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SMU men announce 14 signings for 2008

Published 4/2/2008 8:02:36 AM by staff from smusoccer
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SMU men's soccer head coach Schellas Hyndman announced Monday the recent signing of 14 student-athletes for the Mustangs' 2008 recruiting class.

"I am extremely excited about the 2008 class," Hyndman said. "We've got quite a few players coming in - more than we've ever had - and this class has a chance to be special, to be one of the best classes in the history of SMU soccer."

Arthur Ivo is a midfielder/forward from Fort Worth who attends The Oakridge School in Arlington and plays for the Dallas Texans club team. Born in Brazil, Ivo played for the Under-18 2007 Disney Showcase champion team that qualified for the 2007 Southern Regionals and won the Under-17 Region III West Premier League.  "Arthur is one of the top recruits in the country," Hyndman said. "He's a left-sided player who could play in the midfield or at forward. He's a very talented, skillful player. We're very glad he's with us, because he certainly is not someone we would want to play against."

Diogo de Almeida is a midfielder who lives in Arlington and, like Ivo, was born in Brazil, attends The Oakridge School and plays for the Dallas Texans.  "Diogo is a very talented, versatile player with a great soccer brain," Hyndman said. "He's another left-sided player, but he can play a number of positions for us - he could play forward, a center midfield spot, wing midfield, or even left fullback. He's a player from whom we're expecting a lot of good things."

Forward Joe Cooper, from Plano, attends Jesuit College Prep in Dallas and also plays for the Dallas Texans. He is the younger brother of Kenny Cooper, who plays for FC Dallas and the United States National Team. Kenny signed with SMU before choosing to pursue a professional career in Europe.  "We're very excited to have Joe with us," Hyndman said. "We worked very hard to get Kenny here a few years ago, and Joe has a lot of similar qualities. He's big and strong, like his brother, and has great vision. He is just starting to peak, in terms of his ability, and we think in our environment, he can experience great growth. He's very skillful and tactically sound, and we expect him to compete for playing time up front."

Adam Still, of Colleyville (Heritage HS), Texas, is the lone defender among six SMU signees who play for the Dallas Texans club team  "Adam is a center defender who really is capable of playing any of the four defensive positions," Hyndman said. "He's one of the best one-on-one defenders we've seen in a long time. He's a very courageous player and an excellent distributor of the ball. We expect him to find success at SMU."

Midfielder/forward Brian Farkas of Plano (Plano West HS), Texas, is another member of the Dallas Texans club team who scored 28 goals in his senior year.  "Brian is a very gifted player, and an excellent athlete who has tremendous speed and quickness," Hyndman said. "He's an excellent server of the ball and has very good technical skill. We expect him to compete right away at the right midfield spot."

The last of six Dallas Texans club team players is midfielder/forward Payton Hickey of Plano (Plano East HS).  "Payton is another player we're extremely happy to have joining us," Hyndman said. "He's another left-side player - he could play left outside midfielder or left fullback for us. I'm really impressed with his first touch and his overall technical ability. He has a really nice left foot, on short passes and long passes, and he's a great overall athlete. He reminds me a lot of (former SMU midfielder) Paul Broome."

SMU signed a pair of forwards from the Andromeda club team that won the Under-18 national championship: Jochen Graf of Double Oak (Faustina Academy), Texas, and Zach Funk of McKinney (McKinney HS).  "Jochen has a great mentality for a forward - he goes to the goal really hard," Hyndman said. "But he's also a very good two-way player. He's one of the best defensive forwards we've seen this year, and we expect him to push for playing time.  Zach is another forward off the same (Andromeda) club team. He reminds me of the old-school strikers, with a low center of gravity. He plays a little like Paulo (da Silva), but a step quicker. He is very effective when he gets out wide, and he has a real ability to score goals, so he could play a wing midfielder spot or up front. He's another guy who has a chance to get a lot of playing time."

The Mustangs signed three goalkeepers in this year's class: Kevin McMullen of Turnersville (Washington Township HS), N.J., Guy Logan of Ashton (Georgetown Prep), Md., and Eric Corbin of Yorba Linda (Mater Dei HS), Calif.  "(McMullen) is one of the few players from the East Coast that we've had, and when we saw him, we liked him right away," Hyndman said. "He's an all-state goalkeeper in New Jersey and won the regional championship with his (FC Delco) club team. We think he has great potential. The goalkeeper race is wide open here, and he's going to be one of several guys competing for the job. He has great hands and really good size. He also distributes the ball really well, and is a good shot-stopper.  Guy Logan has a great soccer background, and has a chance to be a great goalkeeper. He's a good athlete who's very strong in the air. He's another one who is a good distributor of the ball and will compete for playing time."

Corbin is the third member of his family to sign with the Mustangs.  "Eric is following in family footsteps of two wonderful, talented older brothers, (former SMU midfielders) Bret and Scott," Hyndman said. "Both of them helped us get to the College Cup, so we're hoping Eric can help us get there, too. He's a talented guy who's very courageous when the ball is in the air, and will compete for the No. 1 job.

"All of these guys have a chance to compete for the top spot. We're graduating a very talented goalkeeper, and we have two guys - Craig Hill and Jonathan Lester - who are playing very well this spring. But those two guys, plus the three we're signing, all are going to get a chance to compete for Steve's job. The competition is going to raise the level of the goalkeeper position on this team."

The Mustangs added three more defenders in this year's class: Ryan Rosenbaum of Washington, D.C., who was a two-year c

Label: SMU soccer, SMU soccer recruits, Arthur Ivo, Joe Cooper, Adam Still

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