LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Kentucky men’s soccer team has added five additional players for the 2010 season, head coach Ian Collins announced.
“Overall I am extremely pleased with the players who have committed their future here,” Collins said. “This group contains real quality in all positions and has players who are tough both mentally and physically, and most importantly they are determined to push our program to a new level.”
Kentucky, which had signed four players earlier in the signing period, has inked five more standouts, including Chad Asher, Sam Brooks, Brendan Murphy, Josh Mulvany and Ellis Vienne. UK previously signed Dylan Asher, Ryan Costen, Craig Heard and Tyler Riggs.
Chad Asher, a native of Keller, Texas, played on the same club team as Dylan Asher and Costen and in 2008 was selected to the USA Under-17 National Team, spending time in residency with the U.S. team. A physical, athletic player, Asher is known for his toughness, his defensive abilities and work rate.
“Chad has a great pedigree having spent time in the U17 US Men’s National Team residency program in Bradenton, Fla.,” Collins said. “He is a great athlete with a great physical presence. He loves to mix it up and defend and these qualities will mix nicely with how our defensive players have always played. Chad plays club soccer for Kevin Smith and the Solar SC U18 Academy team, the same team as fellow signees Dylan Asher and Ryan Costen. Solar is one of the top club programs in the country and their experiences with the club and working with Kevin will have them prepared to perform and compete at a very high level.”
Brooks, a transfer from the University of the Cumberlands, where he was captain, will have two years of eligibility remaining at UK. A dominant physical defender, Brooks is originally from Solihull, England, and brings a wealth of experience to UK. He will be counted on to help organize and run the UK back four. A strong player in the air and with the tackle, Brooks is known for his passing ability and ability to read the game.
“Sam is a quality defender who is a great organizer and vocal leader on the field,” Collins said. “His understanding and positional sense is very good and at the same time he is efficient with the ball and possesses great technical range.”
Murphy, a product of St. Frances of Assissi High School in Tamworth, England, is an exceptional talent who brings versatility to the field. He has great pace to go by players and the technical ability to deliver balls into dangerous areas. A player with great passing ability, he will be counted on as a goals-scoring threat.
“We are really looking forward to getting Brendan into our program,” Collins said. “He is a very talented player, he can make things happen quickly and will be very difficult for opponents to deal with.”
A talented player out of Louisburg College in North Carolina, Mulvany is a highly rated midfielder player originally from Oxford, England, who will be an excellent complement to UK’s leading scorer and Rossington, England, native Matt Lodge. He is skilled with both feet and is known for his ability to posses the ball and dictate the rhythm of the game. He is a dynamic player that always looks to go forward and threaten.
“Josh will have a big impact on our program,” Collins said. “Without question he has the talent and attitude to compete at the very top level and be a difference maker for the program going forward. I have no doubts that he will be a fan favorite and can be the driving force behind a midfield with some very talented players in it.”
Vienne enrolled at UK early, graduating from Hopewell High School in North Carolina in order to attend UK during the spring semester. A tremendous athlete with great speed, quickness and leaping ability, Vienne will play on the left side and will be equally effective in the back or midfield. A product out of the well-known CESA Elite program, he has participated in the ODP for three years. An excellent student, Vienne is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars.
“Ellis possesses all the athletic traits to be a success here at UK,” Collins said. “He has a great left foot and the ability to get up and down all day. I am excited to watch his growth as a player and I feel he has a great upside.”