SEATTLE,WA – (school release) Washington head coach Jamie Clark is pleased to announce the signing of eight high school seniors to national letters of intent. The diverse group should have an immediate and lasting effect on the Husky soccer program. In addition to the eight new Huskies, two members of last year’s class will join the Dawgs next season after taking gap years and playing with the Sounders U18’s.
“Our coaching staff has worked tirelessly to identify and then build relationships with this recruiting class,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “While we think it’s our most talented class ever, what really pleases us is the fact that we believe these are student-athletes that will work hard and fulfill their potential as Huskies. These players not only won us over on the field, but showed the right work ethic in the classroom to prove they are dedicated young men in all facets of their lives. We feel fortunate that we will have the opportunity to work with them over the next four years, and know they will enjoy a great deal of success here at the University of Washington.”
The eight newest Huskies will join a program that has seen seven players drafted or signed by Major League Soccer in the last two years. The quality and depth of the class should help replace all the recent talent and help the Dawgs get back to the NCAA Tournament after missing out for the first time in four seasons last year.
MEET THE NEW DAWGS
Blake Bodily | Video
Bodily comes to Washington originally from Idaho, but moved to Tigard, Ore., where he attends Tigard High School and plays for the Portland Timbers Academy. The left-footed winger has seen time with the U-17 National Team, training with the squad in buildup to the World Cup qualifiers. He has also seen action with the Portland Timbers 2 of USL, playing six games and making two starts. Bodily in the 60th-ranked prospect in the nation by College Soccer News and the No. 80 prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Clark on Bodily: “Blake is left footed playmaker. He can play on the left side or in the middle of the park. He has the ability to unlock defenses by running at players or with his passing. His feel for the game is brilliant and should allow him to make a big impact early in his career at UW.”
Handwalla Bwana | Video
Bwana is a local product from Ballard High School who also plays with the Seattle Sounders Academy. Bwana is originally from Kenya where he grew up in Mombasa, before he moved with his family to a refugee camp in Kakuma in the Northwest Region of Kenya to seek a new beginning and a chance to move to the United States. On the pitch, Bwana was named to the 2015 Washington State Championships Best XI for the Under-18 Boys, playing for the Seattle United B96 Copa A. He now plays for the Seattle Sounders Academy U-18’s, one of the top clubs in the country.
Clark on Bwana: “Handwalla might be the most under the radar recruit in the country. He has the talent to be one of the best players ever to play at UW, as his skill set that is second to none. He’s a great attacking player that reminds a lot of Darlington Nagbe at a younger age. He still has a long way to go if he’s ever going to reach the same heights as Nagbe, but his ability to run with the ball makes him really fun to watch.”
Jesse Fitzgerald | Video
Fitzgerald comes to Washington from Los Angeles where he attended Notre Dame High School and played club soccer for FCLA B97. At Notre Dame, he was named the Offensive MVP of the Mission League in 2015, while also being named to the Mission League First Team and All-Academic in the Mission League two-straight years. This season, he has scored 24 goals so far, which is already a League record and now has 45 for his career to go with 31 assists. He has also added nine goals and seven assists during his Club league season.
Clark on Fitzgerald: Jesse is a player that came to our camp and turned heads. He has unreal pace, and although he scores goals as a forward now, we see him transitioning into a left-sided player. We’ve had great success moving athletic attacking players into deeper wide areas and we hope he can be the next to make this switch.”
Bryce Logan | Video
Logan is another talented local goalkeeper in the tradition of Spencer Richey and Ryan Herman and will compete with two more local keepers, Auden Schilder and Sair Kerawala next season. He attended Mt. Baker Senior High and played his club soccer for nearby Crossfire Premier. For Crossfire, he has been the starting goalkeeper for 44 of their last 53 games as they continue to be one of the top club teams in the country.
Clark on Logan: “Bryce is the newest addition in a great tradition of goalkeepers from the state of Washington. Bryce is a very athletic keeper that is ready to come in and join the very talented goalkeeper group we have at UW. I have no doubt with his work ethic will have him pushing our other keeper for playing time before too long.”
Jasper Malamud | Video
Malamud is a Seattle native, but went away to Shattuck St. Mary’s for high school in Minnesota. He’ll be returning to his hometown to join the Huskies as a versatile midfielder. He was the captain of the U-18 Shattuck Academy Team last year, starting every game. Before leaving for Minnesota, Malamud played for Emerald City F.C. in Seattle where he was named the MVP in 2013.
Clark on Malamud: “Jasper is a local guy who left the area to go to private school. When Jasper left he was a very good attacking player that threatened defenses with his movement. Since being in Minnesota he’s taken on a deep lying midfield role and adapted to that very well. We are just delighted that Jasper has decided to return home for college and know he’ll be a great success no matter where he plays on the field.”
Elijah Rice | Video
Rice comes to Washington originally from Las Vegas, before moving to Chicago and playing for the Chicago Magic and finally setting in the Phoenix area where he attends Vista Grande High School and lives in the Real Salt Lake residency program. He plays his club soccer for the Real Salt Lake academy and was called into the U-17 National Team Residency Program in preparation for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. He is the 20th-ranked prospect in the country by College Soccer News and No. 34 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Rice is on his way to the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the country from the U-18 Development Academy, notching 18 goals in 15 games.
Clark on Rice: “Elijah is an out and out center forward. He’s hungry to score goals and will make sure he’s always hunting around the last line of defense to put an end to any attacking movement. He will undoubtedly cause havoc for Pac-12 defenses and should have an immediate impact. While his goal scoring is special, what separates Elijah from many other great forwards is his willingness to work on both sides of the ball. He is relentless in his pressure, which means he never lets opponents get the chance to be comfortable while he is on the field.”
Ryan Sailor | Video
Sailor is a central defender from Centennial, Colo., who attends Arapahoe High School and played club soccer for Real Colorado. He was a three-year academy player and the team captain in 2014-15, starting every game but one that he missed due to injury. Sailor was a member of the 2013 Colorado state champion team and Region IV semifinalists. He led Real Colorado to the #11 seed during the 2014-15 Academy season, scoring two goals out of the back.
Clark on Sailor: “Ryan is the lone central defender in this recruiting class. He possesses the pace and size to handle Pac-12 forwards physically, but, just as importantly, Ryan has the right mindset to be a great defender here at UW. He has a very steady temperament that allows him to stay calm and read the game even in the highest pressure moments. I believe Ryan has the talent and mindset to be a leader of some great Husky teams down the line.”
Jaret Townsend | Video
Townsend is from Highlands Ranch, Colo., and like Sailor attends Arapahoe High School and plays club soccer for Real Colorado Academy. Townsend also was part of the U-17 U.S. National Team residency program. He is ranked as the 35th-best prospect by College Soccer News and the No. 92 prospect by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Townsend played with the Real Academy from 2012 to present, scoring seven goals last season as he started every game. He was also the MVP of the Arapahoe High School team back in 2012 when he scored nine goals and tallied eight assists and was named to the 2013 Academy Select Game.
Clark on Townsend: “Jaret is a dynamic winger that loves to run at players. He’s possibly the best 1v1 player in the country for the 2016 recruiting class, so our defenders will be happy they don’t have to line up against him on game days. He’s known for making video game like runs through other team’s defenses and so will become a crowd favorite here in Seattle. In our eyes, he’ll be a great replacement forJosh Heard who spent the last four years giving fullbacks in the Pac-12 a very hard time.”
Kasey French and John Magnus
Both French and Magnus signed last year, but took a gap year and continued to play for the Seattle Sounders U18’s. They were a part of the 2015 class that has already paid immediate dividends as Quentin Peason was a 2015 All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selection as a central defender, while Corban Anderson and David Coly were also a key contributors. The rest of the class redshirted and can be read about HERE.
Clark on French: “Casey has enjoyed a great season so far for the Sounders U18 academy team. It’s our hope he’ll get some additional experience in the USL this summer and be ready to push to play next fall. He is a year older and playing very well at the moment. He’s a very tough right back, but also connects the game very well out of the back.”
Clark on Magnus: “John has battled injury this past year, but he hopes to rebound this spring and summer and be ready to be an impactful midfielder next fall. John has the best soccer brain I’ve seen in a long time and always knows how to break pressure. This extra year of physical development will have done him a lot of good and will have him that much closer to breaking into our lineup.”