Just how big a role do foreign players play at men's programs? Through the years, many foreigners have starred in the college ranks. Nigerian Andy Atuegbu
(San Francisco, 1974-77) and Honduran Armando Betancourt
(Indiana, 1979-81) were the dominant players of their generation.
In the last decade, foreign players had a major role in the success of national champions Indiana (1998-99), Connecticut (2000) and North Carolina (2001).
Today the impact of foreign players at top programs is significant as Virginia, Clemson and SMU -- ranked 1, 2, 3 in the Soccer America Men's Top 25
-- all have foreign stars. That's not to say that these programs have been actively searching on foreign shores for players.
German Yannick Reyering
, No. 1 Virginia's first foreigner of note since Bruce Arena
developed the program into a national power in the 1980s, learned about the Cavs while searching the Internet. No. 2 Clemson's three foreign stars -- BrazilianFrederico Moojen
, Jamaican Dean Richards
and Irishman Alan O'Hara
-- all transferred from other U.S. colleges. At No. 3 SMU, Brazilians Paulo da Silva
and Bruno Guarda
moved to the Dallas area to attend high school and stayed on to enroll at SMU.
There are 33 foreigners who have started more than half the games of the teams ranked in the Soccer America Men's Top 25 for an average of 1.32 per team (see below). These players represent 20 countries. Six hail from England. Three each come from Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago. Surprisingly, no Top 25 team has a Canadian who has started a majority of games. (TrinidadianJason Devenish
played for Canada's U-17s but last spring joined South Florida teammates Yohance Marshall
and Kevon Neaves
in playing for T&T's U-21s.)
Many of these players have significant international experience. Richards has played for Jamaica's Reggae Boyz. New Mexico's Andrew Boyens
and West Virginia's Jarrod Smith
play for New Zealand's All Whites. SMU's Mynor Gonzalez
has represented Guatemala at the Gold Cup. Neaves tried out for Trinidad & Tobago's 2006 World Cup team. UIC's Tonci Skroce
is a Croatian U-21 international.
A growing number of American-bred players represent foreign national teams (for which they qualify by birth or heritage). Not included in this list are Duke's Tomek Charowski
, who has played for Canada's U-20s, and South Florida's Kareem Smith
, who has represented Trinidad & Tobago at the youth level.
Perhaps the most unusual collection of foreigners are at UIC and Old Dominion. Unbeaten UIC starts players from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. ODU features three Cameroonians. Yomby William
was joined this year by Nane Joseph
and Ambane Emmanuel
, who have been starting in recent games. MEN'S TOP 25 FOREIGNERS
RANK/TEAM (FOREIGN STARTERS)
1. Virginia (1)
Yannick Reyering-Germany. 2. Clemson (3)
Frederico Moojen-Brazil, Dean Richards-Jamaica, Alan O'Hara-Ireland. 3. SMU (3)
Bruno Guarda-Brazil, Paulo da Silva-Brazil, Mynor Gonzalez-Guatemala. 4. Duke (0) 5. Maryland (0) 6. Wake Forest (0) 7. Washington (0) 8. North Carolina (1)
Ben Hunter-England. 9. UCLA (0) 10. UIC (4)
, Jovan Bubonja-Serbia, Pavle Dundjer-Serbia, Adam Ejupovic-Bosnia & Herzegovina, Tonci Skroce-Croatia. 11. Akron (2)
Elliot Bradbrook-England, Ossie Michalsen-Norway. 12. West Virginia (4)
Matthew Anstey-Australia, Jarrod Smith-New Zealand, Dan Stratford-England, Andrew Wright-England. 13. San Francisco (0) 14. UC Santa Barbara (2)
Andy Iro-England, Bryan Byrne-Ireland. 15. Santa Clara (0) 16. Virginia Tech (1)
Patrick Nyarko-Ghana. 17. South Florida (3)
Yohance Marshall-Trinidad & Tobago, Jason Devenish-Trinidad & Tobago, Kevon Neaves-Trinidad & Tobago. 18. Old Dominion (1)
Yomby William-Cameroon. 19. Saint Louis (1)
Calum Angus-England. 20. Indiana (0) 21. Notre Dame (0) 22. New Mexico (3)
Andrew Boyens-New Zealand, Simon Ejdemyr-Sweden, Lars Loeseth-Norway. 23. Northwestern (0) 24. Fordham (4)
Grant Kerr-Scotland, Einar Oddsson-Iceland, Omero Rozen-Italy, Dean Stanic-South Africa. 25. Brown (0) (Foreigners who have started a majority of their team's games.)