Feb. 12, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
CLEVELAND, Ohio - Five northeast Ohio high school seniors, including three who earned high school All-America honors this past fall, highlight the 2009 Cleveland State men's soccer recruiting class. The quintet each signed national letters of intent over the last week to attend CSU and play soccer beginning next fall.
Signing with Cleveland State are Aaron Adkins (Bay Village, OH), Justin Cree (Broadview Heights, OH/St. Ignatius), Admir Suljevic (Wickliffe, OH), Almir Suljevic (Wickliffe, OH) and Brad Stuver (Twinsburg, OH).
"Staying true to our philosophy of trying to attract the best local players, we are excited to be bringing in such a decorated class that features three high school All-American's," CSU head coach Ali Kazemaini said. "This is arguably our deepest and most talented recruiting class to date, and we believe that the contributions of these five players will help us greatly over the next four years."
Stuver, a goalie from Twinsburg High School, was named to the 2008 Plain Dealer All-Star Team after splitting his time between two positions as a senior. In the goal, he posted an 0.83 goals against average in five matches, finishing his prep career with 24 career shutouts. As a midfielder, he scored 12 goals with three assists in 12 games.
"Brad is a very versatile player who is one of the best goalkeepers to come out of this area in awhile. He played both midfielder and goalkeeper in high school and excelled at both positions. At 6'3, he has the size and talent to develop into something special in the goal."
Admir Suljevic, a forward, was named the Ohio Division III Player of the Year and to the 2008 High School All-America team by the National Soccer Coach's Association of America (NSCAA) after scoring 36 goals with 11 assists for 83 points as a senior at Wickliffe High.
A first team All-Ohio choice as both a junior and senior, he was named the area Player of the Year by the Lake County News-Herald and to the 2008 Plain Dealer All-Star team. He was also selected as the Cleveland Player of the Year by the Greater Cleveland Soccer Coaches Association.
"Admir is a very clever player on the ball, but his work rate is something that you don't see in many attacking minded players," Kazemaini said. "He is not content to just attack, but will work back and fight for you on both sides of the ball."
Cree, a defender, also earned Adidas High School All-America honors after leading St. Ignatius High to 18 shutouts and an Ohio Division I state title. A first team all-state selection, he also was tabbed for the first team all-region and all-city honors along with a spot on the 2008 Plain Dealer All-Star Team.
"Justin is a big, solid center back that not only defends very well, but is comfortable with the ball at his feet," Kazemaini said. "His sense of calmness on the ball really sets him apart from other defenders."
Adkins is the third high school Adidas All-American, earning the honor after scoring 17 goals with 17 assists for 51 points as a senior at Bay High. A first team all-region choice, he was named the Greter Cleveland Player of the Year by the GCSASA and to the Plain Dealer All-Star team.
"Aaron is a very talented attacking player," Kazemaini said. "His vision and movement off the ball is very advanced and he has great finishing touch."
Almir Suljevic, a goalie from Wickliffe High School, was a second team All-Ohio choice while also receiving first team All-Greater Cleveland recognition.
"Almir is a very accomplished goalkeeper," Kazemaini said. "He has the technical ability to develop into a top goalkeeper, and hopefully we will see that from him."
The Vikings are coming off a break-through 2008 campaign that saw them go 8-2-1 in their final 11 matches to end the year with a 9-8-3 mark. CSU finished third in the Horizon League during the regular season and lost, 1-0, in the championship match of the league tournament. All 11 starters return next year as the Vikings will lose just one senior of the 2008 squad.
With the addition of this class, Kazemaini feels that everything is in place to make another big jump. "I said last year that the only thing we were lacking was that one or two exceptional players who would help to put our performance over the top,"Kazemaini said. "I feel like we have gone out and added those players to our roster and we are ready to take this program to a new level."