Georgetown men's soccers inks seven NLIs

February 10, 2016

The Georgetown University men’s soccer team signed seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play on the Hilltop. The Class of 2020 boasts some of the top talent from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) system. The newcomers hail from six different states as well as one addition from France.

Following the signing of six student-athletes from the 2015 team to the MLS, the Georgetown soccer team looks to fill some gaps in the roster.

“We’re really happy with the Class of 2020 as the group is both talented and a great fit for Georgetown” Head Coach Brian Wiese said. “With six of our players from the 2015 team leaving for MLS careers, we have a lot of holes to fill in the lineup for next year. A lot of these players will have opportunities to contribute early in their careers.

“Zach Samol and Brian Gill both have a great eye for talent and we think this class possesses a good blend of athleticism, technical ability, soccer IQ and character. We think they all fit the mold of what a Georgetown soccer player should be.”

The Hoyas had an impressive season with a mark of 16-2-3 overall and 9-0-0 in BIG EAST Conference play. Georgetown went on a program record 18-game unbeaten streak including a 14-game win streak. With the Blue & Gray failing to advance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, the unbeaten streak will continue into next season.

F Ifunanyachi Achara
Sheffield, Mass./Chicago Magic PSG

Selected to the Best 11 at the U-17 National Championship … Named to the Best 11 at the High School All-American Game … Won the 2015 U-17 National Championship with Chicago Magic PSG … Club team won the New England Championship in 2012, 2013, 2014 … Scored 39 goals with 22 assists and 17 game winners at the Berkshire School … Was the 2015 MVP for his high school … A member of Natural Leaders serving as the therapy group assistant leader … Enjoys drawing and painting … Born in Nigeria.

Wiese on Achara: “Achara is an exciting attacking player, and has the athleticism and technical ability to play in four or five spots on the field. He plays well in combination, which suits our style of play, and you also see his ability to create on his own when he needs to. He has the potential to be an impact player in the BIG EAST very early in his career here at Georgetown.”

M Jorge Burke
Austin, Texas/Shattuck St. Mary’s

Played with the Georgetown Force serving as captain for four seasons before playing one year at Shattuck St. Mary’s … Captain of the Region Three Olympic Development Program team for three seasons … Named to 2014 Combine Boys Best XI Dallas … Started all three years at McNeil High School, team reached the state tournament quarterfinals his junior season … Has played soccer internationally including serving as captain of his team in Italy … Had a 4.0 GPA as a sophomore and junior … Named the Outstanding Hispanic Heritage Student of the Year … Was the kicker on the varsity football team as a junior and named Academic All-District.

Wiese on Burke: “We have to thank Hoya alum, Ron Dennie, for Jorge. Ron coached Jorge while he was in Texas, and was looking after his alma mater by bringing him to our attention. Jorge is very technical and very tough. He eats and sleeps soccer, and you could see that passion when he came to our camp last summer. I think he is very versatile, and will be a lot of fun to work with.”

D Mason Deeds
Topton, Pa./New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls Academy won the Generation adidas Cup and Mid-Atlantic Division Title in 2015 and he was named to the All-East Conference Best XI … Squad won the Northeast Division in 2013 and 2014 as well … A part of the Academy Select Team at the Development Academy Winter Showcase and the East captain for the MLS All-Star Selection Youth Team in 2014 … Captained his Red Bulls team for three seasons … Has trained and played overseas in Scotland, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Slovakia … Spent six weeks training with Red Bulls Salzburg … Played varsity basketball and soccer as a freshman at Brandywine Heights High School, lettering in both … Member of the National Honor Society and honor roll as well as the distinguished honor roll … Participates in Students Against Destructive Decisions, Student Council, Spanish Club, Future Business Leaders of America and Eco-Action … Twin sister, Madison, plays field hockey at Providence College.

Wiese on Deeds: “Mason has all the tools to be top class center back. With the loss of Cole Seiler and Joshua Yaro to the MLS, Mason will have a great opportunity to compete for playing time from day one. His next six months with New York Red Bull will be fabulous for his growth as a player since he’ll be training regularly with his academy U-18 team, the Red Bull II team, and the Red Bull first team. Not many players his age get that kind of developmental opportunity, and it should serve him well when he gets to the Hilltop in August.”

M JB Fischer
Fourqueux, France/Paris Saint Germain FC

Team won the Division Honneur Paris League at the U-17 and U-16 levels taking second in 2013 … Played with PSG from 2005-16 serving as captain for the past six years … Also plays tennis and basketball … Won the Global Citizenship Award for volunteering in an NGO in India … Has played in international tournaments in Spain and Austria … Born in Orlando, Fla.

Wiese on Fischer: “We got to know JB well as he made the effort to get out to our camp for the past two summers. His experience in the PSG youth system shows in the maturity of his play for his age. He has great passing ability and vision, and plays with a nice calmness on the ball. His ability in the air makes me feel like he could play anywhere up the spine of the lineup.”

F David Mason
Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Olney

Won a state championship with MSL Falcons Soccer … Earned three varsity letters forgoing his senior season at Walt Whitman High School … A first team all-state, Washington Post First Team All-Met, Gazette Player of the Year for Montgomery County and NSCAA Fall High School All-Mid-Atlantic as a junior … Named second team all-state and Washington Post Honorable Mention All-Met as a sophomore … A member of the All-America Watch List for two-consecutive seasons … Walt Whitman won the 2014 state championship … A member of the honor roll.

Wiese on Mason: “I’m so happy to get a great local talent like Davey. His coach at Walt Whitman High School, Dave Greene, felt strongly about him, and you could see the impact he had on his state championship team right away. He has special pace and one-on-one ability that is hard to coach. We expect him to add a real attacking dimension to the team, and I think his upside is huge.”

M Dylan Nealis
Massapequa, N.Y./BW Gottschee

Earned 2015 U-18 Development Academy Showcase Best XI as well as 2015 U-16 Development Academy Playoffs Best XI … A member of the Super Y League U-14 North American Finals Boys All-Tournament Team … Club won the 2014 U-15 NPL National Championship, and were Super Y League North American finalists in 2012 … High school squad won the 2013 New York State Class AA Championship, where he was named MVP … Also played basketball all four years at Massapequa High School … Member of the National Honor Society … Brother, Jimmy, was a defender at Georgetown from 2009-12 and drafted by the Houston Dynamo … Brother, Connor, plays soccer at Binghamton University and brother, Sean, plays soccer at Hofstra University.

Wiese on Nealis: “We’ve known Dylan a long time because he would come to watch Jimmy play all the time. Dylan is a great attacking player, who can also be one of the best attacking fullback options in the country for this class. He’s one of those rare players who combines elite athleticism with great technical ability and decision making.”

D Riley Strassner
Avon, Conn./Oakwood Soccer Club

Served as FSA team captain for three seasons winning three state championships … Played three years of varsity soccer at Avon High School before forgoing his senior season … Scored 58 goals with 41 assists … Holds single season records in goals with 10 as a freshman and 34 as a junior, also holds assists records with eight as a freshman, 15 as a sophomore and 18 as a junior … Team won state title in 2014 … A three-time scholar-athlete … Named All-Hartford Courant in 2014 … Played with the Region I Olympic Development Program team traveling to Italy, Germany and France … Also a member of the swim team lettering all four years at Avon and serving as team captain for the final two … Won two state titles in the 200 freestyle and was a two-time all-state honoree … Holds three school records … Member of the National Honor Society and the honor roll … Participates in Habitat for Humanity and Kids for Kids … Sister, Jillian, played soccer at Quinnipiac University.

Wiese on Strassner: “Riley is someone who is big, strong and fast and has wonderful athletic traits and aerial ability that could translate into either being an imposing target forward or center back. He has natural leadership skills on the field and great work rate. It will be interesting to see which end of the field he ends up patrolling.”

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