Categories:  Flames Athletics

Men’s soccer adds talent from Chicago-area schools, clubs

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Nathan Laude (left) led Wheeling to its most successful season in school history.

Six soccer players from the Chicago area who have championship experience at the high school and club levels will join the men’s soccer team next season.

The new recruits are:

  • Jose Fuentes (Chicago/Lane Tech/Raiders FC)
  • Roberto Torres (Hickory Hills/Amos Alonzo Stagg/Raiders FC)
  • Marco Alvarez (Oswego/Oswego East/Dominican University/Ajax FC)
  • Nathan Laude (Mount Prospect/Wheeling/Raiders FC)
  • Elias El Metennani (Oak Park/Oak Park and River Forest/Sockers FC USSDA)
  • Michael Stankiewicz (Mount Prospect/Prospect/DePaul/AAC Eagles).

“We are excited to welcome this group of players to the UIC soccer program,” head men’s soccer coach Sean Phillips said.

“Coaches (Aleksey) Korol and (Minos) Vlamakis did another outstanding job of identifying players who have not only the talent but also the character to help our program continue the journey to the top of the Horizon League, Great Lakes region and into the NCAA tournament.”

Fuentes enters his freshman year at UIC after a successful high school and club career.

Starting on his high school’s varsity team as a freshman, Fuentes collected 54 goals and 28 assists over a career that saw him named IHSA All-State, NSCAA All-Region and an NSCAA All-American after his senior year. At the club level, he capped off his youth career in style when his Raiders FC team captured the U18 Midwest Regional Championship for US Club Soccer.

“A talented attacking player at the high school and youth levels, Jose has the physical, technical and mental abilities to make an impact right away,” Phillips said.

Torres scored 38 goals and 43 assists over his high school career, which helped the Stagg Chargers score their best record in school history while advancing the furthest in the IHSA playoffs during his senior year. He was named IHSA All-State for his achievements.

Although he was the youngest player with the Raiders FC, “Beto” was a critical part of teams that went on to win four league titles, two state cups, two regional championships, a Midwest Regional League title and the US Youth Soccer National League Championship.

Phillips called Torres “a clever, left-sided player who has championship experience,” adding, “we are looking forward to Beto competing for playing time right away and adding depth into our attacking core.”

Alvarez joins the program after two successful seasons with Dominican University in River Forest. He had 12 goals and 16 assists while helping the Stars win back-to-back NACC Regular Season and NACC Tournament championships, garnering All-NACC selections in both seasons.

Alvarez, whose twin brother Jorge plays for UIC, was a standout athlete at the high school and club level, notching 34 goals and 27 assists at Oswego East while helping the Ajax FC club team qualify for the 2012 USYS Region II Championships.

“Marco is a proven winner at the youth and collegiate level whose experience and ability to play multiple positions will be invaluable to this still-young group,” Phillips said.

Laude led his high school team to a 23-2-2 record and a second-place finish in the IHSA 3A Championship — the most successful season in school history. He followed his fall season with an equally impressive spring club season, helping Raiders FC win the US Club Regional Championship at the U18 age group. Named to the IHSA All-Sectional team in 2013, Laude was a rock at center-back for the Wildcats. He spent time in defense and attack throughout the winter and spring season for Raiders FC.

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Jose Fuentes, left, joined the Lane Tech varsity team as a freshman.

“Nathan is a tremendous athlete with winning qualities who is just starting to discover how good a soccer player he can become. He will provide immediate depth and competition to our squad in multiple lines,” Phillips said.

El Metennani honed his talents in the Sockers FC US Soccer Development Academy program and Top Talent program for the last three seasons. The defender helped the club to nine clean sheets this past season. He was an integral part of the 2012-2013 team with a defense ranked in the Top 10 of the USSDA based on goals conceded. The OPRF graduate chipped in with 10 assists for Sockers FC and notched 16 assists in his freshman and sophomore seasons for his high school team.

“Elias is an experienced left-sided defender who can play wide or centrally in the back line,” Phillips said. “His time with Sockers FC has given him the ability to provide immediate depth and compete for a starting position right away.”

Stankiewicz joins the team after graduating from DePaul last spring. The Prospect High School alum was featured in 44 games over his career, scoring two goals and assisting on three others from midfield. He has been a standout player on local powerhouse club AAC Eagles.

“Michael joins us after completing his undergraduate degree and playing at Big East member DePaul,” Phillips said. “He will strengthen our central midfield immediately with his Big East collegiate experience and time playing with one of the top United States Adult Soccer Association teams in the country.”

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