June 1, 2016
UMass adds six recruits
AMHERST, Mass. -- UMass men's coach Fran O'Leary announced the addition of six players for the 2016 season Wednesday: forward Ceasar Adim (Roxbury, Mass.), midfielder Luis Carvalho (Brockton), center back Konrad Gorich (Eberbach, Germany), outside back Jordan Howard (Medford), midfielder Christian Labeck (Charlestown) and midfielder Connor O'Dwyer (London, England).
This group will join forwards Andrew Barrowman (Marshfield) and Donnie Igo (Natick), midfielder/forward Ibrahim Na-Aata (Fall River) and center back Ryan Saul (Petersburg, N.J.), plus Ohio State transfer Stephen Ravazzoli.
"I'm very excited to have this class joining our program; they are all very good students and talented players,” O’Leary said. “We are excited to welcome them to the University of Massachusetts this fall. All of them possess the talent to play at the collegiate level. Talent alone, however, does not guarantee a successful college career. The challenge ahead for this group is to work hard while possessing the mindset, drive and dedication to get better on a daily basis.
"I would also like to thank our associate head coach, Mike Mordocco, along with our assistant coach, Fred Balbino, for the work they did in bringing this class together. They have played an integral role in helping identify and secure this incoming class."
Adim (Brooks School) was a three-year all-conference selection, also playing for the SF Vikings. Adim, 6-foot-4, Adim was an all-conference basketball player and two-time national AAU champion.
"Ceasar is a physically imposing striker with a big upside," O'Leary said. "We are happy to be adding him to the program and very much looking forward to his development."
Carvalho, a Cape Verde native who attended Brockton High School, played at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Ind., totaling four goals and three assists in 13 games as a sophomore last season. Carvalho was named Region XII First Team All-Region and All-MCCAA First Team.
"We are pleased to welcome Luis to our program,” O’Leary said. “He possesses great technical ability along with a versatility that allows him to play in many positions."
Gorich, 21, who stands 6-4, will be a sophomore in eligibility after playing at the club level for SV Sandhausen II of the Oberliga Baden-Wurttemberg. Gorich, who scored two goals in 12 matches, also played SV Spielberg.
"The experience Konrad gained from playing at a good level in Germany will be an asset to our young squad," O'Leary said. "His physical presence and composure on the ball will help improve our defensive unit."
Howard, 5-10, played right back Medford High School, helping the Mustangs to a 28-7-6 record over the last two years. Howard was a two-time Greater Boston League All-Star and was team MVP as a senior after totaling four goals and five assists.
"We first saw Jordan at our ID Camp and it quickly became apparent that he possessed blistering pace along with good 1-on-1 defensive skills,” O’Leary said. “He has the potential to become a very good college player.”
Labeck, who played at Boston College High School, led the Catholic Conference with 21 points and was named league MVP. He was named to the All-New England, All-Massachusetts and All-Eastern Mass All-Star teams and was a two-time Catholic Conference All-Conference selection. he was an All-Scholastic honoree by the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald and the Patriot Ledger and also played for the FC Boston Bolts Under 18 U.S. Development Academy team.
"Christian is an athletic striker who will add depth to our attacking options,” O’Leary said. “He has played at the highest level of club soccer and this experience will help him transition to the college game. We have followed his progress over the past year and look forward to him joining our squad."
O'Dwyer played at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Va., being named to the all-region second team selection after totaling eight goals and six assists in 2014. Last year, O’Dwyer had four goals and five assists in a transition to a defensive role. O’Dwyer, a civil engineering major, was a scholar All-America and was named PHCC's Male Athlete of the Year.
"We look forward to Connor joining us in the fall,” O’Leary said. “He will immediately compete for playing time in the center of our midfield. Strong in the air and comfortable in possession, Connor has the ability to play both a holding or more attacking midfield role."