This offseason head coach George Kiefer and the USF men’s soccer staff had to fill the voids left by a large departing senior class that was full of major contributors, three of which were chosen in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The Bulls have announced the addition of nine new players: Kendan Anderson, Michael Bajza, Nazeem Bartman, Melvin Becket, Brendan Hines-Ike, Brandon Kolczynski, Chandler Maynes, Liam McNally and Philipp Stone. The class will join a talented returning group in 2015 and makes up the third-best recruiting class in the country according to College Soccer News.
“One of the things I’m please about is that we’ve been able to sign some really good local players,” head coach George Kiefer said. “When you look at the class as a whole there are some guys that have really impressive resumes coming in and they’re also good people and good students.”
Anderson is one of three junior college transfers for the Bulls as he comes to USF by way of ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Kingston, Jamaica native was an NJCAA First-Team All-American in 2013 after scoring 21 goals in just 12 games for the Avengers.
Before heading to ASA College, Anderson led his high school, St. George's, to three major cup titles in Jamaica’s youth leagues. He has also appeared for Jamaica’s U-20 national team.
Bajza joins the Bulls via transfer, coming over from NC State, where played in 34 games over the past two years and led the Wolfpack in scoring with 12 points last season. The Tampa native has six career goals and assists to his name and was a three-year starter at Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Minnesota, where he scored 17 goals and led his team to the USSDA final during his senior season. Bajza was also ranked among the top 100 recruits nationally by TopDrawerSoccer.com and ESPN Rise coming out of high school.
Bartman originally hails from Cape Town, South Africa, where he played club soccer for Ajax Cape Town, Old Mutual Academy and Super Sport Academy. After coming to the states, he won a Super 20 League National Championship with Force Football Club in Michigan.
The junior forward comes to USF after two years at Tyler Junior College in Texas where he helped lead the Apaches to a NJCAA National Championship last season. During his time at Tyler, Bartman tallied 34 goals and 19 assists and was named the NSCAA Division I Junior College Player of the Year as well as an NSCAA and NJCAA First-Team All-American in 2014.
Becket was also a junior college All-American while playing for Lewis & Clark Community College in Illinois. The Sunshine, Australia native was an NJCAA Second-Team All-American the past two seasons and a NSCAA Junior College First-Team All-American in 2014 after scoring 13 goals and registering seven assists. Becket played club soccer for the Australian Institute of Sports and was also a member of the U-17 Australian Youth National Team.
Hines-Ike transferred to USF after spending three seasons at Creighton. He started 43 games during his career and was named to the Missouri Valley All-Freshman team in 2012. The Denver, Colo., native played every minute on the back line as a sophomore and helped the Bluejays post six shutouts en route to being named All-Big East second team. Hines-Ike was also named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Team of the Week twice during his time at Creighton.
Kolczynski is another transfer joining the Bulls, coming over from the University of Pittsburgh, where played in 24 games, starting 17 over the past two years. Before going to Pittsburgh, he attended Howell High School in New Jersey, where as a junior he led the team to the A North Division Shore Conference Championship and the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Kolczynski was also named All-Shore Conference first team and all-state honorable mention during his junior year.
Maynes is a local product, hailing from Winter Springs, Fla., and was listed as a four-star prospect by Top Drawer Soccer. He is also a two-time Disney College Showcase Champion and played club soccer for Orlando City SC’s U-17/18 USSDA team. Before that, Maynes played with Real Salt Lake’s U-16 USSDA squad.
McNally was the last to sign with the Bulls, also coming over from reigning NJCAA National Champion Tyler Junior College. The Kenilworth, England native was a second-team NJCAA All-American and an NSCAA Academic All-American in 2014 while helping lead Tyler to a national title. McNally was a standout defender and scored a goal in the final to help seal a fourth national championship for the Apaches.
Stone also chose to stay in state by signing with the Bulls and he’s another product of Orlando City SC’s U-18 USSDA team. The goalkeeper from Apopka, Fla., was named Super Y Nationals MVP in 2011 as well as Super Y National Camp first team. Stone was on Orlando City’s PDL team in 2014 and the ODP state team in 2010 and 2013.