Providence, RI- First-year Brown men's soccer coach Pat Laughlin has recently announced the edition of six newcomers to join his 2010 squad: Jack Kuntz, Voltaire Escalona, Josh Weiner, Brice Gumpel, Aidan Leonard, and Jose "Pepe" Salama.
"This group of young men will make our team better immediately," said Laughlin. "They are a very competitive group who will raise the level of our team. "
Kuntz joins Brown from Chatham High School in Chatham, New Jersey, where he was a three-year varsity starter. A member of TSF Celtic, Kuntz helped his squad to a NJ State Cup Championship in 2008 and 2009. The team was also Region One Semi-Finalists, Jefferson Cup Finalists and Super Y League National Finalists in 2008. At Chatham, he was his team's MVP two consecutive years and was an Iron Hills Conference First Team selection in 2008. That year he also received Morris County Coaches Second Team honors, Star Ledger Morris County Third team honors, Star Ledger Group 2 Third Team recognition and was a Daily Record Second Team All-Area honoree. This past season, he received Morris County Coaches First Team honors, and was also named to the Star Ledger Morris County First team, Star Ledger 1st Team Group 2, Daily Record All-Area first team, NJAC First Team All-Conference and was an NJAC All-Academic team member.
Escalona was a four-year varsity starter at Germantown Academy and was a three-time All-Inter AC League First Team Choice and All-Area team member. He was a pre-season Intelligencer Star of the Year, First Team All-Intel, First Team All-South Eastern PA, and an Inter Ac League MVP. A First Team All-State selection, he led his team in goals, assists and total points from 10th through 12th grade. Escalona also played club soccer for Lower Merion Velez.
Weiner arrives at Brown from Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, where he was a team captain during his senior year. Weiner helped lead Byram Hills to the NYS Class A Final Four, and was named his high school's Fall 2009 All-Star Athlete. He posted a 40-3-2 record as a two-year varsity starter in goal, and was a Con Edison Scholastic Sports Award Winner and helped guide FC Westchester U18 to the 2009 academy playoffs.
Gumpel trained and competed with Chelsea FC, London in August of 2009. He was a captain of the U19 LAFC-Chelsea Premier team in the fall of 2009, and was a team captain for U17/U18 LAFC-Chelsea Academy Development team from 2009-2010. Gumpel also trained for the U20 US National Team in December of 2009.
Leonard joins Brown from Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California. He helped guide his team to a Tri-Valley League Championships and a CIF Southern Section Championship in both 2008 and 2010. He played club soccer for Real SoCal and helped guide his squad to a semi-final appearance at the Manchester United Cup (Oregon). In 2009 and 2010, his team was Coast Soccer Premier League Champions, which included just one loss in two seasons, and was also California State North-South Cup Champions. In 2009 he made a US Academy Playoff appearance and was also selected to SC Bayern, the only US team invited to Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, where the team reached quarterfinals defeating professionals teams including FC Porto.
Salama is joining Brown from Saint Anne's School in Madrid, Spain, where he was a member of Rayo Majadahonda F.C. Salama also gained experience playing for successful teams such as Rayo Vallecano and Rayo Majadahonda.
"The adjustment to college soccer will be eased as four of these six recruits were at our 2009 Residential Camp together," said Laughlin. "The strength of this recruiting class is their quality both on and off the field. I am looking forward to their arrival on College Hill and having them compete as Brown student-athletes."