Newcomers Welcomed

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Head Coach Scott Calabrese has announced its 2018 men’s soccer recruiting class Thursday. The group includes six international standouts and a three-time National Champion from Tampa, Fla.

UCF will add four defensemen, two midfielders, and a keeper to be ready to compete for the 2018 campaign.

“We are excited to welcome this exceptional group of young student athletes to the UCF Men’s Soccer program," stated Calabrese. "Every player we bring into our program has a profound influence on our team and the culture of the program.  We feel this group will continue to move our program forward both on and off the field.  We are looking forward to getting started and seeing how the new players fit into the team."

2018 UCF Men's Soccer Signing Class
NamePos.Cl.Hometown / High School (Previous School)
Yanis LeermanDFr.Troyes, France
Gianluca ArcangeliMFr.Sao Paulo, Brazil
Andrés Hernández BetancurDFr.San Jose, Costa Rica
Matt DouglassGKFr.Tampa, Fla.
Thomas NessDFr.Grimstad, Norway
Gideon Adu-PeprahDFr.Newcastle, England
Mauricio Villalobos VegaMFr.San Jose, Costa Rica

Calabrese enters his second season at the helm of the Knights. In one year with the Knights, the Black and Gold finished runner-up in The American regular season after winning their last four league matches and tallying an eight-match unbeaten streak to finish the season 8-6-2. During the 2017 season in The American, the Knights finished first in points (39), goals (13), and assists (13). Also during the 2017, the Knights were awarded The American Player of Week five times, The American, Offensive Player of the Year, five all-conference selections, two all-rookie honors, and two all-region winners.

Yanis Leerman
D6-1Fr.Troyes, France

Prior to UCF:

  • Played in Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagn (ESTAC) in France from 2004 to 2014
  • Regional Champion in Champagne Ardennes, France
  • Selected to play for the regional team in Champagne Ardennes
  • Won the International Soccer Tournament in Caen, France
  • Elected best player of the International Tournament in Caen, France
  • Won the Soccer Championship of Aube, France in 2018

"I chose UCF because I like the way Coach Calabrese coaches the game and style of play he has brought to UCF. It is an ambitious team that I really wanted to be a part of and am elated to have this opportunity."


Gianluca Arcangeli
M5-10Fr.Sao Paulo, Brazil

Prior to UCF:

  • Won the Disney Cup with Esporte Clube Pinheiros in 2010
  • Played for Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras from 2012-2015
  • Won the Barcelona Cup and was named MVP in 2012 with Esporte Clube Pinheiros
  • Was a final eight team out of 216 in the Gothia Cup in Sweden
  • Was the top scorer and MVP in the IMG Academy club league in 2016 and 2017

“I chose UCF because everyone around is willing to help you reach your goals, especially when it comes to the dedication of the coaching staff and the team.”


Andrés Hernández Betancur
D5-10Fr.San Jose, Costa Rica

Prior to UCF:

  • Played for Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica from 2009-2018
  • Seven-time National Champion with Deportivo Saprissa
  • Has appeared on all of the Costa Rica National Team rosters since 2013
  • Placed third at CONCACAF for the U17 Costa Rica squad
  • UNCAF (Central American Championship) U17 Champion
  • Competed in the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2017
  • Has competed in eight different countries

“I chose UCF because I love both the soccer and academic programs. The coaching staff has a desire to be the best and I want to be a part of the hard work and dedication.”


Matt Douglass
GK6-3Fr.Tampa, Fla.

Prior to UCF:

  • Captained a three-time National Championship team at Montverde Academy
  • 2018 Goalkeeper of the year
  • Part of an undefeated team for all three seasons in high school
  • Stopped all six penalty kicks faced in his senior season
  • Played for SIMA – Soccer Institute at Monteverde Academy
  • Was an ambassador for Montverde Academy

“I chose UCF to continue my academic and athletic career because I wanted a challenging environment to help propel me to my full potential”


Thomas Ness
D5-10Fr.Grimstad, Norway

Prior to UCF:

  • Played for FK Jerv club team
  • Promoted to regional conference champions for the FK Jerv reserves
  • Placed fifth in DANA Cup with the FK Jerv U16 team
  • Debuted for FK Jerv First Team against Norwegian first division
  • Graduated from Dahlske Videregaende High School in Grimstad

“I chose UCF because I want to reach my highest potential as a soccer player. I am excited about this program and I will give my very best to ensure we achieve great things together.”

Gideon Adu-Peprah
D5-10Fr.Newcastle, England

Prior to UCF:

  • Premier League winner on the Manchester City U14’s team
  • Part of the Newcastle squad from 2015-2017
  • Part of the Manchester City squad from 2010-2015
  • Holds a Level 2 coaching license
  • Holds a Level 3 diploma for sports science

“I chose UCF because of the support provided by all staff from athletics to academics. UCF has a high standard of competition in all of its sports, which is what I want to be a part of.”


Mauricio Villalobos Vega
M5-6Fr.San Jose, Costa Rica

Prior to UCF:

  • Played for Deportivo Saprissa in Costa Rica from 2009-2018
  • Eight-time National Champion with Deportivo Saprissa
  • Has appeared on all of the Costa Rica U-20 National Team rosters since 2017
  • Has competed in four different countries

“I chose UCF because I am impressed with the academic and soccer programs offered. I like the direction that the program is going and I really want to be part of it”


The Knights kickoff the regular season Friday, Aug. 24 with a road game against Penn State before their home opener on Monday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. hosting UC Irvine at the UCF Soccer Complex.


Season tickets for the 2018 campaign are on sale now. Fans looking to purchase tickets can call (407) 823-1000 or visit to secure them today. For men's soccer tickets CLICK HERE.