Updated April 27, 2012
The Missouri State men's soccer program has added four players to its 2012-13 squad including Brandon Barbero, Jack Roberts, Addison Watson and Jack Wood.
Brandon Barbero, M, Marietta, Ga. (Lassiter High/Georgia United)
Barbero is a three-year letterwinner entering his senior season at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. The center midfielder is a two-time high school MVP (2009, 2011), two-time All-County selection and was named to the 2011 Georgia All-State team, selected by coaches, media and ESPNHS editors. In 2011, he helped lead Lassiter to an overall record of 19-1-1 and a state semifinal appearance. Barbero was a key component on the Broncos team that was crowned region champions with an undefeated mark of 16-0 and set a single-season record of 105 goals scored. To kick off the 2012 slate, the Lassister squad, coached by Billy Pritz, earned the top spot in ESPN’s first Fab 50 rankings of the season and the PrepCountry.com/Georgia Athletics Association 5A poll. From 2008-11, Barbero played club for North Atlanta Soccer Association (NASA) Elite before joining Georgia United U 17/18 in its inaugural season in the U.S. Soccer Development League. In 2011, he started all 20 of the games he played in for Georgia United and was also named team captain. His four goals on the year tied for third on the team. Brandon’s older brother, Gerard, was a four-year starter for Missouri State.
Associate Head Coach Michael Seabolt on Barbero:
“Brandon is a very technical player and is very good in tight spaces. He sees the field extremely well and his ability to make a final pass and play into a forward is a really special quality. It continues a good relationship we’ve built in recruiting the Atlanta area. Hopefully he can build on the success of his older brother [Gerard] and pave his own way, proving what a special player he can be for this program.”
Jack Roberts, M/F, Leicester, England (John Cleveland College)
Roberts brings a wealth of soccer experience with him to Missouri State after playing for multiple teams in Leicester, England. From age 7-15, the midfielder played for Leicester City Football Club Academy. From there, he signed on to a two-year scholarship to play with Lincoln City. While still playing for Lincoln City in 2008, Roberts had the opportunity to represent the Republic of Ireland and play for its U19 team. Following his release by Lincoln City, he signed with semi-professional club Hinckley United, playing in the Blue Square Conference North for two seasons. Prior to arriving in Springfield, Mo., Roberts was busy off the field as he worked full-time as a coach at Redmoor High School in 2010 and Market Bosworth High School in 2011.
Associate Head Coach Michael Seabolt on Roberts:
“Jack has a very high work rate and is a very technical player. He is very competitive and brings great experience from a number of teams in England. He was working a job and earned a profession the hard way, so that maturity certainly helps him add to the team as well.”
Addison Watson, GK, Starkville, Miss. (Starkville High/Central Jackson Soccer)
Watson started and lettered all four years for head coach Brian Bennett at Starkville High. During his sophomore, junior and senior campaigns, Watson and the Yellow Jackets compiled an impressive 38-7-4 record. The 6-foot-3 goalkeeper was also named team captain during those three years. As a senior, the team MVP led Starkville to a district title and powered the program to its first-ever Mississippi state championship. His junior year, he earned all-area first team honors and was named defensive MVP for the Yellow Jackets. During his sophomore season, Watson logged the first-ever shutout of Tupelo High School in Starkville High School soccer history.
Associate Head Coach Michael Seabolt on Watson:
“Addison is a very good athlete, who has great potential as a goalie. He was here for camp at goalkeeper, but played in the field as well and showed his versatility. He has great work ethic, good size and there is every reason to believe he can come in and compete, both in the short term and long term, to show that he is good enough to be a starter at this level.”
Jack Wood, F, Gloucestershire, England (Chosen Hill School/Hartpury College)
As a proven goal scorer, Wood comes to Missouri State with a year of experience at the university level. He played forward for Hartpury College [University of the West of England] during the 2011-12 school year and will have three years of eligibility remaining. The elite forward continues to put up big numbers during the 2011-12 season. So far, he has found the back of the net 30 times and assisted on 21 goals. Prior to the university level, Wood recorded 24 goals and 18 assists in 22 matches (2009-10) and then registered another 26 goals and 22 dimes in 2010-11. He represented Hartpury and played a key role in the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) and English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) national titles in 2010 and 2011. Wood has also played for Forest Green Rovers F.C. and Cheltenham Town F.C., both English football clubs in League Two.
Associate Head Coach Michael Seabolt on Wood:
”Jack has speed and height at the forward position along with good technical ability and a good record of scoring goals. I certainly think he can add to the team as a first-year player. He has collegiate experience, both academically and athletically, and we feel like he can hit the ground running and add something to our attack in 2012.”