Feb. 7, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame men's soccer team has signed six high school seniors to national letters of intent. Joining the Irish in the fall of 2000 will be Filippo Chillemi (Roswell, Ga.), Justin Detter (White Lake, Mich.), Greg Martin (Plano, Texas), Devon Prescod (Marietta, Ga.), Kevin Richards (Warwick, Bermuda) and Chad Riley (Houston, Texas).
One of the strongest recruiting classes in school history, all six players at one time or another have played with their respective youth national teams.
"This is truly an outstanding class and one of the best in school history," Irish assistant coach Chris Apple says. "The players entering in the fall fill a lot of our needs and strengthen our team in many areas. We've been able to bring in two solid recruiting classes the last two years giving us more balance and depth at all positions."
Chillemi, a 5-10, 160-pound central midfielder, is one of three of incoming freshmen who have spent time training with the under-17 national team pool at the Bradenton Academy in Florida. He was selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) High School and Adidas All-America team in 1999 and earned all-South regional honors as well. In addition, he has been invited to the Elite Soccer Program ( ESP) Adidas Camp each of the last three years.
Chillemi has vast international experience and has played in several countries. He has been a member of Georgia's Olympic Development Program (ODP) state team since 1994 and the Region III squad since 1996.
Currently playing at Roswell High School in Roswell, Ga., he has been a member of the United Quest club team and has helped that team capture three state championship in the last four years.
"Fillippo gained valuable experience with the youth national team during his residency at Bradenton," Apple says. "He has the ability to change the point of attack from the midfield and is able to get the ball to players in the final third of the field. Filippo's strengths are his ability to possess the ball in the midfield and his solid ball-handling skills."
Detter, 6-1, 175 midfielder/defender, is an extremely versatile athlete. He was a member of the under-17 and under-16 national team pools from 1996-1999 and also played on the Region II team for three years. Detter spent four months (this past August thru December) training with the under-17 national team at the Brandenton Academy. He currently is back at Holly High in Holly, Mich., and plays for the Vardar III club team.
"Justin has improved tremendously over the past year," Apple says, "and that is due in large part to his residency with the national team. He has a strong physical presence on the field and is extremely strong in the air. One of the assets he will bring to this team next year is his ability to distribute the ball from the central part of the defense."
Martin, a 5-8, 150-pound defender, spent 18 months training at the Bradenton Academy following his sophomore year at Plano High School. He was a part-time starter on the under-17 national team which lost in the semifinals of the Youth World Championships in New Zealand. Martin has twice earned Parade Magazine All-America honors and was selected to the NSCAA High School All-America team in 1999. He currently is back playing with his Plano high school team (which is 7-0).
Martin also has been a member of the Dallas Comets club team for years and helped that squad to a fourth-place finish at the national tournament in 1998.
"Greg's improvement has come with the international experience he has gained," Apple says. "He is a tough, aggressive defender with strong tackling ability. Greg has the skill and composure to keep possession of the ball, which is something that will benefit our defense next year."
Prescod, a 5-7, 145-pound forward/midfielder, led his Lassiter High School team in scoring as a junior with 11 goals and 12 assists. An NSCAA All-America honoree and first-team all-county selection in the spring of '99, he also is a player with strong international experience. Prescod was a member of the under-16 national team pool in 1996 and was on the ODP Region III team for two years.
Last summer, he attended the ESP Adidas Camp and has played for the United Quest club team for several years. In 38 games last year with United Quest, Prescod was the team's leading scorer with 26 goals and 13 assists. From 1997-99, he captained that squad and led his team to three Georgia Open Cup championships. Prescod also helped his club team to two consecutive semifinal appearances at the Dallas Cup in both '98 and '99.
"Devon is a truly exiting player to watch," Apple says. "He has the confidence and skill to beat defenders one-on-one and is able to get the ball to players in scoring positions. In addition to his passing abilities, he is going to score his share of goals for the team."
Richards, 5-9, 140-pound midfielder, recently was named to the Bermuda National team. For the past three years, he has attended St. Andrews College in Aurora, Ontario where his team has been undefeated the past two years. In his final season this fall, he scored nine goals. Before playing at St. Andrews, he attended Saltas Grammar School. Richards also plays for the Pembroke Hamilton Club team. In two recent tournaments with that team, he scored five goals.
"Kevin's promotion to the national team in Bermuda is a testament to his hard work and dedication," Apple says. "He has a tremendous work ethic on the field and is a sound, technical player. One of Kevin's greatest assets is his quickness in the open field."
Riley, a 5-8, 155-pound midfielder, is a native of Houston, Texas who has been living since August in Weybridge, England. He currently is playing for Walton & Herscham club team there and also has trained with Fulham Portsmouth, one of the top youth club teams in England.
A member of the under-18 national team pool, he played for two years at Cypress Springs High School where he earned All-Greater Houston area first-team honors. Riley served as captain of the Region III ODP team in Houston. He also has been a member of the Houston Hurricanes club team for several years.
"Chad possesses the unique ability to break down defenses because of his vision and passing skills," Apple says. "He is a strong dribbler in the open field and an excellent finisher around the goal."