Baltimore, MD- UMBC Head Men's Soccer Coach Pete Caringi has announced his recruiting class for the 2005 season, which consists of eight players, six from the state of Maryland and a set of twins from Dallas, Texas.
The Maryland natives are forward/midfielder Dan Bulls (Millersville, Md./Old Mill), forward Kevin Gnatiko (Montgomery Village, Md./Watkins Mill), goalkeeper Steve King (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley), midfielder Mike Novotny (Baltimore, Md./Towson), forward/midfielder Pierre Pont (Kensington, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase), and midfielder Matt Ward (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley).
Midfielder Esteban Mariel (Dallas, Tex./Lake Highlands) and forward Manuel Mariel (Dallas, Tex./Lake Highlands) will become the first set of twins to compete for the men's soccer squad. Esteban is a 5'10", 165-pound midfielder, who was a member of the regional team which traveled to Costa Rica in 2004.
"Esteban is a technically sound player who should compete for a starting position at midfield," said Coach Caringi.
Manuel, a 5'10", 170-pound forward, was the 2003 NSCAA and adidas Texas State Player of the Year and a former member of the U-16 United States national team.
"Manuel is a very gifted goal scorer who should see plenty of action right away," said Coach Caringi.
"The Mariels come from a great soccer background, and a great club program, in one of the hotbed of youth soccer in Dallas," said Head Coach Pete Caringi. "Both of these kids were highly recruited and we look forward to watching them develop into outstanding Division 1 players."
Bulls, a 6'0", 165-pound forward/midfielder, earned All State and All County honors at Old Mill High School and was a starter for Bethesda Internationals national championship squad.
"Dan is a very technically sound player who has great speed and size -he is another great prospect," said Coach Caringi.
The speedy Gnatiko, a 5'9", 150-pound forward, posted 22 goals as a senior at Watkins Mill, and was a Washington Post First Team All Metro selection.
"Kevin is a physically gifted striker who has great speed and skill," said Coach Caringi.
King, a 6'2", 190-pound netminder, was a three-year varsity starter at Curley, and was the starting keeper for the two-time defending national champion Casa Mia Bays.
Novotny, a 5'8", 145-pound midfielder, posted incredible totals of 58 goals and 62 assists during four years of varsity soccer at Towson HS. He earned All State and All County honors and was the Towson High School Law Student of the Year.
"Mike is very quick and skilled and comes from a family of outstanding soccer players," said Coach Caringi.
Ward, a teammate of King's, is a 5'8", 140-pound midfielder, who earned All MIAA Conference honors in soccer and also lettered in basketball for the Friars.
"Matt is a skilled midfielder and he and Steve King continue the tradition of Archbishop Curley players to compete at UMBC," said Coach Caringi.
Pont, a 5'9", 160-pound forward/midfielder, played with Bulls on the Bethesda Internationals and also earned All Metro honors from The Washington Post.
"Pierre is coming off an injury, but he is a strong striker and should help us out in the attack area," said Coach Caringi.
"There is no question, this could be one of the best recruiting classes in the country," said Coach Caringi. "We are very excited about this class. In time, I think this group will make there mark on our program and prove to be one of the best classes we have ever recruited here. All of them come from winning backgrounds and each bring talent to an established veteran team."