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    March 12, 2013

    CHICAGO - UIC head men's soccer coach Sean Phillips officially announced the Flames' 2013 recruiting class Tuesday, a five-member group that includes four signees from Chicagoland club soccer powerhouse Raiders FC and traditional power Chicago Magic PSG. Phillips and his staff will be welcoming two defenders, a pair of midfielders and one goalkeeper.

    Members of the Flames' 2013 recruiting class are as follows: Kyle Hamann (Lemont, Ill. /Lemont), Joel Leon (Cicero, Ill. /Morton East), Gabriel Martinez, Jr. (Chicago, Ill. /George Washington), Andrew Putna (Lemont, Ill. /Lemont) and Gonzalo Romo (Hammond, Ind. /Bishop Noll).

    "We are very excited to welcome this initial group of players to the 2013 recruiting class," said Phillips. "This talented and very driven group will be an excellent addition to our returning players as we look to continue our climb to the top of the Horizon League, Great Lakes Region and into the NCAA Tournament."

    Kyle Hamann

    Hometown: Lemont, Ill.
    High School: Lemont
    Club: Raiders FC
    Height/Weight: 6-0/180
    Position: D

    High School: Four-year letterwinner ... Finished decorated career 13 goals and four assists ... Captained his team to 71-21-12 combined record, including a 35-9 mark in South Suburban Conference (SSC) play ... Led defense to 61 career shutouts in his four years as a starting defender....During Hamann's career, Lemont captured two South Suburban Conference championships, three IHSA Regional Championships and three IHSA Sectional titles ... Tabbed IHSSCA All-Sectional in 2011 and All-State in 2012 ... Named All-South Suburban Conference in 2011 and 2012 ... Collected Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-State (IHSSCA) honors as a senior ... Was also an All-Area selection by the Joliet Herald News, Southtown Star and Lemont Reporter/Met.

    Club: Captained Raiders FC which qualified for the USYS National Championships in two of the last three years (2010, 2012) ... In the 2012 season Raiders FC won the USYS Region II Championship, the USYS Midwest Regional League and the Disney Showcase while also finishing second in the USYS National League and USYS National Championship Final.

    Coach Phillips on Hamann: "Kyle is a winner and a leader. He has an inner strength about him. When his teams need a play to be made at key moments, his teammates know he will be there to make it."

    Joel Leon

    Hometown: Cicero, Ill.
    High School: Morton East
    Club: Raiders FC
    Height/Weight: 6-2/175
    Position: D

    High School: Two-year varsity letterwinner ... Finished career with 19 goals and 10 assists while leading helping the Mustang defense amass 30 shutouts ... Captained Morton to the IHSA State Championship in 2011, where he was a teammate of current UIC player Joel Salmeron... Named IHSSCA All-State in 2012 ... In the 2011 Class 3A Supersectional, scored the game-winner in the fourth overtime, sending his team to the State Tournament for the first time since 2006.

    Club: Starting central defender for Raiders FC club which won the USYS Region II Championship, the USYS Midwest Regional League and the Disney Showcase while also finishing second in the USYS National League and USYS National Championship Final in 2012.

    Coach Phillips on Leon: "Joel, a left sided central defender with a dominating physical presence, has a great feel for the game. In addition to his physical presence and feel for the game, he has the valued ability to play the ball out of the back."

    Gabriel Martinez, Jr.

    Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
    High School: George Washington
    Club: Raiders FC
    Height/Weight: 6-0/155
    Position: MF

    High School: Voted to the Chicago Public Schools All-City team after captaining George Washington to a best-ever finish (IHSA 2A Quarterfinals in 2012), and was also named to the CPS All-Academic Team this past season.

    Club: Starting midfielder on Raiders FC which qualified for the USYS National Championships in two of the last three years (2010, 2012) ... In the 2012 season, Raiders FC won the USYS Region II Championship, the USYS Midwest Regional League and the Disney Showcase while also finishing second in the USYS National League and USYS National Championship Final.

    Coach Phillips on Martinez: "Gabriel is an honest box-to-box midfielder who has a great combination of work rate, defensive tenacity and passing ability. As he matures physically, we expect him to be a dominant force in the midfield."

    Andrew Putna

    Hometown: Lemont, Ill.
    High School: Lemont
    Club: Chicago Magic PSG
    Height/Weight: 6-2/180
    Position: GK

    High School: During two years as starting net minder, earned 27 shutouts in 40 matches with a 0.41 goals against average.

    Club: Joined Chicago Magic PSG of the US Soccer Development Academy in 2011, securing five clean sheets in 10 matches with a 0.67 goals against average at the 2012-13 season's midpoint ... Team captain ... TopDrawerSoccer.com listed him as one of the top defensive standouts from the first half of the USSDA season, the only goalkeeper to be honored on the list ... Before joining the US Development Academy, played with Raiders FC until 2011, helping the club reach the 2010 USYS National Championships while winning the 2010 IYSA State Cup.

    Coach Phillips on Putna: "Andrew has a very bright future ahead of him as a goalkeeper. Not only does he have the physical tools and technical abilities necessary to excel collegiately, he has valuable intangibles such as leadership and a burning desire to win."

    Gonzalo Romo

    Hometown: Hammond, Ind.
    High School: Bishop Noll
    Club: Raiders FC
    Height/Weight: 5-7/145
    Position: MF

    High School: Captain of Bishop Noll, where he finished his career with 24 goals and 20 assists ... Named to Greater South Shore Conference First team and All-District First Team.

    Club: Starting midfielder on Raiders FC which qualified for the USYS National Championships in two of the last three years (2010, 2012) ... In the 2012 season Raiders FC won the USYS Region II Championship, the USYS Midwest Regional League and the Disney Showcase while also finishing second in the USYS National League and USYS National Championship Final.

    Coach Phillips on Romo: "Gonzalo is going to add quite a bit of technical ability, quickness and cleverness into the attack for us. He can utilize these abilities playing in any of the three lines in the as well as from a wide or central position."