(FREDERICTON, N.B.) Strikers Alex O'Brien (Charlottetown, PEI) and Jacob Goudy (Calgary, Alta.); midfielders Alex Allison (Quispamsis, NB), Ben Gorringe (Truro, NS) and Luke Walker (Enmore, PEI); fullback Matt Boem (Mississauga, Ont.) and keeper Kristian D'Amore (Mississauga, Ont.) will join the UNB Varsity Reds men's soccer team for the 2015 season.
The new recruits join winger Dan Walker and fullback Alex McNally (both of Fredericton, NB) who both committed to UNB earlier in the summer.
These latest additions to the V-Reds are proof the UNB men's soccer program is positioning itself to consistently rank among the strongest in the country.
In 2014, the Varsity Reds finished first in the AUS conference for the third year in a row with an unbeaten record of 11-0-2 and went on to win their second consecutive conference championship. UNB suffered a disappointing shoot-out loss in the quarter-final of the CIS national championship. The Varsity Reds finished the season ranked second in the CIS national rankings.
Hometown: Charlottetown, PEI
Team: Winsloe Charlottetown Royals FC
O'Brien comes to UNB from Colonel Gray High School in his hometown of Charlottetown, PEI, where he also played with the Winsloe Charlottetown Royals FC, the PEI provincial team and Team Atlantic.
"Alex has all the tools to be a very good AUS and CIS player," said UNB head coach Miles Pinsent. "He is fast, hard, skilled and creative."
O'Brien also has a family connection to the Varsity Reds. His father, John O'Brien, played at UNB and was a member of the 1980 team that won the CIS national championship.
"I'm most looking forward to playing with competitive, high-performance athletes and learning from the experience of both teammates and coaching staff," O'Brien said.
O'Brien's career highlights thus far include travelling to Scotland in 2014 for training and games, including a match against the St. Mirren Pro Youth Academy Team, and representing PEI at Club Nationals in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
Team: Calgary Chinooks United 97
Goudy brings to UNB experience playing with the Calgary Chinooks United 97 and the Alberta provincial team.
A striker ranked among the top scorers in his league for the past ten seasons, Goudy has trained with various NCAA soccer clubs in the US. In 2015, he trained and played in Germany against top teams as well as Bundesliga academy teams.
"I chose the UNB Varsity Reds from my first interaction with [head coach] Miles Pinsent," Goudy said. "And hearing about the strong soccer program he has created, that combined with an excellent engineering program really offered both the athletic and academic excellence I was looking for."
Coach Pinsent says: "Jacob is a dynamic attacking player who knows how to score. His speed and ability to find space enables him to create chances."
Hometown: Quispamsis, NB
Team: Shattuck St-Mary's
The midfielder from Quispamsis, N.B., brings to the Varsity Reds experience playing with Shattuck-St. Mary's, a college prep school in Faribault, Minnesota, that allows students a focussed concentration in athletics or the arts. He also has experience playing with Team New Brunswick and Team Atlantic.
Allison says he chose to commit to the Varsity Reds because of the program's strong commitment to both athletics and academics.
"I chose to come to UNB for the high academic standards and the fantastic, nationally-ranked UNB soccer team," Allison said. "I'm most looking forward to continuing to play soccer at a very high level."
Coach Pinsent says: "Alex is a complete player. His physical abilities and technical skills should allow him to quickly transition to the varsity standard."
Hometown: Truro, NS
Team: XFC Premier Men's
The midfielder from Truro, Nova Scotia, brings to UNB experience playing with the XFC Premier Men's team, Nova Scotia provincial teams and the National Training Centre (NTC) Atlantic.
Gorringe became the first male player in Colchester County history to make an Atlantic squad at any level when he was named to the U16 Atlantic team. He's been a Nova Scotia provincial team member for the past six years and became a starting central midfielder for the XFC Premier men's team at only 15 years old. During the high school season, Gorringe became the highest goal scorer in Cobequid Educational Centre's 45-year history, leading them to their first provincial medal.
"I chose UNB because of the good reputation the school has academically, along with it offering the program I'm interested in," Gorringe said. "Also, once I experienced the campus and met with the team, I knew that Fredericton would be the place for me."
Coach Pinsent says: "Ben is a very competent and composed midfielder who can play box to box."
Hometown: Enmore, PEI
Team: Summerside United Senior Men's
The midfielder from Enmore, PEI, brings to UNB experience playing with Summerside United Senior Men's team and the PEI provincial team. His career highlights include winning gold at the Atlantic All-Star U18 Tournament as a 16-year-old.
Walker said he was drawn to the Varsity Reds program because of the opportunity is provided to play high-level soccer while getting a top-rate education. "I chose to attend UNB because they have an excellent engineering program and they also have one of the top soccer programs in Canada."
Coach Pinsent says: "Luke is a young player with a good skill set. I am really looking forward to watching his development over the next couple of years."
Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
Team: Erin Mills Eagles
A fullback from Mississauga, Ont., Boem brings to UNB experience playing with the Erin Mills Eagles and at invitation-only international tournaments such as the Dallas Cup, where he competed against top clubs from the United States, Germany, Mexico, England and Costa Rica. Boem's international playing experience also includes a tour of Holland competing against top clubs including Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Frankfurt, Everton and Manchester United.
Boem intends to study towards an eventual law degree at UNB.
"UNB is a great university with an excellent program that will help me pursue my aspirations for a career in law," Boem said. "The university has a great sports facility and I was impressed with the school's support of its athletic program. The Varsity Reds have a great record and reputation, and I am excited to be a part of the squad this fall."
Coach Pinsent says: "Matt is a tremendous athlete with great speed and agility. His considerable experience and success with youth soccer should help him transition to the university level."
Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
Team: Mississauga Falcons SC
The keeper from Mississauaga, Ont., brings to the Varsity Reds experience playing with the Mississauga Falcons SC and with Power FC Academy. Among his career highlights is winning the 2014 OFSAA Championship.
"The Maritime hospitality made me feel welcome and comfortable with the team, Coach Miles, and the faculty members in Kinesiology," D'Amore said about choosing UNB. "The soccer and athletic facilities are second-to-none!"
Coach Pinsent says: "Kristian possesses a strong base from which I feel he can continue to grow and develop into an even better keeper."
The UNB Varsity Reds play their first home game of the 2015 season on Saturday, Sept. 19, when they host Dalhousie at 3:15pm.