Men’s Soccer Announces 11-member Signing Class
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – USC Upstate head men's soccer coach Greg Hooks announced today the signing of 11 players to the Spartan soccer squad.
Set to join the Spartans in the fall are Daniel Alvardo, Dustin Bailey, Robbie Cook, Eli Cothran, Tyler Fletcher, Matt Flynn, Tevin Gage, Dylan Hoop, Grant Kercher, Taylor Scalera and Dave Musambi,
"We tried to meet our most pressing needs with this recruiting class, which were scoring goals and defending," said head coach Greg Hooks. "I feel as though these young men will help us improve in both areas. Assistant coach Geoff del Forn did a solid job of indentifying prospects who possessed the athletic and academic characteristics for which we were looking."
Daniel Alvardo (GK, Leander, Texas) will arrive in Spartanburg after wrapping up his prep career at Leander High School where he earned letters in both soccer and football. Alvardo was a four-year starter for the varsity soccer club and was recently named 16-5A First-Team All-District as well as earning a spot on the Hill Country News' Dazzling Dozen team. He played club soccer at the Lonestar Soccer Club for Coaches Sean Bubb and Bruce Tablot. This past season the Lonestar SC claimed first-place at the Disney Showcase (academy division). Alverado is a member of PALS, student council and the Key Club.
Dustin Bailey (M/F, Charleston, S.C.) is set to join the Spartans when his prep career at Wando High School is over. Bailey was a member of the varsity soccer program all four years and has started since his sophomore season. During his club career, he played for the Mt. Pleasant Soccer Club and S.C, United. Bailey owns a 3.4 GPA and intends to major in chemistry.
Robbie Cook (D, Columbia, S.C.) will make the short move trek to Upstate from his hometown of Columbia, S.C. Cook has started all four years as a member of the A.C. Flora varsity soccer team. As a freshman, he was named the team's most valuable player and in 2008, as a sophomore, he earned the Varsity Hustle award. In 2009, Cook was named SCISA All-Region and as a senior he again earned MVP honors as well as 3-A All-State and HSSR All-State honors. Cook played club soccer for both the Columbia United FC and the S.C. United. In 2007-08 the S.C. United club was a state cup finalist.
Eli Cothran (F, Walhalla, S.C.) will arrive on campus after concluding his prep career at Walhalla High School. Cothran played varsity soccer for four seasons and served as a team captain as a junior and senior. As a junior, he tallied 37 goals and 11 assists earning numerous accolades. After junior season, Cothran was named the team's MVP, the Mountain Lakes Conference Player of the Year, the All-Region Player of the Year and earned Class 2-A All-State First Team honors. While at Walhalla, Cothran helped the team claim four straight regional championships and four appearances in the upper state tournament. He was also a participant in club soccer playing with SC 93 ODP, 92 Oconee United and the CASA 92 Rangers.
Tyler Fletcher (D, Greenville, S.C.) will arrive at Upstate after making the short move up I-85. Fletcher earned four letters as a member of the varsity soccer team (captain as a junior and senior) at Eastside High School. In 2010, Fletcher notched the game-winning goal against Riverside HS to lead Eastside to the Upper State Championship match. He finished that season as the team's second leading scorer and was named to the all-region team. Fletcher played club soccer for the CESA under the direction of U.S. Soccer great, Bruce Murray and former Citadel standout, Nick Finotti. Fletcher was starting defender for the nationally ranked CESA 92 Premier team for the last six years and the team went undefeated in the S.C. State Cup from 2003 to 2010, setting a state record. The team claimed the Southern Regional Championship in 2008 and won the Disney Soccer Showcase Championship in 2009 and 2010. Fletcher was also a participant with the S.C. ODP from 2007 to 2008.
Matt Flynn (D, Greenville, S.C.) will wrap-up his prep career at Wade Hampton High School. He has been active in club soccer and like incoming Spartan, Tyler Fletcher, Flynn was a starting defender for six seasons under direction of U.S. Soccer standout, Bruce Murray and former Citadel great, Nick Finotti. He was a starter for the CESA 92 Premier team, who was nationally ranked for the last six years and the team went undefeated in the S.C. State Cup from 2003 to 2010, setting a state record. The team claimed the Southern Regional Championship in 2008 and won the Disney Soccer Showcase Championship in 2009 and 2010.
Tevin Gage (F, Valrico, Fla.) will join the Spartans after a stellar prep career at Bloomingdale High School. As a senior Gage scored 28 goals and was selected as the 6-A Player of the Year and was a First-Team All-Conference selection. He also earned a roster spot in both the County and State All-Star games. During his prep career he also earned All-County Honorable Mention honors (2008-09) and was selected as Bloomingdale's Offensive Player of the Year (2008-09). Gage currently plays club soccer with the Clearwater Chargers Academy and the team was a Disney Qualifier in Sept. 2009. Gage, who was selected for the Super Y USL ODP U-18 team, spent two different summers training in South America. In 2007, he trained at the Tahuichi Camp in Bolivia and trained at the Clube Atletico Mineiro in Brazil (2008). Gage intends to major in computer science or information technology.
Dylan Hoop (F, Cincinnati, Ohio) will arrive in Spartanburg after a two-year stint at Cincinnati State Technical College. The last two seasons Hoop led the team in both goals and points. As a freshman, Hoop notched 16 goals and 12 assists for a points total of 44, placing him 15th-nationally. He followed a stellar freshman campaign with 23 goals, 12 assists and 58 points as a sophomore, finishing eighth nationally. Cincinnati State finished the 2010 campaign as National Runners-up, finishing with a 20-2 record and Hoop earned National Tournament team honors. Prior to arriving at Cincinnati State, Hoop played three seasons as a member of the varsity soccer team at Cincinnati Christian. He scored 27 goals during sophomore and junior seasons and finished with 44 as a senior. His 44 goals were a school-record for a single-season and his 98 career goals are also a school record. All three seasons, Hoop earned All-City, All-Southwest Ohio and All-Miami Valley Conference First-Team honors. In 2007, he earned All-State Second Team honors and as a senior he was a First-Team All-State selection and was the Miami Valley Conference Player of the year. Hoop played club soccer with Ohio Elite Soccer Academy and the team claimed the 2006 State Cup in 2006 and played the best clubs in the nation as well as the Youth National Team.
Grant Kercher (M/D, Dayton, Ohio) will follow Dylan Hoop and also will join the Spartans after two seasons at Cincinnati State Technical College. As a freshman, Kercher led the team in assists (14), finishing with 12 goals and 38 points en route to earning First-Team All-Conference honors and was the squad's MVP. Kercher played just 10 games as a sophomore finishing with eight goals, six assists and totaled 22 points. In 2010, Cincinnati State finished second in the nation and posted a 20-2 mark while Kercher also earned All-National Tournament honors. Prior to arriving at Cincinnati State, Kercher played three seasons of varsity soccer at Centerville High School. Was the team's captain as a season and was the team's leading scorer after notching 15 goals and five assists. In 2008, Centerville claimed the District Title and Kercher was named to the GWOC Division-I First-Team, Miami Valley First-Team and the GWOC's All-Star First-Team. Played club soccer for Team Dayton beginning at age 10 and stayed with the club when they became Team Ohio at U-15. The squad won the State Cup in 2007 and made the state tournament each season he was with the club.
Taylor Scalera (F, Dacula, Ga.) was a four-year starter at Mill Creek High School as a member of the varsity soccer team. As a senior, Scalera was the team's captain, leading goal scorer and was tabbed as the team's MVP. Played club soccer with the Georgia Futbol Club Elite 93 and was named the Region-3 Premier League Player. Georgia FC was a state cup semifinalist and 2009 and was a state cup finalist in 2010. Also has ODP experience and traveled to England when he was 14 to compete in a tournament as part of the team representing the United States.
Dave Musambi (F, Ottawa, Canada) is a skillful striker that owns his high schools career goal scoring record (55). He was the league's top scorer four times and earned a slot on the Eastern Ontario Provincial squad. He played club soccer with the Ottawa South United Force for six years and at the Disney Showcase (2009-10) he totaled seven goals in seven total games.