Fordham men’s soccer announces five additional recruits for 2021
The newest Rams are transfers Matthew Ranieri (Natick, Massachusetts/Noble & Greenough (Dartmouth)) and Callum James (Swansea, Wales/Bolton (St. Francis Brooklyn)), as well as incoming freshmen Ahmed Abotrika (Doha, Qatar/GEMS American Academy), Jed Dixon (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill), and Will Manning (King City, Ontario/Villanova).
The group joins newcomer Tapiwanashe Shumba (Tenafly, N.J./Tenafly), who signed with the Rams earlier this year.
“We are delighted to welcome this great group of Rams and look forward to them joining our soccer program and Fordham community,” said Acquista. “This incoming class will greatly complement our returning roster’s culture and identity. We consistently look for certain characteristics, qualities, and personalities that would integrate well into our environment, and we believe this group does that.”
Ranieri, a 5-11 defender, is a graduate student transfer from Dartmouth, who spent the last four seasons with the Big Green. Prior to the missed 2020 season due to the pandemic, he appeared in 43 matches at Dartmouth, making 18 starts. He recorded a goal and two assists in those three seasons, which included a game-winning marker against Hartford in 2017. He also was a part of Dartmouth’s 2017 Ivy League Championship team, which made the NCAA Tournament. Before Dartmouth, Ranieri captained his New England Revolution Academy team from U14-U18 and was a U.S. Soccer training invitee. He was also a multiple-time First Team All-ISL selection and NESPAC All-Star for Noble and Greenough High School.
James, a 6-3 goalkeeper, is a transfer from St. Francis Brooklyn, where he spent the two seasons with the Terriers. He helped the team capture the NEC Championship last season and was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship. He won the first-ever NEC Goalkeeper of the Year award this past spring and earned All-NEC First Team honors. James posted a 6-1-2 record in goal to go with three shutouts and a 0.72 goals against average. Additionally, James was a Second Team All-Northeast Region pick by United Soccer Coaches and was a nominee for NEC Student-Athlete of the Year. Prior to St. Francis Brooklyn, James was a part of the U19 Wales National Team.
Dixon, a 6-1 defender, attended River Hill High School in Clarksville, Maryland, where he was a four-year member of the varsity soccer squad and a four-year member of the honor roll. A team captain as a senior, he was a three-time All-County selection and helped River Hill to Maryland State Finals twice in 2017 and 2018. For club soccer, Dixon is a part of Baltimore Celtic.
Manning, a 6-0 midfielder, attended Villanova College for high school in King City, Ontario, Canada. He played soccer for Toronto FC Academy, and is currently a part of Toronto FC II. With the Academy, he helped Toronto FC win both the U17 USSDA Mid-America Division and the U19 USSDA Central Division, while taking sixth place in the U17 Generation adidas Cup Champions Division. Manning also participated in the U17 Liga MX International Invitational Tournament and Dallas Cup Division I. In the classroom, he was a three-time member of the honor roll and a two-time recipient of the Principal’s Award.