University of Central Florida men’s soccer adds eight for 2021 season
ORLANDO, Fla. – The UCF men’s soccer team is gearing up for the 2021 season and have loaded up with talented incoming student-athletes. The Knights have inked five transfers and three freshmen over the course of the summer, bringing their incoming class to eight.
The five transfers have a combined 14 years of experience in collegiate soccer with three of them coming in as fifth years, one as a junior and the other as sophomore.
Nick Taylor, formerly a forward/midfielder for rival SMU, brings 25 career points with him to Orlando. He spent two seasons at New Mexico where he tallied six goals before heading for Dallas after the Lobos closed the doors on their program. Taylor started all 11 matches in the Mustangs’ shortened 2020-21 season, scoring twice at South Florida on Feb. 13 in a 7-0 rout of the Bulls.
Alessandro Campoy has found a new home with the Black and Gold after being at FIU for the past handful of seasons. The former Panther forward has tallied 46 points in three seasons, collecting 17 goals throughout his career, including 10 over the past two seasons. He was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2017 before earning back-to-back First Team All-Conference nods. He finished in the top-10 nationally in points in 2019 and was awarded with the C-USA Golden Boot at season’s end. Campoy isn’t the only transfer from FIU that the Knights have landed as Caleb Franke went from being a Panther to suiting up for the Black and Gold last season and making a huge impact, playing in all 14 matches during the 2020-21 campaign.
Rainer De Jesus rounds out the group of fifth-year transfers as he joins UCF from Lindsey Wilson. The midfielder only saw time in two matches during his freshman season at Warner before transferring to Lindsey Wilson for his sophomore year, where he turned in an impressive campaign. He tallied 24 of his 49 career points in 2018 as he scored seven goals and made his way to the Mid-South Conference First Team. The Curitiba, Brazil native said that UCF was the first college he contacted while playing with an academy in his hometown and was in love with everything about the school and program.
Robbie Soronellas will travel a few hours south to join the Knights after spending his previous two seasons at North Florida. The midfielder played in 26 matches and collected 11 points, including four goals split across his two campaigns. The Lutz, Fla. native was a unanimous ASUN All-Freshman selection in 2019. Robbie’s dad, Frank Soronellas, played for the UCF men’s soccer program from 1981-83.
Lucas Mauro turned in an incredible freshman season at Cowley College, tallying 11 goals and four assists, good enough for 26 points. Three of those 11 goals came on Oct. 12, 2019 against Coffeyville CC as Mauro collected his first career hat trick. After his rookie campaign, the forward/midfielder decided to transfer to Barry University for the 2020-21 season. Mauro never got to see the pitch as Barry did not have a season due to the pandemic of COVID-19.
The Knights added three freshmen during this recruiting cycle, landing midfielder Kevin Andrews, defender Ryan Jani and forward Asher J’n Pierre. Andrews and Jani hail from the United States, coming from Minneapolis, Minn. and Monroe, Ga. respectively. J’n Pierre is a native of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Jani scored 17 goals and tallied 28 assists in three seasons of high school soccer at George Walton Academy, helping his team to a National Runner-Up finish in 2019. He spent his sophomore year of high school in Madrid, Spain playing for Rayo Vallecano and played club soccer for GSA ECNL. Apart from the outstanding soccer program and facilities, Jani chose UCF because it has a one-of-a-kind campus and believes it’s a great place to pursue his business degree.
J’n Pierre comes to UCF after scoring 10 goals and tallying five assists in his junior year after collecting 18 goals in his freshman season. He attended high school at the British College of Gava in Spain and went on to play for the Barbados 17U and 20U teams.