
Name: William Welch
Home Town: Raleigh, NC
Club Team: North Carolina FC
High School: North Raleigh Christian Academy
Prepped at North Raleigh Christian Academy … logged 66 goals and 28 assists over his career … as a senior named to the NCSCA All-State team, NCISAA 3A All-State team, NCISAA 3A All-Region team and TISAC All-Conference team … 2017 TISAC Conference Player of the Year for the second time … as a junior in 2016 helped team to 3A state championship … named to NCSCA All-State team, NCISAA 3A All-State team, NCISAA 3A All-Region team and TISAC All-Conference team … named TISAC Conference Player of the Year for the first time … led the conference in goals (29) and assists (13) … named to N&O All-Metro Boys’ team as a junior and senior … also named to All-Ravenscroft tournament team both years … owns school record for fastest goal scored in seven seconds … member of the National Honor Society.
Bonelli Quote: "William is a strong, athletic, hardworking target forward. He has great size, and can hold the ball up. He puts himself in good areas to create scoring chances."