Men's Soccer Signs Standout Class for 2002

April 25, 2002

Seattle - Washington's Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year, along with six additional prep standouts, signed national letters of intent to play soccer at the University of Washington beginning next season, Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger announced.

Chris Eylander, from Sumner, Wash. (Auburn Riverside HS), plays goalkeeper for Federal Way United (FWU) and recently earned the state's top award after leading the Storm to the state championship in 1998, '99 and a runner-up finish in 2001. Joining him in the freshman class next year will be Jeff Hoover (Kirkland, Wash./Bellevue Christian), Kenny Mueller (Snohomish, Wash./ Bothell), Kevin Murray (Sumner, Wash./Auburn Riverside), Michael Chabala and Mike Cusenza of Pleasanton, Calif., and Artie Bartholomew from Swarthmore, Pa. (IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.).

Joining the incoming high school class will be five additional players, including three transfers. They are: goalkeeper Ben Oakley, from Whitworth College, forward Patrick Tanner, from Furman, and defender Gavin Hobbs, from Syracuse University, along with Seth Yates, a defender from Edmond, Oklahoma's Santa Fe High School and Evan Cummings, a midfielder out of Ferris High School in Spokane.

'The 2002 recruiting class is both large in number and long in talent,' said Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger. 'Youth will be served next fall as over 60 percent of our team will be either freshman or sophomores. While this 'young' team will require lots of input from the coaching staff next fall, we are excited about the prospects of what we can put on the field.'

Eylander, whose parents both attended Washington, has been a regional pool player for the last four years and played on the state team from 1998-01 as well. Along with the state championships in 1998 and '99, he helped lead FWU to a third place finish in the 2000 Surf Cup.

Joining him on the Husky squad will be Murray, a teammate on the Auburn Riverside high school team. A forward, Murray is a four-year state team player in the Olympic Development Program. He plays club ball for F.C. United and helped lead the team to the Under-18 state championship this year, knocking off Eylander's FWU team in the championship game. Murray was selected to participate in the adidas ESP Elite Camp in 2001, joining the top high school players in the nation.

Hoover, a product of the Bellevue Christian School, plays center midfield for Tynecastle F.C. and helped lead the team to the quarterfinals of the state tournament and the Manchester Tournament championship while on tour in England. He is a regional pool player as well. A four-year varsity player at Bellevue, Hoover led the team to the state championship as a sophomore in 1999 and has earned first team all-league honors.

Mueller, a multi-sport athlete at Bothell HS, is a midfielder and defender on the soccer field. He plays defender for the Cascade Avalanche and helped guide the team to the state championship in 2001 after runner-up finishes in 1999 and 2000.

Chabala plays center midfield for the Ballistic United in Pleasanton, Calif. and helped lead the team to the Cal-North State Championship in 1999 and '00 and advance to the semi-finals of the Region IV Tournament. He has played with the Cal-North ODP State and Region IV teams since 1998 and has earned several Most Valuable Player awards in international competition at that level. In addition to his club play, Chabala captained his Clovis West High School team to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championship as a senior this year.

Joining Chabala is Cusenza, a Ballistic United teammate and fellow state and regional pool player since 1998. Bartholomew, who was also recruited by perennial soccer powers Stanford and Creighton, comes to the Huskies from Swarthmore, Pa. via the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

'This recruiting class has added great depth both in the back and in midfield,' Wurzberger added, 'and with that, we would expect the Huskies to make another serious run at both the Pac-10 title and the NCAA tournament.'

Washington, which earned a seventh consecutive postseason bid and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year, opens it 2002 season Aug. 31 versus Central Florida in Portland, Ore.

Washington Men's Soccer 2002 Letter of Intent Signees
Artie Bartholomew, 6-2, MF, Swarthmore, Pa. / IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Michael Chabala, 5-11, MF, Fresno, Calif. / Clovis West HS / Ballistic United
Mike Cusenza, 5-9, MF, Fresno, Calif. / Amador Valley HS / Ballistic United
Chris Eylander, 6-1, GK, Sumner, Wash. / Auburn Riverside HS / FWU Storm
Jeff Hoover, 5-7, MF, Kirkland, Wash. / Bellevue Christian School / Tynecastle F.C.
Kenny Mueller, 6-0, D, Snohomish, Wash. / Bothell HS / Cascade Avalanche
Kevin Murray, 6-0, F/MF, Sumner, Wash. / Auburn Riverside HS / F.C. United

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