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    Roland Gray

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Listener of the Streets

Listener of the Streets (6/7)

  1. SLU has a few new 2022 commitments: 2022 Karson Gibbs committed to SLU. He is a Forward who played at Fort Zumwalt South High School where he was part of 3 Missouri Class 3 State Title Teams. He scored 113 goals in high school, including at times when “slowed” by a meniscus injury. He is the current Stl Post Dispatch Metro Player of the Year, and, a United Soccer Coaches All American. Most recently he has played with stlCITY2 this Spring. He has also previously played club ball with SLSG and Sporting Stl. Strong technically on the ball, excels 1v1, with the ball at his feet or in space. He’s played a lot of attacking midfield in club ball, and, he is a very good passer too. …………………… 2022 Bryce Warhaft, a Defender from Indy Eleven has also committed to SLU. Prior to Indy Eleven, the well traveled Warhaft has also played academy ball with Indiana Fire U19 Academy, Sporting KC, Orlando City, and, Weston FC. (He is from Weston, FL) Bryce does a little bit of everything well as a defender. He is a two footed Center Back who can also play on the outside. Distributes, tackles, and can get up the field in the attack.
  2. Julia and SLU both made announcements today about her transfer to SLU. https://twitter.com/sluwsoccer/status/1524832506188599296?s=21&t=rjwWrohTNTYFpQNKCAoXSg I can add that Julia had a nice Spring season playing Spring Cup. She had two goals in their game vs Ball State. Spring Cup was a new round robin competition this Spring season that included: Kentucky, Louisville, Dayton, Xavier, Ball State, Cincinnati. She’ll be a nice, attacking third addition, of someone who can finish, create, and, who plays well off of the ball.
  3. Just now getting around to this…Simon Becher was in town this past weekend in case anyone missed it. Here is his assist on one of the Whitecaps FC 2 goals in a 2-1 win over stlCiTY2. Flick on header after making a run: https://twitter.com/mlsnextpro/status/1523118232462266368?s=21&t=qdIevoAeCZEHl85rZxDGTQ And here he is with AJ after the game: https://twitter.com/slumenssoccer/status/1523414665052946432?s=21&t=qdIevoAeCZEHl85rZxDGTQ
  4. SLU is adding a transfer, Freshman Forward Julia Simon. Julia played her Freshman season at Louisville. She started 11 of 16 games her first season for the Cardinals, including in their game at SLU. She played 800 minutes, scoring 4 goals and adding 3 assists. Julia is a goal scoring, and play making, forward who combines well with teammates. Julia played club ball for Eclipse Select SC out of Chicago, (one of the best nationally) and, she attended Wheaton North High School, where she was also a good, all conference basketball player. (she is the all time single season steals leader at Wheaton North)
  5. Sure. You are looking at old rosters. There is a new league this year called: USL W League. St. Louis Lions will play in it. (SLU had zero players on the Lions last season.) Also, SLU has two players committed to play for Kaw Valley coached by Jess Smith (UMKC), Caroline Kelly and Katelyn Brinkman. Kelly played with KC Courage last season with Halverson and Stram. Some others also played on teams closer to home. KC Courage plays in the United Women’s Soccer League. (UWS) So does SLSG. Several SLU SLSG alums played for them last season. Houck and Groark were all conference players as they won their division and competed in the playoffs. Phelps, Puricelli, English, Hatfield also played. They will be switching divisions from Heartland to Midwest and they will play more of an Uppet Midwest schedule this season. Fire & Ice plays in the WPSL. Heckel, Kohl, played some for them. The UWS League is recent as is the new USL League this year. The UWS League formed due to some of the dysfunction of the WPSL and USL-W Leagues at the time. The USL-W League disbanded. This is a new version of it this year. Lots of expansion and movement with leagues and teams. Some players don’t play Summer Ball, or only do so here or there all depending on injury, other commitments, rest, etc a variety of reasons, and some play more often.
  6. SLU had a good player development Spring. They capped their Spring Schedule with a strong 3-1 result at Illinois. Illinois had 4 wins this Spring, including 3-1 over Indiana, 3-0 over Illinois State, and a win over the current D2 National Champs. But more than that, Illinois is a Power 5 School, and, any Power 5 win is a good one for SLU, especially a convincing one on the road against a school having a good Spring. Power 5 is one of the biggest recruiting selling point challenges SLU faces on a regular basis. Illinois has one of the better recent local players on their team, and, they target some overlapping local and regional players. Indiana’s (whim Illinois defeated this Spring) newer regime overlaps SLU recruiting right now with about two dozen player targets. Women’s Soccer has more Power 5 teams and leagues than Men, and selling that experience, facilities, resources is even more of a recruiting factor in the Women’s game. That’s why it’s important for SLU to be competitive in those categories to keep up. ……………… It’s also a good confidence booster heading into Summer Ball. SLU will have players playing in 3 different leagues, on various teams this Summer, from May through July. Rosters are still being finalized, and, a few players are switching teams, while some others will remain with long term clubs. ……………… It’s an important time for recruiting. Just this past weekend alone, while prepping for Illinois, there were ECNL Super Cup games amongst six clubs, the Naperville Invitational, and the Adidas Tournament of Champions in Iowa. Lots and lots of competing Power 5 programs were at these events. Spring High School and club seasons in various states, showcase events and Summer national playoffs. …………. There has been a lot of coaching turnover. One conference movement of note, is Dayton assistant Dean Ward leaving to be the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne in North Carolina. (lots of strong youth teams there as well as future program opportunities). Ward was their lead recruiter in St. Louis and in the region. Florida State’s highly successful coach stepped down over differences with their new AD. Tennessee’s recently successful coach will take over at FSU. He was given a 3 year extension one month prior. He will get a big compensation and resource bump at FSU. Coaching compensation, resources, facilities, budgets, all matter. ………… The Fall outlook (and beyond) for SLU is strong. The goals this Fall are to win the A-10 regular season, and A-10 Conference Tournament. And, it’s to be a top 16 National Seed, making a little bit deeper NCAA run as well.
  7. Chandler Vaughn is the only player that left the door open to return to SLU. He had a strong showing with L.A. Galaxy, and he signed with their MLS Next Pro team.
  8. SLU has also added an International transfer for the Fall. Mads Stistrup Petersen, a versatile Right Back with Odense Boldklub (BK) in the Danish U19 league.
  9. Mason is not on SLU’s Spring roster. That’s correct. He had a brief trial with Sporting KC II. Keller is a sometimes starter for Austin FC MLS. Becher, Schulte, Parker, Niece, Vaughn, Murana, Palazzolo have all signed with, and, have been starting for their MLS Next Pro teams.
  10. I think I understand what you are asking. And, SLU is doing well with Academy recruiting. But keep in mind, there are plenty of successful examples with a wide variety of backgrounds. Isaiah Parker wasn’t on everyone’s radar when SLU first started recruiting him, landed him, developed him, and helped him become one of the best Freshman in the country this past season. And, he of course signed a Generation Adidas deal after that. He was perhaps known more for his his wrestling accolades in some circles. That of course worked out well for Parker and SLU. SLU has some long term relationships with a few of his club coaches. And, now SLU has an additional 2022 Left Back recruit from the same club, Kevin Rivera. SLU recently targeted a two sport athlete from Minnesota, who joined Minnesota United, did well, began training up with their first team, and later signed a deal with them. Meteoric rise. Other players are more obvious MLS Next Academy standouts that may never make it to a campus. With some others, SLU competes with Indiana or Notre Dame or UCLA or whomever. Others, i will see play and say this kid can play and I have no idea why he isn’t playing academy or being more highly recruited. In the new example here, SLU had been recruiting Dougherty a long time, well before he was on the radar of some others. A large part of recruiting is identifying talent, preferably early on, building long term mutual interest relationships, closing for a player, It’s also timing, and even some luck too in some situations. Locally, Seth Anderson, Donny Ross etc didn’t play Academy ball, but they can play. Ross’ cousins played Academy at times, non Academy at times, even went back and forth, so that can happen as well. I can assure you future Billiken Tanner Anderson can play. Matteo Boasso plays Academy ball at SLSG, and, he can play too. Marcos Moore is an Academy player in Houston at Rise. And so on. It varies. One thing you will also see is a few redshirted players from last year that step right in and contribute more than you may think. They are ready to go. That’s part of the player development and depth with recruiting. Transfers too. Alberto Suarez is a good Center Back. Lane Warrington will play a lot of right back etc.. Chandler Vaughn was stuck on the bench at Pittsburgh before transferring to SLU. Simon Becher played at Holy Cross before SLU. Kipp Keller wasn’t always a big strong 6’2 Center Back. Another player such as Patrick Schulte was a well known stud for years. So it varies. All that matters is getting players that fit at SLU, developing them, having success at SLU and having them continue that after SLU. So it’s a mix and a variety that has been successful, of geography, type of club team, etc…it’s pretty fun. The rolodex of names and connections that Kalish, Berstch, Stoll have is vast, far and wide. Resources are important too. Budget. Travel, Facilities. Success to sell etc… SLU’s on field success has also helped get SLU visits, conversations, etc with some that hadn’t before. I like where SLU is at with recruiting right now. Hopefully it keeps getting better and better. It is a daily grind. The work that goes into for both the Men and Women’s programs is a lot. …………………. Women’s Soccer is a little bit different and has its own sets of challenges with recruiting. Similarities and differences.There’s been a lot going on with that this past week so I can probably post something separately in their thread.
  11. SLU has received a commitment from 2023 Center Back, Cole Dougherty. Cole is a defender (Center Back) from Solar Academy (Dallas) MLS Next. Solar is one of the country’s best current and historic club programs nationally for both Boys and Girls. He was recently named Honorable Mention Best 11, at this month’s Generation Adidas Cup in U17. His team advanced to the Round of 16, the only independent club to do so. His team also won the top flight division at the Jefferson Cup in Virginia this past month. His club team won the U16 Copa Rayados last season. Cole also played up with the U19’s in the San Diego Surf Cup that season, as well as in the Solar Premier Cup. As a Sophomore, he helped lead his high school team, Rockwall Heath, to the 6A State Championship Game with a strong defensive effort, giving up just 1 goal in 6 games leading to the final.
  12. You are not alone. This is the current rules committee . The initial proposal was in February. And college coaches were then given a few weeks to provide feedback. https://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=SOCRULES This is the current oversight panel for final vote: https://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=SOCRULES It wouldn’t be proposed or pass without some base of support to it. But it is fair to say opinions were mixed. Substitution rule changes did not pass/move forward, as many D2 and D3 schools objected to it.
  13. New NCAA Soccer rule changes: https://www.ncaa.org/news/2022/4/20/media-center-prop-approves-changes-to-soccer-overtime-rules.aspx Most notably is the elimination of the golden goal in extra time. It was very popular with some players and coaches. Also, no more extra time in regular season games. It seems contradictory to say let’s eliminate regular season overtime for player load management. But then say no more playoff golden goal and instead play out full extra time periods.
  14. For those wondering about Stu’s tweet this week: https://twitter.com/studurando/status/1516485762170109952?s=21&t=KZr9JOk-Rmjm3uvnyfrOpA
  15. From this week’s Spring Game vs Central Missouri. (4-1 SLU.) (UMSL stepped in to play SLU last week when Illinois State canceled at the last minute.) As mentioned, Central Missouri has been one of the best D2 teams nationally the past decade or so. Good opportunity to work on some things. 4-2-3-1 for SLU for the most part. SLU has also played some 4-1-3-2 this Spring. (We’ve had some off of the board discussion regarding roster position and depth for Fall.) Summers, who shared left wing time with Friedrich opened the scoring here: https://twitter.com/sluwsoccer/status/1516576402035912704?s=21&t=KZr9JOk-Rmjm3uvnyfrOpA Kelly, who has been sharing time with Gaebe up top this Spring added two more: https://twitter.com/sluwsoccer/status/1516578976004718593?s=21&t=KZr9JOk-Rmjm3uvnyfrOpA This one had a Hannah Larson assist, in her discussed long awaited return to action: https://twitter.com/sluwsoccer/status/1516585937249214464?s=21&t=KZr9JOk-Rmjm3uvnyfrOpA And Stram adds one off of the corner set piece from Friedrich and Walsh. She has been settling in with Houck, Heckel, and Halverson in back while some others have also received some new positional experience at center back and wing back this Spring. https://twitter.com/sluwsoccer/status/1516587844336340993?s=21&t=KZr9JOk-Rmjm3uvnyfrOpA ………….. Busy time with Spring SLU player development, and, all out recruiting for 2024 players (and 2025, 2026), high school ball, club ball, super cup, showcases,’etc…I expect several strong SLU commits between mid June and mid Sept for the 2024 class.
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