University of Akron men’s soccer coach Jared Embick announced the addition of eight players to the 2014 roster Wednesday.
The following players will continue their careers with the Zips as freshmen: forwards Stuart Holthusen, Nate Shultz and Anthony Macchione; midfielder Jesse Garcia-Aguilar; defenders Niko De Vera, Ezana Kahsay and Shane Wiedt and goalkeeper Elliott Rubio.
Wiedt is a senior at Archbishop Hoban High School.
“We are thrilled about the potential of this class,” Embick said in a prepared statement. “We have been thorough in our evaluation and are confident of the contributions they will make immediately and over the course of their careers at Akron. After losing six starters, we needed to bring in a strong class that has the skill and ability to play Akron soccer and I believe we have achieved that. The fall can’t get here soon enough.”
UA has added 12 players to its roster since the start of the new year. St. John’s transfer Sean Sepe and freshmen Bryce Cregan, Rich Laryea and Nathan Quirk joined the program in January and are enrolled in classes at UA.
Holthusen, a native of Wellington, New Zealand, started three matches for New Zealand at the 2013 Under-17 World Cup.
Garcia-Aguilar, De Vera and Macchione are members of the Portland Timbers Academy, a youth team that is part of the professional club that is coached by Caleb Porter, UA’s coach from 2006-2012.
Shultz and Wiedt each compete for the Cleveland Internationals, a club team that is part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Shultz is a senior at Mayfield.
Kahsay was born in Asmara, Eritrea. He scored 55 goals and had 45 assists as a four-year captain at the International Preparatory School at Grover in Buffalo, N.Y.
Rubio is a product of the Chicago Magic of the U.S. Soccer Federation and has been a captain for four years.
Embick also added some height to the team. Rubio is 6-foot-5, Macchione is 6-3, Kahsay and Wiedt are 6-2 and Cregan, Holthusen and Shultz are each 6-foot.
In other team news, Matt Foldesy has transferred to Indiana University and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
UA won the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles last season and finished with a 17-4-1 record during Embick’s first year as coach.
Michael Beaven can be reached at email@example.com.