Patriots Announce 2003 Men’s Soccer Recruits

Posted: August 19, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason men’s soccer Head Coach Fran O’Leary has announced 13 newcomers, including 7 transfers, who will join the Patriots for the 2003 season. Among the new players are four with ties to Northern Virginia.

Defender Jacob Weitz (Loudoun Valley High School) highlights the local players in the recruiting class who will play with the Patriots as freshmen. The other local signees include midfielder Jean-Pierre Goncalves (Thomas Edison High School) and defender Sedeke Dunzo (Lake Braddock High School). Sophomore midfielder Luca Rassenti, who resides in Arlington and attended George Mason last year, graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School in Arizona. Other freshmen recruits include forward New Jersey native Matt Pepin and midfielder Chris Mills from Arizona.

Seven transfers will add experience to a young Patriots squad. They include senior goalkeeper Roger Wimmer (Charleston Southern University), juniors forward Karim Manneh (Alabama A&M University) and midfielder Matt Mendy (Alabama A&M University), and sophomores midfielder Neema Doroudian (Pima Community College), forward Teba McKnight (University of Mobile), midfielder Anthony Noreiga (University of Mobile), and midfielder Alberto Solar (University of Puerto Rico).

Weitz is a first-team All-Metropolitan Washington selection by the Washington Post and helped lead Loudoun Valley to a 7-5-1 record in 2003, its best season since the mid-1990s. He also contributed three goals and four assists to the Viking offense. Goncalves was an honorable mention All-Met selection as a forward at Edison.

Manneh and Mendy have each played with the Gambian under-23 team in international competition, while McKnight and Noreiga are full national team members for Trinidad. Manneh scored 29 goals the past two seasons at Alabama A&M, including 14 last year, and Mendy had four goals and nine assists in his two seasons with the Bulldogs. McKnight and Noreiga helped lead Mobile to the NAIA National Championship in 2002.

Wimmer was the starting goalkeeper at Charleston Southern last season and was selected to the all-tournament team at the Big South Conference Championship before the Buccaneers program was discontinued. Doroudian, one of the top junior college midfielders last season, was a second-team all-conference selection at perennial national power Pima Community College in Arizona.

“I feel we have added a terrific recruiting class, with a solid combination of transfers and freshmen,” says O’Leary, who is entering his third year with the Patriots and his 15th overall as a head coach. “Many of the players possess great technical ability and they will help us improve our offensive output in the years ahead. We have had back-to-back CAA Rookie of the Year selections and we feel one from this group will have an outstanding chance of maintaining that tradition.”

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