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Men's Recruiting Feb 17, 2021

University of North Florida adds pair of men’s soccer recruits

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.University of North Florida men’s soccer coach Derek Marinatos announced the addition of two signees for Fall 2021, in Niklas Schaffner and Owen Christiansen.

“I am definitely pleased with the addition of two more players to our recruiting class for 2021,” said Marinatos. “In addition to their strong soccer skills, both players hail from Florida are also 4.0 students in high school.”

The pair join Adrian Maldonado, Chance Shamlou and Joaquin Acuna who signed earlier this season.

Niklas Schaffner
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
High School: Atlantic Coast
Height: 5-9
Position: D
Club: Jacksonville FC (Formerly Jacksonville Armada)

  • Had 21 goals and 25 assists in the U.S. Development Academy (now MLS Next) as an outside back/wing player in the past four years.
  • He has also been a consistent starter for the JFC UPSL team which plays in a men’s amateur division in Florida and is a playoff contender in 2021.
  • Trained in Germany with FC Kaiserslautern and SV Sandhausen as a U17 player in the summer of 2018.

Marinatos says: “Niklas was a fantastic pick up for us from right here in Jacksonville from JFC soccer club.  He is capable of playing right back or left back and also on the wing. He is a two-way player that his coaches at the club describe as consistently one of the hardest working players on the team”

Owen Christiansen
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
High School: Edgewater
Height: 5-11
Position: D
Club: 2003 FKK ECNL

  • Is the current starting left center back on FKK ECNL
  • His team is ranked in the Top 5 in the state of Florida and the team finished top five in the ECNL
  • 2003 ACYS Elite NPL Club team ranked in the Top 10 in the state of Florida from 2017-2019
  • That team won the Florida Cup, Jefferson Cup and FYSA State Cup
  • A two-year co-captain at Edgewater, was named to All-Metro as a junior and helped his team to the district championship
  • Expected to be a nominee for Metro-West Player of the Year and All-State
  • In addition to soccer, president of Beta Club, member of NHS and Mu Alpha Theta, and is an AP Scholar

Marinatos says: “Owen is a hard, physical left footed left center back or left back that impressed us with his consistent play at the ECNL showcase.   He showed competency on the ball and a solid range of passing, giving us more depth on our back line.”

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