Feb. 7, 2006
Chicago, Ill.- University of Illinois at Chicago Head Soccer Coach John Trask announced on Tuesday, February 7th, that he has signed Matt Spiess (Florissant, Mo./Chaminade Prep), Alen Husidic (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.), Adis Husidic (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) and Eric Lee (Tampa, Fla./Gaither H.S.) to National Letters of Intent to play for the Flames beginning this fall.
Spiess will enter UIC this fall as one of the program's most heralded recruits in the 25-year Division I history of the team.
This past season Spiess earned All-America honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and was named Player of the Year by the Missouri State High School Soccer Coaches Association in addition to all-state recognition.
At the club level Spiess played for the storied Lou Fusz Club in St. Louis, Mo., winning a U-16 National Championship with the team.
"Having watched Matt develop over the years, I know that the staff will greatly enjoy the opportunity to work with a proven goal scorer," said Trask. "He is the type of player who will benefit from the quality setup ability already on the team. We expect him to bang goals for this team in the fall."
Alen Husidic is no stranger to some of the current UIC players, as he played on the Chicago Sockers U-19 McGuire Cup National Championship team last year with current Flames Nick Sutter and Brandon Bilbrey.
"Alen will bring tenacity and a will to win that I feel is an area which still needs strengthening here at UIC," Trask said. "His versatility and knowledge of the game will allow us to continually improve the brand of soccer we play."
Alen's brother, Adis Husidic, who goes by the nickname "Baggio," also plays for the Sockers.
"Baggio is the rare type of player to whom soccer comes naturally," said Trask. "His ability to assess situations and provide the pass perfect by the inch for his teammates will fit in nicely with our other creative midfielders. We will be looking for quite a bit of point production from this outstanding player."
Lee comes to UIC from the Hillsborough County United club and Gaither High School in Tampa. Lee immediately caught the eye of the UIC staff at a summer camp.
"His greatest strengths are his ability to dominate a player with his athleticism and prompt the attack from the back," said Trask. "Eric's individual defending ability and comfort with the ball will allow for a more aggressive nature from our backs while still building out of the back third of the team."
UIC finished the 2005 season at 10-5-2, doubling its win total from the previous campaign.
Matt Spiess was an offensive force for Chaminade Prep, earning NSCAA All-America honors.