San Diego State’s 2006 men’s soccer recruiting class has been listed among the top 20 in America by College Soccer News. The publication ranked the Aztecs’ incoming class No. 17, and two recruits, Daniel Ortega (San Diego/Eastlake HS) and Evan Toft (Aurora, Colo./Centennial HS), were named in the 100 freshmen to keep an eye on list for 2006. SDSU moved up 22 places, the largest jump of any school, from last year’s ranking of No. 39.
“We’re very proud of the ranking,” SDSU head coach Lev Kirshner said. “To have such a great class last year only to top it this year bodes well for our future. I’m very excited. Hopefully they can come in right away and make a positive impact. We are now much more athletic and more talented than last year.”
Kirshner’s incoming class is also ranked fourth in the West and No. 2 in the Pac-10, trailing only UCLA.
“It is a dogfight out here in the west,” Kirshner said. “When you’re recruiting against these other top schools and still getting top players, it really says something about your program. It’s an honor, but we know the real work is done on the field.”
Ortega, a National Soccer Coaches Association of A-merica (NSCAA) All-America selection in 2004 and 2005 while at Eastlake High School, has played with the Cal South Olympic Development Program (ODP) the past six years and has been selected to the Region IV ODP team the last four. He won the Adidas Golden Boot as the leading scorer at the 2004 ODP national championships.
Toft was a three-year all-state player as well as a 5A all-city and all-conference performer at Centennial High School in Aurora, Colo. Toft, who played club soccer with the Colorado Rush, was a member of the U.S. U-18 national team as well as a four-year Colorado and two-year Region IV ODP athlete. He was a participant in the Adidas Elite Soccer Program (ESP) and was named an Adidas Boys Youth All-American and Adidas ODP All-American.
San Diego State will return seven starters from last fall’s squad which finished with a 9-4-6 record and a fourth-place finish in the Pac-10 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1989.