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    March 29, 2012


    CHICAGO - UIC head men's soccer coach Sean Phillipsofficially announced the Flames' 2012 recruiting class Thursday, an eight-member group that features an NSCAA adidas High School All-American, an IHSA State Champion, two U.S. Developmental Academy National Champions, six 2011 IHSSCA All-State members and the 2011 IHSSCA Player of the Year.

    Members of the Flames' 2011 recruiting class are as follows: Jorge Alvarez (Oswego, Ill./Oswego East), Kevin Anderson (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North), Manny Chavez (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest Academy), Kyle Lindberg (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North), Colin Marz (Crete, Ill./Mt. Carmel), Brad Reibel (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect), Joel Salmeron (Cicero, Ill./Morton) and Evan Trychta (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North).

    "UIC Soccer is looking forward to adding these student athletes to our team this fall," said Phillips. "Our coaching staff, especially assistant coaches Aleksey Korol and Minos Vlamakis, put a tremendous amount of work into identifying this group of student-athletes that are great fits for UIC both academically and athletically. This class will increase our technical ability, tactical acumen, size, athleticism and winning experience. It also adds a number of good students. The immediate depth and competition this class provides will greatly complement our returning core assist us with our goals of consistently being at the top of the Horizon League and in the national soccer landscape."

    Alvarez, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound midfielder/forward, plays club soccer for Ajax FC Select 94, the top-ranked U.S. Youth Soccer U-18 team in Illinois, and prepped at Oswego East. He finished his high school career with 157 points, including 63 goals and 31 assists. Alvarez was tabbed the 2011 Southwest Prairie Conference Player of the Year, and chalked up IHSSCA All-State honors.

    "Jorge attacks with a lot of pace and energy," Phillips said. "He possesses a great first touch, is explosive with the ball at his feet, and has an exceptional left foot. Jorge will bring pace, cleverness and an ability to score goals - we look forward to him making an immediate impact to the front line this fall."

    Anderson, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound goalkeeper, compiled 27 shutouts and a 0.62 goals-against-average as the netminder at Naperville North. He led the Huskies to an undefeated record in conference play, an appearance in the sectional finals and a top-25 national ranking as well as a fourth place finish at state in 2010. Anderson was a two-time IHSSCA All-State selection (2010/2011), and was also named to both the Chicago Tribune All-State First-Team, and the Chicago Sun Times All-Area squad. Anderson, a teammate of Alvarez with Ajax FC, was also a unanimous DuPage Valley Conference honoree last fall. He will enroll in UIC's Honors College in the fall semester.

    "Kevin has all the physical tools and intangibles necessary to become a very good collegiate goalkeeper," said Phillips. "As he gains experience, we look for him to push our two returning goalkeepers for playing time."

    Chavez, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound midfielder, scored 34 goals and tallied a school-record 65 assists during his high school career at Lake Forest Academy. He was invited to the 2011 NSCAA High School All-America match, and recently listed as "Top Drawer Soccer" top-100 recruit for 2012, along with being named the No. 3 player in the region. His Chicago Fire Academy club team was crowned the U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy U-16 National Champions in 2010.

    "Manny's balance of ball winning and passing ability will be a great addition to our central midfield this fall," Phillips said. "He also brings great winning experience from his time at Lake Forest Academy and the Chicago Fire Academy, where he led his teams to a tremendous amount of success."

    Lindberg is a 6-foot-1, 170-pound midfielder that starred at Naperville North High School, and also plays club soccer with Ajax FC. His award-winning prep career was capped off with 34 career goals and 18 career assists, including a team-leading 18 scores and 14 helpers in 2011. He captained his team to an undefeated regular season last fall, and was named an IHSSCA All-State selection, while garnering Chicago Sun Times All-Area plaudits and All-DuPage Valley All-Conference honors (2009-11). Lindberg was a two-sport standout, also captaining the boys' basketball team to its first conference championship in 14 years. He will enroll in UIC's Honors College next fall.

    "Kyle, a midfielder who can also play in the front or back line, will bring versatility, leadership and athleticism to our team this coming fall," said Phillips. "His teams (soccer and basketball), for which he was always the captain, won a tremendous amount of games. We look forward to adding his abilities and winning qualities to our program."

    Marz, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound defender, helped lead Mount Carmel to the Catholic League Championship, and was named the Tony Lawless/Catholic League Player of the Year. He finished his three-year career with 32 goals and 21 assists, including a team-high 13 goals and 11 assists in 2011. The Mount Carmel captain was named to the IHSSCA All-State Team and the Chicago Fire All-Area Team last fall. Marz currently plays club soccer for the Chicago Magic Academy, where he has captained the club each of the past two years. He will enroll in UIC's Honors College next fall.

    "Colin possesses many of the attributes for which you look in a central defender," Phillips said. "He has good individual defending principles, possesses leadership qualities and has the physical tools for the position. We look for Colin to provide immediate depth and competition to the back line this coming fall."

    Reibel is a 6-foot-1, 165-pound goalkeeper, is Prospect High School's all-time leader in shutouts in a season (10) and career (19). He served as a team captain for the Knights last fall, and was named the Mid-Suburban League Player of the Year, while also collecting all-conference accolades in each of the past two seasons. As a senior, he rounded out his career by being named to the IHSSCA All-Sectional Team, as well as being selected the captain of the All-Area squad.

    "Brad, a multi-sport athlete at Mt. Prospect High School, was brought to our attention by UIC Soccer alumni Stein Garcia and Chris Jamal," said Phillips. "His frame, athleticism and work ethic will provide us with the opportunity to develop a very good collegiate goalkeeper."

    Salmeron, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound forward/winger, comes to UIC with a winning pedigree, after leading Morton High School to the IHSA State Championship last season, along with boasting a U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy National Title (2010). The four-year starter scored the game-winner in overtime to clinch the state title last fall, and finished his high school career with 60 goals and 29 assists. Salmeron was named to the IHSSCA All-State Team, and was the Most Valuable Player at the Pepsi Showdown. He was a Chicago Tribune All-State selection, and collected ESPN High School All-American honors in 2010.

    "Joel, who has enjoyed a decorated career with his teams at the high school and club level, has a tremendous amount of technical and tactical ability as well as some versatility exhibited by his playing left back this spring for the Chicago Fire Academy," Phillips said. "These traits along with his winning mentality may provide him with the opportunity to make an impact right away."

    Trychta, a 5-foot-8, 155-pound forward/winger, was named the 2011 IHSSCA Player of the Year, and collected the same honor from the Naperville Sun. Trychta finished his illustrious career with 51 goals and 34 assists, leading Naperville North to an unbeaten regular season in 2011, and a fourth-place finish in the state the previous season. The two-time NSCAA adidas All-Region, IHSSCA All-Midwest and IHSSCA All-State (2010/2011) honoree currently plays club soccer for the Chicago Magic Academy.

    "Evan has a tremendous amount of pace and a knack for being in the right place at the right time to create and/or score goals at every level in which he has competed," said Phillips. "We look for him to provide that same pace, service and goal scoring as he joins us this fall."

    UIC will open its spring season this Saturday (March 31), when the Flames travel to DeKalb, Ill., to take on Northern Illinois. The Flames will play six matches during the spring, capped off by the annual Chicago Cup, hosted by Northwestern, on Saturday, April 21.