Our good friend Will Exline at TopDrawerSoccer.com has been keeping us up to date with the state of recruiting for both our men's and women's soccer teams.
First, some good news for our women's team as they get a commitment from one of the top high school players in the country:
Lauren Kaskie has announced that she has verbally committed to UCLA for the 2013 season. Kaskie is No. 8 in the Top 100 and a regular in the U.S. Youth National program. She's a very big talent and is expected to be an instant impact player when she makes her way to the Bruins' campus
This is great news for our women's program. (Also, the Bruins should be pretty optimistic about having a Lauren on the squad, as that worked out well for both U.C.L.A. and for the U.S.A. National Team). Congratulations to Lauren, and welcome to Westwood! Now let's talk about the men's side after the jump.
Smith, our No. 2 ranked player in the 2013 Top 100, was pretty much fixed on the Bruins from the beginning. "I knew it was a good school, and has a lot of history of winning," Smith said.
Smith recently played on the U.S. Under-17 National team in the U17 World Cup in Mexico. Despite a loss in the tournament to Germany in the Round of 16, the high level international competition was invaluable to his experience. Smith will continue his development in Fresno before coming to Westwood in the fall of 2013.
Finally, U.C.L.A. hit a home run last May when it got a verbal commitment for the 2012 class from the top high school player in the U.S., Marc Pelosi. However, the Bruins now have some serious competition for Pelosi's skills in the form of the Liverpool Football Club of the English Premier League.
Pelosi...has been offered a professional contract from EPL giant Liverpool F.C., and a chance to develop in its youth system under the guidance of former Barcelona youth coaches Pep Segura and Rodolfo Borell.
"Right now, I want to make sure that wherever I go I am in the right place where there is a balance between training and playing high-level matches. And I want to ensure I can continue my education."
Well, I might be biased, but I think that there is no better place for Marc to fill all those criteria than at U.C.L.A. Plus, we can hope that Pelosi will see the benefits of the Southern California weather and cuisine over the respective British offerings. Either way, though, Pelosi's options certainly show he is a great talent. Hopefully, he'll elect to be a Bruin and bring his talents to Westwood.