Icelanders in college soccer

[MAKING A LIST] Colleges have been recruiting Icelanders for several decades.

With the success of Columbia's Rikki Dadason (the Lions' all-time leading scorer with 50 goals) and UNC Greensboro's Siggi Eyjolfsson (the first Icelander to be named a first-team All-American), a pipeline of players from Iceland to U.S. colleges developed.

The greatest Icelander no one has ever heard of is Hjortur Hjartarson, who set an NAIA career scoring record last year with 136 goals for Auburn-Montgomery, one shy of the collegiate record held by Richard Sharpe at Florida Tech (NCAA Division II).

Besides Boston University's Hrafn Davidsson, Jon Jonsson and Petur Sigurdsson, six other Icelanders are playing Division I soccer this fall.

Like Jonsson and Sigurdsson, Northeastern's Petur Vidarsson hails from Hafnarfjordur.

Graduate student Einar Oddson is in his second year at Fordham after transferring from Adelphi. Thorstein Georgsson transferred to Florida Atlantic this season after beginning his college career at Division III power North Carolina Wesleyan.

UNC Greensboro's Jokull Elisabetarson was a third-team all-regional pick as a sophomore last year.

Freshmen Gunnar Kristiansson (13 starts) and Jon Davidsson (nine starts) have fit in nicely for Florida Atlantic and Penn State, respectively.

Auburn-Montgomery, which has finished second at the NAIA national championships three times in the last seven years, has taken the importation of Icelanders to an extreme. The 2007 AUM team features 10 Icelanders on its roster.

Footnote: Dadason and Eyjolfsson went on to have long pro careers in Europe. Dadason is perhaps best known for his goal that gave Iceland a 1-1 tie with France in Euro 2004 qualifying.

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