UCSC Men’s soccer kicks the new year off with eleven new recruits

UCSC Men’s soccer kicks the new year off with eleven new recruits

With an eye on the future, our Banana Slugs Men's soccer team proudly introduces our incoming freshmen Class of 2023.

UCSC's men's soccer team will be adding Christian Locatelli from Loyola High School. He played club for FC Golden State at center midfield. Head Coach Michael Runeare says "Locatelli reads the game very well. He often plays 1 or 2 touch and keeps the ball moving and acts as a linking player in the holding midfield role." 


Goalkeeper Connor Branson will set foot onto UCSC fields this fall, arriving from Woodcreek High School and his club team, Placer United. Michael Runeare: "Connor is a bright kid who has great potential to be the future #1 keeper in the program. His distribution and dealing close shots is great."
Also entering slug territory from Kansas will be incoming freshman Davin Cox.
Cox graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School, the same high school as former Slug Ari Statler. Davin formerly played for Kansas City Athletics Academy as center midfielder and is ready to get his game on with his fellow Slugs. Runeare says, "Davin is a technical left footed player who can play anywhere in the midfield. He holds himself to a high standard and works hard."


The Slugs are also adding incoming freshman Ethan Kingery from Rancho Bernardo. He recently played on the San Diego Soccer Club, plays center midfielder and is now ready to come on to new grounds. "Ethan is a deceptive and quick central midfielder. He can play with both feet and has a solid final pass to unlock teams," said Runeare.


Incoming freshman Itay Rabinovich comes from De Anza Force and graduated from Cupertino's Monta Vista High School. He brings impact onto the team with his skills at outside back. Runeare: "Itay is a local kid that plays simple and moves the ball quickly. He can play in the middle or outside and isn't afraid of a tackle."



Also joining the team is Jake Rhodes from Bellarmine College Prep and De Anza Force. Rhodes's main positions consist of striker and winger. Coach Runeare says "Jake is constantly putting defenders under pressure and using his pace to cause problems. He is relentless in pursuit and is constantly finding himself in goal scoring positions."
Our next freshman is Jonah Gratol from El Cerrito, California.
He played on the Norcal's Mavericks Crew '01 as outside back and outside midfielder, and had a good varsity career at El Cerrito High School. He is entering the program with some new determinations. Runeare explains "Jonah is a strong player who will play simple and keep possession when needed. He is very versatile and can play anywhere on the field. "
Paolo Santiago is from San Diego's University City High School and played on the San Diego Surf Soccer Club. Runeare says, "Paolo is a centre back who can play with the ball at his feet, which is important for us here. He reads the game extremely well and puts himself in good positions".


New Slug Race Cameron comes to the roster after playing winger for Chadwick School in Palos Verdes.  Runeare explains, "Race is a left footed player who has the ability to beat a defender in the wide areas and deliver crosses." Cameron
Rory Monninger is the next player on our upcoming roster hailing from Chico High School. Rory plays center or outside midfielder and experienced playing for his former club team Butte United. Michael Runeare: "Rory is a versatile player who can play anywhere. He has a good work rate and takes care of his defensive responsibilities really well."


  Last but certainly not least is our final incoming freshman Will Barba. Barba comes from Point Loma High School and played center back for his club team Albion. Coach Runeare says, "Will is a big physical presence in the back. He can win everything in the air and is a great 1 v 1 defender."

UCSC men's soccer warmly welcomes the new student-athletes to their team and are excited to watch what's in store for the upcoming season. Go Slugs!