Looking to build on last year’s A-Sun Tournament appearance, the USC Upstate men’s soccer program and head coach Greg Hooks has brought in eight newcomers in its recruiting class for 2015.
Joining the Upstate program are Lawend Barzenji, Chris Bergersen, Wes Chambers, Ramon Mendez, Ryan Ross, Marvin Schoen, Gordon Wild and Declan Winters.
“We expect this class of newcomers to come in and contribute as we look to build on our A-Sun Tournament appearance last year,” said Hooks. “I am very happy with the talent and experience in this group and look forward to having them be a part of our program.”
Lawend Barzenji | M | 5-9 | 155 | Simpsonville, S.C. | Woodmont HS | Furman United
Barzenji was a four-year letterman on the Woodmont High School team. He helped lead the Wildcats to a second place finish in Region I-4A and an appearance in the 4A state tournament as a junior in 2014. He finished the year with a goal and three assists. He also played club soccer for Furman United and helped lead the team to the championship of the Rock Hill Tournament.
Chris Bergersen | M | 5-10 | 160 | Dallas, Texas | Jesuit College Prep | Andromeda U18 Acad.
Bergersen spent the last year at the IMG Academy in Florida after graduating from Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, Texas, in 2014. He has had a standout career in club soccer. After leading Jesuit College Prep in scoring with 10 goals as a freshman, he spent a summer training at IMG in 2011. He went on to play club soccer for ASG 95 Gold West from 2010-11, Andromeda U16 Academy from 2011-12, Jabaquera and Santos FC from 2012-13 and Andromeda U18 Academy from 2013-14. His ASG 95 Gold squad won the 2010 DTSC Fall Festival tournament and was ranked No. 3 in Texas North and No. 69 nationally. He trained with the U16 National Team in Dallas and helped lead Andromeda U16 Academy to an appearance in the Dallas Cup. He helped lead Jesuit to the 9-6A UIL district championship in 2010. He was also a standout in the classroom at Jesuit as a member of the National Honor Society and President’s Honor Roll.
Wes Chambers | M/F | 6-0 | 156 | San Francisco, Calif. | Stuart Hall HS | IMG Academy
Chambers was a standout soccer player at Stuart Hall High School in his native San Francisco, Calif., prior to spending the last year at the IMG Academy in Florida. He was the leading scorer on his Stuart Hall squad as a senior en route to earning All Bay Counties League West First Team All-Conference honors. In addition to playing at IMG, he also enjoyed a successful club career in California playing for Marin FC. He helped lead Marin to the Surf Cup title in 2012 and as a finalist in 2013. He helped lead IMG in a tournament at Disney World against the Orlando City Academy.
Ramon Mendez | M/F | 5-7 | 138 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Spartanburg HS | CESA Spartanburg
Mendez was a four-year letterman at Spartanburg High School. He was a Region II-4A all-region selection as a senior and an all-area all-academic selection as a junior. He finished his career with 20 goals and 16 assists for 56 points. He began his career with seven goals and five assists as a freshman to help lead the Vikings to an appearance in the 4A state tournament. After sitting out his sophomore season with an injury, he returned with eight goals and four assists as a junior and tallied five goals and seven assists as a senior. He also had a standout club career. He played for the Spartanburg Arsenal and CESA Spartanburg teams and helped lead the Arsenal to the 2009 state championship.
Ryan Ross | F | 6-1 | 158 | Irmo, S.C. | Dutch Fork HS | SCUFC 96 Elite
Ross was a four-year letterman at Dutch Fork High School. He led the team in scoring both in points and goals as a junior. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the Airport Select Invitational as a junior in 2014 en route to earning All-Region honors. He helped lead Dutch Fork into the 4A state tournament all four years of his career. The Silver Foxes advanced to the lower state championship game in 2013, upper state semifinals in 2015, lower state quarterfinals in 2014 and the upper state quarterfinals in 2012. He also helped Dutch Fork to an appearance in the Region 5-4A championship game in 2013. He played club soccer for the SCUFC 96 Elite and the Charleston Battery.
Marvin Schoen | M | 5-11 | 150 | Mainz, Germany | Get | SV Niedernhausen
Schoen has turned in a productive last three years playing club soccer in Germany. He moved from Mainz to Berlin in 2012 where he spent a few months playing for Tennis Borussia Berlin before he decided to move back home. He finished his last junior year playing for SG Bremthal and led his team as the team captain with 12 goals and 45 assists and a win in the local league championship. He finished with four goals and 14 assists in 2013-14 and six goals and 11 assists in 2014-15 for SV Niedernhausen. Before moving to Berlin, he played for Germania Weilbach against teams like 1. FSV Mainz 05. He was also a member of the DFB-Base U-14 squad. He trained and played for a German Elite School of Soccer. He comes from an athletic family. His father was a goalkeeper in the Second Bundesliga for handball and his mother played for the German National Table Tennis Team.
Gordon Wild | F | 5-10 | 163 | Steimel, Germany | IGS Mainz Bretzenheim | SVW Wiesbaden
Wild has been a standout player for several club teams in Germany. He most recently played for SV Wehen Wiesbaden after playing for FSV Mainz 05, Sportfreunde Eisbachtal, SG 06 Betzdorf and Ellingen. He is the first member of his family to attend college and comes from a family of circus workers.
Declan Winters | D | 6-2 | 175 | Falkirk, Scotland | NE Oklahoma A&M | Falkirk District HS
Winters played his first two college seasons at Northeast Oklahoma A&M and has two years of eligibility remaining at Upstate. He was a standout defender for the Norse. He helped lead the team to a 10-9-1 record last year and into the Region 2 championship game as team captain. He finished the season with one goal and four assists from his defender position. He tallied one goal as a freshman in 2013. Prior to coming to the United States to play college soccer, he had a solid club soccer career in his native Scotland and led his Falkirk District High School team to a Scottish national title.
Upstate caught fire at the end of the season in 2014, winning two of its last three conference matches to earn a spot and the #5 seed in the A-Sun Tournament. The Spartans return a solid core of players from last year’s squad, including A-Sun All-Freshman selections Heiko Allmendinger and Lukas Sommer.