Gaels are New York force

[TOP 25 SPOTLIGHT] Iona debuts this week at No. 25 in the Soccer America Top 25 rankings after running its winning streak to six games and its record to 11-1-0 for the season. Not bad for a team that lost its top player, 2010 MAAC Rookie of the Year Victor Munoz, who transferred to UCLA.

Coach Fernando Barboto has built the Gaels into a force to be reckoned with in the New York area. They have beaten Hofstra, Rutgers and Adelphi and their only loss was to Big East powerhouse St. John's.

Munoz had spent time in the Real Madrid youth system in Spain, but that's not to say the cupboard was left bare in New Rochelle after his departure for UCLA.

Another sophomore, Samuel Adjei, is one of the best players to come out the Red Bulls' academy program and St. Benedict's Prep in recent years and attended several U.S. national youth team training camps.

Junior Ansger Otto, who leads the Gaels with five goals, is a transfer from D3 Stevenson University.

Barboto started only one senior in Sunday's 4-1 win over Canisius. His pipeline to Spain that brought Munoz last season has also produced freshman Borja Barbero (who has started all 12 games in goal), junior Alvaro Torrecilla (three goals, one assist), freshman Ignacio Maganto (four goals, three assists) and freshman Brais Garcia (who made his second start of the season against Canisius).

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