Men's Soccer Announces Four Signees
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Coming off a 13-win season in 2009, the Kentucky men's soccer program has signed four players for the 2010 season to National Letters of Intent, UK head coach Ian Collins announced Wednesday afternoon.
Kentucky signed four talented players, including defender Dylan Asher (Richardson, Texas), midfielder Ryan Costen (Lewisville, Texas), forward Craig Heard (Northampton, England) and local forward Tyler Riggs (Louisville, Ky.).
"We are very excited about our group of spring signees," Collins said. "We feel like all of these players have the ability to contribute early in their collegiate careers. We lost some talented and experienced players from a year ago and this group is going to have the opportunity to fill some major roles on our team. We anticipate more signings in the very near future to add this talented group."
Locally, the signee group is highlighted by the top prospect in the state, Riggs, a product of St. Xavier. A 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas High School All-America selection, Riggs is a natural goal scorer, a player who has shown skills inside the penalty area with either foot. During his career at St. Xavier, Riggs has led his team to three consecutive state championships (2007-09), earning first-team All-State accolades and being tabbed the 2009 Kentucky State Tournament Most Valuable Player. Over his three-year career, Riggs has totaled 66 goals and 23 assists. In addition to playing for St. Xavier, Riggs has played for the highly-successful club team Javanon. Academically, Riggs is a two-time first-team Academic All-State honoree and a member of the National Honor Society.
"Tyler brings a quality that we have been lacking the last couple of years here," Collins said. "He is a true finisher who has scored goals his entire career. We anticipate that trend continuing and think he will score a lot of goals here at Kentucky."
In addition to Riggs, UK inked Texas products Asher and Costen, with Asher a skilled central defender. A product of L.V. Berkner High School, Asher is considered a great reader of the game and is skilled on the ball. One of the top prospects in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, Asher will have the ability to make an immediate impact. Asher and Costen played on the same club team, Solar Soccer Club Academy.
"Dylan is a really classy player who makes things look easy," Collins said. "He is smooth and efficient with the ball and has all the qualities of a top-level defender to go with it."
Out of Lewisville High School, Costen is a central midfielder player out of the mold of UK four-year starter Jason Griffiths, a third-round Major League Soccer SuperDraft selection in 2009 by the New England Revolution. Costen has great range to cover the entire field, is tough and has a great comfort level with the ball.
"Ryan has a tremendous work rate," Collins said. "He covers every blade of grass on the pitch and consistently gets on the ball and makes things happen."
UK also signed one English product, Heard., a product out of Northampton Boys School in Northampton, England. Heard is a dangerous striker with the ability to score goals and is a player who is great with both feet. He also has the ability to get behind defenses and has been praised for his work rate.
"Craig is a striker who always stays involved and is always available as an outlet," Collins said. "He runs the offside line as well as anyone I have seen in a long time. He is dangerous both in front and behind the back fours."