UCLA Men's Soccer Team Signs Five For 2003

Feb. 11, 2003

The defending NCAA champion UCLA men's soccer team will reassemble in 2003 with the addition of one of the finest recruiting classes in the nation, as head coach Tom Fitzgerald has signed five top athletes to national letters of intent. The five signees are U.S. Under-18 National Team players Patrick Ianni, Chad Barrett and Taylor Canel; high school All-American Kiel McClung; and ODP Region IV team member Damon James.

Ianni, a 5-8 midfielder from Lodi, CA (Lodi HS), is ranked amongst the Top 10 recruits in the nation by Student Sports Magazine and is a high school All-American. He has played in 11 matches with the U.S. U-18 National Team in 2002, starting nine and recording one assist. Ianni, who is the younger brother of former Bruin star Tayt Ianni (1990-93), was a member of the U.S. team that won the 2002 Talence International Tournament. He has also played with the U-16 and U-14 teams.

Barrett, a 5-11forward, hails from Beaverton, OR (Southridge HS) and will become the only non-Californian on UCLA's roster. Rated one of the Top 10 recruits in the nation by Student Sports Magazine, Barrett is a nominee for the Gatorade State Player of the Year and the recipient of the Oregon State 4-A Player of the Year award. He earned adidas All-America honors as a junior and senior and led the state this season with 32 goals and 21 assists. Barrett has played in 12 matches with the U-18 National Team, starting eight and scoring two goals with three assists.

Canel, a 5-9 midfielder from Sherman Oaks, CA (Crespi HS), was the 2002 NSCAA/adidas California State Player of the Year and an All-CIF selection. Canel, who is a finalist for the McDonald's High School Soccer All-Star game, has played in seven matches with four starts for the U-18 National Team.

McClung, a 6-0 midfielder from Palmdale, CA (Quartz Hill HS), was selected as the 2002 CIF Player of the Year and is also a high school All-American.

James, a 5-11 midfielder from Petaluma, CA (Petaluma HS), was named the Sonoma County League co-MVP this season and twice was named to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat All-Empire first team. He is a member of the ODP Region IV team, along with Ianni, Barrett, Canel and McClung, that is currently competing at the Futuro Cup in Brazil.

'On paper, this could be one of the most talented recruiting classes in recent Bruin history,' said Fitzgerald. 'We are very excited about not only the talent, but the versatility of these players.'

UCLA is expecting to sign additional student-athletes in this recruiting period.

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