Men's Soccer Adds Five on Signing Day
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern Men's Soccer has landed five signees for the class of 2012 as announced on Wednesday, February 1st by Head Coach Kevin Kennedy. The class includes three Georgians, a Texan, and a goalkeeper from the mountains of North Carolina. Three of the new Eagles currently compete in the USSF Development Academy.
"We're extremely excited about this class," said Kennedy. "Although it is a small class, the quality of these players is outstanding. We are confident that we have addressed all of our needs with these recruits. We have a very good goalkeeper, a strong defender and some great attacking personalities."
Eric Dinka, a 5-6 forward from Coppell, Texas, will help fill a void left by one of the most proficient goalscorers in Georgia Southern history. A product of Solar Soccer Club in Dallas, a partner of London's Chelsea F.C., Dinka has played for USSF Chelsea Academy team since 2010. Dinka's speed will be his main asset as he makes the transition from prep level soccer to the Southern Conference.
"Eric is an exciting attacking player, we feel that he can play anywhere in our front three," said Kennedy. "He has the ability to break down teams on the dribble or through combination play. We also believe that his athleticism will bring a lot to our team."
Reed Norton (Evans, Ga.) comes from a family familiar with Georgia Southern Soccer. His brother, Hunter Norton, is the current captain of the Eagles and his father, Tom Norton, was Head Coach of both the Men's and Women's Soccer teams at GSU. A native of Evans, Ga., Norton played two seasons at Greenbrier High School before training with the United States U-17 National Team from January to June of 2011 at the IMG Academy. He also plays for the Concorde Fire Academy in the USSF Development Academy system. Considered a modern-day defender, Norton is solid on the back line, but can range forward and help with the attack.
"Reed could be a player to make an immediate impact on our program," said Kennedy. "He can play virtually anywhere on the field and he has all the physical tools to compete at the Division I level right now. He also has great experience playing with our national team, which is something rare for a kid in our league."
Chris Katt was born in Lakeland, Fla., but joins the Eagles from Waynesville, N.C. A goalkeeper by trade, Katt earned all-region honors at Tuscola High School, before spending his summers with the North Carolina and Florida Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams. At 6-5, Katt will be easily the tallest player on the field for Georgia Southern and will get a chance to compete for the netminder position right away.
"Chris has an outstanding frame for a goalkeeper, his 6-5 height and large wingspan will allow him to transition quickly to the college game," said Kennedy. "He has a tremendous workrate and a great attitude. We're really looking forward to his growth this year."
Emmanuel Raji (Lawrenceville, Ga.) is an attacking minded player that will help to bolster the Georgia Southern offense. A product of Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Ga., Raji played on the 2010 Georgia Class 5-A State Champions and scored 21 goals with nine assists on the 2011 State runners-up. On the club side, Raji was a member of Norcross Soccer Academy U17 in 2011, scoring 43 goals and playing to a 25-5-2 overall record.
"Emmanuel is another great attacking player," said Kennedy. "He has exceptional pace, strength and agility, but more importantly he has great composure in front of the goal. We believe that he can compete for time in our front three and we're excited about bringing in another attacking personality."
Aidan Reising, from Gainesville, Ga., was captain of his Gainesville High School team in 2011 as a junior, a team which was the national top-ranked team in 2010 and won the GHSA 3-A State Championship in 2010. A midfielder/wide defender, Reising also played for Norcross Fury U17 Premier, a team which won multiple championships in the 2010 season as well as the newly formed Georgia United Academy in the USSF Development Academy system.
"Aidan is what soccer fans refer to as a 'Classic No. 10.' He has great technical ability, tactical awareness and a high workrate," said Kennedy. "He is a very creative player that will compete for time as a central midfielder. In addition to what he can do for us on the attacking side of the ball, he has a great willingness to defend."
The Eagles will announce the 2012 schedule of games in the upcoming weeks and months, as well as additional student-athletes joining the Georgia Southern family.
- Category: Men's Soccer
- Published on Thursday, 02 February 2012 01:32