UW Men's Soccer Signs Nine To National Letters of Intent

Feb. 14, 2008

SEATTLE - Washington men's soccer coach Dean Wurzberger announced his 2008 National Letter of Intent signing class, Thursday, a group that features nine highly touted prep student-athletes including seven local products from the state of Washington.

The nine Huskies that will enroll in school and join the men's soccer program this fall are defender Matthew Berry (Snohomish, Wash.), defender Niki Chow (Los Gatos, Calif.), forward/midfielder Kevin Day (Edgewood, Wash.), goalkeeper Brooks Hopp (Seattle, Wash.), defender Ty Klein (Seattle, Wash.), midfielder Casey McCool (Bend, Ore.), forward Brent Richards (Camas, Wash.), defender Kohl Schoening (Woodinville, Wash.) and midfielder Dylan Tucker-Gangnes (Bainbridge Island, Wash.).

'We are excited to add these nine talented prospects to our team next fall,' Wurzberger said. 'This recruiting class reflects our commitment to secure as many of the top in-state players as possible while also seeking key impact players from beyond our borders. While our 2008 recruiting class features quality players in goal, in the defense and in midfield, the three attacking players Casey McCool, Brent Richards and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes are especially important additions given our need to replace key players in those positions. With many starters returning from last year's team, we know these recruits will make us an even stronger team for 2008.'

As noted by Wurzberger, McCool, Richards and Tucker-Gangnes highlight an especially talented group set to take the pitch for the Huskies next fall.

McCool is a standout 6-2 midfielder from Bend, Ore., who has earned all-state honors for four-straight seasons, including back-to-back first-team accolades as a junior and senior. Also a four-time first-team all-league honoree, McCool was in the 2007 U.S. U-18 National Team pool and in 2005 was a member of the Super-Y League National Team. He also led his Westside Metro Gunners club team to back-to-back state titles in 2005 and 2006.

'We believe Casey will have an immediate positive impact on our attack next fall,' Wurzberger said. 'He possesses a high degree of skill and vision, and can score goals from distance. Casey has a talent for free kicks and his movement and athleticism make him a threat to any opponent.'

Richards is a 5-10 forward/midfielder from Camas, Wash., who led his Camas High School squad to a 3A state title during his sophomore season. Like many of his fellow Husky signees, Richards was a Washington state ODP member and a Region IV pool player. He was also on the Oregon State ODP team in 2006. Richards, who has played for FC Vancouver and Eastside United, was on the same squad as fellow signees Hopp and Klein that played at the 2005 Manchester United World Cup Final in Hong Kong.

'We believe Brent is not only the top forward prospect in the state this year, but among the best in the West region,' Wurzberger said. 'With a great athleticism and a real talent for scoring goals, we expect Brent to see playing time soon after his arrival. Brent will follow in the foot steps of Kevin Forrest and Ely Allen.'

Tucker-Gangnes is a member of Emerald City FC in Seattle and also played with FC Kitsap for two years in Bremerton, helping Kitsap win a state title in 2005. The 6-3 midfielder was a Washington state ODP member from 2003-06, serving as a captain from 2005-06. A standout for Bainbridge High, he is a three-year starter, two-year team captain and three-time All-Kitsap team honoree.

'Dylan has all the tools to be a top performer at the collegiate level,' Wurzberger said. 'His great size, combined with a wide range of technique and a strong competitive attitude, are what will give Dylan every chance to make an immediate impact upon our program. We see Dylan as the next George John for the Huskies.'

Day, a 5-10 forward/midfielder from Decatur High School, is another player who can help contribute to the UW attack next year. Day is a three-time All-South Puget Sound League selection, also earning all-state honors as the league's second-leading scorer as a sophomore. He has played for FC United, Washington Premier FC and USSF Washington Premier Academy, as well as serving as a starting forward for the Washington state ODP team from 2005-07.

'Kevin will add some much needed depth to our attack next season,' Wurzberger said. 'One of his current strengths is work rate and movement off the ball. With some work on his finishing skills and combination play, we believe Kevin can develop into a quality collegiate player.'

Wurzberger has four defenders in his 2008 recruiting class with Berry, Chow, Klein and Schoening. Berry helped lead his Snohomish High School squad to the 4A Washington state championship in 2006, a team that was ranked as high as fourth in nation that season. He is a two-time All-Wesco team selection and has a solid club background as a two-time Washington State Cup finalist in 2004 and 2005. Berry was a Region IV ODP player from 2006-07 and was on the Washington state ODP team from 2003-06.

'Matt is a talented left-footed player with great athleticism,' Wurzberger said. 'He has a record of success playing at high school, club and ODP so he has great experience to bring to the collegiate level.'

Chow, a native of Los Gatos, Calif., will make the move to the Northwest from the Bay Area this fall. Chow is four-time all-league selection, helping lead his Los Gatos team to back-to-back league championships in 2006 and 2007. Chow played club soccer for De Anza Force and among his coaches there was former Husky and MLS player Ian Russell.

'Niki shows great potential as a center back or a holding midfielder player,' Wurzberger said. 'His all-around skill level is high and he knows how to win the ball for his team.'

Another defender, Klein is a three-time All-KingCo honoree from Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Wash. A former high school teammate of current Husky Taylor Mueller, Klein has been an ODP state team member and was on the ODP Region IV team in 2006. He played with both Crossfire Premier and Emerald City FC, and his soccer travels have taken him as far as Hong Kong where he played in the Nike Manchester United World Final in 2005.

'We like the competitive instincts and toughness we see in Tyler's play,' Wurzberger said. 'He is a strong header of the ball and has all the tools to make a quality center back at the collegiate level.'

Schoening is a two-time first-team All-KingCo selection from Woodinville High School. Also a two-year team captain for his prep team, Schoening was named the squad's MVP in 2007. He helped lead his club teams to a runner-up finish at the Washington State Cup in 2006, as well as runner-up finishes at both the 2007 and 2006 Score at the Shore tournaments. A well-rounded athlete, Schoening also competed in wrestling and freestyle skiing.

'Kohl shows great potential as a future collegiate defender,' Wurzberger said. 'Strength and athleticism are currently his main assets and we see much desire for growth and development. We look forward to having Kohl on our team.'

Rounding out Washington's 2008 recruiting class is goalkeeper Brooks Hopp from Seattle. Hopp played club soccer for Crossfire Premier and like fellow signees Klein and Richards, was on the 2005 team that won North American Championships and competed in the Nike Manchester United World Final. Hopp also played on the ODP Region IV team that traveled to play in the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.

'We regard Brooks as the top goalkeeping prospect in the state this year,' Wurzberger said. 'Highly decorated at the club and ODP level, we believe Brooks has the ability to challenge for playing time in the near future.'

2008 UW Men's Soccer National Letter Of Intent Signees
Matthew Berry, D, 6-0, Snohomish, Wash. (Snohomish HS)
Niki Chow, D, 6-0, Los Gatos, Calif. (Los Gatos HS)
Kevin Day, F/MF, 5-10, Edgewood, Wash. (Decatur HS)
Brooks Hopp, GK, 5-10, Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Academy)
Ty Klein, D, 6-1, Seattle, Wash. (Eastlake HS)
Casey McCool, 6-2, MF, Bend, Ore. (Mountain View HS)
Brent Richards, F/MF, 5-10, Camas, Wash. (Camas HS)
Kohl Schoening, D, 5-11, Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville HS)
Dylan Tucker-Gangnes, MF, 6-3, Bainbridge Island, Wash. (Bainbridge HS)

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