Tulsa Men's Soccer Team Signs Six Freshmen to National Letters-of-Intent
Feb. 2, 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma - Tulsa Head Men's Soccer Coach Tom McIntosh announced the signing of six players for the 2012 freshman class, and the addition of senior-transfer Mark Pais to the roster. The freshmen class includes Bradley Bourgeois, Bryce Follensbee, Marcus Jordan, Benjamin LaCourse, Cristian Mata and Tarik Salkicic.
"This signing class is going to fill a lot of immediate needs and add quality to our program," McIntosh said. "All of these student-athletes have the ability to impact this team right away and I believe will mesh well with our returning group of players. Although we'll be very young, this is a very talented group of players that will have the ability to achieve all the goals we set out for ourselves."
A 5-11 defender from Cypress, Texas, Bourgeois, played club soccer for the Houston Dynamo and made five appearances with the professional reserve team. He also served as captain for the U-17 squad that competed at the prestigious Eurovoetbal Tournament in the Netherlands, starting all six games, and was captain of the U-16 team that advanced to the USSF Playoffs during last season. Bourgeois was also a two-year member of the Cy-Fair High School team, earning first-team all-district accolades in 2010.
"Bradley is a very strong center back," McIntosh said. "He is athletic, good on the turn and can pass it out of the back, which is important in our system. Bradley is also very good in the air and communicates very well for a kid his age. He is going to bring very good experience to the team and will make an immediate impact to the back line."
Follensbee, a 6-3 forward from Orlando, Fla., was a four-year soccer letterwinner at Dr. Phillips High School, while also earning a letter in track and field and football as a sophomore. He scored 73 goals and picked up 26 assists for 172 career points, and was selected as the Orlando Sentinel Player of the Week twice during his career.
"Bryce has good feet for a big striker," McIntosh said. "He has good speed and can run beyond as well, and I am looking forward to him making a big impact to the front line."
A 5-7 defender from Colorado Springs, Colo., Jordan helped the Region IV ODP team capture the 2009 ODP Inter-Regionals tournament title without allowing a goal, and then a year later helped his team capture the Region IV ODP Championship. He picked up second-team all-tournament honors for the Region IV Championship and was a selected member of the Region IV 94 Costa Rica Tours team. Jordan was a three-year letterwinner at Palmer High School, where he scored 13 goals and had 27 assists for 53 points. He was a two-time all-CS Metro Class 5A honoree and was the PHS MVP as a sophomore. Jordan also lettered in football as a senior at PHS.
"Marcus is a left-sided player who can really get forward from the back," McIntosh said. "He is very explosive, has good passing out of the back, and can cross the ball or drive the ball. We are very excited to have him in our attacking system."
LaCourse, a 6-2 goalkeeper from Tulsa, Okla., plays club soccer for the Tulsa Soccer Club 94 Black, which captured the 2011 USYSA National Championship. LaCourse has also been instrumental in helping TSC 94 Black make two Region 3 Finals appearances, as well as capture the 2011 National League Championship, the 2010 Disney Showcase Championship and five Oklahoma State Cup Championships. LaCourse is a three-year letterwinner in soccer at Metro Christian Academy. He has helped MCA post a three-year 36-13 record, while recording 26 career shutouts and scoring 13 goals. LaCourse was the Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman, is a three-time all-district and all-Metro honoree and was named as the team's MVP as a sophomore and junior. He also earned two letters in football at MCA, and picked up all-district and all-state honorable mention accolades as a senior.
"Benjamin is the top goalkeeper in our region," McIntosh said. "He has great kicking ability, is a good shot stopper and has great athletic ability that will help him mature into a very good goalkeeper."
A 5-9 forward from Tulsa, Okla., Mata has a No. 81 national ranking and a No. 4 regional ranking by Top Drawer Soccer. He is a three-year letterwinner at Union High School where he has scored 48 career goals and has been named to the all-city, all-metro and all-state teams. Mata plays club soccer for the Tulsa Soccer Club 94, where he has helped capture the Disney College Cup, the Region III Championship and the US National League Championship, while also finishing third at US Nationals. Mata was also a member of the US Region III Olympic Development Team and was a US National Team pool player. His brother, Omar, is a junior on the Tulsa team.
"Cristian is one of the best goal scorers in this country, scoring goals at every level he's played," McIntosh said. "He has great instincts in and around the box, and is going to be a great target player for us. He is one of the hardest working forwards that we've seen as he has a tremendous work ethic, he is strong on the ball and we are very excited to have him."
Pais, a 6-4 goalkeeper from St. Louis, Mo., is a senior transfer from Saint Louis University. He started in 15 of 19 games during his career at SLU, logging over 1,650 minutes in goal, earning 82 saves and recording five shutouts. Pais was a four-year starting goalkeeper for Ladue Horton Watkins High School, where he posted 29 shutouts and never had a losing season. He was also a 2007 US National Team pool player and a member of the Olympic Development Program in 2008.
"Mark brings with him three years of great experience between the posts," McIntosh said. "He is very athletic, and is very good technically. He has the ability to come in and make a big impact with the one year of eligibility he has left."
A 6-0 midfielder form Pinellas Park, Fla., Salkicic is ranked No. 12 nationally and No. 1 in Florida by Top Drawer Soccer. He currently returned to playing for Strictly Soccer Club after spending the past two years in the U.S. Soccer U-17 Residency Program. Tarik was a member of the U.S. U-17 National Team that competed in the last World Cup in Mexico, making an appearance against the Czech Republic. Salkicic was also a two-year letterwinner at Seminole High School.
"Tarik is a strong central midfield player with good feet and a good passing ability," McIntosh said. "He will give us strength at the defensive center-midfield position and will have the potential to make an immediate impact."
2012 Tulsa Men's Soccer Signees Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (Previous School) Bradley Bourgeois D 5-11 Cypress, Texas (Cy-Fair) Bryce Follensbee F 6-3 Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips) Marcus Jordan D 5-7 Colorado Springs, Colo. (Palmer) Benjamin LaCourse GK 6-2 Tulsa, Okla. (Metro Christian Academy) Cristian Mata F 5-9 Tulsa, Okla. (Union) Mark Pais GK 6-4 St. Louis, Mo. (Saint Louis) Tarik Salkicic MF 6-0 Pinellas Park, Fla. (Seminole)
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