SEATTLE, WA — (GoHuskies.com) Washington head coach Jamie Clark announced the signing of eight student-athletes to national letters of intent to join the Huskies in the fall. Hailing from five different states, the diverse group looks to have an immediate and lasting effect on the Husky soccer program.
The eight newest Huskies will join a program that has seen 11 players drafted or signed by Major League Soccer in the last three years. The quality and depth of the class should help propel the team in the future years.
Washington is coming off a 14-7 season in 2016. The Huskies finished second in the Pac-12 Conference and made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
MEET THE NEW DAWGS
Portland Timbers 2
Bodily comes to Washington originally from Idaho, but moved to Tigard, Ore., where he attended Tigard High School and plays for the Portland Timbers Academy. The left-footed winger signed with the Huskies last year, but took a gap year to continue to play with the Portland Timbers 2 of the USL. During the 2016 season he played in 16 games, starting 11, and tallied four goals and one assist. Bodily has also seen time with the U-17 National Team, having trained with the squad in buildup to the World Cup qualifiers.
“Blake signed with us last year,” said Clark. “But he has continued to train and play with the Timbers organization. In our opinion he’s the best left sided player in the country, and we believe his experience in the USL will have him ready to make an immediate impact.”
Why Bodily chose Washington: “I love the coaching staff and I felt very welcomed by the players on the team.”
Colorado Rush Academy
Crowley is a midfielder from Golden, Colo., who attends Golden High School and played club soccer for Colorado Rush Academy. He has been a member of the Academy since eighth grade and the team captain during the most recent season. Crowley was a member of the 2012 Colorado state champion team. He is ranked as the No. 33 ranked prospect by College Soccer News.
“Ryan is a very smart soccer player,” said Clark. “He always knows where the next pass should go, and connects the game brilliantly. He plays so simply and fast that he will adapt to the pace of the college game very quickly.”
Why Crowley chose Washington: “Washington’s beautiful campus immediately drew me in, but it was the awesome coaching staff and great academics that made me want to be a Husky.”
Newbury Park, Calif.
Real So Cal Academy
Kleeman is a native of Newbury Park, Calif. and is a center back for the Real So Cal Academy. A two-year letter winner at Newbury Park High School, he was a member of the state finalist team after a 12-0 season. With the Academy, he made the Elite 8 in the national playoffs. Outside of soccer, in 2012 he finished No. 12 in the nation for the 800 meter dash.
“Freddy is a defender who we welcome back to the Pacific Northwest,” said Clark. “His family moved to Los Angeles, but he was eager to head back North and become a Husky. He’s a physically strong central defender that loves to play out of the back. His time as a central midfielder growing up really helps him as he is as composed a defender as we have recruited.”
Why Kleeman chose Washington: “I love Seattle and I feel that Washington has a great balance of athletics and academics.”
Mercer Island, Wash.
Meek will join the Huskies from just across the way in Mercer Island where he attended Mercer Island High School. He has spent the last year playing for the Seattle Founders FC, and previously spent eight years with Eastside FC. The center midfielder/winger led the King County in assists for Division 3A in 2015. He was the team captain for Eastside FC and was a member of the Regional League Champion team in 2016.
“Lucas is a great 1v1 player that loves to take players on,” said Clark. “He has fantastic technical ability and an ability to unlock the game once he gets the ball to his feet.”
Why Meek chose Washington: “Growing up in Mercer Island, I have always followed Husky men’s soccer and have always dreamed of playing with them and attending the University of Washington.”
Morrison hails from Houston, Texas where he plays with the Houston Dynamo FC as a goalkeeper. He started and played in 17 games during the 2016 season and recorded a save percentage of 89.5. In 2016 while playing for the Texans SC, he was named the Placers Player of the Year as well as the FC’s MVP.
“Andrew is a very good goalkeeper,” said Clark. “He comes from a great MLS club. He has the frame and athleticism to be a top level goalkeeper, but more importantly he has a very steady temperament. He will be ready to contribute from day one, but will have to battle against two very good goalkeepers we already have on our roster.”
Why Morrison chose Washington: “I really enjoyed my visit after getting to explore the city and getting to know the coaches and players. It is a fantastic atmosphere for growing as a soccer player, a student and a person.”
Russell is a native of Bellevue, Wash., where he attended Interlake High School. He is a right back/right midfielder and a member of the Seattle Sounders FC. Russell is ranked at No. 84 prospect on College Soccer News. In 2014 he led the RCL in scoring with 10 goals. In 2015 he was a member of the division 3A state championship winning team with Interlake High School and scored the game winning goal. He was also a U18 US Men’s National team call-up in 2016 and 2017.
“Stirling is an incredibly talented wide player,” said Clark. “He can play as a fullback or higher up the field. He is very competitive and loves to win his 1v1 duals. His ability and determination reminds us of former Husky Andy Thoma. Hopefully Stirling can have the same impact that Andy did.”
Why Russell chose Washington: I decided to attend the University of Washington for multiple reasons. The first of these is coaching staff. I am beyond excited to play for Coach Clark and the rest of the coaches. Their ambition and love for the game are truly inspiring and I can’t wait to get on the field and play for them. Second, I really enjoyed the guys on the team. They’re very fun to be around and demonstrate the kind of character that I want to emulate. Their comradery was a great thing to experience on my visits and I can’t wait to join that. Lastly, my family. While being close to home was not a priority, Washington offered an opportunity to be close to my family, and for me to be able to continue to be a part of my brothers’ lives as they grow up. Washington is a great school and I am very thankful for the opportunity to play for the Huskies.
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Smith comes to the University of Washington from Spokane, Wash., and will play with the Huskies during the spring season. After graduating early from Mt. Spokane High School, Smith enrolled at Washington for the spring quarter. He previously played for the Washington East club team for five years as a center midfielder. Since 2013 he was named to the state’s First Team, Regional Team (Region IV) and State Team (Washington ODP).
“Tyler enrolled early and will play at UW for our spring season” said Clark. “He is a very strong and smart central midfielder that can link play as a deeper holding midfielder, or create his own chances as more of an attacking midfielder. His experience from this spring will put him that much closer to contributing in the fall.”
Why Smith chose Washington: “I felt like Washington was the perfect fit for me and I like that it is close to home.”
Spokane Valley, Wash.
Whitman is a four year letter winner hailing from Spokane, Wash. A member of the Washington East club team, Whitman has experience playing in every defensive and offensive position, aside from goalkeeper but has most recently played as an outside back defender. He was the leading goal scorer at Nomads in 2016. Additionally, he was named the Max Preps Player of the Week during the 2016 season, and was named to the GSL first team.
“Noah is a very versatile player” said Clark. “He’s athletic and has good feet. He’s played everywhere from striker to defender so will have to find him his best position once he arrives on campus.”
Why Whitman chose Washington: “I chose to attend the University of Washington because I had an unbelievable time during my official visit.”