ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein and the New Mexico Men’s Soccer program welcome eight new Lobos with an outstanding 2013 recruiting class. The program’s incoming class includes student-athletes from New Zealand to New Mexico to California. Two incoming Lobos are also local products from Albuquerque. Five of the eight incoming Lobos are currently enrolled at the University of New Mexico and have began offseason training.
“We are very excited to welcome the 2013 recruiting class to the Lobo Soccer family and community. We addressed our needs with this incoming class, including bringing in some outstanding young men who will excel athletically, academically and in the community. Credit for the recruitment of these incoming players goes to Associate Head Coach Paul Souders and Assistant Coach Brandon Moss. They worked diligently to identify the caliber of student-athletes required to play at New Mexico. We are excited to have this group of young men join our program and continue Lobo Soccer’s proud tradition within college soccer and the New Mexico community,” said Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein.
The fresh faces include seven freshmen and one transfer. It also includes two members of TopDrawerSoccer.com’s IMG Academy Top 150 Club Players. The newest Lobos join a New Mexico program that’s coming off a record-setting two year span. The 2011 and 2012 Lobos tied the program record for the most wins in a two-year span with 35, which included back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament. UNM was also one of only seven programs to have three players selected in the 2013 MLS Draft.
Josh Goss – Freshman – 5’9” 150 lbs. – Midfield – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Goss is one of two players with strong local ties joining the Lobos in 2013. He spent a season with La Cueva High School prior to moving to Arizona to join the MLS Real Salt Lake Academy. While playing with RSL’s Academy team, Goss displayed great decision making and a special left foot, which gives him the versatility to play throughout the midfield. He is one of the five early enrollees for Coach Fishbein and company. His decision to come to UNM was due to “the passion for soccer among the players, coaches and the community.”
Coach Fishbein on Goss: “Josh is a guy we’ve known about for quite a while being from Albuquerque. He loves soccer and spent the last couple of years over in the Casa Grande, Arizona at the MLS Real Salt Lake Academy. He’s a soccer junkie and a tremendous technical player. He’s very passionate, and we’ve already seen that from him since he started training with us in January. He’s going to be an excellent student-athlete for us.”
Niko Hansen – Freshman – 5’10” 160 lbs. – Midfielder – Sacramento, Calif.
Niko Hansen was a standout forward for Jesuit High School in Northern California. The NSCAA High School All-American scored 35 goals his senior season, which included a hat trick in his team’s sectional championship game. He was voted MVP of the Delta River League, the D1 Sectional Championship game and the Saint Louis Gateway City Classic, which included 62 teams. Hansen has shown tremendous attacking prowess throughout his high school career. He can use both feet extremely well and can play multiple positions in the New Mexico attack. The Californian will join the Lobos in the fall. He chose UNM because of the tremendous atmosphere the program plays in and the atmosphere that runs through the home crowds, coaches and players.
Coach Fishbein on Hansen: “We saw Niko two years ago at the Dallas Cup, and he was playing up an age division. He lit it up there, and we began to follow him closely. I think initially he was a little under the radar, and then he had a great visit here and decided this was where he wanted to play his college soccer. Since committing to us, he has just been on fire. He’s an All-American and was the MVP of the High School All-American game. He’s going to be an exciting player for us.”
Caleb Hilbron – Freshman – 6’2” 195 lbs. – Forward – Wellington, New Zealand
Hilbron is one of two Kiwis joining the program for 2013, which returns fellow New Zealanders Matthew Gibbons and Joe Harris. He played six years with Island Bay AUFC while attending Wellington Boys’ College. Hilbron helped his high school team win the Regional Wellington Cup. His cousin, Thomas Spragg, is also a college soccer player at the University of Washington. He played and trained with fellow incoming freshman James Wypych in New Zealand. The Lobo coaching staff will sees Hilbron as a center forward with his size, footwork and great work ethic. He enrolled at UNM in January and has already begun training and studying as a Lobo.
Coach Fishbein on Hilbron: “We’re really excited about Caleb. I saw him two years ago when he was playing with a traveling team from New Zealand that came over here to play some friendlies against some college teams. I was really impressed with his attacking skills and his competitive nature. I really liked everything about him and tracked his progress. I went over and saw him play in New Zealand, and we are very fortunate to have him here. He’s going to be an integral part of our future.”
Michael Lisch – Senior – 6’4” 175 lbs. – Goalkeeper – Austin, Texas
Lisch joins the Lobos from Wake Forest University. The Texan was a decorated keeper for the Demon Deacons who posted a record of 17-10-9 with 125 saves and 13 shutouts in 2011 and 2012. He finished the 2012 season with a .682 goals allowed average, which was second in the ACC and ninth nationally. Lisch has already earned a degree in Finance while making the ACC All-Academic Team and the Dean’s List three times each while at Wake Forest. He has already begun working on his Master’s degree at UNM after joining the program in January.
Coach Fishbein on Lisch: “Michael finished his undergraduate degree at Wake Forest and was the starting goalkeeper there. He has a year of eligibility remaining and is a great fit for our program. He and Patrick Poblete are excellent keepers, and I feel really comfortable with those two minding our goal. Michael also started with us in January and quickly established himself as a great teammate. He fits into the culture of Lobo Soccer program tremendously.”
Steve Manios – Freshman – 5’10” 175 lbs. – Midfielder – Woodland Hills, Calif.
Manios, like Nick Thiros, comes to Albuquerque as one of TopDrawerSoccer’s Top 150 Club players in the 2013 class. Manios plays his club soccer with Real So Cal of the USSF Academy who finished fourth in national competition in 2011. He also saw success with his high school team as he led El Camino Real High to a West Valley League Championship. The midfielder chose UNM because of the unity between the coaching staff and the players as well as the unreal Lobo Soccer fan base. He will come to Albuquerque this fall.
Coach Fishbein on Manios: “Manios is Mr. Hollywood, and he is a great player. He’s a left-footed attacking player. He’s a dynamic athlete with a very strong shot, so he’s going to be a fun one to have here at New Mexico. He will start with us in the fall, and we can’t wait to have him join us here.”
Lucas Seligman – Freshman – 5’8” 150 lbs. – Midfielder – Albuquerque, N.M.
The midfielder, along with Josh Goss, is one of the new Lobos with strong connections to Albuquerque. The soon-to-be La Cueva High School graduate was a member of the MLS Real Salt Lake’s U-18 Youth Academy program for two years. He also spent two years with the NM Rush Club Team. Seligman grew up coming to Lobo soccer games and was attracted to the environment at the UNM Soccer Complex. As Seligman put it, “I grew up watching the Lobos play, and I have always aspired to be in their shoes. I am excited and thankful for the opportunity to play in front of my hometown and be looked up to by younger players in the future.”
Coach Fishbein on Seligman: “Lucas is another Albuquerque kid, so I’ve known him and his family for a while. He’s another soccer junkie who’s passionate about the game. He went down to Arizona as well (as Goss) to be part of the MLS Real Salt Lake Academy. He blossomed in that environment and redefined his game, which makes him someone we can’t wait to get here in Albuquerque. Lucas grew up with the Lobo Soccer program, and he will be a great role model as a Lobo.”
Nick Thiros – Freshman – 5’10” 160 lbs. – Midfielder – Layton, Utah
Like Steve Manios, Thiros was ranked by TopDrawerSoccer as one of the top 150 club players in the nation for the class of 2013. He’s a four-year member of Utah’s Olympic Developmental Program (2007-11) where he received all-region honors. He played with La Roca FC, widely considered one of the top non-academy club programs, where he won two Club State Championships. Thiros is a high achieving student from Layton High School where he was a three-year starter with a 4.0 grade point average. Thiros said he chose the Lobos because of the program’s level of professionalism and its attitude. The midfielder caught the eyes of UNM coaches for the first time at the Olympic Development Program interregionals in Phoenix two years ago.
Coach Fishbein on Thiros: “Nick is from the Salt Lake City area, and he’s an extremely talented player. He’s a really smart young man who is an incredible student from a great family. His mom was also a collegiate volleyball player. Nick was fortunate enough to start here with us in January after graduating early, which has eased his transition to college soccer. We are very excited about Nick and what he brings to the table with his great skill, great vision and great attitude.”
James Wypych – Freshman – 5’11” 160 lbs – Forward/Mid – Wellington, New Zealand
Wypych played club soccer with fellow incoming freshman Caleb Hilbron at Island Bay AUFC. He went on to help them to two national semifinals appearances. He is one of the five members of the class to enroll at UNM in January and has already begun training. With a career aspiration of representing his home country in a World Cup, Wypych will join fellow Kiwis Hilbron, Gibbons and Harris at New Mexico. Coaches and teammates rave about his personality, which has helped him adjust to American life and to college seamlessly. His great left foot and speed will allow him to play wide on the pitch and flourish in the Lobo attack.
Coach Fishbein on Wypych; “I saw James when I went to New Zealand a year and a half ago, and I was really impressed with him. He comes from a great program at the Ole Academy where he played with Caleb Hilbron. James is a very skilled and electric two-footed attacking player. We have a need for some attacking players, and he’s going to come in and do really well for us. He, like some of the other new guys, started with us in January and that has been a real advantage for him.”