The Simon Fraser University Clan men's soccer team officially announced the addition of six players to their roster for the 2011 season. Joining the Clan are local products Erik Hacker, Ryan Dhillon, and Justin Wallace, while Chris Bargholz, Robert Brown, and Pablo Ruiz come over from overseas.
"We have scoured the globe this year in search of talent to add to our squad, and we have a very established and successful group so we needed to be very careful in who we added to our team," said head coach Alan Koch. "I think we've found the perfect blend of talent and character, and I look forward to meshing these talents with our current squad in August."
Dhillon is a midfielder who was essential to North Delta Secondary's run to the B.C. high school AAA championship finals, where he claimed the Golden Boot award as the tournament's leading scorer.
"I chose SFU because they're known to have one of the better business schools in all of British Columbia and business is the area of study I am looking to pursue," said Dhillon. "Their soccer program is also one of, if not the best in the country and I'm looking forward to playing with them and improving my game."
Hacker, like Dhillon, is also a North Delta product, and has also been a part of the Vancouver Whitecaps prospects club for the last three years. Koch believes that because of their experience with the Whitecaps youth groups, both players will be able to come in right away and compete for spots.
Wallace comes to the Clan after spending two seasons with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. In his 2010 freshman season, the midfielder from Kamloops was named BCCAA rookie of the year, scoring 11 goals in 12 games.
"I chose SFU not only for its tremendous soccer program but also for its academic benefits," explained Wallace. "In addition, I found that SFU was the best fit for me to challenge myself to play at the highest university level in Canada."
Koch's rosters are often composed of local players as well as an array of players from across the world and his 2011 recruiting class is no different. The trio of Bargholz (Fuessen, Germany), Brown (Brussels, Belgium), and Ruiz (Guatemala City, Guatemala) all add depth and an international touch to an already deep and talented roster. All three players are midfielders and will also come in looking to earn playing time.
"I chose SFU because of a number of reasons, such as the great location and education it offers to student athletes," said Brown. "Although what really hooked me is the idea of playing soccer everyday within a great set up, and competing in the NCAA with a successful team and representing the school and country."
Bargholz added: "Simon Fraser combines a well-recognized academic program with a great soccer team. This allows me to get an excellent education and furthermore play soccer at a high level."
The Clan open conference play on Sept. 18 versus the Western Washington University Vikings at Terry Fox Field.