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NCAA Jul 29, 2021

San Diego State men’s soccer finalizes 8-player recruiting class

SAN DIEGO  San Diego State men’s soccer head coach Ryan Hopkins and his staff have finalized their 2021 recruiting class. The class features six freshmen and two transfers.

“I couldn’t be more excited to announce the first full recruiting class since our arrival at San Diego State,” Hopkins explained. “We faced unprecedented challenges in the middle of a global pandemic, but we were able to address all of our needs as we rebuild the culture and refine our playing identity that will be our trademark. The mix of internationals, transfers, and first-time freshmen all bring different tools to the table but the common thread amongst all of them is their desire to win and improve themselves daily on and off the field. I firmly believe they will be the foundation of a great chapter of Aztec soccer.”

SDSU will be adding three defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one goalkeeper. Four of the incoming Aztecs are international recruits, hailing from Australia, Denmark, Netherlands and Slovenia.

Meet the New Aztecs

Beto Apolinar

Midfielder
CA

Coach Hopkins Take: “Beto is a classic defensive midfielder whose positional sense is wise beyond his years. He is aggressive and his engine allows him to shield the back line very well. He is comfortable on the ball and disguises his passes well which will help us in the build out phase. We are very excited to see his development for the next four years.”

Jacob Castro

Goalkeeper
WA

Coach Hopkins Take: “Jacob has all the tools to succeed as a high-level goalkeeper. His size, athletic ability, shot stopping, box control and comfort with the ball at his feet are all top notch. His experiences as a Pac-12 champion at Washington and with the Tacoma Defiance of the USL will add a winning mentality into the group. We firmly believe that with his three years left he has the potential to become the next great Aztec netminder. ”

Coach Hopkins Take: “We are thrilled to add an attacking option of Alex’s pedigree. He comes from one of the best youth academies in Europe and his versatility to play up front or out wide will benefit our attack greatly. He also has the mindset and humbleness that we are striving to instill in this program daily.”

Rommee Jaridly

Forward
CA

Coach Hopkins Take: “Rommee comes from a club at Strikers FC that has an unparalleled track record of preparing their student-athletes for college soccer and the next step in their lives. Rommee lives by the core values of our program already so that transition will be much simpler as we continue to build a blue collar and team-first mentality here at SDSU.”

Coach Hopkins Take: “So is a modern outside back that combines excellent attacking abilities with quality defending. What impresses me most about So is all he wants to do is play soccer and improve. Not many times in the recruiting process do you get asked multiple times ‘How often can I use the field to practice?’ So certainly buys into our mantra of ‘Actions must meet ambition’ and I can’t wait to unleash him on our left side. So definitely has the potential to develop into one of the best outside backs in college soccer.”

Coach Hopkins Take: “Tadej will bring a mature vocal presence to our back line. He has played in extremely high-level games in the UEFA Youth Champions League and with the Slovenian National Team. He is versatile enough to play any of the four back line positions and his commitment to winning and pushing himself to the highest levels is a welcome addition to the program.”

Coach Hopkins Take: “Rik is a prototypical modern-day center back. He combines positioning, athleticism, aerial ability, as well as great composure coming out of the back with the ball. Playing for nine years in the AZ Alkmaar & Ajax youth systems has given him an advanced knowledge of what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of soccer and those experiences will only help our program. His leadership qualities also standout and I look forward to him leading our back line to many clean sheets over his time here.”

Henry Smith-Hastie

Midfielder
CA

Coach Hopkins Take: “Henry is a dynamic box-to-box midfielder that can also operate as a deep lying playmaker. He will add a physical component with his surging runs from midfield and will be a welcome addition to our intense pressing style.”

Featured Players

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