McLoughlin Headlines Highly Touted Men's Soccer Signing Class

Feb. 16, 2007

SEATTLE - Washington men's soccer coach Dean Wurzberger announced his 2007 national letter of intent signing class, Friday, a group that is led by U.S. U-17 National Team star forward Ellis McLoughlin.

Joining McLoughlin (Seattle, Wash.) in the five-player signing class are Brad Keller (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Beau Macaluso (Tacoma, Wash.), Taylor Mueller (Sammamish, Wash.), and Matt Van Houten (Beaverton, Ore.).

'This 2007 recruiting class is an outstanding group of players that will surely make a positive impact on our soccer program,' Wurzberger said. 'We are adding important players in the back, midfield and especially up front. Securing the late commitment from Ellis McLoughlin was the final piece we needed to rank this 2007 class as one of the best in recent UW memory.'

Four of the five signees - Keller, Macaluso, Mueller and Van Houten - will enroll in school and join the Husky squad in fall 2007, but McLoughlin will join the team in January, 2008, due to his academic schedule and a pending FIFA U-17 World Cup opportunity.

McLoughlin, one of the top youth forwards in the nation, is currently in the U.S. Under-17 National Team Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. He will also bring international experience to the Huskies, having played in the Nike World Finals in Hong Kong and the Manchester United Champions Cup in 2005. A product of Bishop Blanchet High School, McLoughlin helped his club team, Crossfire, to five state titles and a spot in the Region IV finals. He was a Washington state ODP team member from 2003-05.

'Currently regarded as the top forward in his age group, Ellis is a special player capable of stepping in and picking right up for (current Huskies) Kevin Forrest and Ely Allen when they depart this winter,' Wurzberger said. 'Skillful, quick, athletic and `instinctive' around the penalty area, Ellis is a threat to score or assist at any time.'

Keller, a left fullback/midfielder, will come to Seattle from Horizon High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. He helped lead his Phoenix area club team - Sereno SC - to five Arizona state titles and most recently won the prestigious Disney Showcase championship. Keller's U-18 team is currently ranked third in the nation and second in Region IV.

'I'm really excited about what we think Brad can add to our attack down the left wing,' Wurzberger said. 'He is a talented player with great mobility and good crossing technique. Brad will help to improve the balance of our team on attack.'

Macaluso, a forward out of Stadium High School in Tacoma, is a two-time Region IV pool member. He plays club soccer for FC United '87, having led the squad to three Washington state titles. His club squad was the runner-up at the USYSA U-16 Nationals, and a U-18 Region IV finalist.

'Beau is a natural target player up front with good size and athleticism,' Wurzberger said. 'Beau has shown his ability to score goals as a youth player and we think he can get them for us at the collegiate level. Beau gives us the important depth we need up front and he can help to give our team some different options in the way we play our front line.'

Mueller is a defender from Sammamish, Wash., and a product of Eastlake High School. He is another player who brings international experience to Montlake having played on the USL Super-Y Select Team that toured Germany and played in the JFG Sinngrund Cup in 2006. Mueller is a three-year Washington State ODP team member and two-year Region IV team member. He helped lead his squad to three ODP Region IV championship titles and played three years in the Nike Friendship Cup, which his team won in 2004. Mueller also plays club soccer for the Crossfire U-18 team.

'We think Taylor has all the tools you need to be a first-rate collegiate central defender,' Wurzberger said. 'Athletic, tough, good in the air and strong in the tackle are Taylor's calling cards. We rate him highly and expect he will push for playing time in his first season.'

Rounding out Washington's signing class is Van Houten, a wide midfielder/forward, from Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore. Van Houten is an Oregon ODP state team member, a 2006 adidas ESP participant and played club soccer for FC Portland, which won the 2006 U-17 Oregon state championship. As a senior at Jesuit, he was named a first-team all-state selection, the All-Metro Player of the Year, and led the Metro district in scoring. As a junior he led his prep team to a state title.

'We are really excited about Matt's potential to make an immediate contribution to our team this fall,' Wurzberger said. 'Extremely quick, skillful and a `feisty' attitude are valuable qualities that will help steer Matt to success in our program. Matt has the talent to play in midfield or up front so his versatility not only adds important depth but also allows us to alter our formation to give the opponent a different look.'

2007 Washington Men's Soccer NLI Signees
Brad Keller, MF/D, Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS
Beau Macaluso, F, Tacoma, Wash./Stadium HS
Ellis McLoughlin, F, Seattle, Wash./Bishop Blanchet HS
Taylor Mueller, D, Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS
Matt Van Houten, MF/F, Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS

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