Feb. 17, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU men's soccer head coach Tim McClements announced the signing of seven student athletes to National Letters of Intent today. The class features five players ranked in the top 150 nationally by ESPN Rise.
"We are very excited about this year's class," McClements said. "It is filled with players who can have an immediate impact on the program. This class addresses the needs of our team and provides a strong blend of in-state talent with players from all over the country."
Jacob Gandarilla is a midfielder/forward from Albuquerque, N.M., who attends Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., under coach Tim Carter. Gandarilla helped his team win the 2011 Minnesota State Championship and was named the Player of the Year for his 2011 U-18 club team.
"Jacob joins the team along with high school teammate John Lujano," McClements said. "He possesses great speed, quickness and ability on the ball."
Michael King, a central defender from Spring, Texas, joins the Mustangs as a highly-touted prospect; he is rated the No. 23 player in the nation by College Soccer News, No. 24 and a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer, and the No. 37 prospect by ESPN Rise. King is a member of Texas SC Houston, coached by Scott James and Carl Fleming. He was a member of the U-17 national team and was one of the final 24 players in selection for the U-17 World Cup. King has been selected to several USSF Academy select teams and was a three-year letterwinner at Klein Oak High under Jeremy Rodgers.
"Michael was a member of the U-17 residency program," McClements said. "He is an outstanding athletic player who is considered one of the elite defenders in the country. His presence will immediately add to our defensive unit."
Brenden Lee is a defender/midfielder from Frisco, Texas, who plays club soccer for Solar Chelsea SC under Kevin Smith. Lee is a member of the USSF U-16 and 18 development academies as well as the '93 North Texas ODP team. He helped lead this team to Classic League championships, Premier League championships and State Cup titles. Lee is a four-year letterwinner and three-time captain of Centennial High School.
"Brenden is an extremely versatile player who possesses quickness and great technical ability," McClements said. "He can play in several different positions for us and will increase the team's overall athleticism."
John Lujano, a center midfielder from McPherson, Kan., comes to the Hilltop with several endorsements; he is listed as the No. 56 player and a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer, No. 117 by ESPN Rise and No. 127 by College Soccer News. Along with Gandarilla, Lujano attends Shattuck St. Mary's in Faribault, Minn., under coach Tim Carter where Lujano has captained his team each of the past three season. He was a member of the U-14 National Team ID Camp, and played for the ODP Region II team in Italy and Costa Rica.
"John is another extremely technical player who reads the game well," McClements said. "He has the ability to play under pressure and excel at the highest level."
Murphy Short, a defensive midfielder/defender from Dallas, is ranked the No. 141 recruit in the country by ESPN Rise. Short plays for Kevin Smith and Solar Chelsea SC with Mustang-to-be Lee. He has captained the team since they were U-12's and was a part of the 2010 Disney All-Star team. Short is a three-year letterwinner at Lake Highlands under Hanes Brindley, where Short is a three-time All-District selection.
"Murphy is another versatile player who will add right away to the defensive core but also has the ability to play in the midfield," McClements said.
Derek Schrick, an attacking midfielder from Kansas City, Mo. , heads to SMU ranked as the No. 66 player nationally by ESPN Rise and is a TopDrawerSoccer four-star recruit. Shrick is a three-time team captain for the Sporting Kansas City Juniors who are coached by Jon Parry and Paul Rideout. He was a member of the Missouri Olympic Development Program, the Region II squad and competed in the 2009 Italy Tour. Shrick is a four-year letter winner under Chris Lawson at Rockhurst and was named a 2011 NSCAA High School All-American, the 2011 Missouri State Player of the Year, the 2011 Kansas City Metro Player of the Year and was a 2011 First-Team ESPN Rise Missouri All-State honoree. He led his school to the state title in both 2008 and 2010, and is a three-time All-State and All-District selection. Over his high school career, Schrick netted 45 goals and added 64 assists.
"Derek is a very talented attacking player," McClements said. "His soccer IQ combined with his dribbling and passing allow him to break down opposing defenses."
Leobardo Vazquez, a forward from South Houston, Texas, signs on as a Mustang with an impressive resume; he is the No. 62 recruit by College Soccer News, is the No. 64 player and a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer, and is the No. 74 prospect by ESPN Rise. Vazquez plays alongside King for Texas SC Houston under coaches Scott James and Carl Fleming. He has accumulated 16 goals in just 18 games so far this season in the U. S. Soccer Development Academy.
"Leobardo is a forward who possesses a great finishing touch," McClements said. "He is a player who has the pace and technical ability to get in behind defenses and find the back of the net."