Story courtesy: UT Rio Grande Valley Athletics
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Vaqueros men’s soccer team announced on Thursday the additions of forward Moiad Ankir, Veterans Memorial alum Mark Boswell, Aleix Viladot Carames, Javier Chavez, Renan Dos Santos, Ethaniel Fierro, Alex Frank, Roberto Hernandez,Oliver Padilla, Victor Medellin, Usman Sotomi, Riccardo Turcis, and Reshaun Walkes for the 2020-21 season.
“This is easily the most excited I have been regarding our incoming class during my time here at UTRGV,” UTRGV head coach Paul Leese said. “After five seasons of building a new soccer program and earning national recognition and consecutive top-25 rankings, our reputation has grown to the point of attracting high-level student-athletes to the Rio Grande Valley. I believe we have added firepower, creativity and strength with the 2020 class. I cannot wait to begin working with our new group and helping them achieve their fullest potential.”
Ankir comes to UTRGV after spending two seasons at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) where he played in 29 games while scoring three goals. Last season, Ankir played in 11 games while making five starts and scored a goal against Houston Baptist.
As a freshman, Ankir played in all 18 games while making five starts. He scored a pair of goals while recording two assists.
Originally from Dallas, Ankir played soccer at Berkner High School.
Boswell joins the program after being a four-year starter at Veterans Memorial in Brownsville where he helped his team to three regional appearances and two district championships.
Boswell wrapped up his high school career with plenty of accolades as he was named the All-Metro Newcomer of the Year, 32-5A Offensive MVP, All-Metro MVP, All-Valley Soccer Player of the Year while being named to the First Team All-District and First Team All-State teams.
Viladot Carames joins the Vaqueros after spending two seasons at Marshalltown Community College where he helped his team to conference and regional championships in 2018 and 2019.
Viladot Carames played in 18 games with 17 starts last season and scored two goals, one of which was a game-winner against Iowa Central, with an assist. He earned Honorable Mention honors and named to the All-Region Second Team.
Originally from Encamp, Andorra, Viladot Carames played in 15 games while making 14 starts with two goals as freshman.
Chavez joins the program after being a member of the Houston Dynamo Academy since 2013. Chavez is originally from Brownsville.
Dos Santos comes to UTRGV after spending a couple of seasons at Neosho Community College where he earned All-North Region and All-Conference honors in both seasons.
Last season, Dos Santos, originally from Niteroi, Brazil, played in 11 games with nine starts while scoring one goal and recording four assists. As a freshman, Dos Santos played in 19 games while making 16 starts and scored four goals, three game-winners, with five assists.
Fierro joins the program after playing soccer at Atascocita High School in Humble. Fierro helped his team to the state tournament and was named team MVP as a junior and senior. Fierro earned Second Team All-District honors as a junior.
Fierro played for the Houston Dynamo Youth U13 team.
Frank joins the Vaqueros after spending two seasons at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Last season, Frank was named to the All-Summit League Second Team after appearing in all 18 games while starting in 17 of them. Frank led the team with five goals, 27 shots and 13 shots on goal.
As a freshman, Frank played in all 19 games while making 18 starts and scored four goals with two assists.
Originally from Hamilton, New Zealand, Frank attended Hamilton Boys High School where he helped his team to Waikato State Championships in 2014, 2016, and 2017 and a Super 8 High School Championship in 2017.
Hernandez comes to UTRGV after spending his sophomore season at Iowa Western Community College. Hernandez played in 16 games, with seven starts, and scored two goals with four assists.
Prior to his time at Iowa Western, Hernandez spent his freshman season at Barton Community College where he played in 24 games and scored two goals with five assists. Hernandez helped his team reach the final four of the NJCAA Division I Tournament.
Originally from Weslaco, Hernandez attended Texas Connections Academy in Houston.
Padilla comes to the RGV after spending three seasons at Old Dominion University.
Last season, Padilla saw action in three games in goal while going 1-1 with an 0.86 goals against average and two saves.
Padilla made his debut in 2018 against Florida Atlantic after not seeing any action in 2017.
Originally from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Padilla went to Spring High School where he was earned First Team All-District honors as a freshman.
Medellin joins the Vaqueros after two seasons at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Medellin played in 18 games last season with 17 starts while playing in 13 games and seven starts as a freshman.
Originally from Reynosa, Mexico, Medellin attended Idea Toros while playing with the RGV FC Academy.
Sotomi joins the program after two seasons at Angelina College where he played in 31 career games. Last season, Sotomi played in 14 games with 11 starts scoring a goal while playing and starting in all 17 games as a freshman.
Originally from Houston, Sotomi attended Elsik High School where he helped his team to two conference championships and a 2018 state championship.
Turcis, originally from Turin, Italy, joins the Vaqueros after playing his sophomore season at Presbyterian College where he played in 20 games with 14 starts. Turcis finished third on the team with nine points, which included four goals and one assist.
Turcis played his freshman season at St. Louis Community College where he played in 23 games while starting 20 of them. Turcis recorded a team-high 37 points with 17 goals and three assists and helped his team to a NJCAA Region XVI title.
Walkes joins the program after playing two seasons at Lewis and Clark Community College where he was named a Third Team NJCAA All-American as a sophomore, a two-time All-Region First Team honoree, a two-time United Soccer Coaches First Team honoree and the Region 24 Player of the Year.
Originally from Brampton, Ontario, Walkes finished his career at Lewis and Clark with 27 goals and 19 assists in 30 games while leading his team to back-to-back Region 24 championships and a 24-5-1 record.