The University at Buffalo soccer teams have released their 2016 recruiting classes on the men's and women's side.
Highlighted by two heralded transfers, the Bulls men's program added five players to deepen the Mid-American Conference runners-up, who return 14 squad players and Ryan Pereira from injury.
For the women's side, head coach Shawn Burke welcomes a defensive-laden cast to cope with the graduations of back-line stalwarts Jackie Hall and Kristin Markiewicz and the transfer of Brianna Shingary to Pittsburgh.
Here are the recruiting classes:
*Brian Hindle, 6'1, 180-pound defender from DePaul University (will be a redshirt senior in 2016)
What we know: Hindle's addition gives head coach Stu Riddle a wealth of central defensive options, as Fox Slotemaker, David Enstrom and Nick Forrester can also play the position capably. The DePaul transfer started a whopping 45 matches for the Big East school, and he'll turn 23 before the season starts.
I highly doubt Hindle would have transferred to play at UB if he wasn't guaranteed a chance to be in the XI on a regular basis, so I suspect Slotemaker and Hindle will be the center-back pairing with Forrester in front of them at holding mid (with more offensive-minded Daniel Cramarossa). Enstrom will become a useful reserve.
*Tommy Fogarty-Cameron, 6'2, 140-pound midfielder from Lubbock Christian (NCAA Division II) in Texas (will be a junior in 2016)
What we know: The lanky Englishman has reportedly already made a strong impression during the spring season, and his early arrival should allow him to acclimate to the new program and higher level of competition well before the fall.
Fogarty-Cameron was productive at Lubbock, notching seven goals and four assists as a sophomore after six goals and two assists as a rookie. Expect him to compete with Braden Culver for the middle spot of the "3" in a 4-2-3-1.
*Rikard Lindqvist, 6'1, 160-pound forward from Stockholm, Sweden
What we know: It's too early to dub him as the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic (or even Henrik Larsson), but the Swedish striker will bolster an attacking unit that returns Steven Stryker, Hunter Walsh and Scott Doney.
None of the aforementioned trio is a clinical goal finisher, though, so Lindqvist could carve out a role sooner than later. We'll see how quickly he can transition to the American college game -- not an easy task.
*Felipe Vieira, 5'7, 140-pound midfielder from Maple Ridge in Canada
What we know: Not very much, but the Canadian Vieira certainly can slice through bad defending like in the video below. He'll benefit from watching and training against Russell Cicerone, the Bulls' talisman. Other than a few random links connecting Vieira to Surrey United and Maple Ridge, there's little else available.
*Michael Juszczak, 6'1, 165-pound goalkeeper from Starpoint High School/Empire DA
What we know: After earning the armband as a keeper and center back at Starpoint High School, Juszczak elected to take the development academy route for his last two years of high school, sharpening his ability in goal and earning a few national plaudits along the way.
Juszczak joins Braden Scales and Hunter Walsh as the Bulls' only Buffalo-based players.
One additional UB men's note: Two freshmen from last year's roster, Isaiah Manetta and Daniel Warner, are not listed on the Bulls' spring roster.
*Carley Zoccali, midfielder from Rush-Henrietta HS in Rochester, Empire United Rochester
What we know: An All-Greater Rochester selection, Zoccali proved versatile in her four-year varsity career, impressing at outside back, central midfield and up front. If there's one trait that's particularly useful for earning playing time as a freshman, it's the ability to fulfill multiple roles without much acclimation.
Given Burke's willingness to switch the responsibilities of his best players -- think Jackie Hall, Andrea Niper, Kristin Markiewicz and Kassidy Kidd over the past two years -- he must have found Zoccali's skill-set alluring.
*Gurjeena Jandu, defender from John Fraser Secondary School in Ontario, Canada
What we know: Jandu gave a verbal commitment to the Bulls in 2014, so Burke and assistant Casey Derkacz must have targeted her as a possible successor to Hall and Markiewicz. Her pedigree is strong, too -- Jandu stood out as a member of the North Mississauga Soccer Club and Dixie Soccer Club during her high school years.
*Mairead Martin, central defender from Mahopac High School, outside New York City
What we know: Martin is a bit of a sleeper because she missed her senior season in high school due to a knee injury, but the graduations of Hall and Markiewicz could expedite her development with early playing time. She stands 5'9, a good height for a ball-winning center back.
*Adrianna VanCuyck, midfielder from Wayne High School in Rochester and Empire United
What we know: Wayne Central may only be an A-2 classification in Rochester, but VanCuyck's recognition as the Greater Rochester Player of the Year still speaks volumes. Jeff DiVeronica of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle wrote a profile of VanCuyck, who goes by AJ, here.
The midfielder scored 36 times as a senior and won Section V titles in track, too. Could VanCuyck initially be converted to outside back to replace Shingary? It's possible, as her skill-set fits the demands.
*Kara Daly, forward from Hamburg High School and Empire United
What we know: An Empire United teammate of VanCuyck, Daly played four years on the Bulldogs' varsity team, scoring over 100 goals and earning three All-Western New York honors along the way. Daly projects as a winger in a 4-3-3 or a second striker in a 4-4-2, and she'll have an edge by training with the Bulls during the spring season.
For confirmed and unconfirmed signings for all Western New York colleges and local high school players, follow BN Soccer's 2016 recruiting tracker, which should be published by this weekend.
Email Ben Tsujimoto at email@example.com
Story topics: Adrianna VanCuyck/ Brian Hindle/ college recruiting/ Kara Daly/ Mairead Martin/ Michael Juszczak/ Shawn Burke/ Tommy Fogarty-Cameron/ UB men's soccer/ UB women's soccer/ University at Buffalo