Jan. 19, 2006
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The long and storied history of soccer success in the Igwe family is about to add another chapter.
Amaechi Igwe, the younger brother of four-year Bronco standout Kelechi Igwe and a member of the United State U-17 National Team, has enrolled at Santa Clara University for the winter quarter and will become a key figure in the Broncos' nationally-recognized soccer program.
Igwe, who attended nearby Bellarmine Prep as a freshman and sophomore, attended the IMG Soccer Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for the past year-and-a-half and graduated in December. He will begin training with the SCU men's team during its non-traditional spring season and will be eligible to play for the Broncos this fall.
"We are really excited to have Amaechi join our program," said SCU head coach Cameron Rast, a Santa Clara graduate and captain of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team. "He has a wealth of experience in international competition and has played against Major League Soccer teams, college teams and the best youth players in the world. Amaechi will be uniquely suited to have a chance to come into our program and immediately be prepared for virtually any challenge that is presented to him."
Igwe, who played primarily defensive left back for the U.S. squad, was a starter on the U-17 program that advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2005 FIFA World Championships in Peru. The U.S. side defeated North Korea and Italy and drew with Ivory Coast to win its group before a loss to Netherlands forced the Americans out of the competition.
In December, the team dropped its final match together to FIFA Under-17 World Champion Mexico in front of a spirited crowd of 22,157 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The crowd was the largest to watch a U.S. Under-17 Men's National Team match played on American soil.
The son of Tony Igwe, a former All-America at the University of San Francisco and captain for the Nigerian National Team, Amaechi played club soccer with Santa Clara Sporting. His sister, Chioma, plays collegiately at Cal and is a member of the U.S. U-19 National Team.