April 18, 2008
Fullerton, Calif. - Nine incoming freshmen and one community college transfer make up what Coach Bob Ammann is calling an "outstanding 2008 recruiting class" for Cal State Fullerton men's soccer.
"We believe this group of young men will make great contributions to our team on the field and in the classroom," said Ammann, who soon will be in his third year at the Titans' helm. "We are very happy to have them join the Titan family.
"This year's recruiting efforts emphasized improving ourselves in a few areas while also increasing our depth in others. We feel that with this group and the additional players that will be joining us, that we have achieved this. These players have the characteristics and personalities that we deem important and feel that each player has the ability to contribute positively."
Celso Alvarez is the community college transfer from Rio Hondo in Whittier, where he scored 19 goals before suffering a season-ending facial injury. He was a four-year letterman at Bell Gardens High School and had 26 goals and 20 assists in his sophomore year, leading his team to the CIF Division I finals. He will be re-united in Fullerton with former club teammates Tony Terrazas and T. J. Detviler, who also played for the Pateadores Soccer Club.
The incoming freshmen are:
Mario Alvarez from Bel Air High School in El Paso, Texas. He is a true winger who was a four-year varsity starter and two-time all-city most valuable player. He also played for the El Paso Indio's with former Titan Eugene Brooks, winning the United States Adult Soccer Association's 2007 National Cup.
Michael Denny from Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego County, where he was a four-year varsity starter and three-time team MVP. This past year he was voted the Palomar League player of the year and North County Conference player of the year. He is a solid midfielder who has had an outstanding youth career, winning a state cup with Surf Soccer Club and being a member of the 2006 and 2007 Region IV team. He also took part in the prestigious Adidas ESP in 2007 and has been in various national team pools.
Pablo Gonzales from Arlington High School in Riverside, where he was his league's most valuable player, first-team all-county, first-team all-league, defensive player of the year, greater L.A. all-area, first-team all-area and Press Enterprise player of the year. He plays club soccer for Corona United Soccer Club and has an overall grade point average of 3.97 on a scale of 4.0.
John Meza from Arlington High School in Riverside, where he played a number of positions. He was a four-year varsity starter and helped lead his team to the CIF semifinals and state tournament. He won first-team All-CIF, all-league and all-county honors and had 10 goals and 21 assists. He is a 4-year member of the National Honor Society and has a 3.98 grade-point average. He plays club soccer for Corona United Soccer Club.
Nick Posthuma from Saint Francis High School in La Canada, where he twice was the most valuable player in his league. He led the Golden Knights to the Mission League Championship and was a first-team All-CIF selection.
Omar Tena from Bel Air High School in El Paso, Texas. He is a left-sided defender who should immediately be ready for the demands of college soccer. He was a four-year varsity starter and three times won first-team all-district honors. He is a two-time city MVP and defensive player of the year in El Paso. This past season his Bel Air team went 26-2 and advanced to the state semifinals. He also played for the El Paso Indio's, who won the United States Adult Soccer Association's 2007 National Cup.
Kevin Venegas from Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, where he was a three-time first-team All-Sunset League selection for the Griffins. A gifted dribbler and passer, he won All-CIF honors twice. He played club soccer for Cypress F.C., training under former Titan player Hugo Sanchez.
Trevor Whiddon from Rancho Buena Vista High School in San Diego, where he was a highly recruited goalkeeper from the prestigious San Diego Surf Soccer Club. Whiddon will compete for playing time as a freshman. He was a three-time state cup champion with the Surf. He has been a part of a regional team for seven years and in 2005 was part of the National Pool. He was a four-year letterman for his father, Coach Dave Whiddon, at Rancho Buena Vista, winning all-league and all-county honors twice. In 65 games in goal he had a 0.65 goals against average.
Jesse Horta from Atwater High School in Atwater, where he lettered four years and won two league championships. He is a very skilled offensive player who twice was voted the league offensive player of the year and most valuable player. He was a three-time all-conference selection and was voted the Merced Sun-Star's soccer player of the year in both 2006 and 2007. He participated for Cal North ODP and was a member of the Regional team.