For a few days now the Men's Soccer team has been hyping big recruiting news coming this week, and the announcement came today in the form of two signees, both with international experience.
At this point, Stu Riddle has built a pretty strong pipeline out of his New Zealand connections, and Nick Forrester is the second player with international experience with the Kiwis to come to Buffalo in the last few months. A former member of the New Zealand U17 team, Forrester comes to the Bulls with three years of eligibility after playing as a freshman at Butler, where he saw action in six early-season games as a defender before sitting the bench the rest of the season.
Nick's initial decision to play NCAA soccer and to commit to Butler happened extremely quickly, so hopefully this later decision to come to Buffalo is longer lasting. UB's backline put together a lot of experience last season, but Stu Riddle is eager to see where Forrester fits in, calling him "a hard working destroyer type central defender/midfielder that recently was widely regarded as the New Zealand's top soccer prospect and I cannot wait to get him on the field with his new team."
Also joining the Bulls will be Pablo Fernandez-Paniagua Juez of Spain, who begins his collegiate career after seven seasons in Real Madrid's academy system. He'll be the first player in MAC history with experience at Real Madrid Academy, and will help UB up top. Real Madrid calls him a midfielder, UB a forward, but both highlight his speed, creativity and passing ability.
The captain of his last two teams, Pablo has the one-on-one skills and passing which will hopefully open up more opportunities for Buffalo's attackers. Many times last year I felt UB struggled to get the ball to its forwards, and better technical ability in the midfield could go a long way.
Welcome to Buffalo, Nick and Pablo!