Kiefer pleased with soccer's early arrivals
USF soccer was able to add four players as midyear additions in January, and coach George Kiefer said the early arrivals made the most of spring workouts to help prepare them for making a major impact this fall. The new Bulls include two players ranked among the nation's top 150 recruits by TopDrawerSoccer.com, as well as two international players who can help the Bulls fill key positions.
-- Lindo Mfeka. A versatile player from South Africa who played most recently in Louisville, Ky., Mfeka is rated as the nation's No. 78 recruit, and is "very, very talented with the ball," Kiefer said. He's left-footed and could line up as a midfielder or forward, making a quick impression on Kiefer and his USF teammates.
"There are plenty of guys who are talented. It's the guys who are talented and will work extra hard when they don't have the ball. He's real humble, and I love what I've seen from him this spring," Kiefer said. "He'll be a fun one to coach."
Check out this story on Mfeka from 2011 and this quote from his coach: “He’s without question the best player in his age group in the country,” said Javanon ’94 coach Jason Bell. “He’s a phenomenal player and can do some pretty spectacular things on the field.”
-- Marcus Epps. Another top-150 recruit (he's #130 on their list) who worked with the Chicago Fire's developmental team, and he and Mfeka were mentioned in this story that lists USF among five recruiting classes to watch this fall. He's played with current USF goalkeeper Matthew O'Neal, who is also from Mississippi. Here's a video clip with a goal he scored in the U.S. Soccer developmental academy last summer. Here's an even better one.
-- Duane Muckette. USF has a great history of players from Trinidad, and Muckette is a center midfielder former captain of the Trinidad & Tobago under-17 national team. Kiefer compares him to Leston Paul, another Trinidad native who led the Bulls in assists (six) and points (12) in 2012.
-- Tavares Thompson. He's a center back from Jamaica and started in USF's friendly with the Rowdies this spring -- he'll step into a key role as the Bulls try to offset the graduation of senior leaders Brenton Griffiths and Ashani Fairclough.
Kiefer said spring soccer is often not as productive because the seniors are gone and freshmen haven't arrived, but with four early arrivals this spring, he was able to get a good sense of the team he'll have this fall, and he's encouraged by what he's seen, not even counting a few additional players who will join the team this fall. Having two key players who were sidelined last season -- Edwin Moalosi and Stiven Salinas -- back and healthy should give the Bulls four strong scoring options in their attack. "We should be very dynamic," Kiefer said.