Feb. 11, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern men's soccer head coach Tim Lenahan today announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent to join the team for the 2014 season.
On the heels of claiming three Big Ten trophies over the last three seasons, the incoming class is ranked 13th in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com and includes student-athletes from four states (Illinois, Florida, Minnesota and Texas) and one international from New Zealand.
The Wildcats 2014 recruiting class includes Sam Forsgren (St. Paul, Minn./Minnesota Thunder Academy/St. Paul Academy High School), Riley Kelliher (Wellington, New Zealand/New Zealand U-17 National Team/Lake Forest High School), John Moderwell (Lake Forest, Ill./Chicago Fire Academy/Lake Forest High School), Elochukwu (Elo) Ozumba (Houston, Texas/Houston Dynamo Academy/Strake Jesuit College Prep) and Francisco Tomasino (Miami, Fla./Kendall SC Academy/Ransom Everglades High School).
"This is one of our best recruiting classes to date, a very talented group that adds both immediate impact and depth for the future" said Lenahan. "Four of the players have significant and successful experience playing at the academy and the other boasts significant international experience including the Youth World Cup. In Elo Ozumba and Sam Forsgren we signed two of the top scorers in the academy system, with Elo leading all scorers last year. John Moderwell is a versatile and tough player on the left side and Cisco Tomasino is a big and athletic goalkeeper who can give us depth at that position. With Riley Kelliher we add another international who started games versus Uruguay and Italy in the U-17 World Cup and that experience will be invaluable to his development here."
In 2013 the Wildcats posted their 11th consecutive winning season, the longest active streak in the Big Ten Conference. The 2011 and 2012 Big Ten regular season champions have reached the NCAA Tournament in seven of the last eight seasons, and have advanced to the Elite Eight twice in the last six years. Lenahan's program has consistently developed professional caliber talent including Chicago Fire homegrown signee Chris Ritter in 2013 and Real Salt Lake draft pick Oliver Kupe in 2012.
Complete bios on each of the signees follow.
Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Club Team: Minnesota Thunder Academy
High School: St. Paul Academy
Height/Weight: 5-10 / 160
Club Team/Academy: Minnesota Thunder Academy member and captain for 3 years......2010 U14 Minnesota State Cup Champions...2009 U13 Minnesota State Cup Champions...U13-U15 MYSA League Champions....2010 U14 MRL Premier League Champions....3 year member of the Minnesota Thunder Developmental Academy....Top 10 leading scorer in the USSDA 2014...Captain all 3 years.
High School: Varsity starter as a freshman and sophomore... Helped Saint Paul Academy achieve two section championships...One conference championship...Two Class A State Semi Final Appearances....First Team All-State.....All-Conference......All Conference Honorable Mention as a Freshman....Led the state in goals as a sophomore...18-4 overall record sophomore year...Had to end high school career before junior year to play full-time with US Developmental Academy Minnesota Thunder.
Personal: Born Samuel David Forsgren in Minneapolis...Son of Jennifer and Matthew.... Older Brother Nick attends the University of Vermont....2 younger brothers Isaac and Michael....Isaac also plays in the Minnesota Thunder Developmental Academy....Chose Northwestern over Harvard, Marquette, Cornell, Brown and Washington.... Attended Northwestern's College Soccer Training Center and One Day Prep Camp.
Coach Lenahan on Forsgren: "Sam really caught our eye several years ago at the Academy Showcase in Sarasota, Florida. Over the last two years he has done nothing but confirm our original thoughts and developed into one of the top players in the country. Every time we watch him play he scores goals. He has a grit and bite to him that will make him very effective in a league as demanding as the Big Ten. Sam has a very bright future wherever he plays on the field."
Hometown: Wellington, New Zealand
Club Team: New Zealand U-17 National Team
High School: Lake Forest
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 160
National Team/Club Team/Academy: Member of the New Zealand Under-17 National Team for 2013 World Cup... Started First Two Matches in U-17 World Cup vs. Uruguay and Italy. Won Oceania World cup qualifying...Island Bay reserve team player of the year 2012... reserve team top goal scorer 2012.
High School: Wellington College Junior player of the year 2011... Wellington College player with most potential 2012... Won Wellington Secondary Schools 2011... 2012 All Rush team.
Personal: Born Riley Barnes Kelliher in Wellington, NZ... son of Phil Kelliher and Tracey Verrenkamp...3 younger brothers Jamie, Curtis, Mason. Chose Northwestern after considering Wake Forest and UConn.
Coach Lenahan on Kelliher: "Riley comes to us very highly regarded after playing with New Zealand in the World Cup U17 Finals in the United Arab Emirates this past October. He is our 2nd Kiwi on the roster joining fellow New Zealander, Nikko Boxall. Riley is a very dynamic attacking player with a good feel for the game and the ability to make plays in the final third. His versatility in playing any of the midfield positions or outside back will certainly help his chances to be come a great player at Northwestern and in the Big Ten."
Hometown: Lake Forest, Ill.
Club Team: Chicago Fire Academy
High School: Lake Forest
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 165
Club Team/Academy: Four year member of Chicago Fire Academy ... Two-time USYSA National Champions ... Two-time USYSA Region 2 Champions ... Two-time Illinois State Champions ... ODP: Region II and State teams ... National Camp.
High School: Four year letter winner ... Team captain senior year ... Top goal scorer senior and sophomore years ... Led team in assists two years ... All-State ... All-Sectional ... All-Conference ... Most Valuable Player senior year ... Two time Division Champions ... Conference Champions ... Positive Coaching Alliance Triple-Impact Finalist.
Personal: Born John Charles Moderwell in Evanston, IL ... Son of Charles and Lisa Moderwell ... Older sister, Jennie attends Hope College in Holland, Michigan ... Two younger siblings Matt and Grace ... Attended Northwestern's One Day Prep Camp several times. Chose Northwester after considering Marquette, Michigan, and Butler.
Coach Lenahan on Moderwell: "John is just a bulldog on the field. He has a great left-foot and is versatile in that he can play anywhere in the midfield or outside back. Having come to a few of our One Day Prep Camps, he reminds me a lot of Mark Blades who was a two-time All American at Northwestern. Once he makes the adjustments to the college game and environment, John should be a very good player at Northwestern and in the Big Ten."
Elochukwu (Elo) Ozumba
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Club Team: Houston Dynamo Academy
High School: Strake Jesuit College Prep
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 180
High School: Junior varsity top scorer as a freshman (23 goals in 16 games) before switching to play full time for Houston Dynamo Academy.
Club Team/Academy: Disney Soccer Showcase Champion 2010... Top U16 goal scorer 2012,2013 ... Hold USDA Academy record for goals scored in a season ... Achieved FIFA E coaching license ... Nominated to the US Soccer U15/U16 Central Conference starting XI 2012-2013 ... National top goal scorer 2013 USSDA U16 Academy ... First Dynamo Academy U16 player to feature with the reserves (tallied an assist in the first game) ... Nominated to NSCAA2013 youth all American team.
Personal: Born Elochukwu Chizaram Ozumba in Warri, Nigeria ... Son of Bertram and Chinyere Ozumba ... Older Sisters; Ada and Chikwado Ozumba attend Texas A&M University and Texas State San Marcus respectively... Chose Northwestern over UCLA, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn and UNC Chapel Hill.
Coach Lenahan on Ozumba: "Elo is quite simply one of the best players and top recruits in the country. He was on the top of the list of some of the best program in the college soccer. His size and athleticism plus his ability to finish make him someone who should have an immediate impact on our team. There's a reason he led all Academy players in scoring last year and looking forward to teaming him up with two-time All-Big Ten player, Joey Calistri for our own version of `Thunder and Lightning.'"
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
Club Team: Kendall SC Academy
High School: Ransom Everglades
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 185
Club Team/Academy: Three-year member of USSDA Kendall SC (2011-2014) ... Captain two years ... 2013 USSDA Playoffs...Coral Gables Toros(2004-2011)..Captain every year...four final-four Florida State Cup appearances...Florida State team 2009-2010...Captain both years...Region III team both years...played in ODP National Championships with Florida `94s state team... Disney Soccer Showcase Runner-up 2010...2010 Nike Manchester Cup finalist...2010 Nike Manchester Cup save of the day...2010 offered two-week trial at C.F. Pachuca in Mexico.
High School: Four year Varsity letter winner ...Varsity Basketball team since 8th grade...Three year Basketball team starter...3 years on Varsity Volleyball team...Miami-Dade County player to watch.
Personal: Born Francisco Tomasino in Miami, Fl ... Son of Frank and Yvette Tomasino ... Younger brother, Mattias... Chose Northwestern over UCF, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Brown ... Attended Northwestern's College Soccer Training Center (CSTC).
Coach Lenahan on Tomasino: "'Cisco was one of the top goalkeepers we have seen on the recruiting trail over the past few years. He has great size, very good feet and a great field presence. He is a multi-sport athlete having played basketball and volleyball in high school which is a great development tool for a goalkeeper. He will have a great opportunity to train with senior All-Big Ten goalkeeper Tyler Miller and junior Zak Allen. With his skill set, he should develop into a top level goalkeeper in the mold of our last great goalkeeper out of Miami -- current Northwestern men's soccer all-time shutout leader, Misha Rosenthal."
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