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USF soccer picks up transfer in Michigan keeper Blais



After losing an All-American goalkeeper to graduation in Jeff Attinella, USF men's soccer coach George Kiefer has upgraded the competition to take over between the posts, announcing Tuesday that Michigan keeper Chris Blais has transferred in for his final college season.

Blais set a school record with 17 victories this past season in helping Michigan to the NCAA Final Four, and he'll compete with Eric Osswalt, last year's backup, as well as incoming freshman Dallas Jaye of California. He said he was drawn to USF by the chance to develop himself for a future in pro soccer with the help of Bulls assistant coach Bryheem Hancock.

"They have a great tradition of really good goalies, obviously with Jeff and Diego (Restrepo) before that," Blais said. "The biggest (factor) for me was Coach Hancock, the goalie coach here. I've heard from different people that he's as good as it gets for a college keeper coach, and that's what I wanted for my last year."

Blais (pronounced "BLAZE") helped Michigan upset third-seeded Maryland in last year's NCAA Tournament with a 3-2 win in double overtime before the Wolverines' run ended to eventual champion Akron with a 2-1 loss in the national semifinal.

He joins an impressive incoming class that also includes junior college scoring leader Dom Dwyer of Tyler Junior College and another top scorer in Stiven Salinas of Lincoln College. USF announced a second transfer Tuesday in midfielder Isaiah "Fergie" Ferguson, a native of Trinidad & Tobago who played last season at South Carolina-Upstate and will have three years with the Bulls.

Blais was able to play in a brand-new stadium at Michigan last season and is excited to do the same this fall at Corbett Soccer Stadium, which will be unveiled in August. He said the depth of talent all over USF's roster has him excited about the season ahead.

"In every position you have great competition, and in the end that's what's going to make you better," Blais said.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 12:40pm]


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