The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Men’s soccer signs record 14 players in 2008 class

Highly anticipated class includes top recruit Ivo and another Corbin brother

After losing four talented starters to graduation following the 2007 season, SMU head soccer coach Schellas Hyndman responded by announcing his largest recruiting class in his 25 years at the Hilltop.

The 2008 recruiting class that was announced on Monday boasts 14 student-athletes, including three goal keepers. Hyndman pulled heavily from the surrounding Dallas area with six of the signees coming from the local club team the Dallas Texans.

The new class of players is evenly distributed in regard to positions. In the 2008 class there are three true forwards, four midfielder-forwards, four defenders and three goalkeepers.

On the whole, Hyndman is excited about the future prospects of this recruiting class. In a press release, Hyndman commented, “We’ve got quite a few players coming in – more than we’ve ever had – and this class has a chance to be special, to be one of the best classes in the history of SMU soccer.”

Hyndman will be entering his 25th season as the Mustangs’ head soccer coach and has seen his fair share of talented classes. His strong endorsement of this large recruiting class certainly eases the concerns of losing goalkeeper Steve Sandbo, midfielders Ben Shuleva and Scott Corbin, and defender Adrian Chevannes.

Headlining this year’s class from the Dallas Texans is midfielder and forward Arthur Ivo. Ivo was born in Brazil and attended The Oakridge School in Arlington.

Ivo plays on the left side of the field and can play either forward or in the midfield. According to coach Hydnman, Ivo is one of the nation’s top recruits and could immediately impact the Mustangs.

Like Ivo, Diogo de Almeida was also born in Brazil and went to Oakridge while playing on the Texans. Almeida plays in the midfield, and he is known for having a high soccer IQ. On top of his sheer talent, Almeida should add much needed size to the Mustangs’ midfield with his 6-foot-1-inch frame.

Ivo and Almeida’s journey to SMU is almost identical to that of current SMU juniors Bruno Guarda and Paulo da Silva. Guarda and da Silva are from Brazil and also attended Oakridge in Arlington.

Guarda has started almost every game of his career since arriving to SMU in the fall of 2005. Ivo and Almeida will both undoubtedly crack the starting lineup eventually, but it remains to be seen if they have the talent and maturity to do it as freshmen.

Other midfielders from the Texans include Brian Farkas (Plano West High School) and Payton Hickey (Plano East High School). Farkas is known for his serving ability and his speed when going for the ball. He is expected to compete for a midfield spot on the right side.

Hickey already boasts strong technical skills along with a strong left foot. He is expected to play on the left side of the field and has drawn comparisons to former SMU midfielder Paul Broome.

The last two players from the Texans are defender Adam Still (Heritage High School) and forward Joe Cooper (Jesuit College Preparatory). Cooper, along with incoming freshmen forwards Jochen Graf and Zach Funk, may have a difficult time cracking the lineup at forward. The Mustangs return both starters in Dane Saintus and Scott Geppert, while returning da Silva (a former starter) from injury. Senior Richard Oliva, who played significant minutes in 2007, also returns to the team.

While there is a logjam at forward, the backline for 2008 is hardly set. Ryan Mirsky and Daniel Lopez will return to the Mustangs from last year’s club. Leone Cruz will return from a season- ending injury that required surgery in 2007, along with last year’s freshmen Chad Bauman and Patrick Clendenny.

Along with Still, Ryan Rosenbaum (Washington, D.C.), Chad Vandegriffe (St. Louis, Mo.), and Marc Darling (Tucson, Ariz.) will have a chance to compete for playing time next season.

Defense is the one area that coach Hyndman really wanted to improve upon in the off-season.

The final three recruits for the 2008 class are all goalkeepers who will compete with Jonathan Lester and Craig Hill for outgoing senior Sandbo’s job.

Kevin McMullen, Guy Logan and Eric Corbin all signed to play with the Mustangs. Corbin is the third member of his immediate family to play for coach Hyndman at SMU. Eric has some big shoes to fill, considering both Scott and Bret helped lead SMU to the college cup during their careers at SMU.

The large size and talent of the 2008 class has certainly created excitement for coaches, players and fans alike. While only time will tell the full impact of the class, there is no doubt these 14 players will shake things up on the team and provide increased competition for starting positions immediately upon their arrival.

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