Davidson Men’s Soccer Announces New Recruiting Class
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Davidson head men’s soccer coach Matt Spear recently announced the addition of seven newcomers to join the team next fall.
Hometown: Cary, N.C.
High School: Cary Academy
Parents: Steve and Amy
Coaches’ Comments: Cam has been with the top team for a great NCFC club for years, so he’s comfortable being with committed players and ambitious coaches. His strengths are passing range, vision, technical qualities, and hitting set pieces.
Why Davidson: Perfect blend of exceptional academics and athletics. There is a very experienced coaching staff, as well as, a very talented group of players. Davidson will show me the steps that I need to take to make it on my own in the world.
Notes: Team Co-Captain junior year… Headmaster’s Honor Roll… Born in Adelaide, Australia and moved to the U.S. as an infant.
Favorite musical artist: J Cole
If stranded on a deserted island, I would like to be with: My teammates
Favorite Quote: “Soccer is a simple game that is hard to play simply” – Johan Cruyff
Most treasured possession: Signed Messi jersey
Hometown: Decatur, Ga.
High School: The Paideia School
Parents: Didier Merlin, Ying Zhang
Coaches’ Comments: Olivier attended a few of our ID Camps and showed an increasing passion for Davidson and improvement as an athlete each time. As a center mid, his first touch, passing and vision are clean. Plus he’s contemplating studying pre-med, a strong program Davidson provides.
Why Davidson: The campus is beautiful, the weather is great, and it’s close to home. The sense of community at Davidson also drew me in. I am very excited to be a part of a very competitive team that will be able to play with the best teams in the nation. I look forward to working in an environment where everyone is pushing each other to improve and grow.
Notes: US Youth Soccer Region III ODP Team… 2014 Super Y National Champions… 2014 USYS Goal of the Year… State Champion in 2016 and 2018… Captain of high school team.
Favorite TV show: The Office
Favorite pro team: Olympique de Marseille
Favorite sports figure: N’Golo Kante
People may be surprised to learn that…Mother is Chinese and father is French, so I was raised speaking three languages.
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
High School: Woodward Academy
Club: United Football Academy
Parents: Joe and Nija
Coaches’ Comments: Hans is a steady defender that reads the game well and who has been a consistent leader on his teams for a respected coach Robin Dixon. He is what we look for in defenders – tough, smart, versatile, good passer.
Why Davidson: The combination of receiving a phenomenal education at a top college, while competing in Division I soccer against some of the best teams across the nation. The opportunity to grow as a person and player under a great coaching staff. It will challenge me both academically and athletically, while also giving me the tools, on the field and off, to succeed.
Notes: Captain and started every game for United FA in 2017-18 and 2018-19… Trialed at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, and Leicester City… Multiple invites to US National Soccer Training Center… Father played Goalkeeper for Duke.
Favorite pro team: Manchester City
Favorite sports figure: Franz Beckenbauer
Favorite school subject: History
Biggest influences: Parents
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
High School: Dacula
Club: Concorde, GSA
Parent: Sakina Karim
Siblings: Aaliyah, Tamil
Coaches’ Comments: Tariq has played with different and good clubs so he’s good at transition in to teams. As an athletic, sharp lefty Tariq can play and impact in a few positions. His versatility and eagerness to learn will help him contribute.
Why Davidson: After my first visit to Davidson, I noticed that Davidson included the one thing I looked for in a college: a community. Davidson has a sense of togetherness that is second-to-none. Davidson will be my home away from home. I will be challenged everyday not only as a player, but as a person also which will better my character and set me on a path for success after college.
Notes: Trained in France with the youth team for Paris Saint Germain in 2016… Invited for a tryout with Nottingham Forest in U.K and Tanzania U17 National Team… 4.0 GPA… Will be the first member in family to attend and graduate from a four-year US college… Dual citizenship (USA and Tanzania) and speaks Swahili.
Person I most admire: My mom
Favorite author: Malcolm Gladwell
Best advice received was…If anything was easy, everyone would be doing it.
Advice to kids today: Actions speak louder than words.
Hometown: Cary, N.C.
High School: Cary Academy
Parents: Rob and Debra
Coaches’ Comments: Justin was our first commit and he was an ideal start as his mother graduated from Davidson and he’s been a prolific scorer at the top level of the youth game in the US. He will have bagged well over 50 goals at the DA level. Justin adds another athletic, hungry, clinical finisher to our front line.
Why Davidson: It’s a great mixture of a high quality soccer school that excels and will push me academically. The current players are excited – I was able to talk to a lot of them and they have big aspirations. They showed that they can really compete with any team and I am eager to be a part of their success.
Notes: 7th leading scorer in the country in the 2017-2018 US Soccer Development Academy season – 23 goals in 27 games… Headmaster’s honor roll… Mother attended Davidson.
Favorite pro team: Liverpool
Favorite sports figure: Aubameyang and Mané
Greatest influences in my life: My parents and my friends
Hometown: Shoreview, Minn.
High School: Saint Thomas Academy
Club: Minnesota Thunder
Parents: David and Camille
Siblings: Zach, Liam and Remya
Coaches’ Comments: Harrison’s height is clearly an advantage as a center back. His communication skills, confidence on the ball, and passing abilities are excellent. And Harrison embraces our scholar-athlete formula and our focus on integrity and team first.
Why Davidson: I chose Davidson because of the unrivaled combination of academics and athletics. Davidson plays some of the best teams in the country, and is one of the top competitors in the A-10. This allows for excellent player and team development. The honor code promotes a community of trust and character in the classroom and on the athletic field.
Notes: Eagle Award (3.9 GPA and higher) for four years… Captain of U17 and U10 Development Academy teams… Dad played college soccer… Brother Zach played college hockey.
Person in history I would like to meet: Plato
Favorite Quote or Motto: “Enjoy the little things”
Three words that best describe me are: Outgoing, happy, and hard-working
Best advice received was…Put yourself in the best position to be successful
Hometown: Highland Heights, Ohio
High School: University
Club: Cleveland Soccer Academy
Parents: James and Marilyn
Siblings: Matthew, Melissa, and Mark
Coaches’ Comments: Michael is a prime example of proving his abilities through our ID Camp. His height, reflex saves and coming off his line to handle crosses are strengths. As he gets stronger and confident at the college level, he can become a dominant force in the goal mouth.
Why Davidson: Davidson’s renowned academic reputation, accomplished Division I Soccer program, and small-sized classes set it apart from the rest. The family atmosphere among the players who encourage each other both on and off the field and the coaches who support every player in their efforts to achieve their personal best.
Notes: Eagle Scout… 2016 Gothia Cup in Sweden… 2018 All-Ohio Academic Award… Also lettered in football, baseball and bowling.
Favorite Actor: Adam Sandler
Person I most admire: Tim Tebow
Favorite pro team: Columbus Crew