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Big-time recruits decide to stay local

Published: July 8, 2011

It’s nice to see that local programs still mean something to players. Two of our best have announced their commitments and shown allegiance to instate schools.

Chicago Fire midfielder Emmanuel Chavez, our No. 74 in the 2012 class Top 100, has verbally committed to UIC, rewarding the program for their strong interest in keeping him close.

“I was talking to Michigan, Drexel, Bradley and Northwestern also,” Chavez said. “I didn’t see myself leaving the Chicago area. All of my family is from here and I wanted my parents and family tot have the opportunity to see me play at a high level.”

boys club soccer player emmanuel chavezEmmanuel Chavez
Chavez’s family will have plenty of chances to watch him now as he joins a Horizon League program that could certainly use his abilities.

Chavez has good size and skill and is accurate with the ball. He can combine well with teammates and should bring good chemistry to his squad – something he sensed during his recruiting process.

“During my second visit the coaching staff really showed me how much they wanted me to be a part of the program and how well I would fit in,” Chavez said. “They want me to be a big part of the team and the future, and I want to play a big role. I could not deny the opportunity.”

Count Leobardo Vazquez among the top prospects who will also be keeping their talents instate. Vazquez, of Texans Soccer Club, has verbally committed to SMU for the 2012 season.   

Vazquez, No. 69 on our Top 100 List, will be in great company at SMU, a program that enjoyed great national success last season. More importantly, Vazquez will be familiar with his surroundings and could be a nice spark with his speed and scoring up top.   

Now, for the rest of the announcements:

Forward Johnny Chronopoulos (Santa Cruz) has verbally committed to Cal Poly for the 2012 season.

Daniel Caya (Penn Fusion Soccer Academy) has signed with Rutgers for the 2011 season.

Jake Genrich (Michigan Wolves) has verbally committed to Bowling Green for the 2013 season.

Erik Casterline (North Carolina Fusion) has verbally committed to UNC-Asheville(m) for the 2012 season.

Tariq Akeel (Vardar) has verbally committed to Brown for the 2012 season. Akeel is ranked No. 19 in the Great Lakes Region.

Sean Kelly (AFC Lightning) has verbally committed to Georgia Military College for the 2012 season.

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