The Golden Hurricane men’s soccer team signed seven incoming freshmen and one sophomore for the 2016 season and beyond. After being one of the youngest teams in the country last season, Tulsa will return almost their entire team—the 2015 squad only had two seniors, after all.
The freshmen include Ryan Alpers, Alejandro Chavez, Aidan Dunne, Garrett Garwood, Matthew Puig, Casper Venstad, David Viox and Vincent Pedace, who is transferring from the University of San Francisco.
Alpers, a defender, plays for Blitz United and Union High School in Tulsa. Playing for Blitz, he helped lead them to three straight championships in 2013–15. With Union, he helped the team to a three-year record of 30–9 while advancing to the Class 6A State Championship quarterfinals in all three seasons he started.
Chavez, a midfielder, plays for TSC Hurricane and Broken Arrow High School. A three-year starter at Broken Arrow, he helped lead his team to Class 6A State Championship semifinals in his sophomore and junior seasons and the quarterfinals in his freshman year.
Dunne, a defender, has played for St. Louis Scott Gallagher for the past three seasons, where he helped win two division championships.
Garwood, a defender, plays club soccer for Solar Chelsea, where he helped lead his team to the 2012 Disney Showcase finals and the 2013 Dallas Cup quarterfinals. He was also a member of the USCS U15 Pre-Academy, and the USSF U16 and U18 Development Academy.
Puig, a forward, plays for OFC98 ‘A’ (Oklahoma Football Club) club team and Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Okla. While with OFC98 he helped lead the team to four-straight state championships. Playing for Deer Creek as a three-year letterwinner, he helped lead them to a Class 5A State Championship in his junior season.
Venstad, a defender from Skjetten, Norway, played for Lillestrom SK, where he helped them to a runner-up title in the 2014 U19 National Championship, a third-place finish in the division for the 2014 LSK Reserves and a regional championship with the 2013’s U19 team.
Viox, a midfielder, plays for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro Academy, where he serves as the captain of the U18 IL Academy Team. He is a Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News top-150 recruit.
Pedace, a sophomore midfielder, played his first season at the University of San Francisco, playing in fourteen games and starting in four of them. Before college he played for Pateadores Academy U18, Arsenal Academy U16 and Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, Calif.
Talking about the incoming class, Head Coach Tom McIntosh said; “ I am very pleased with the group as a whole. We needed to address immediate needs at the center back, as well as left-sided players that can play in midfield or at the back. In addition, we added a forward, as well as depth in midfield. This group compliments a strong group of returners who comprised the youngest team in the country.”