University of Rhode Island men’s soccer signs 14 student-athletes
KINGSTON, R.I. – Head coach Gareth Elliott has announced the addition of 14 student-athletes who will be joining the University of Rhode Island men’s soccer program this fall.
“We are really looking forward to getting these guys on campus and starting our team training,” Elliott said. “This is obviously going to be a unique year with no competition in the fall, but with so many newcomers on the roster, I actually think that will be a positive for us. We graduated a lot of talent and veteran leadership last year, so we will definitely benefit from this extra time in the fall to really gel with one another and establish our team identity. We expect a lot of these guys to see playing time immediately, and are excited to watch them carry on the tradition of greatness that is synonymous with Rhody men’s soccer.”
Lars Petter Bredsdorff Hotvedt – Freshman – F – 6-3/188 – Oslo, Norway/Norwegian College of Elite Sports
Selected Rhode Island because of the soccer program’s success as well as the positive conversation he had with URI’s coaching staff and former Norwegian soccer student-athletes who have played at URI… Also liked that the campus location makes it easy for his family to visit.
Before URI: Played for Stabæk Soccer Club (2016-20), Ullern Soccer Club (2013-16) and Huk Soccer Club (2006-13)… Was a forward for Oslo’s All-Region team (2014-17)… In 2016, was selected to participate in the qualifications for the Norwegian National Team… Was the top scorer of the season in 2017, helping lead his U16 team to the Norwegian national championship… Scored the goal of the year in 2018 and was selected to Norwegian College of Sports team in Buenos Aires, Argentina… Team accomplishments include winning the 2017 Norwegian National Championship and placing first at the Interkrets G16 (2016) as well as finishing second at the 2017 Liverpool Academy Tournament, the 2016 Norwegian National Cup Tournament and the 2014 Vejle Cup (in Denmark). | Personal: Full name is Lars Petter Bredsdorff Hotvedt… Born January 17, 2001… Son of Christine Bredsdorff Hotvedt and Lars Bredsdorff Hotvedt… Has a younger brother, Sverre August… Enjoys playing & watching soccer, hanging our with friends, traveling, golf and music… Favorite athletes are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Sadio Mane… Favorite team is Liverpool FC… Is majoring in Business… Would like to pursue a career as a stock broker.
Elliott on Bredsdorff Hotvedt: Lars Petter is a powerful #9 with good hold-up play and the ability to run in behind defenses. We believe he is capable of scoring a lot of goals at the collegiate level and we’re excited to see what he can accomplish at Rhody over the next four years.
Artan Brovina – Grad Student – M – 5-9/160 – Drammen, Norway/BI Norwegian Business School
Chose to attend URI over Florida Atlantic… Selected Rhode Island because of the great soccer program and quality academics.
Before URI: Competed for Ørn Horten FK (Norway’s Fourth Tier) from 2017-20… Made 110 appearances with the First Team, combining for 15 goals and 22 assists… Also served as team captain for Drammen FK U15-U19 (2012-26) and Mjøndalen U19 MIF (2016-17). | Personal: Born February 27, 1997… Son of Igbal and Dashnor Brovina… Has an older brother, Astrit, and an older sister, Ariana… Enjoys listening to music and traveling… Favorite athlete is Paul Pogba… Favorite team is Manchester United… Is pursuing his MBA at URI.
Elliott on Brovina: Artan has played over 100 matches at a good level in Norway, which should help him transition well to the American college game. A very technical player who is comfortable in multiple spots in the midfield, he instantly gives our squad great experience and leadership.
Kevin Castaneda – Freshman – M – 5-8/150 – Providence, R.I./Hope High School
Chose Rhode Island so that he could be part of a successful soccer program at a great academic institution while also staying close to home.
Before URI: Was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team at Hope High School… Was an All-Division First Team selection in 2018… Also played five years with New England Futbol Club… Helped lead NEFC to the 2018 NPL championship title as well as two State Cup championships… Academically, was a four-year honor roll student as well as a 2018 Mike Dynon Academic All-State selection. | Personal: Born August 18, 2002… Son of Ingrid Nunez and Gerardo Castaneda… Has an older brother, Gerardo, Jr., who is a member of the men’s soccer team at UMass Boston… Also has a younger brother, Steven… Enjoys playing sports… Favorite athlete is Andres Iniesta… Favorite teams are Barcelona FC and the New England Patriots… Is majoring in Business Marketing… Hopes to pursue a career playing professional soccer.
Elliott on Castaneda: Kevin is a local talent who we’ve admired for some time. He’s been an important player for NEFC in recent years and gives us great technical ability, a terrific left foot, and a very high soccer IQ. He will compete for playing time straight away in the center of our midfield.
Hugo Guerra – Junior – M – 5-10/160 – Brewster, N.Y./UAlbany
Chose to attend URI over Dayton… Selected Rhode Island because of the facilities, coaching staff and style of play.
Before URI: Played his freshman and sophomore seasons at UAlbany… Combined for four goals and two assists in 28 games played (seven starts)… Captained his high school team as a senior… Also played six years for FC Westchester in the USSDA. | Personal: Born October 28, 1999… Son of Maria Valdez and Victor Guerra… Has an older brother, Ricky… Favorite athletes are Lionel Messi and Neymar… Favorite team is Arsenal FC… Is majoring in Communications… Hopes to pursue a career playing professional soccer.
Elliott on Guerra: Hugo joined us for this past spring term and instantly made an impact. He is a proven attacking player who can beat players 1v1 or combine well with others. We are excited about Hugo’s abilities and cannot wait to see him in the keaney blue and white!
Josh Kam – Freshman – D/M – 6-1/176 – Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island
Chose to attend URI over Dayton… Selected Rhode Island because of the soccer program’s history of success, the beautiful campus and URI’s new engineering building.
Before URI: Played for Empire United DA from 2016-20… Captained the U17s in 2017… 2019 team was first in its DA Cup group… Academically, was a four-year honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society… Also was in the Tech Club and the Environmental Club. | Personal: Born October 9, 2002… Son of Jennifer and Christopher Kam… Has an older brother, Nicholas, and a younger sister, Jessica… Enjoys playing soccer and hanging out with friends… Favorite athlete is Andres Iniesta… Favorite team is Manchester United… Is majoring in Engineering… Would like to eventually attend law school.
Elliott on Kam: Josh has played a pivotal role for Empire United in recent years at both the CM & CB positions. A very intelligent player with great composure and tactical awareness, we are very excited to have “JK” join our Rhody family this fall.
Igor Manrique – Junior – D – 5-9/165 – Madrid, Spain/ Carlos III de Madrid University
Rhode Island because of the soccer program and academic offerings.
Before URI: Played for Trival Valderas (2019), Rayo Vallecano (2018-19 ; 2011-16) and Atlético de Madrid (2016-18)… Won the U16 Spain Championship with the Community of Madrid Team… Also won La Liga, Copa del Rey and Copa de Campeones with Atlético de Madrid U19. | Personal: Born February 25, 2000… Son of Sonsoles Manrique … Has an older sister, Zoila Jimenez… Enjoys calisthenic exercise, boxing, hanging out with friends… Is majoring in Business.
Elliott on Manrique: A technically gifted left back or left midfield player, Igor’s resume includes playing for one of the best academies in the world (Atlético Madrid) and in the Tercera División of Spain. We believe Igor will be ready to help us compete for an Atlantic 10 Championship from the second he steps on campus.
Alberto Molina – Freshman – D – 6-2/180 – Hopewell Junction, N.Y. /John Jay East Fishkill
Chose to attend URI over San Diego State, UAlbany, Oneonta and SUNY Cortland… Selected Rhode Island because of the soccer program as well as the university’s business program.
Before URI: Was a four-year starter and two-time team captain at John Jay… Helped lead team to back-to-back conference titles in 2018 and 2019, as well as two appearances in the New York Sectional semifinals… Also played with Quickstrike FC 02 NPL from 2017-20 and was a team captain in 2018 and 2019… Team was undefeated in 2019, winning the NPL title as well as the ESPN Disney championship. | Personal: Born October 31, 2002… Son of Karina and Alberto Molina… Has a younger sister, Arianna… Enjoys helping out with his family’s landscaping business, volunteering at his local church and mentoring younger players in his local soccer club… Favorite athlete is Carlos Puyol… Favorite team is Barcelona… Is majoring in Business… Plans to pursue a career as a real estate attorney or a mortgage broker.
Elliott on Molina: Alberto starred at a showcase event hosted by URI last summer, where he scored a goal that made the ESPN’s Top-10 plays. He’s a tough tackling defender with great size, mobility and a dynamite left foot!
Vetle Nilsen – Freshman – D – 6-2/187 – Skedsmokorse, Norway/Skedsmo
Chose to attend URI over Fairleigh Dickinson and La Salle… Selected Rhode Island because of the positive things heard about the URI’s business school and academic reputation, which were important factors in his decision… Also liked the professional atmosphere around the soccer program as well as the success other Norwegian players have had at Rhody in recent years.
Before URI: Played with Lillestrøm SK (U16-U21), the same youth academy that produced recent Rhody greats Peter Kristiansen, Sondre Karterud and Ludvik Benco… Captained the Lillestrøm SK U19 team… Was named Lillestrøm SK’s 2019 Club Youth Player of the Year… Also helped lead Lillestrøm SK to the U17 Elite Junior League championship title. | Personal: Born March 14, 2001… Son of Dag Roehne Nilsen and Lin Aasborg… Has a younger sister, Synne… Enjoys playing tennis and basketball… Favorite athletes are Virgil Van Dijk and Raphaël Varane… Favorite team is Liverpool FC… Is majoring in Business… Hopes to play soccer professionally and one day own his own company.
Elliott on Nilsen: Vetle, our newest Lillestrøm SK academy graduate, is a versatile defender with great athleticism and a professional mentality. We believe he will have an immediate impact on our program both on and off the field.
Jake Reed – Freshman – GK – 6-1/185 – Cumberland, R.I./Cumberland
Chose to attend URI over Bryant, Franklin Pierce, UCF and High Point… Selected Rhode Island because of the excellent educational opportunities, the beautiful campus, awesome athletic facilities and proximity to the beach… Also loved the idea of playing in his home state.
Before URI: Was a four-year starting goalkeeper for Cumberland High School… Was a First-Team All-Division, All-State and All-New England pick as a senior… Earned All-Division Third Team accolades as a junior… Played club soccer for Rams FC Arsenal (2019-20), Bruno United NPL (2018-19) and Lusitania FC (2015-18)… Won the 2019 State Cup Championship and placed second at the 2019 National Cup Championship with Bruno FC NPL. | Personal: Born July 3, 2002… Son of Karen Berard-Reed and Carl Reed… Has a younger brother, Jonathan… Enjoys spending time with friends and family, working out, traveling, playing video games and coaching youth soccer… Favorite athlete is David Beckham… Favorite team is Manchester United… Is majoring in Business… Would like to pursue a career in the soccer world – first playing, then coaching, then moving to the business side of things.
Elliott on Reed: Jake played for our Rams FC club during his senior year and instantly caught our attention. An athletic goalkeeper with excellent range and shot-stopping ability, we believe Jake has all the tools necessary to be a high-level goalkeeper for us moving forward.
Matteo Sapucci – Junior – M/F – 5-10/170 – Rimini, Italy/University of Urbino Carlo Bo
Chose to attend URI over Central Arkansas… Selected Rhode Island because of the strong soccer program.
Before URI: Played for Rimini Football Club – two years at the senior level and seven years at the youth level… Made 43 appearances for Sammaurese Calcio in Serie D and four appearances for Rimini FC in Serie C. | Personal: Born February 22, 1998… Son of Monica and Sandro Sapucci… Has an older brother, Federico… Enjoys playing basketball and wants to learn how to play the piano… Favorite athlete is Roberto Firmino… Favorite teams are Ajax and Arsenal… Is majoring in Exercise Science.
Elliott on Sapucci: Matteo is a dynamic wide player, or attacking midfielder, who will be very dangerous in the final third. With over 40 appearances at the Serie D level, we believe he should transition quite well to the college game.
Michael Tavares – Freshman – M – 5-10/158 – Portsmouth, R.I./Portsmouth
Chose to attend URI over Davidson and Bucknell… Selected Rhode Island because of the academic opportunity, the campus and the surrounding area… Also liked the closeness of the players and staff in the soccer program, and felt it was a community he could fit into.
Before URI: Played varsity soccer at Portsmouth High School, where he captained the team as a senior… Also was a First-Team All-Division, All-County and All-State selection as a senior… Led his team in points scored his sophomore, junior and senior years… Finished his career with 26 goals and 18 assists… Team finished as state runners-up his freshman year… Also played for Bruno United FC from 2015-20, and served as team captain in 2019 and 2020… Academically, was a member of the National Honor Society and National Language Honor Society… Also received the Harvard Book Award from Portsmouth High School during his junior year. | Personal: Born December 8, 2001… Son of Cindy and Joseph Tavares… His father attended URI and played soccer for the Rams from 1984-88… Has a younger sister, Emilia… Enjoys fishing, skiing, running, the beach, listening to music and playing FIFA… Favorite athlete is Cristiano Ronaldo… Favorite team is Real Madrid… Is majoring in Wildlife Biology… Future plans include becoming a field biologist or conservationist.
Elliott on Tavares: Michael is a terrific athlete who can both score and create goals. After a standout career for Portsmouth High School and Bruno FC, we are excited to work with him and build upon his talents to help maximize his high potential.
Shadrach Walker – Freshman – D – 6-2/188 – Providence, R.I./Classical
Chose to attend URI because he saw it as the best place for him to grow as a player and a person over these next four years.
Before URI: Was a three-year team captain at Classical High School… Was an All-Division and All-State First Team Selection in 2019, as well as the Al Morro Award winner… Also played two years with Bruno United and nine years with Explosion FC… Captained Bruno United in 2020, after leading the team to the 2019 Rhode Island State Championship and placing second at the 2019 U.S. National Cup. | Personal: Born March 24, 2002… Son of Judy and Kwame Walker… Has an older sister, Margaret and a younger brother, Noah… Enjoys art and cooking… Favorite athlete is Virgin van Dijk… Favorite teams are Liverpool, Juventus and Fenerbahçe… Is majoring in Business… Would eventually like to start his own youth soccer club in Rhode Island.
Elliott on Walker: Shad is our final Rhode Island commit who is a strong, athletic, versatile defender with nothing but upside. He adds outstanding character and leadership qualities to our squad and will compete for playing time as a freshman.
Jannes Werner – Freshman – M/F – 6-0/165 – Schöneiche, Germany/Flatow-Oberschule
Chose to attend URI over Dayton UCF and Georgia Southern… Selected Rhode Island for the opportunity to play for a professionally-run, high-level program that has excellent facilities at a high-quality academic institution.
Before URI: Played 12 years at 1. FC Union Berlin… Was a two-year starter for U19 Bundesliga, combining for seven goals and 11 assists in 48 games from 2017-19… Also played for U17 Bundesliga during the 2016-17 season, registering six goals and three assists in 23 games… Was named to the All-Star team in both 2016-17 and 2017-18… Also helped lead his team to the U17 State Cup. | Personal: Born February 14, 2000… Son of Doreen Werner and Guido Tschacher… Has two older sisters, Laura and Anne… Enjoys sports, fitness, biking, meeting friends and cooking… Favorite athlete is Cristiano Ronaldo… Favorite team is Borussia Dortmund.
Elliott on Werner: Jannes also joined us this past spring semester, after an extensive youth career in the U19 Bundesliga. A pacey winger with goals and assists in his locker, we anticipate Jannes to contribute to our attack immediately.
Cooper Wiberg – Freshman – D – 6-1/180 – Täby, Sweden/Tibble Gymnasium
Chose to attend URI over New Hampshire and Oakland… Selected Rhode Island because of the coaching staff and fantastic athletic facilities… Also felt URI was the place where he could reach his goals both on and off the field.
Before URI: Played more that 60 matches in the top U19 league in Sweden… Was a member of Täby FK Senior Team (2020), Täby FK (2015-2019), Kuala Lumpur Youth Soccer (2011-2015) and IFK Täby (2008-2011)… Captained the Täby FK U19s and was vice captain on Täby FK U17s… Was named Täby FK U19 Defensive Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019… His team won the 2017 U17 Allsvenskan Norra title (the highest U17 club team competition)… Also was a Swedish champion with Stockholm district/regional team (2017). | Personal: Born May 26, 2000… Son of Mica and Jan Wiberg… Has an older sister, Louise… Enjoys sports and music… Favorite athlete is Sergio Ramos… Favorite team is Real Madrid… Would eventually like to become a professional soccer coach.
Elliott on Wiberg: Cooper is a pacey central defender, with great leadership qualities, who we think can help replace some of the experience we recently graduated. We are excited about his potential and cannot wait to begin working with him this fall.