Men's soccer announces recruiting class

By Doug Fitzgerald published June 17, 2009

We all know that the stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas. University of Colorado at Colorado Springs menâ€TMs soccer coach Henry Ellis is banking that the Texas stars are big and bright on the soccer pitch as well.

The Mountain Lions announced their 2009 recruiting class Wednesday, with four of the nine incoming players doing so by way of the Lone Star state.

Joining UCCS will be goalkeeper Keaton Layton and midfielder Thomas Vage, both from The Woodlands High School, while goalkeeper Oliver Ward arrives from Klein High School and defender Gilbert Chavez comes from Klein Collins High School. All four are near Houston.

Other freshmen are forward Michael Flynn from Joel Barlow High School in Redding, Conn., midfielder Aaron Brandt from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, forward Tom Oâ€TMDea from Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs and midfielder Cody Black the Collegiate Academy in Evergreen.

The lone transfer in the group is Jordan Hacker, a junior defender from Walla Walla Community College.

Laden was an all-state performer, posting 17 shutouts and a 0.56 goals-against average to lead The Woodlands to the Region II finals as a senior. He was named one of the Adidas High School best XI in 2009 and played in the All-State Senior Showcase. His teammate with the Highlanders, Vage, was also an all-district selection.

Another goalkeeper, Ward, has the size (6-foot-3) and training (experience with the U.S. Soccer Academy) to be a star. He was also an all-district player at Klein High School. Chavez also trained at the U.S. Soccer Academy.

Hacker was the team captain of a Walla Walla team that was the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges champion in 2008. The Warriors went 18-3-2 in his senior season. He keyed a defense that recorded 15 shutouts and allowed only 13 goals in 23 matches.

Flynn was a first-team all-state selection and was chosen for the Connecticut Senior Bowl. Brandt was team captain at Desert Vista and honorable mention all-state.

Unlike previous seasons, only two members of the recruiting class were from Colorado. Oâ€TMDea had 10 goals and 14 assists as a senior at Cheyenne Mountain while being named The Gazetteâ€TMs Class 4A player of the year. He was also named first-team all-Class 4A by the Rocky Mountain News and honorable mention all-Class 4A by the Denver Post. Black played on a Collegiate Academy team that was a state regional quarterfinalist.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Aaron BrandtAaron Brandt21MFr.
Michael FlynnMichael FlynnFFr.
Jordan HackerJordan HackerDJr.
Jordan HackerJordan HackerDSr.
Oliver WardOliver WardGKFr.
Thomas VageThomas Vage10MFr.
Gilbert ChavezGilbert Chavez16DFr.
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