Appalachian State University mens soccer coach Matt Nelson announced his signing class Friday, welcoming seven student-athletes into the Mountaineer family in 2014 for the inaugural season into the Sun Belt Conference. The mens soccer program had been a member of the Southern Conference from 1972-2013.
JEREMIAH TSHONGO 5-7 165 Defender Hamersley, Western Australia
NELSONS TAKE: Jeremiah comes to us from the prestigious Australian Institute for Sport in Canberra and the U-17 Australian National team. His experience, technical ability and his athleticism will add a different dimension to our program. He is a special talent and we are extremely excited to be able to work with Jeremiah for the next four years.
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Attended Quinns Baptist College ... member of the national training center for three years and represented Western Australia two times in the 2010 and 2011 NTC Challenge.
CLUB: Member of Australian Joeys U-17s second place in the U-16 prep tournament.
PERSONAL: Born June 30, 1996 has four siblings; Zawadi, Solange, Alphonsine and Muhindo hobbies include spending time with family and friends majoring in exercise science.
BENJAMIN LE GAL 5-7 158 Central Midfielder Neuilly Plaisance, France
NELSONS TAKE: Ben has played at a high level in France and will immediately bring leadership and confidence to the middle of the field. He has great vision and his ability to read the game will make the game easier for those playing in front and behind him.
PREVIOUS SCHOOL: Université de Paris Est Marne la Vallée
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: Played with Villemomble Sport in CFA (4th Division) and U19 Dsr (3rd Division)
PERSONAL: Son of Gerard and Florence Le Gal ... plans to study marketing and communication.
AUSTIN STAMEY 5-8 155 Forward/Midfielder Arden, N.C. TC Roberson H.S.
NELSONS TAKE: Austin will bring explosiveness to the attacking side of the ball. He has played at a high level and caught our eye early in the recruiting process. He is a dynamic attacking player and he brings an ability to play in multiple positions. He will strengthen us wherever we slot him in.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended TC Roberson where he was a 2013 NSCAA All-American, Choice Hotels All-America, all-state, all-south, all-MAC and Citizen Times Player of the Year in 2012 was all-state, all-south, all-MAC, Citizen Times Player of the Year ... was all-state in 2011, all-MAC and was a 2010 all-MAC selection scored a career 90 goals and tallied 40 career assists.
CLUB: Member of USSDA North Meck (U.S. Soccer Development Academy) from 2010-2012 2011 Wild Card team in USSDA playoffs scored 10 club goals and tallied eight assists.
PERSONAL: Son of Mitchell and Vicky Stamey born March 2, 1996 has one sibling, Sarah (15).
COOPER COUGHLIN 6-1 165 Midfielder Suwanee, Ga. Lambert H.S.
NELSONS TAKE: Cooper will bring size, strength and scoring ability to the central part of our midfield. His technical ability will help us maintain possession and his delivery on set pieces will be dangerous on every attacking set piece we have.
HIGH SCHOOL: While at Lambert he was named all-region and all-conference his sophomore through senior seasons was offensive MVP sophomore and junior seasons and won the Golden Boot award his junior year scored 16 goals and tallied 12 assists his sophomore year with 18 goals and 13 assists during his junior campaign.
CLUB: Member of Clearwater Chargers USSF Academy and Concorde Fire USSF Academy.
PERSONAL: Son of Bill and Kristy Coughlin born November 11, 1995 Uncle Casey Prince played soccer for Barton College and then for the Charlotte Eagles Uncle Thomas Coughlin ran track and cross country at UNC Asheville hobbies includes golf major is undecided.
JAKE CHASTEEN 6-1 175 Goalkeeper Blowing Rock, N.C. Watauga H.S.
NELSONS TAKE: Ive been lucky enough to watch Jake develop as a player and as a person over the past few years. He is an athletic, intelligent, hard-working goalkeeper and I feel that he has the potential to develop into a very special player during his career at App State.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Watauga High School in Boone all-conference honoree as a junior and senior all-region his junior and senior seasons all-state junior year was named MVP his junior season and awarded the coachs award his senior year carried a GAA of 0.50 in the 2012 playoffs finished nine clean sheets in 22 games in 2013 10 clean sheets in 2014 career GAA of 0.78.
CLUB: Was a member of N.C. Fusion U18 Premier Elite finished Spring of 2013 with a league goals against average of 0.66, good for best in the league.
PERSONAL: Son of Todd and Kim Chasteen Born April 18, 1995 Has three siblings; Jesse (20), Tucker (17) and Kenzie (16) Father, Todd, played football at James Madison University.
JAKE WALRATH 6-1 170 Defender Raeford, N.C. Hoke County H.S.
NELSONS TAKE: John was picked up later in the recruiting process and we were very surprised that he was still available. He can play any outside back position and also can play on either wing. His size and strength, along with his un-matched work rate will help him be successful here during his four years.
HIGH SCHOOL: While at Hoke County, was a three-time all-conference, all-region selection ... SEC Player of the Year his junior year and was also an all-state selection that same year ... team MVP three times ... scored 54 goals and tallied 36 assists in his career.
CLUB: Member of Triangle United Gold U-18 ... was region IIII champions.
PERSONAL: Son of Teodolina Ramos ... Born October 25, 1995 ... has four siblings; David (19), Luz-hazel (15), James (7) and Isabel (1) ... hobbies include working out and hanging out with friends ... plans to major in communication disorder.
ZEPHANIAH WARD 5-10 150 Defender Charlotte, N.C. Olympis H.S.
NELSONS TAKE: Zeph can play either outside back position. His quickness and tenacity will enable us to leave him 1v1 against most wingers we face with confidence that he will not be beaten.
HIGH SCHOOL: Was an all-conference runner-up sophomore year while at Olympis scored nine goals and tallied seven assists from the backline.
CLUB: Member of Carolina Rapids Academy team.
PERSONAL: Son of Patrick and Evangelina Ward born August 9, 1996 has five siblings; Marquita (24), Kiana (20), Isaiah (18), Joshua (15) and Patricia (14) hobbies include writing and exercising majoring in dietetics, nutrition and food.
Photo Courtesy: Matt Nelson, ASU Athletics