Head Coach Richard Mulrooney was happy to announce Monday that the Tigers have officially welcomed four signees that have inked their National Letter of Intents to join the University of Memphis soccer program and make their debuts this fall.
Josh Burnett, Center Back/Defensive Center Mid (St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade/St. Louis Scott Gallagher)
"Josh [Burnett] is a player, that when I first saw him with his academy, I just knew that he would be a good fit here," head coach Richard Mulrooney said. "The athleticism that he brings, along with the smarts on the ball, he's a big kid and has a presence to him. He can play as a center back or a defensive midfielder, so he's a utility player for us. Getting to know him as a person is what sealed the deal. He's a very outgoing kid. He comes from a great family. The soccer piece as well as his off the field character was a perfect fit. I'm excited to get Josh here for the fall. I know that he has lofty goals for himself, and we have high expectations for him as well. He's going to be a great fit for us."
David Adams, Right Mid/Left Mid/Attacking Mid (Raleigh, N.C./Triangle FC Alliance)
"David [Adams] is a player that was at our ID camp and Tony [McManus] has seen him as well on numerous occasions through Olympic Development Program or from his club, but he brings a presence to our team of being highly competitive," Mulrooney said. "He's just an all-around good soccer player that we see possibly playing on the outside, and in a pinch we could use him in the middle. I think he's got good touch on the ball. I think he brings a presence of just knowing how to play the game of soccer. He has a soccer IQ, and it's just going to get better when he gets into this environment. We are excited for the future and getting him here next fall."
Julio Vargas, Striker/Attacking Mid (Dallas, Texas/Solar Chelsea)
"Julio Vargas comes to us from the Solar Chelsea program in Dallas which is a well-respected program," Mulrooney said. "We are excited to get him. He's got good size and good feet. He's a forward for us, but you could also possibly see him being an attacking mid. He knows the game. I think he's like a box of chocolates. He can score goals, he can pass the ball and he's a good dribbler and has good movement off of the ball. He just makes our team better and gives us that much more depth as well. In getting to know him, he's a solid kid. I've met his family, and I am very happy to introduce them into our family. We are excited to get him here this fall."
Jabari Newton, Right Back (Oakland, Fla./Montverde Academy)
"Jabari Newton comes from Montverde in Florida," Mulrooney said. "He's a right back and very athletic. Not only that, he likes to get involved in the attack making overlapping runs to get crosses off, but at the same time, he knows his first job is to defend on the back line. He helps gives cover because of his athleticism. He has a very good IQ of the game and is able to read plays well. He's just a ball-winner and plays simple. He will fit into our squad perfectly. We are excited to have him."
On the 2015 Signing Class:
"For me, [Robert] Saus[man] and Tony [McManus], this is our first group that we fully recruited," Mulrooney said. "We had some players late last year that obviously I was happy to get, but some of these kids we have been recruiting for a few years and this is a big class for us. The team did okay last year. Our expectations are higher. I think that the kids that we are bringing in, along with the group that we've got here, we'll be able to raise that bar. We were able to meet of lot of areas in need up top and defensive cover in the back. There are still some pieces to come, no doubt about that, but having said that, we become stronger from these signees in addition to ones that are coming this way. The sky's the limit here. We are very excited in the fact that we have a program here with the addition of the kids that we are not only going to be able to compete in our conference but nationwide and hopefully make the NCAA tournament with this group."
Mulrooney and his staff are happy with these recruits and see a bright future ahead for this Tiger program.