PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 1, 2014) -- Rutgers men’s soccer coach Dan Donigan has announced the signing of eight future Scarlet Knights to national letters of intent to join the program as RU joins the Big Ten in the fall of 2014.
The 2014 signing class includes forwards Miles Hackett (Montclair, N.J.), Dante Perez (East Windsor, N.J.) and Jason Wright (Kingston, Jamaica), midfielders Ahmad Faheem (Flower Mound, Texas) and Rayon Gibbs (Jackson, Miss.) along with defenders Niel Guzman (Bridgewater, N.J.), Sang Lee (Morganville, N.J.) and Brandon Tetro (Freehold, N.J.). The class may also have possible additions this summer.
"The incoming recruiting class are great guys, strong students and talented across the board. This class can carry on a strong tradition of national level competition for years to come,” said head coach Dan Donigan. “We needed to fulfill some offensive needs with this class and I am hopeful that is what we have done. Entering into the Big Ten Conference, it was imperative that we brought in a strong class that will complement our returning players.”
“My appreciation goes to my coaching staff for helping me put together this class of quality guys,” added Donigan. “I am grateful to Coach Beck and Coach Grazier for their tireless efforts in recruiting year round to help us compete at the national level. We want to be able to step onto the field each match and be able to compete with anyone in the country. We have confidence in this group to be able to do that."
AHMAD FAHEEM MF 5-10 Flower Mound, Texas/Flower Mound
Faheem has played as a midfielder and defender for the Dallas Texans since 2010. While in the Texans’ program, he helped his squad to the San Mario Cup, Dallas Cup and Disney Soccer Showcase Championship. Prior to joining the Dallas Texans, Faheem was a captain with the Metro Soccer Club.
Faheem’s uncle, Mohamed, was a two-time Hermann Trophy Finalist and two-time NSCAA All-American at SMU from 1998-2002, earning WAC Player of the Year honors in 1999.
Son of Wael Faheem and Sawsan Gharib, he plans to major in business.
DONIGAN ON FAHEEM: “Ahmad is a very strong, well rounded soccer player. He is a midfielder that will find time in the midfield, either centrally or out wide. Eventually, I see Ahmad solidifying himself as a very good central midfielder within our program. He has a very good sense on the ball and can create off the dribble and play out of pressure.”
RAYON GIBBS MF 6-0 Jackson, Miss./West Jones/Tyler JC
Gibbs comes to Rutgers after helping Tyler Junior College to a 19-2-1 overall record, 9-1 conference record and the semifinals of the NJCAA Division I Tournament. Gibbs totaled 12 points from six goals, including the game-winner over for the Apaches over ASA College in the NJCAA Tournament. During his freshman season, he helped Tyler to a 20-3-1 overall mark, 7-0 conference mark and an appearance in the NJCAA championship game.
Gibbs arrived at Tyler Junior College from West Jones High School, where he was an all-star selection and district MVP as a senior. He earned all-district honors all four years at West Jones.
DONIGAN ON GIBBS: “Rayon has great pace and the ability to break down defenders. He will play in an attacking role for us and put a lot of pressure on the opponent. He has great feet and can create chances off the dribble, which will bring a different dimension to our attack. Rayon should be a significant addition to our attack and I am looking forward to watching him run at players. He comes to us from Tyler Community Junior College, which places top players all over the country every year and follows former Rutgers and Tyler alums Joe Setchell and Robin Brown into our program.”
NIEL GUZMAN D 5-9 Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan
Guzman has been a member of the PDA U17/18 and U15/16 programs along with playing for U15 and U14 PDA pre-academy squads. With the PDA U14 team, Guzman participated at the 2010 Man U Nike Premier Cup in Portland, Ore. He was also a PDA McGeough team captain U9 through U13.
While at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Guzman helped his team to the county championship, NJSIAA sectional championship and an appearance in the NJSIAA State Championship game. He was also an all-area selection.
Son of Edwin and Jennifer Guzman his major is undecided.
DONIGAN ON GUZMAN: “Niel is a very tough, rugged and athletic defensive minded player. I foresee him playing in a defensive role, either in a deep midfield or backline position. He has great leadership qualities on and off the field and brings a tenacious attitude in training and games. I anticipate that Niel will compete immediately to get onto the field and play significant minutes.”
MILES HACKETT F 6-0 Montclair, N.J./Montclair Kimberley/South Kent
Last season, Hackett helped South Kent to its sixth New England Championship in the last eight years and its fifth Class B title in the last six seasons. South Kent was ranked among the top 10 on the StudentSports.com Prep School Top 10 throughout last fall.
Prior to playing at South Kent, Hackett was a standout at Montclair Kimberley Academy, where he totaled 51 points in his career coming from 39 goals and 17 assists. As a senior, he helped MKA to 2012 NJSIAA Non-Public Championship, recording 16 goals and three assists on the season.
DONGIAN ON HACKETT: “Miles is a tremendous athlete and soccer player. He has speed, good skills and an instinct in the final third of the field. I expect that he will play in a wide role or as a front runner that will produce points for us and give us an athletic and speedy look in the attack. I am very excited to add Miles into our attacking personnel this coming fall.”
SANG LEE D 6-0 Morganville, N.J./Marlboro
Lee has been a member of Match Fit Academy FC since 2009, playing with the U15/16 and U17/18 squads. He also played for FC Copa Chelsea as a starting outside defender. While at Marlboro High School, he served as team captain.
Son of Jay and Kelly Lee, he plans to major in statistics.
DONIGAN ON LEE: “Sang is a very athletic and disciplined soccer player. I expect that he will add depth to our backline and midfield line. He has the ability to get up and down the field and can play both sides of the ball. I am hopeful that Sang will compete immediately for playing time.”
DANTE PEREZ F/MF 5-10 East Windsor, N.J./Hightstown
A member of the Red Bulls Development Academy since 2009, Perez’s teams have gone a combined 91-8-10. Perez played with the 2010 Generation Adidas Cup National Championship squad and also participated in the 2013 Croix International Tournament in France. During his scholastic career, Perez was named to three NJ ODP state teams and played on the 2005 and 2006 Futsal NJ championship squads.
As a sophomore at Hightstown High School, Perez had nine goals and nine assists along with all-county and all-state honors.
Son of Ricardo and Mimi Perez, Perez is planning on majoring in criminal justice.
DONIGAN ON PEREZ: “Dante is a diamond in the rough. He is a very talented and skillful midfielder/forward, a complete soccer player. He gives us another dimension with our attack with his ability to hold possession despite his size and has very good intelligence on the ball. Dante will compete for playing time and also provide depth to our attack.”
BRANDON TETRO D/MF 5-10 Freehold, N.J./Colts Neck
Member of the New York Red Bulls Academy, Tetro is listed as the ninth-ranked soccer athlete in the state of New Jersey, Top Drawer Soccer’s No. 14-ranked defender and ranked at No. 58 on the IMG Academy 150. Last season for the Red Bulls, Tetro’s squad captured the Northeast Division Championship with a 23-2-3 overall record, while in 2012 he helped the team to the U16 National Championship and two U14 pre-academy championships in 2010 and 2011. Tetro was member of the U14-15 national team pool and U17 residency national team member.
Brother of rising junior Scarlet Knight Ross Tetro and son of Joseph and Elizabeth Tetro, he plans to major in sports management.
DONIGAN ON TETRO: “Brandon brings a great personality and is a player who plays both sides of the ball. He can defend and attack which makes him a very versatile player for our program. He will probably factor into our backline and midfield line. He is the younger brother of current Rutgers player, Ross Tetro who has been a major contributor since stepping onto our campus and I expect the same from Brandon. We are very excited to have a player with his confidence and ability.”
JASON WRIGHT F 5-7 165 Kingston, Jamaica/Wolmers Boys School
Wright has been a member of both Jamaica’s national U17 and U20 programs. With U20 program, Wright participated at the 2012 CFU Championships while with the U17 team, he was the top scorer at the 2011 U17 CONCACAF Championships and playing in the U17 World Cup in Mexico. At the Wolmers Boy School, Wright was the top scorer from 2010-2013 and helped his team to the Walker Cup Championship in 2013.
Son of Matthew Wright and Suzette Galloway, his major is undecided.
DONIGAN ON WRIGHT: "Jason is a different element for our team. He brings a maturity, instinct around the final third of the field and will be that guy who will always be a threat to the opponent. He is a player that has finishing abilities and can also be a playmaker. Jason is a player that we have needed and one that not many programs have the luxury to have. Everybody, every year looks for a goal scorer and I am hopeful that Jason turns out to be that guy. With the right players around him, he can impact any game at any given moment."
The Rutgers men’s soccer team begins its first season in the Big Ten this fall. While the full schedule will be announced at a future date, it will include conference contests with national runner-up Maryland, Big Ten Tournament champions Indiana, as well as NCAA Tournament participants Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State. Stay tuned to ScarletKnights.com for the full schedule at a future date.
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