July 8, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army head men’s soccer coach Russell Payne announced his 10-man recruiting class on Tuesday. The Class of 2018 is set to join the Black Knights for the upcoming 2014 campaign.
The class features seven players who competed at the top tier of youth soccer in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA). Three members of the incoming group are natives of New York, while three others come to West Point from Florida. Additionally, two players hail from Maryland, while two others come from Alabama and Colorado, respectively.
“This incoming class possesses a lot of potential at every position,” Payne said. “They will continue to help us fortify and reload for the 2014 season and will all play significant roles in helping this team achieve its goals. This class is mentally and physically ready for the rigors of West Point and we look forward to watching the players grow and contribute to West Point soccer.”
A native of Marietta, Ga., Shaban Abousaud arrives at the Academy after playing for the Concorde Fire under head coach Greg Blasingame. A team captain for the 2011 and 2012 squads, Abousaud scored the game-clinching penalty kick in the U.S. Youth Soccer U16 National Championship match in 2011. He also played at Lassiter High School in Marietta, where he was an all-state and all-county selection. Abousaud attended USMAPS and scored a team-high 17 goals during the 2013 season.
Marcos Arroyo enters the Academy following a stint with the Orlando City club squad, where he was a captain for the U18 and U16 teams. In 2012, the Orlando, Fla., native was named a U16 ESPY Award Player to Watch by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Additionally, Arroyo gained valuable experience as a member of the Hagerty High School soccer team in Oviedo, Fla.
Mario Da Silva comes to Army after playing for Weston FC of the USSDA where he led the team with 16 goals. Da Silva was courted for the U.S. U17 national team residency program and was also invited to Florida’s Olympic Development Program, where he led the 2012 squad to its first ODP National Championship. The Parkland, Fla., native was named the tournament’s most-valuable player and won the Golden Boot after scoring the most goals in the tournament. Da Silva also played on the St. Thomas Aquinas High School team, where he earned team MVP and all-county honors as a sophomore.
Hailing from Littleton, Colo., Spencer Goldstein brings USSDA experience after competing on the Colorado Rush club squad under head coach Sean Bushey, finishing with nine goals during the 2013 season. Goldstein also played soccer at Heritage High School, where he led the team with nine goals during the 2012 campaign.
James Mbony comes to West Point after playing the 2013 season at USMAPS. Prior to his time with USMAPS, Mbony was a member of the men’s soccer team at Howard University. The native of Silver Spring, Md., played club soccer with Bethesda-Olney of the USSDA, while also competing at the high school level at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring.
Christian Nolasco enters the Academy following a playing career as a captain goalkeeper for the Blau Weiss Gottschee club team of the USSDA. The Ozone Park, N.Y., native previously played soccer at Christ the King Regional High School. Nolasco also won the U15 Northeast Pre-Academy League title with the New York Cosmos Pre-Academy team and was invited to several U.S. Soccer Market Training Centers.
A native of Riverdale, N.Y., Sebastian Palomino arrives at Army after playing for the Downtown United Soccer Club in New York, N.Y. As a member of Downtown United, Palomino earned a State Cup Championship and was named team MVP in 2013. Palomino’s previous soccer experience includes time at Fordham Prep and USMAPS. While at Fordham Prep, he was honored as an all-league selection in 2012 and 2013 and received the team’s MVP award in 2013.
Okheem Riley comes to the Army men’s soccer program after playing on the FC Frederick and Governor Thomas Johnson High School teams in Frederick, Md. Riley enjoyed an impressive high school career that included all-conference and all-area honors in 2012. Riley, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica before moving to the United States, also played in the Maryland Olympic Development Program in 2013.
Newton Tsang most recently played soccer for the South Kent School prep team under head coach Owen Finberg. A native of New Hyde Park, N.Y., Tsang previously played three years of soccer at Great Neck South High School, where he served as team captain as a senior. Tsang’s additional soccer experience includes six years on Albertson SC on the USSDA.
Raised in Miami, Fla., Denys Villatoro comes to Army after playing for the Kendall Soccer Coalition club squad of the USSDA. Villatoro also played at prep soccer at USMAPS and competed on the Homestead Senior High School team. While at Homestead Senior, he was honored as the team MVP following his sophomore and junior seasons. Additionally, Villatoro was a guest player during the U.S. U20 National Team training camp.
The Army men’s soccer team will look to build on its 2013 accomplishments when it kicks off the 2014 season against Fairfield on August 29. The contest at Clinton Field is scheduled for 7 p.m.
2014 Army Men’s Soccer Freshmen
|Mario Da Silva
||Parkland, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas HS
||Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair/USMAPS
||Ozone Park, N.Y./Christ the King Regional
||Riverdale, N.Y./Fordham Prep/USMAPS
||Frederick, Md./Governor Thomas Johnson
||New Hyde Park, N.Y./Great Neck South/South Kent
||Miami, Fla./Homestead Senior/USMAPS