Fresh off the program’s best season in more than a decade, the Stanford men’s soccer program has continued its high-caliber recruiting with the signing of six prep standouts to National Letters of Intent, Cardinal head coach Jeremy Gunn announced Wednesday.
Joining Stanford for the 2015 season are Pierce Ashworth (Laguna Beach, Calif./Pateadores Academy), Amir Bashti (Cupertino, Calif./San Jose Earthquakes Academy), Tanner Beason (Winston-Salem, N.C./North Carolina Fusion), Charlie Furrer (Georgetown, Texas/FC Dallas Academy), Colin Hyatt (Santa Barbara, Calif./Real So Cal Academy) and Justin Kahl (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Soccer Academy).
"We welcome this class with great excitement," Gunn said of the newest crop of Cardinal. "We said goodbye to exceptional senior leaders who contributed massively to our growth as a program, thank them for everything and truly wish them well. That baton is being passed on to the great hands of our returners and these signees will have the opportunity to embed themselves into a terrific group. Our new class will give us strength and depth across each position and continue to drive the program to new heights. Yet again, we feel that the character and competitive nature of these six players are exceptional."
The group joins a Stanford squad which had a historic season in 2014, including the program’s first Pac-12 Championship since 2001, a No. 1 NSCAA ranking, its most wins (13) since 2002 and its best winning percentage (.763) since 2001.
|Pierce Ashworth • GK • Laguna Beach, Calif. • Pateadores Academy • Laguna Beach HS|
|• Member of Pateadores Academy (2013-15)|
|• Also played for Los Angeles Galaxy Academy from 2011-13|
|• Pateadores qualified for national championship playoffs in 2014|
|• Twin brother, Hunter, is committed to San Francisco|
|• Plans to major in product design or international relations|
|• Ashworth told Top Drawer Soccer in August: “There is nowhere in America that has the same magnitude of new ideas and free thinking coming out of a single place.”|
Gunn on Ashworth: "Pierce brings great confidence to the goalkeeper position. He is a dominant communicator always organizing his defenders. He has great range and agility, giving him the ability to make the big save when his team needs it. Pierce also has fantastic vision making him very good initiating counter attacks which fits perfectly within our attacking style of play."
|Amir Bashti • MF/F • Cupertino, Calif. • San Jose Earthquakes Academy • Monta Vista HS|
|• Recent camps with the U-18 USMNT in Spain and California|
|• Also a USA U-14 (2010) and U-15 (2010-11) National Team player|
|• 2014 NSCAA Youth All-American|
|• 2013-14 Academy Western Conference Starting XI|
|• Leads Earthquakes' U-18 side with 12 goals this season|
|• 2005 MLS U-9 Dribble, Pass and Shoot National Champion|
|• Fluent in French and Spanish|
Gunn on Bashti: "Amir Bashti has stood out as one of the most exciting attacking soccer players in the nation. His unique skillset has seen him represent the U.S. National Team at the U15-U18 levels. Amir has pace, both with and without the ball, coupled with tremendous ball control and awareness. His kind of vision and creativity seldom comes along. Amir can score or create with equal ease. He is an affable character who will no doubt add to the great drive and chemistry of the program."
|Tanner Beason • D • Winston-Salem, N.C. • North Carolina Fusion • Forsyth Country Day|
|• Captain of 2014-15 North Carolina Fusion U-18 Academy Team|
|• Started and played every minute of all 39 matches for U-18s in 2013-14|
|• On the Fusion's U-16 Development Academy Team in 2011-12|
|• Lettered for Forsyth Country Day as an eighth grader and freshman|
|• 2011 NCISAA All-Region Second Team and 3A All-State|
|• 2011 PACIS All-Conference|
|• Father and uncle played soccer at Virginia Tech|
Gunn on Beason: "Tanner is an extremely gifted left-sided defender. He has exceptional close control, is comfortable on the ball, and has a fantastic range of passing. He initiates attacks well and can also hit accurate crosses. He is wonderfully composed when put under pressure and makes good decisions while in possession of the ball. He is tenacious and sharp in the tackle and has that rare quality of being able to read the game very quickly."
|Charlie Furrer • GK • Georgetown, Texas • FC Dallas Academy • Lone Star HS|
|• Member of FC Dallas Academy U-16s (2013) and U-18s (2014-15)|
|• Started 21 matches in 2014 as team reached the USSF National Semis|
|• FC Dallas one of two U.S. entries at prestigious 2015 Copa Chivas|
|• National Merit semifinalist|
|• Golden Gloves winner following 2014 Generation adidas Cup|
|• Posted three shutouts in five matches at the event in Frisco, Texas|
|• Has traveled with the FC Dallas reserve team|
Gunn on Furrer: "Charlie is a fantastic goalkeeper and possesses all of the necessary qualities to make him one of the top young keepers in the country. He is a great shot-stopper, commands his goal box extremely well on crosses and can distribute the ball very well. The wonderful thing about Charlie is he has such a high soccer IQ. This allows him to read the game very quickly and, in turn, he is able to use his understanding of the game to help guide his teammates tactically."
|Colin Hyatt • MF • Santa Barbara, Calif. • Real So Cal Academy • Santa Barbara HS|
|• Center mid for Real So Cal since 2010|
|• Will join four other Real So Cal products on Stanford's roster|
|• Scored twice for the academy's U-18 team this season in 24 matches|
|• Real So Cal is 13-7-4 and in fourth in the USSDA Southwest Division|
|• Started 28 times and tallied three goals for U-18s in 2014|
|• Real So Cal has made the USSDA playoffs each of the last two years|
|• 2014 'O When The Yanks' USSDA U-17/18 All-American SW Division|
Gunn on Hyatt: "Colin is equally adept playing center back or center midfield. He has the athletic ability and the touch to allow him to excel as a central midfielder and a central defender. At 6-foot-3, Colin has the size to dominate the game in the air and he also couples this with fantastic control of the ball. Colin's great strength is his ability to read the game and to make the correct decisions at the correct time. Consequently, Colin typically finds himself with time on the ball."
|Justin Kahl • MF/D • Charlotte, N.C. • Charlotte Soccer Academy • Providence Day School|
|• Product of same academy as current Cardinal Tomas Hilliard-Arce|
|• Started all 21 matches this season, scoring twice|
|• As a freshman on the U-14s, team finished second in SE Region|
|• Junior year, U-18 academy squad was a playoff participant|
|• Avid golfer with a six handicap|
|• Mother played soccer at Brown and father at Ohio State|
|• Volunteers at Camp Soar, which works to give mentally handicapped children the experience of participating in a summer camp|
Gunn on Kahl: "Justin Kahl is an extremely talented and versatile soccer player. The combination of his technical ability and his mobility allow him to dominate in a number of positions on the field. Justin has wonderful poise and vision on the ball, connecting with team mates using an extensive range of passing. When not in possession he will cover ground equally well attacking and defending."