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Men's Soccer Announces 2022 Recruiting Class

Nov 24, 2021
Photo: Don Liebig

LOS ANGELES – UCLA men's soccer head coach Ryan Jorden officially unveiled the program's newest recruiting class on Wednesday, a group of seven players from the MLS Academy, USL ranks, and top clubs that will join the team starting with the 2022-23 school year. 

By position, UCLA's incoming seven-player class features four midfielders, one forward, one defender, and one goalkeeper.

"We are excited about this group of players joining our team," said Jorden. "We were intentional regarding the positional roles that we needed to replace and are very pleased to be adding the abilities of these players as well as their characteristics as people to our team culture. They will each contribute to the quality of our team moving forward."

The 2022 UCLA men's soccer recruiting class consists of defender John Carlos Cortez (Ridgewood, N.J. / NY Red Bulls), goalkeeper Sam Joseph (San Diego, Calif. / NY Red Bulls), midfielder Tarun Karumanchi (San Ramon, Calif. / SJ Earthquakes), midfielder Amjot Narang (El Dorado Hills, Calif. / Sacramento Republic), forward Thomas Raimbault (Wellington, New Zealand / Vancouver Whitecaps), midfielder Sebastian Rincon (Culver City, Calif. / FRAM SC), and midfielder Cullen Wilkerson (Richmond, Calif. / Colorado Rapids).

Below are capsules on all seven of the incoming Bruins, featuring bios of their amateur soccer careers as well as a short scouting report from Coach Jorden.

John Carlos Cortez – Defender – Ridgewood, N.J. – NY Red Bulls II (Ridgewood HS)

Bio: As of National Signing Day, was ranked No. 31 in TopDrawerSoccer's IMG Academy 150 … Ranked the No. 3 prospect in the New Jersey region, and the No. 14 defender nationally … Plays left back and left center back in the New York Red Bulls system … Has captained the NYRB's U-17 and U-19 Academy Teams in the U.S.S.D.A. … Most recently, played full time with the NY Red Bulls II in the USL … Has been called into the USYNT U-15 and Peru U-17 youth national team camps.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "'JC' has a very nice blend of top-level athleticism, left-footedness, and technical quality that have led to him playing at this level. He can be a top collegiate defender."

Sam Joseph– Goalkeeper – San Diego, Calif. – NY Red Bulls II (University HS)

Bio: Currently plays with NY Red Bulls II in the USL … Prior to joining the Red Bulls, developed at Albion SC in his native San Diego …  Scheduled to enroll at UCLA for winter quarter 2022.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "Sam has great physical tools, a very good technique, and is adept tactically at playing on the attacking side of the ball as well. He reads the game well and we believe that he has a terrific developmental upside that gives him a chance to join the lineage of top keepers at UCLA."

Tarun Karumanchi – Midfielder – San Ramon, Calif. – SJ Earthquakes Academy (Dougherty Valley HS)

Bio: A central midfielder, Karumanchi most recently played for San Jose's U-23 squad … Is part of a small group of former academy players with the Earthquakes that is training with the first team … Is scheduled to enroll at UCLA for winter quarter 2022.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "His ability to feel space, and the quality and scope of his passing are major strengths. His work rate and football IQ will be key assets as he progresses at the collegiate level."

Amjot Narang – Midfielder – El Dorado Hills, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC (Oak Ridge HS)

Bio: As of National Signing Day, was ranked the No. 7 prospect in Northern California by TopDrawerSoccer … Also listed on TopDrawer's IMG Academy 150 rankings …  Made his first team debut with Sacramento Republic (in the USL Championship) on Aug. 31, 2021 … Has played central midfielder with SRFC … Led the Republic Academy U-19 Team to the final four of the MLS Next Tournament … Is scheduled to enroll at UCLA for winter quarter 2022.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "Amjot's technical quality and tactical thinking are both very high, and as a result he sees passes at an advanced level. His developmental upside is exciting."

Thomas Raimbault – Winger – Wellington, New Zealand – Vancouver Whitecaps Academy (University Hill Secondary School)

Bio: Left-footed winger/forward who developed in the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy … Has been selected to the New Zealand National Team training camps at the U-17 and U-20 levels … Before making the move to North America, trained at the Wellington United Academy in his native New Zealand … Over his first three seasons in the Whitecaps Academy, had 22 goals in 53 appearances … Scheduled to enroll at UCLA for winter quarter 2022.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "Thomas is a powerful attacking player with clean technique and great tactical feeling in the forward areas of the field. His ability to play multiple attacking positions and be goal-dangerous will be an asset as he influences the game at the collegiate level."

Sebastian Rincon – Midfielder – Culver City, Calif. – FRAM SC (Palisades Charter HS)

Bio: An attacking central midfielder for FRAM Soccer Club, the No. 1-ranked club team in Southern California … His attacking influence has helped FRAM to the semifinals or better in every event they have competed in over the last year … Is currently training with the Orange County SC academy team (USL League 1).  

Jorden's Scouting Report: "Sebastian is very gifted technically, has good tactical insight, and is very quick. He's a very elegant soccer player with the quality to develop into a top collegiate attacking player."

Cullen "Cam" Wilkerson – Midfielder – Richmond, Calif. – Colorado Rapids Academy (Baker Academy)

Bio: As of National Signing Day, ranked No. 58 in the TopDrawerSoccer IMG Academy 150 … Also listed by TopDrawer as the No. 3 player in the Rocky Mountains & Southwest region, and the No. 17 midfielder nationally … Participated in preseason training with the Rapids' first team this year … Previously was an integral player in the middle of the park for the Colorado U-17 squad … Also spent time with the Barca Academy and Portland Timbers Academy.

Jorden's Scouting Report: "Cam has extremely clean technique and is very two footed. He is athletically gifted and his quickness, partnered with his tactical insight, are a foundation for a very bright future. "