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Impact Freshmen Class Headed To Yale In Fall

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Stannard's Class of 2021 Ranked No. 23 In Nation By TopDrawerSoccer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A very talented freshman class will be joining the Yale men's soccer program this fall. Kylie Stannard, The 5K Corral Head Coach of the Bulldogs, will welcome six newcomers to the roster. Jack Arnold (Brentwood, Tennessee), Matthew Massaad (La Jolla, California), DJ Palmer (Manahawkin, New Jersey), Aldo Quevedo (Dallas, Texas), Tom Wallenstein (Leipzig, Germany) and Mark Winhoffer (South Elgin, Illinois) all bring outstanding credentials.

The Class of 2021 is earning the Bulldogs some national recognition as well. TopDrawerSoccer.com has ranked the class No. 23 in the nation, the first time Yale has had a class ranked in the top 25.

The six incoming freshmen have very impressive accomplishments. Three are ranked among the top 150 players in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer, including an NSCAA high school All-American, a starter for the U19/U23 Philippines Youth National Team and a Dallas Cup Super Group and USSDA national champion from the No. 1 ranked Youth Academy in the nation (FC Dallas). In addition, there is a talented goalkeeper from a rising Bundesliga Youth Academy in Germany, a high-scoring forward who was Albion SC Player of the Year in San Diego and a tough, versatile defender from Tennessee.

The six join a Yale program on the rise. The Bulldogs finished 2016 with three more Ivy League points than the previous season and two more overall victories.

"To be able to attract this type of class in our second recruiting cycle shows the power and prestige of Yale as an institution but also shows a lot of trust and belief from the recruits and their families with the process and vision we are working towards for this program," Stannard said. "We are extremely excited to add these six young men and their families to our Yale Soccer Family.   

"I also want to thank my assistants for their hard work and time in building relationships with these recruits and their families.  While we are ecstatic to have a nationally ranked recruiting class, any coach will tell you that these rankings don't really mean anything until they get on campus and get to work.  Every class is ultimately judged after their four years but we are optimistic that this group will have a very successful collective career as Bulldogs.

"Our first priority is always recruiting young men of high character that are outstanding students, and we are confident this group will be great additions to the Yale community and wonderful representatives for Yale Men's Soccer and Yale Athletics.  We also want guys that are extremely competitive and passionate about the game and about doing whatever it takes during their four years to win an Ivy League Championship.  This requires incredible work and sacrifice all year round and we feel this group of freshmen, along with our current players, are ready to take many positive steps toward our ambitions."

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2021:

Jack Arnold
Defense
6-0, 175
Brentwood, Tennessee
Battle Ground Academy
Tennessee Soccer Club

High School: Three-year letterwinner at Battle Ground Academy… Scored nine goals and tallied 14 assists in his career… Helped lead Battle Ground to a 17-1-1 record and a state championship in his freshman season… Team reached state finals in sophomore year…  Battle Ground won 37 games overall in his three seasons.

Club: Played for Tennessee SC… In 2016, played up an age group in the South East Regional Championship… Also played up and age group for TSC U18 in 2015 and helped team finish eighth in National League Blue Division… Team captain.

ODP: Spent 2011-2014 with the Tennessee ODP first team.

Academic Awards: Board of Trustees Scholarship recipient… National Merit Commended Scholar.

Personal: Son of Curt and Christine Arnold… Mother was a gymnast at Michigan in 1984-85… Also lettered in swimming at Battle Ground Academy.

3 QUESTIONS FOR ARNOLD

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"My former coach Gift Nadam. Over many years he helped me to develop into a mature, focused and serious soccer player.  He stressed being `a professional 24/7' in all aspects of the game and in life as well. He showed me what true passion for the game looks like and I will forever be grateful."

Do you have an idol or hero?

"Andrés Iniesta. From a young age, I tried to imitate his style of play. In my mind, he is the greatest soccer player in the world because of his calmness on the ball, his vision, and his ability to make the impossible look so easy. He is also the reason why I aspire to play professionally."

Why Yale?

"Yale offers a perfect balance between academics and athletics. I have always wanted to play at a top D1 program, and I believe that this coaching staff and team is positioned to win an Ivy League Championship in the coming years, and I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of this team."

Stannard On Arnold: "Jack is someone that really grew on me during the recruiting process.  He attended two of our College Prep ID Camps and really wanted to be at Yale.  He's already physically strong enough and athletic enough to compete in the Ivy League and he brings good versatility to play either center back or outside back.  This team needs more communication and confidence on the field and Jack brings both of those.  He's a very competitive and tough minded player that is also very strong in the air.  We expect him to come in and compete for playing time right away."

Matthew Massaad
Forward
6-1, 170
La Jolla, California
The Bishop's School
Albion SC

High School: Four-year starter, three-year captain at The Bishop's School… All-Coast League First Team selection as a senior… Helped Bishop's win two Coast League titles… Team won 46 games in his four years… Two-time San Diego All-Academic Team selection.

Club: Named the 2016 Albion SC Player of the Year… Selected as Key Player To Watch at 2015 and 2014 national championships… Helped lead Albion to 2015 national championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma and 2014 national championship in Maryland.

ODP: 2013 and 2014 Cal South ODP team… Won 2014 national championship.

Academic Awards: In 2015 was awarded first place from the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese from the National Spanish Organization.

Personal: Son of Bassam and Cari Massaad… Mother was a swimmer at Simmons College.

3 QUESTIONS FOR MASSAAD

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"Lionel Messi is my biggest soccer influence. He has the greatest left foot in history and is still humble." 

Do you have an idol or hero?

"My grandfather is a criminal defense lawyer and still loves his job at age 70. He inspires me to do what I love and know I will be rewarded."

Why Yale?

"When my dad recently asked me what the most important thing in my life, I said `My education.' When I asked him the same question, he said, `Your education.' As an immigrant from Lebanon, my father's whole life has been devoted to providing the best for my brother and me. Being a Yalie represents not only my father's devotion, but mainly it's the best way I can honor him by making the most of my education and life."

Stannard On Massaad: "Coach [T.J.] Love first told me about Matt when he came on staff and as soon as I saw his highlight video, I knew I wanted him to be a Bulldog.  He's a natural center forward that has great instincts around the goal.  His movement off the ball to find space and time in the attacking third is excellent.  He then possesses great composure and confidence around the goal.  Instead of tightening up, he is able to relax and execute in critical moments.  He can strike the ball well with both feet and he is very dangerous in the air on crosses and set pieces which is a huge need.  Matt has the potential to have an immediate impact in our front line."

DJ Palmer
Forward/Midfield
5-10, 170
Manahawkin, New Jersey
Peddie School
Match Fit Academy FC 1998 Black

Note: Ranked as No. 114 recruit by College Soccer News and No. 149 by Top Drawer Soccer.

High School: Earned All-America recognition as a senior at the Peddie School… Two-time All-State and All-Prep selection… Scored 28 goals and added 14 assists over his final two seasons… Scored 33 goals in his four years… Helped lead Peddie to a 14-2-1 overall record and MAPL championship in his senior year and a 10-4-2 record with an MAPL championship as a junior.

Club: Starting midfielder/forward for Match Fit Academy, which was consistently ranked in the top-10 nationally over the last three years… Helped lead club to a pair of USYSA N.J. State Cup championships… Club also was two EDP league champions and regional semifinalists… In addition, Matchfit captured 2016 Disney Showcase title… Selected to 2017 boys IMG Academy 150 pool.

Academic Awards: Two-time recipient of Dr. Wilbour E. Saunders Scholar Award… Three-year class President… 2016 Student Body President…National AP Scholar (Bio/Lit).

Personal: Son of Olufemi and Elizabeth Palmer… Travelled to Spain, Morocco and England in the summer of 2016.

3 QUESTIONS FOR PALMER

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"My biggest soccer influence would have to be Pelé. In addition to his excellence as an attacking soccer player, Pelé is also an extremely humble athlete whose character shows how far hard work and determination can take you."

Do you have an idol or hero?

"My hero is my father. Since the day I was born, my father has always been there to support and guide me through life. From his kind-hearted nature to his unwavering determination, my father embodies everything that I aspire to be."

Why Yale?

"I chose Yale because the school offers the perfect balance between academics and Division I athletics. The moment I stepped on campus I could feel the amicable, close-knit community of Yale, and I immediately knew that this was a place I wanted to be a part of. In addition to its wonderful community and world-class academics, Yale appealed to me because of the enthusiasm and determination of its coaching staff.  I am extremely excited to work towards winning an Ivy League title with Coach Stannard, Love, and Clerihew."

Stannard On Palmer: "I first saw DJ live at one of our College Prep ID camps.  DJ is going to be one of the best athletes on the team starting on day one.  He's physically mature and ready to compete at this level immediately.  DJ isn't just an athlete, though. He has pretty good feet and ball control.  We really like his ability to play in multiple attacking positions.  He comes from a good club with Match Fit Academy and was a high school All-American at the Peddie School.  His combination of athleticism, technical ability, and attacking instincts will cause havoc in the Ivy League for the next few years and we expect him to make a case for immediate playing time."

Aldo Quevedo
Forward
6-0, 175
Dallas, Texas
Frisco Lone Star High School
FC Dallas Academy

Note: Ranked as No. 141 recruit by Top Drawer Soccer

High School: Played in his freshman and sophomores years at Jesuit College Prep… Voted by teammates Freshman Player of the Year… Recognized as District 9-6A Newcomer of the Year and District 9-6A First Team.

Club: Full time player for the U-18 FC Dallas Academy… Scored nine goals in his first nine games in spring of 2017… Club was 2017 U-19 Dallas Cup Super Group champion, only second American team to ever win it… Club was the 2016 Champion of Aspire Tri-Series in Doha, Qatar, defeating Leicester City FC and Aspire Academy… In 2015-16, scored 11 goals in 19 games started… Club was the USSDA national champion… Scored the winning goal vs. LA Galaxy in the championship game.

ODP: North Texas State team player from 2012-15… Pool player for Region III 99 from 2013-15.

Academic Awards: Recipient of the LSHS Academic Letter Award… Recognition of Excellence displayed in AP US History course.

Personal: Son of Aldo and Rocio Quevedo.

3 QUESTIONS FOR QUEVEDO

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"My biggest influence has been my Academy coach Luchi Gonzalez. A former pro, he is one of the wisest managers I have played under and has developed me into a student of the game. A forward himself, he was able to teach me things that only could be known through experience and also taught us as a team to watch the game differently. Now every time I watch games, details like movements off the ball and organization catch my eye more than before, inspiring me want to replicate them in games. I have also learned many things that transcend soccer, as from the beginning he has truly believed in me as a player and person. This belief led into developing a strong self-confidence in myself and never backing down from opportunity. This, in addition to teaching me to never be comfortable and always seek more, makes him someone I will be forever grateful for."

Do you have an idol or hero?

"My hero off the field has to be Ernesto Zedillo. Born in a humble Mexico City home, he pursued his passion for economics and global development, receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1981. A champion of the people, he returned to become a very successful politician, eventually becoming President of Mexico. For all his contributions to the economic and political systems in my cultural home as well as general doctrines, he is a true hero of mine. Soccer-wise, someone I really look up to is Pep Guardiola. Not particularly a fan of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, or Manchester City, I am absolutely overtaken by his ability to bring the best out of players and to out-think opponents. In his book over his first season at Bayern, he speaks extensively about his attention to detail and always wanting more success. I believe his perfectionist attitude and revolutionary tactics make him one of the most influential managers in the history of the sport."

Why Yale?

"The lessons learned at Yale University will be ones I will carry with me throughout my life. Whether it will be bonding with my brothers on the field as we bring success back to the program or opening my mind to a whole new school of thought, I am confident this is the place where I can continue developing the best. Also, I truly believe in the vision Coach Stannard has for the side and can't wait to hit the ground running and compete for Ivy League and NCAA titles.

Stannard On Quevedo: "Aldo plays for the No. 1 ranked youth development academy in the country at FC Dallas and his coaches Luchi Gonzalez and Francisco Molina have produced dozens of professional players and top college players.  What I like about FC Dallas is that they don't just develop great soccer players but they also focus on developing the person and have an extremely competitive daily environment with a relentless pursuit to win in everything they do.  We are excited to have Aldo bring this same mentality to our program.  Aldo won the U16 national championship last year and scored the game winning goal.  He plays on a team with 3-4 players that have already signed professionally and he is a key contributor on this team that will compete for another national championship this year.  He has very good feet and has an excellent ability to hold the ball up under pressure as well as combining with other players.  His tactical awareness and movement off the ball is already at a very high level.  What I love most about Aldo is his relentless work rate on both sides of the ball.  He does a great job defensively to pressure the opponent's defenders into mistakes."

Tom Wallenstein
Goalkeeper
6-0, 172
Leipzig, Germany
Secondary School For Sports Leipzig
RasenBallsport Leipzig

Club: Played for RasenBallsport Leipzig Club in Germany… Played all 26 league games and U17 club to Youth Bundesliga North/Northeast title… Helped club capture U17 and U19 Saxon Cup… In U18 DFB talent scouting tournament, club placed second.

Personal: Son of John-Oliver and Maren Wallenstein

3 QUESTIONS FOR WALLENSTEIN

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"My biggest soccer influence are my goalkeeper coaches who taught me all my skills and support me in bad times and my mental coach who helps me to deal with setbacks."

Do you have an idol or hero?

"Soccer: Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno

Other: Elon Musk, Steve Jobs"

Why Yale?

"I decided to go to Yale because it is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn one of the best college educations in the world and I really appreciated the effort Coach Stannard made to recruit me. Moreover, I want to help bringing the soccer program back to the top again so that we can compete for the Ivy League Championship in the coming years."

Stannard On Wallenstein: "Tom comes from arguably the best youth academy in Germany and a Bundesliga club that has skyrocketed to success at the top division in Germany.  He is in an extremely competitive and professional environment on a daily basis and this level of experience and background will be a great addition for our program as we continue to build a competitive soccer culture.  Tom gets excellent coaching in all aspects of the game and his work rate and attention to details of his position are excellent.  Tom reads the game at a very good level and has great understanding and connection with his back line which is critical for a goalkeeper.  His positional understanding is very good and he does a very solid job of organizing players in front of him to help make his job easier by getting guys in the right places to make plays.  When called upon, Tom's positioning, reading of the game and technical ability usually allow him to make the necessary plays you want your goalkeeper to make.  Goalkeeping is the toughest position in the game to adjust to from the youth level to Division I college soccer but we expect Tom to come in immediately and push our other GKs for the starting position."

Mark Winhoffer
Midfield
6-0, 180
South Elgin, Illinois
International School of Manila/St. Charles North
Sockers FC

Note: Ranked as No. 123 recruit by Top Drawer Soccer.

High School: Played three years at the International School of Manila… Scored 30 goals, tallied 46 assists in 46 games… Team posted a 55-5 record during his tenure… IASAS most valuable player as a junior… School MVP and Golden Boot winner as a sophomore… Top assist maker in each of his three seasons.

Club: Played for Sockers FC in the Chicago area.

International: Has experience with the Philippine National Team at the U15, U16, U19 and U23 levels… Was called up to men's national team twice.

Personal: Son of Ernest and Mariels Winhoffer… Father played soccer at Mercy College and Fordham… Older brother Michael played soccer at Fordham.

3 QUESTIONS FOR WINHOFFER

Biggest soccer influences and why?

"Zidane and Ronaldo (Phenomenon) – Zidane's calmness and smoothness on the ball is beautiful to watch, he makes everything look easy. I try to mold my game after his. Ronaldo's attacking threat is bar none, he is in my opinion the best player to ever grace the field. Coming back from two ACL injuries and still being the best in the world shows his resiliency. I try to use his skills and moves in my own game."

Do you have an idol or hero?

"My brother Ernest."

Why Yale?

"When I walked on campus, I automatically felt at home; Yale's environment and the friendliness of the people on campus are bar none. Also, I believe that the coaching staff is a fantastic group of coaches who have great soccer knowledge, and this will make me feel very comfortable playing under them."

Stannard On Winhoffer: "Mark has an interesting background having mostly grown up in the Chicago area but has spent the past 2-3 years living in the Philippines.  He has started games for the U19 and U23 Philippine national team and has received a couple of call-ups to the men's national team.  He is now back in Chicago playing with one of the top Development Academies in the country, Sockers FC, and being coached by another top youth coach in David Richardson.  In addition to being a great student, Mark eats, sleeps, and breaths soccer and we hope that passion and drive for the game will be contagious.  He will be one of our most technical players from the start and what we love about Mark is that while he is excellent in possession, he is always looking to play forward when possible to impact the attacking end and put pressure on the opponent.  Additionally, he has really grown on the defensive end and has a very good engine and mentality to win balls in the MF and be physically strong on the ball.  We expect Mark to compete immediately for playing time in the midfield."

Report filed by Tim Bennett (timothy.bennett@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity