San Jose State University men's soccer head coach Simon Tobin backed up a 2017 banner recruiting class with five outstanding prospects joining the 2018 Spartans.
"The intention for this year was to cover ourselves all over the field. We didn't have to bring in as many this year, because we only lost two seniors," said Tobin, who started seven first-year players in the 2017 Western Athletic Conference championship game against Seattle University. "The requirements were not as great as last year. We had such a great recruiting class last year that we could be more selective and streamlined this year."
This year's class includes two forwards, a high-scoring midfielder, a utility player capable of playing several positions and a skilled defender to add to a backline that helped produce seven shutouts in the last nine games of the previous season.
Midfielder Willy Miranda, a 2016 National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American for Hartnell College and forwards Isaiah Kalani de Dios from The Kings Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Jered Mariani, from Juan Diego High in Riverton, Utah hope to add a scoring punch to the Spartans. Freshman Jamal Adam from Santa Clara (Calif.) High and defender Aoi Hernandez, who played his freshman season at CSU Monterey Bay, round out the Spartans' recruiting class.
Miranda was one of the top scorers in the California Community College system as a freshman in 2016. He tied for 11th in the state with 19 goals and 14th in California with 43 points. Six of his goals in 2016 turned out to be game-winners for the Coast Conference South Division champions. His younger brother is San Jose State men's soccer team sophomore Eduardo Miranda.
"He is a true #10 who can pull the strings in the midfield," said the San Jose State head coach.
Mariani is a three-time Utah 3A all-state forward heading into his senior season for Juan Diego Catholic High in Riverton, Utah. In 54 games, the two-time, first-team all-state honoree has 37 goals and 27 assists. Mariani began playing club soccer for the Utah Soccer Alliance in 2010.
"Jered's a good attacking player. He is more of a creator and a good one-on-one player. He'll probably be a wide forward for us in his first year," the Spartans' head coach said.
de Dios played his club soccer for the De Anza Force and Santa Clara Sporting 99. As a freshman at The King's Academy in Sunnyvale, Calif., he was an honorable mention All-West Bay Athletic League selection.
"Isaiah is a stereotypical #9. He's strong and has a nose for the goal," Tobin stated.
Adam's initial role with the Spartans is yet to be determined. He is a product of the Santa Cruz Breakers Academy program under head coach and MLS (Major League Soccer) legend Ramiro Corrales.
"Jamal is extremely athletic and appears ready to play right away," the Spartans coach said about the Santa Clara High product.
Hernandez led Cal State Monterey Bay in minutes played with 1,416 in his first season of college soccer. He played his high school soccer at Mills High in Millbrae, Calif., and club soccer for the De Anza Force.
"Hernandez will add experience and versatility to the defensive unit," according to the Spartans head coach.
"Our core returning is in the best shape since I've been here. These (new) guys will elevate our competition level at every position now," Tobin said about this year's recruiting class.
"For us to compete and get into the Division I top-20, we need at least two top Division I players at every position and that's what we're still striving for."