Men's Soccer Signs Three for 2006 Squad
Feb. 7, 2006
For Immediate Release
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - University of Memphis head men's soccer coach Richie Grant announced today the signing of three players for the 2006 squad. Signing with the Tigers are Texas natives Rick Alleman and Ben Nabers and Jonahan Romero from Virginia.
In the past two seasons, the Tigers have graduated nine of its 11 starters from the 2004 team that received the program's second NCAA Tournament bid and first ever Conference USA title in soccer. Only five players remain from the 2004 squad and the U of M will bring only one senior, Vanderbilt transfer Jamie Gilbert, into the 2006 season.
"We've graduated the bulk of the players who helped capture the conference championship two years ago," Grant said. "We had a strong class last year and we are complimenting it with another one this season."
Grant said the 2006 recruiting class is being brought in with the intent to build a team he can field together for a couple years and develop as a group. The trend in the past few recruiting classes has been to bring in players with strong club backgrounds, and the three new signees continue the tradition.
"It is nice to be competing for the type of caliber players we have joining our program," Grant said. "They are great personalities, leaders and talented athletes who have been groomed for the next level by skilled individuals at the club level."
Signs with Memphis after playing for the Houston Texans, one of the top club teams in the Texas region ... Club team won the state championship from 2003 to 2005 and was the Region III champion in 2004 ... Played as a midfielder and defender at Klein High School and helped his team win the state championship in 2005 and make it to the regional semifinals in 2004 ... 2005 high school team went 32-1 ... Earned second team all district in 2005 ... Is recruited to play as a right fullback and to compete for the vacant spot in the defense left by Gary Connolly .. A state ODP player ... Club trainer Lee Baker was instrumental in joining Alleman with Memphis ... A member of the National Honors Society and will graduate in the top quarter of his class.
"Rick helps bolster our team both athletically and academically," Grant said. "I am excited to have a player of his caliber in our program. With the amount of club and ODP experience he has, he is going to quickly be ready to meet the demands of our program."
Played club soccer for the Austin Capitals ... Coached at the club level by Rob Weaver ... Comes from a strong soccer family ... Brother John played collegiate soccer for Charlotte and brother Stephen played soccer with Drury University ... Played at midfield at Reagan High School from 2002-04 ... An all area player in 2004 ... Helped Reagan High School make it to the Texas 5A state finals ... Scored 11 goals with seven assists in 2004 as Reagan finished with a 31-1-1 record ... Had a goal and three assists in the 2004 Texas 5A state final ... Also lettered in basketball as a point guard ... Father, Brad Nabers, played tennis for UT Austin (1974-78) and played professionally in Europe.
"Ben is very creative when he has the ball," Grant said. "He is an intelligent player, and as he develops, he will be one that will allow us to keep possession of the ball. His club coach, Rob Weaver, has helped develop him as a player, and I feel confident taking any one of his players."
Has a strong club background with Reston Futball Club ... Club coach Todd Hitt has given him the guidance necessary to play at the college level ... A midfielder who could also see time with Memphis as a defender ... A state and regional ODP player ... Lettered four years in soccer at Hayfield High School where he was an all district, all region and all state player as a forward and midfielder ... Also lettered four years in wrestling and was a regional and district champion.
"Jonahan is a simple futballer who does the simple things well," Grant said. "He is a very competitive player who likes to win, and a talented multi-sport athlete who has chosen soccer as the sport to pursue collegiately."