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Feb. 15, 2002

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia head men’s soccer coach George Gelnovatch has announced the signing of four student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent to attend Virginia and play men’s soccer for the Cavaliers. The student-athletes will enroll at UVa for the 2002-2003 academic year. The four individuals are: Jon Freeman (Allen, Texas), Paul Johnson (Princeton, N.J.), Philip Long (Wilson, N.C.) and Joseph Vide (Munich, Germany).

Virginia is coming off a season in which the Cavaliers finished 17-2-1 overall, 6-0-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. UVa won the 2001 ACC regular season title and became the first team in ACC history to win all of its conference games by shutout. Virginia will return a solid group of letterwinners from its 2001 squad, but has added some very talented and skilled individuals to fill some positional needs next season with the addition of this year’s recruiting class.

“Freeman was on the U.S. Under-17 Team and is on the U.S. Under-18 National Team,” said Gelnovatch. “He can play anywhere in the defense – center-back, left-back or right-back. Freeman is very versatile, he can play a number of different positions including midfielder or wing forward. He was one of the top recruits in the country and we are are thrilled to have him coming here.”

“Johnson was also a member of the U.S. Under-17 National Team,” said Gelnovatch. “He has a tremendous amount of athletic ability. Johnson may be the best athlete we have ever had sign to play men’s soccer at UVa, and that is saying a lot. He is a forward and was one of the top recruits in the country. He is an attacking player who plays like (current Cavalier) Ryan Gibbs.”

“Long was the Player of the Year in the state of North Carolina,” said Gelnovatch. “He was a high school All-American and was named the 2001 adidas ESP Most Valuable Player (MVP) last summer. Long is a left-footed forward with a lot of talent, but may be a little bit underrated. He has a lot of accolades and a lot of people know about him, but he has more potential than a lot of people may realize and we hope to tap into that when he gets here.”

“Vide was on the U.S. Under-18 National Team last year,” said Gelnovatch. “Right now, he is living in Munich, Germany and plays for Munich 1860 on the A Youth Team, the level right before the professional ranks. Vide was already offered a professional soccer contract, but he passed on it to play college soccer at Virginia. He plays a similar style of soccer like Kyle Martino, he’s very crafty with the ball and is very skillful. Vide is an attacking midfielder and will help us right away.”

“Overall, this was a very good recruiting class,” said Gelnovatch. “We filled a lot of needs we had coming out of last season. We needed forwards and picked up Long and Johnson. We lost Martino in the midfield and we needed a playmaker, and we added Vide. Freeman’s versatility gives him the ability to play in a lot of different positions in the defense. We added depth everywhere with this class. With the exception of Long, the trio of Freeman, Johnson and Vide have all represented their country by playing soccer on the U.S. National Teams. This class is a group of seasoned kids that have already developed a maturity level in soccer.”

– UVa –

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