SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Head coach Michael Linenberger announced that F/MF Elias Rieland will be the sixth new addition to the Hornet program after five players signed in February. A Sacramento native from Cosumnes Oaks HS, Rieland is the third Hornet recruit from the Greater Sacramento area while all six newcomers are from the state of California.
"We're excited about Elias. He's a very good attacking soccer player and can play as a forward, as a winger, and as a central midfielder," Linenberger said. "He comes with a high level of youth experience having spent a year in residency with Real Salt Lake Academy and spending time with the San Jose Earthquakes Academy. He has good size, good speed, and good feet and we think he will be very productive in the Big West Conference."
Rieland, who was a member of the U-16 Real Salt Lake USSDA National Championship team in 2012-13, joins the program along with February signees Brad Bumgarner, Paul Geyer, Ronaldo Pineda, Devante Raynor, and Cylus Sandoval.
"We're excited about the six guys that we signed," Linenberger said. "We feel we've addressed some of our weaknesses and we feel that all five have the ability to come in and contribute right away as freshmen. We're excited to get them in and integrate them as quickly as possible."
All six will have the ability to play up front or in the midfield, areas the team needed to address after losing senior striker Isaac Ikyurav and midfielder Almog Strikowski. The Hornets scored just 11 goals in 18 games last season but the new additions playing with a strong group of returners should improve the team for the 2014 season.
"We felt we needed to address the attacking side of the ball in terms of goal scoring and creating chances," Linenberger said. "We brought in 12 new players last year and we were very young. We have a year under our belt now and we have a good core returning, and with this group added to it we think we'll be able to compete in the Big West much better than we did last year."
Here are the six men's soccer newcomers:
Brad Bumgarner – F – 6-0 – 160 - Mountain View, Calif./Mountain View HS
* Named Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Senior of the Year
Coach Linenberger: "Brad is a true striker. He's got good size and speed and his movement off the ball is very good. He's shown the ability to score goals consistently at all levels he's played at and we're hoping he can do that right away at our level. Obviously we had trouble scoring goals last year and he's one of the guys we've brought in to help change that."
Paul Geyer – MF – 5-11 – 152 – Sacramento, Calif./Rio Americano HS
Coach Linenberger: "Paul is a local player but grew up in England and played in the Liverpool Academy. He's been here for a couple of years now and can play anywhere on the field but we see him as a central midfield-type player. He is one of those guys who finds ways to win, whether it's a real game or on the training ground. Whatever the situation, he's got that competitive spirit that finds ways to help his team win games."
Ronaldo Pineda – MF/F – 5-9 – 148 – Santa Ana, Calif./Century HS
Coach Linenberger: "Ronaldo is an important piece for us. We think he can play any of the attacking five positions, anywhere across the front line as well as an attacking midfielder. He's very versatile, has very good feet, and is very creative. He has that special soccer playing ability yet he is also an extremely hard working kid and competes and gets after it."
Devante Raynor – MF/D – 5-11 – 155 – Roseville, Calif./Oakmont HS
Coach Linenberger: "Devante is a tremendous athlete. The first thing people are going to notice about him is his pure athleticism. He has unbelievable speed, which is something we've been trying to address the last couple of years. We think he can either play as an outside back or as a winger for us. We see him playing wide and he has the speed to get in behind the defense as well as the speed to recover."
Elias Rieland – MF/F – 5-8 – 165 – Sacramento, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks HS
Coach Linenberger: "We're excited about Elias. He's a very good attacking soccer player. He can play as a forward, as a winger, and as a central midfielder. He come's with a high level of youth experience having spent a year in residency with Real Salt Lake Academy and spending time with the San Jose Earthquakes Academy. He has good size, good speed, and good feet and we think he will be very productive in the Big West Conference."
Cylus Sandoval – F – 6-2 – 180 – Novato, Calif./Terra Linda HS
Coach Linenberger: "Cylus is another guy we've brought in to help turn our goal scoring fortunes around. He's another kid that's got good size and good feet. He can also probably play wide and anywhere along the front line, but we see he and Brad (Bumgarner) as the future center forwards for this team and scoring goals for us."