2000 Bulldog Soccer

Season Outlook

The Union University Menís Soccer team, coming off its most successful season ever in 1999 with a #1 national ranking for two weeks by College Soccer Weekly and a # 3 seed in the NCCAA National Championship Tournament, has landed several new high caliber recruits.

Jacksonís very own J.T. Lee, a 5-11 forward, produced 33 goals in 2000 to help lead his JCM High School squad to a #9 ranking in the State of Tennessee. Lee has earned several honors including All-District Tournament Team and All-Tournament at the University School of Jackson Invitational.

Ryan Smith, the 1999 Georgia High School AA Player of the Year will also be joining the Bulldog squad. Smith averaged 3.2 goals per game this past season and holds the Georgia single season scoring record for both the 1998-99 and 1999-00 seasons.

In addition, the Bulldogs will be adding several highly qualified international players to its side. Kyle McDirmaide, British Columbia Providential team standout, is the former team captain of the 1999 goal medal winning BC Canadian Summer Games team. Two Yugoslavian players will be joining the squad- striker Kelec Zhivkovic and marking back Nikola Barjaktarevic. Both young men have played many years for two of Sebiaís top youth club programs. Kekec recently finished a season with his club winning the gold cup and Kelec winning the top scorer honors for the league. In addition, Leandro Carvalho will be joining the team from Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1999, Leandro won the golden boot award by scoring 27 goals for his club.

Rounding out the fall 2000 recruiting class is Grant Taylor, a 5-7 midfielder from Science Hill High School who helped guide his team this past season to the Tennessee State Championship game.

Union will be returning two All TranSouth and NCCAA All-American players in goalkeeper Jeff Lean and striker Joe Phiri. Union defense, which finished last season ranked 9th nationally allowing a very stingy 1.16 goals against average, will be returning sweeper Cesar Cerdeira, Dave DeLaughter, and Gordon Wilson. Other key returnees include team captain Scott Marksberry, former U18 Guatamalan National team player Josue Tuchez, the "terminator" Daniel Banks, 1999 Canada Games Gold Medal winner Adrian Yeung, and 1998-99 Olympic Development Team member Ben Bredow, all of whom will be called on to make major contributions during this season.

According to Coach White, "given that we are returning 9 starters from our very powerful 1999 team, I would say expectations are very high for the up coming season."


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