Men's Soccer Signs Top National and Local Talent
Feb. 14, 2001
Calling it perhaps the finest class Washington has ever assembled, Husky men's soccer coach Dean Wurzberger announced the signing of a pair of under-18 U.S. National Team starters and a Washington state championship player to national letters of intent. C.J. Klaas of Cherry Valley, Ill., Brett Wiesner of Brookfield, Wisc. and Johnny Schefter of Yakima will play for the Huskies next year.
Klaas and Wiesner are currently starters on the U-18 National Team and both played for Wurzberger and Husky assistant coach Jimmy Gabriel when they coached the under-16 National Team in 1998 and '99. Schefter helped lead West Valley High in Yakima to the 1998 and 2000 Washington Class 3A state soccer titles. He joins a group of 17 returning Husky players who are from the state of Washington.
'We are extremely excited about this group of players,' said Wurzberger, who led Washington to the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship last season. 'I believe I can accurately say this is the best recruiting class in the 34-year history of Husky men's soccer. With C.J. Klaas and Brett Wiesner both on the national team, and starters no less, we boast two of the top players in their age group in the nation. Add to that a top in-state talent like Johnny Schefter, and this class is special. It's a group that will make an immediate impact on our program.'
Klaas, who will play in the back or at defensive midfield for the Huskies, has been a national team player since 1998 and has a distinguished high school, club and national level career. He was a captain on the U-16 team for Wurzberger and now plays sweeper for the Chicago Magic, his club team that won a U-17 national title in 1999. Klaas preps at Christian Life High School in Cherry Valley, where he has earned sectional honors and has been named Most Valuable Player on the soccer team.
'C.J. is a tough hard-nosed player who can lead a team with his effort and attitude,' said Wurzberger. 'He is skillful with the ball at his feet, has great touch and passing vision. Athletically, C.J. has it all with great quickness, power and agility. This is a player who will make others around him better. We expect C.J. to have a huge positive impact on the Husky soccer team from day one.'
Wiesner, also a U-16 national team player in 1998, was honored as a first team NSCAA High School All-American and the 2000 Wisconsin High School Player of the Year this season. He helped lead his Brookfield Classic club to the1999 Wisconsin State championship and currently plays for Mequon United. A four-year varsity letterwinner at Brookfield East High, Wiesner played on the 1997 state championship team as well as the 1999 runner-up team.
'Brett is considered one of the top, if not the top, forwards in the nation this year,' Wurzberger said. 'As a front player he can make it happen. He has great quickness, dribbling skill and a strong shot that will make him a threat in every game. His aggressiveness with the ball, attacking savvy and ability to combine with others will have a big impact on our team. If things go right for Brett, he could be the best forward to ever play for Washington.'
Schefter, who plays as a forward and midfielder, hails from the same high school as current Huskies Aaron Heinzen and Jake Sagare and also competed on the Solaris Club team, in 1999-00, with future Washington teammates Seth Marsh, Bobby McAlister, Daniel Waltman, Jimmy Stark, Russell Cahill and Ricky Rea. A member of the Olympic Development (ODP) regional pool for two years, he now plays for Three Rivers Storm. Schefter, who has two brothers that play soccer at Seattle Pacific University, was a member of a dominant West Valley High School team that won the Class 3A state championship in 1998 and 2000. He was a first team all-league selection the last two years.
'Johnny is an exciting, attacking player who has all the tools to succeed at the collegiate level,' Wurzberger said. 'His well-rounded skill level and athleticism will be a positive addition to the team. He comes from a winning program at West Valley High and he has been a big reason for their success.'
Washington, which earned a sixth consecutive postseason bid and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, opens it 2001 season August 31.
Washington Men's Soccer Signees
C.J. Klaas, 5-7, D/MF, Cherry Valley, Ill./Christian Life High/Chicago Magic
Johnny Schefter, 5-10, MF, Yakima, Wash./West Valley High/Three Rivers Storm
Brett Wiesner, 5-11, F, Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield East High/Mequon United