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Men's Recruiting Sep 04, 2020

UNC Asheville men’s soccer adds 11 newcomers to roster

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville interim head men’s soccer coach Mick Giordano announced the addition of 11 newcomers to the program on Thursday. The newest Bulldogs come from two states (North Carolina and Georgia) and two international countries (Ireland and Germany).

“Our staff could not be more excited about the players that have joined our program,” Giordano said. “The credit certainly goes to Coach Mennell and Matt Tellez with our early signings, and the wonderful work of Joe LaCasto and Ross Fitzpatrick as we added another eight players since February. Their due diligence has landed us a fantastic recruiting class, which encompasses the blue-collar mentality we must have here at UNC Asheville. The staff knows each player will help us take the next step as a program with our culture, development, and mentality.”

Conor Behan – Midfielder – Dublin, Ireland (Bray Wanderers)

  • Represented Republic of Ireland on developmental squads at the U15 and U16 levels
  • Earned multiple Player of the Year and Top Goal Scorer awards
  • Helped his U17 team become the national runner-up in 2018

Coach’s Take: “Conor is another highly touted midfielder,” said Giordano. “He can play anywhere centrally, which excites the staff with the flexibility it brings our group. Conor is as hard as they come on the field, and one of the most responsible and kind young men off the field. We are beyond excited to have someone who has played first team football in Ireland join our team. His experiences will be huge as he comes in to adjust to the college game. Our staff has a high expectation for Conor as he has next level ability, but we know he will put his head down to do whatever the team requires of him to succeed.”

Wes Ferry – Defender – Havelock, N.C. (Havelock HS)

  • A two-time All-Conference pick
  • All-State selection as a senior
  • Team Captain as a junior and senior

Coach’s Take: Wes Ferry joins us as an “off the grid” guy from Havelock, North Carolina,” Giordano said. “His ability on the ball and desire to win our fantastic. Wes grew up in Germany, which is clear right away from his football IQ and approach to the game. He hit the ground running this spring and has shown everyone why we are so excited to see his blue-collar work-rate go to work every day.”

Justin Fleer – Defender/Midfielder – Asheville, N.C. (Asheville HS)

  • Netted 70 goals and added 40 assists as a high school player
  • Earned All-WMAC and All-Region honors in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • All-State pick in 2018 and 2019

Coach’s Take: “Justin is a player we have known for a long time and one of the best players to come out of Western North Carolina in the last ten years,” said Giordano. “He proved this immediately when he joined our program last spring and was thriving from day one. Justin is a leader and a tedious worker. His future is certainly bright and exciting, making our staff thrilled to have him stay home in Asheville.”

Izzy Garcia – Midfielder/Forward – Asheville, N.C. (Asheville HS/Clemson)

  • Spent past two seasons at Clemson (Redshirt 2018 and no action in 2019)
  • Scored 16 goals as a senior at Asheville High School
  • Was Co-MVP of Western Mountain Athletic Conference in 2017

Coach’s Take: “Izzy joined us mid-year and has already added a lot to our group,” said Giordano. “He oozes creativity, which will be essential for us in the attack. He is coming from the ACC’s best conference, where you must grind and compete every day. That experience and knowing how to win will rub off on the rest of our boys. It is great to have him back in Asheville.”

Silas Goss – Midfielder/Forward – Shelby, N.C. (Shelby HS)

  • Three-time All-Conference selection
  • Named Conference Player of the Year as a senior
  • Two-time All-State selection as well

Coach’s Take: “Silas is another wonderfully creative attacking player,” said Giordano. “He is versatile with his ability to play as a Midfielder, Wing Back, and Forward. He had just started to hit his stride this spring when the pandemic hit, but we know he will get going again this fall. Silas is another fantastic talent from Western NC that has played at an extremely high level in his youth career.”

Ian McGill – Goalkeeper – Jamestown, N.C. (Ragsdale HS)

  • As a senior, named 4A Metro Defensive Player of the Year
  • Also an All-State pick as a senior
  • An All-Conference and All-Region pick for three straight seasons

Coach’s Take: “Ian is one of the best 2020 goalkeepers in the entire South region,” Giordano said. “He comes highly recommended, and his accolades speak for themselves. We love his size at 6’3″ and think he can turn into a wonderful college goalkeeper. His experiences over the last year and half with competing at the highest level will do him well as he comes in looking to compete right away. Our staff is thrilled he chose to be a Bulldog.”

David McIver – Midfielder/Defender – Goldsboro, N.C. (Aycock HS/Charleston)

  • Helped University of Charleston win the Division II National Championship in 2019
  • Was named to Dean’s List in 2019
  • Helped his high school win a playoff game in 2018

Coach’s Take: “David is coming to us from one of the best programs in all of college soccer, no matter what tag is applied,” said Giordano. “He spent a year at the most successful college program over the last five years under two brilliant coaches in Coach Stratford and Coach Smee. The knowledge he learned from both on how to compete and hold a good standard will be imperative to what we are doing here. David will be a delightful addition to our group, and we are glad to have him back in his home state.”

Dominic Miller – Defender – Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Catholic HS/West Virginia)

  • Played freshman season at West Virginia and helped the Mountaineers win a match in the NCAA Tournament
  • Played 289 minutes for West Virginia
  • A  4.0 student during high school

Coach’s Take: “Dom is a wonderful addition to our team,” Giordano said. “He comes from the MAC Champions, West Virginia, where he proved to be an important player for their backline. The experience of playing in the NCAA tournament and being a winner is something our staff loves so much about what Dom brings to the team. We have huge hopes for his future and could not be more excited to see him in Bulldog Blue.”

Leon Musial – Goalkeeper – Ingolstadt, Germany (FC Ingolstadt 04)

  • Helped FC Ingolstadt 04 place third in the 2019 U19 Bundesliga Season
  • Finished ahead of teams such as FC Bayern München or TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
  • Gained first-team experience training with the pro squad

Coach’s Take: “Leon is one of the highest-rated players in our class,” Giordano stated. “His professional demeanor and mindset are exactly what we are looking for in our players. He has played in one of the highest U19 leagues in the world and thrived while doing so. It is not often you see a young goalkeeper of his quality and confidence not sign a contract in Germany. We are thrilled to have someone of his pedigree here in our program and cannot wait to get him going.”

Joel Preston – Midfielder/Defender – Saint Simons Island, Ga. (Glynn Academy)

  • A four-year varsity player
  • Was a Regional All-Star for three straight seasons
  • Played club soccer for Tormenta FC of USL League One in Georgia for two years

Coach’s Take: “Joel has developed in one of the best up and coming Academies in the entire Southeast,” Giordano said of Preston. “Tormenta FC continues to produce high-level players not only for college but also for the professional game. We had the privilege to see Joel at last summer’s ID camp and then again playing for his club team in the fall. It became clear quite quickly he would be an excellent fit while displaying a calmness on the ball and the ability to play several different positions. Our staff thinks we stole a player away from the state of Georgia and could not be happier.”

Luke Sloan – Defender/Midfielder – Asheville, N.C. (A.C. Reynolds HS)

  • All-WMAC and All-Region pick in 2018
  • Competed on Highland Football Club
  • Scored nine goals and added seven assists as a senior

Coach’s Take: “Luke is as blue-collar as they come,” stated Giordano. “He is all about the Bulldog Blue with his sister currently on the women’s team, and his dad is an alum of our program. It is always great when you can add a student-athlete that truly knows what it means to be a Bulldog. We are excited to see his attacking flair that he can bring to our side.”