San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Men’s soccer lands twelfth-best recruiting class in nation

Jocelyn Moran
Redshirt-freshman midfielder Reagan Sherlock (left) celebrates with junior midfielder Spencer Madden (middle) and senior forward Damian German (right) during the Aztecs 2-0 victory over Brown on Sept. 15 at the SDSU Sports Deck. German had two goals during the match.

San Diego State men’s soccer is making waves in the Pac-12 Conference as head coach Lev Kirshner has put together the twelfth-best recruiting class in the nation, according to Top Drawer Soccer.

“We’re very proud and excited,” Kirshner said. “Those players need to come in here and prove why this class is ranked so high.”

Kirshner praised assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Josh Hill for scouting top-ranked players.

“(Hill) is putting the right type of players in front of me,” Kirshner said. “He’s beloved by every player that we’ve been bringing into the program.”

A total of nine new players will make their way onto the pitch for the Aztecs this fall – four forwards, three defenders, one goalkeeper and one midfielder.

Kirshner aims to welcome the new players to be part of the SDSU family.

“Our expectations is for them to acclimate to the culture of our program,” Kirshner said. “Make sure that they’re putting their best foot forward every day.”

Kirshner said the priority in this year’s recruiting class was finding players who can score goals.

Last season, the Aztecs scored 16 tallies in all competitions at a mere rate of 0.89 goals per game.

“We needed to enhance our attacking presence and take some pressure off our defensive capabilities,” Kirshner said.

Some of the new attackers for the Aztecs are highly ranked on Top Drawer Soccer’s IMG Academy 150 college player rankings in the country – forwards Hunter George (No. 33), Ryan McCusker (No. 79) and Matthew Hoppe (No. 30 overall).

Although most of the recruits will not arrive until later this summer, freshmen defender Gísli Sigurdsson has already joined Kirshner’s squad this spring.

A native of Kópavogur, Iceland, Sigurdsson joins Swedish senior midfielders Hampus Bergdahl and Emil Kjellker as the only international players on Kirshner’s roster.

Sigurdsson played soccer at Íþróttafélag Reykjavíkur in Iceland’s second division where he was named the club’s top youth player while also having experience on the youth national teams.

“The coaches are bringing a lot of stuff to the table that I will learn from,” Sigurdsson said. “Being in another environment is going to help me not just as a player but personally as a man.”

Sigurdsson was sidelined in his first month at SDSU due to injuries but after recovering, earned some playing time during the team’s spring games.

The freshman hopes to land a spot in the starting lineup this upcoming fall.

“I just want to try my best to get into the starting eleven as soon as possible,” Sigurdsson said. “I want to try and make as much impact as I can.”

Kirshner said having a complete squad helps the team’s overall confidence heading into next season.

“The beautiful part of this spring was we had so many players returning that are going to be with us in the fall,” Kirshner said. “It’s going to put us in a very good starting position.”

Senior midfielder Pablo Pelaez, who was named the Aztecs’ most valuable player last season after scoring a team-high six goals, 15 points and tied for most assists (3), said the team wants to bring energy this season.

“That’s what this team can bring – energy, grit, passion and the need to win games,” Pelaez said.

Pelaez said the team, especially the seniors, want to make a run to be back into the NCAA tournament this year, a feat that has not occurred since 2016.

“We’re eager to get back into our final season and go into the tournament and win a game,” Pelaez said.

About the Contributors
Cristian Alvarez
Cristian Alvarez, Staff Writer
Cristian Alvarez is a sixth-year journalism student at SDSU. Currently, Cristian is in his second year at The Daily Aztec. Through his passion for many sports, he has covered a variety of teams but most notably men's soccer, women's lacrosse and women's basketball. A devoted fan of the UFC, Manchester United, San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Chargers and Vegas Golden Knights, Cristian takes pleasure in attending sporting events while getting to unfold the stories in between the lines. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates @AlvarezTheViper.
Jocelyn Moran
Jocelyn Moran, Managing Editor
Jocelyn Moran is the managing editor at The Daily Aztec and a senior journalism and Spanish student. She has been writing for The Daily Aztec since Fall 2015 and has covered protests, sports, club events and breaking news. Jocelyn aims to represent her community by telling people's stories in an effort to demonstrate different perspectives to readers. Send tips to and follow her at @jocelynamoran.
Activate Search
San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Men’s soccer lands twelfth-best recruiting class in nation