RICHMOND, Va. – Over the next week, second-year Virginia Commonwealth University Head Men's Soccer Coach Dave Giffard will announce his 15-player recruiting class. Today's release is part one of three in the 2011 recruiting series. Visit VCUAthletics.com throughout the week as the remainder of the class is announced.
The Rams will welcome forward Kharlton Belmar (Virginia Beach, Va.), midfielder Devon Fisher (Chesapeake, Va.), defenders Garrett Harvey (Richmond, Va.) and Juan Monge Solano (Costa Rica), and goalkeeper Clark Hankins (Montgomery, Ala.) to Richmond this fall.
Here's an inside look at each recruit:
KHARLTON BELMAR, FORWARD (Salem High School – Virginia Beach, Va.)
Four-year starter at Salem High School… Leads team with 18 goals… Member of the Virginia Rush/AJ Auxerre Academy team under the guidance of head coach Jay Hoffman… Market Training Center invitee… 2010 Honorable Mention AAA Virginia All-State selection… 2011 AAA Virginia State Player of the Year candidate
Coach Giffard on Belmar: "Kharlton was a player that we identified after only a few weeks of being here at VCU last winter. He is a fast, strong and powerful athlete who can play as a forward or as a winger for us depending upon our team shape. He has really hit his stride this spring scoring a lot of goals for his high school team and I feel like his best days are ahead of him and I can't wait to get him here on campus and get to work."
DEVON FISHER, MIDFIELD (Indian River High School – Chesapeake, Va.)
Co-captain at Indian River High School… Current member of Beach FC… Played for former VCU standout Leroy Wilson ('94) with Chesapeake United Soccer Club Arsenal… Named to the Atlantic Soccer League All-Event team at both the Jefferson Cup as well as The Triangle Friendlies… 2008 Virginia State ODP selection… First team All-District as a junior at Indian River… 2011 AAA Virginia All-State candidate
Coach Giffard on Fisher: "Devon is a player we first identified at our camp last summer and has a very bright future ahead of him. I think he is a classic late bloomer and I am very excited to see what he can do for us here over the next several years. He has all the tools necessary to make himself into an impact player for us. He is a guy who I think will thrive in our daily training environment."
GARRETT HARVEY (Jacksonville University – Richmond, Va.)
Transferred to VCU during the spring semester after playing freshman year at Jacksonville University… Started every game as a freshman… Richmond, Va., native and Mills E. Godwin graduate… Was an All-District selection at Godwin during junior and senior seasons… Member of the Richmond Strikers Academy team
Coach Giffard on Harvey: "Garrett joined our squad this January after starting and playing every minute of every game for Jacksonville University this fall as a freshman. A local product of the Richmond Strikers, Garrett continues what we began last fall by bringing the top local talent from Richmond and the state of Virginia here to VCU. Garrett has the ability to be a major influence in our team in the back and should compete for a starting spot in the fall."
JUAN MONGE SOLANO (Costa Rica)
Member of the Costa Rican U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams… Recently participated in his first ever training camp with the Costa Rican Olympic Team … 2009 CONCACAF champion as a member of the U-20 squad
Coach Giffard on Solano: "Juan is an attacking left back who also has the ability to play in midfield. He has been a part of one of the most successful age groups in Costa Rican Soccer history, advancing to the World Cup at both the U-17 and U-20 level. His U-20 team in 2009 were champions of CONCACAF beating the USA in the finals 3-0. Juan still has several areas that he will need to continue to improve in, but I expect him to be one of the best attacking backs in the country before his career with us is done."
CLARK HANKINS (College of Charleston – Montgomery, Ala.)
Two-year starter in goal at College of Charleston prior to joining VCU… Posted seven shutouts with 99 saves during his two seasons with the Cougars… Was a captain in soccer, basketball and football at St. James High School in Montgomery, Ala.
Coach Giffard on Hankins: "Clark has started 30-plus college games at 2010 NCAA tournament participant College of Charleston and should give us competition for playing time in the goal as well as an experienced, very hardworking goalkeeper to push and lead our team everyday in training. He joined us this spring and has had an immediate impact within our team."