The Clemson Men's Soccer program has followed up their first NCAA tournament berth since 2006 with a record 9th ranked recruiting class under head coach Mike Noonan. This is Noonan's best class in his 4 seasons at Clemson, and it is a culmination of hard work and good results that started several years ago.
The 6 player recruiting class features a mix of positions as well as nationalities. Several local players will join Clemson this fall as well as athletes from Costa Rica and Norway. Five of the six recruits, Michael Melvin, Tyler Rider, Diego Campos, Gerald Vargas, and Saul Chinchilla, are in the College Soccer News top 150, and Grayson Raynor was just outside of these rankings.
Tyler Rider and Grayson Raynor are the two local kids, Tyler attended J.L. Mann High School and helped his team capture a 4A state title during his career. Grayson attended Riverside High School where we won several All-Region honors.
Vargos, Chinchilla, and Campos all attended Montverde Academy in Florida and form the core of Coach Noonan's recruiting class. All three are ranked in the top 50 of CSN's rankings, and were part of the back-to-back titles Montverde Academy won. At Montverde all three were under the supervision of former Clemson player and assistant coach Mike Potempa.
Earlier this year Coach Noonan said one of his goals was to find that missing piece in front of the goal. Clemson lost several games in the fall due to an inability to find that final ball in the attacking third. With this class Noonan has accomplished that goal as well as bringing in some quality depth to help contend in the ACC.
Following two consecutive seasons finishing in the top 4 of the ACC, Clemson will be looking to take the next step towards a conference title. The ACC has always been a grueling soccer conference, but Clemson has plenty of history to look back at, including two national championships from the 1980's.