Feb. 28, 2007
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University men's soccer program bolstered its program today by signing four players to National Letters of Intent for 2007. Jalil Anibaba, Jeremy Del Re, Kevin Klasila and Jeffrey Strong will all enter Santa Clara as freshman in the fall of 2007. The four new additions join a team that graduated just two seniors after making an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals last season.
"Our 2007 recruiting class fits our needs very well," said head coach Cameron Rast. "We are returning a strong team next year with a lot of starters and quality players. These four players should fill in some key spots for us and really round out our team. We are excited for them to get here and become a part of the team. They have very bright futures."
Del Re and Klasila will come in and bolster the goalkeeper position after standout prep careers. Del Re played high school soccer for Bellarmine Prep and resides in San Jose. While there, he helped lead the team to a WCAL Championship for the 2006-07 season and CCS Division I championship in 2006. He was named All-WCAL First Team as a senior. He helped the Santa Cruz Breakers win the State Cup in 2006 in club ball.
"Jeremy is an excellent local talent and he is coming out of a great program in Bellarmine," said Rast. "He should compete for time right away. He has great size and athleticism that should help him adjust quickly to the college game."
Klasila comes to Santa Clara from Santa Monica, where he played for Loyola High School. At Loyola, he was named the 2006 Mission League Goalkeeper of the Year, helping his team earn a runner-up finish in the CIF Southern Section. He recorded 16 shutouts as a junior and surpassed that total as a senior. In club soccer, he played for Real SoCal and helped them to second place in the Southern California in 2006.
"Kevin is a very talented goalkeeper who is just starting to tap his potential," said Rast. "He will push our other goalkeepers on a daily basis and should compete for some minutes."
Moving to the midfield, Jalil Anibaba is expected to make an immediate impact for the Broncos next season. A member of the United States Under-18 national team, Anibaba had an outstanding career at Davis (CA) Senior High School. He was named all-league from 2004-06 and All-Metro in 2005 and 2006, while being named the league's defensive player of the year in 2005. He led his team to a section championship in 2005 and a league championship in 2006. He recently returned from a trip to Mexico with the U-18 team that also featured Santa Clara freshman Stephen McCarthy.
"Jalil is a tremendous talent," said Rast. "He is someone that combines athleticism with great skill on the ball and he could emerge as one of the nation's top players in the next few years. His recent trips with the national team program confirm that he is a player that has a bright future and someone who will be a key part of the team right away."
Rounding out the class is forward Jeffrey Strong, who is the only one of the recruits not from California. A native of Boise, Idaho, Strong attended Timberline High School and helped lead the team to 50-21-11 record during his four years there. As a senior, the team won the conference and the district before finishing third in the state championships. He twice earned first-team All-Conference honors and was a three-time member of the All-Academic team. He led the team in scoring in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In club soccer, he played for the Boise Nationals Soccer Club, helping the team win the state championship in 2005 and 2006.
"Jeffrey is a player that we have had our eye on for a couple of years," said Rast. "When we were recruiting (SCU freshman) Kellen Wantulok, who is also from Idaho, we also noticed Jeffrey's great talent. He has great speed and a knack for getting in behind the defense. He will bring a different look to our forward line and his tenacious play will fit right in."