Charlotte, NC – Head Coach Kevin Langan and the nationally-ranked Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer program welcome nine newcomers to a 2013 team that returns seven starters and 16 letterwinners off last season’s Atlantic 10 Champion and NCAA Tournament squad. The 49ers 2013 recruiting class features two transfers from NC State, six players from North Carolina and players from Florida, South Carolina and Texas. The Niners welcome Conor Agnew from Fort Mill S.C., Monbo Bokar from Durham, N.C., Brandt Bronico from High Point, N.C., Ryan Enriquez from Southwest Ranches, Fla., Matt Gerrish from Chapel Hill, N.C., Hans Honer from Charlotte, N.C., Eduardo Iturbide from Charlotte, N.C., Maximilliano Rodriguez from San Antonio, Texas and Justin Savinon from Wilmington, N.C.
"We are excited to welcome the 2013 class to Charlotte,” Langan said. “This group will strengthen the program at every position and will immediately compete with the core group of returners for playing time. We are expecting several newcomers to make big impacts next season as we begin our first year in Conference USA. This year we graduated five seniors who left behind a tradition of success, but this new class will help to build on the successes of the past few seasons."
Agnew, a sophomore transfer from NC State, is a midfielder who started 11 games as a freshman at NC State last season. Agnew, who graduated from Fort Mill, South Carolina’s Nation Ford High School, was ranked number 40 in a midseason poll of the top freshmen in the nation last year. As a freshman at NC State, he scored three goals including a game-winning goal against Adelphi. He trained with professional teams Puntarenas in Costa Rica and America RJ, Fluminese and Duque de Caxias in Brazil. He was a captain for two years of his North Meck USSF Academy team.
"Conor is an athletic, technical midfielder who is very ‘clean’ in possession,” Langan said. “He can play anywhere across the midfield and joins us with good experience having already played at some of the toughest venues in college soccer."
Bokar, a junior transfer from NC State, is a forward that transferred to Charlotte prior to the spring semester. He played with the 49ers during their spring season. He scored three goals in Charlotte’s six spring games. In his two years at NC State, he saw action in 31 games with 19 starts while scoring six goals and dishing out two assists. Last season, he scored five goals including the game-winning goal against Gardner-Webb. As a senior at Durham, North Carolina’s Jordan High School, he helped his team capture the 2010 State Championship. As a senior at Jordan High School, he was ranked among the Top 100 high school player in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com. He played for a CASL USSF Academy team that was ranked number one in the nation. He was CASL’s leading goal scorer for two years.
"Monbo joined us at the beginning of the spring season and has embraced the fitness levels and training habits that we demand at Charlotte,” Langan said. “He is a strong, quick center forward who is equally effective at ‘holding the ball up’ or ‘running in behind defenses.’"
Bronico, a midfielder from High Point, North Carolina’s Wesleyan Christian Academy, earned NSCAA All-American honors as a senior. Bronico, who also earned All-State and All-Region honors, played an integral role in helping Wesleyan Christian Academy capture consecutive state championships. He has been a key member of the NC Fusion USSF Academy team that made the National Finals this year. In 2012, he helped the NC Fusion finish third in the National Tournament. In 2011, he played an integral role in helping the NC Fusion finish sixth in the national tournament. This summer, he has been invited to play for the Carolina Dynamo Professional Development team.
"Brandt is an all-action midfielder with a tireless work rate who is capable of scoring goals,” Langan said. “Uniquely for a player who is involved in every play he has great quality on his final pass and finishes in front of goal. He is a player who will fit into our style of play very well."
Enriquez, a defender from Southwest Ranches, Florida’s Cypress Bay High School, was captain for three years of his Weston USFF Academy team. He helped the Weston USSF Academy team reach the national tournament in 2012 and 2013. He played an integral role in helping Cypress Bay capture state titles in 2011 and 2012.
“Ryan is a sharp athletic right-sided defender who has great composure in possession,” Langan said. “As a consistent performer and captain of his successful club team he has shown excellent leadership skills."
Gerrish, a defender from Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s East Chapel Hill High School, was a two-time All-Conference selection. In 2011, Gerrish, who was East Chapel Hill team captain for two years, was named team MVP. In 2012, he earned All-Metro honors. He played on the Region III ODP team from 2012-2013. In 2013, he played with his ODP team in a tournament in Costa Rica. For six years, he captained his Triangle United Soccer Academy team which was a State Cup Finalist in 2011 and a Jefferson Cup winner in 2013.
"Matt is a left-sided defender who reads the game well and prides himself on his decision making and positioning,” Langan said. “He has a wonderful range of passing and is a very good communicator."
Honer, a forward from Charlotte’s Vance High School, was ranked a Top 150 player by TopDrawerSoccer.com, collegesoccernews.com and espnrise.com. He scored 61 goals and dished out 33 assists in 45 career games at Vance High School. He was a finalist for Charlotte High School Player of the Year. He has been a key player for the Charlotte USSF Academy for three years. In 2012, he captained the Charlotte USSF Academy team during the national tournament which resulted in an eighth national place finish.
"Hans is a big, strong forward who is an excellent target,” Langan said. “He has the ability to be the focal point of attacks and to link well with his teammates. He is extremely good in the air and is adept at scoring goals from crosses."
Iturbide, a midfielder from Charlotte’s Ardrey Kell High School, was named conference player of the year in 2011. He has been a key player for the Charlotte USSF Soccer Academy for three years. He joined fellow Niner newcomer Honer in helping their Charlotte USSF Academy finish eighth at the National Tournament.
“Eddie is a tenacious, hard working and courageous midfielder who covers every blade of grass,” Langan said. “He is sharp to step and confront his opponent and has the ability to drive the game forward.”
Rodriguez, a midfielder from San Antonio, Texas’ Earl Warren High School, earned conference player of the year honors in 2011. He was listed as one of the Top 20 players in Texas by TopDrawerSoccer.com. He captained his Classics Elite USSF Academy team. Rodriguez has been invited to train with the NASL’s San Antonio Scorpions this summer.
"Max is another all-action midfielder who works extremely hard on both sides of the ball,” Langan said. “He has the ability to drop deep and start attacks but can also break through the lines and penetrate into the final third. Max's biggest asset is his drive and desire to always influence the game."
Savinon, a goalkeeper from Ashley High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, was named Wilmington Star News Player of the Year in 2012. He also earned Area Player of the Year honors in 2012 as well. He was a member of the Region III ODP team for three years. He played in tournaments in Mexico and Costa Rico with the Region III ODP team. As a team captain, he helped his Cape Fear Soccer Club team capture the 2012 State Championship. He has been invited to train with the West Ham Youth Academy in the English Premier League.
"Justin is a goalkeeper with a presence who communicates and organizes his teammates very well,” Langan said. “He is an excellent shot stopper and is quick off his line. He is accomplished with the ball at his feet and cleverly manages the tempo of the game.”
These nine newcomers join a 49ers roster that begins the season with an exhibition game at Winthrop, Tuesday, August 20. Charlotte begins the regular-season on the road at Denver, Friday. August 30.