Feb. 5, 2009
KINGSTON, R.I. - University of Rhode Island men's soccer head coach John O'Connor has announced that three student-athletes have signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to join the Rams' program in the fall of 2009. Jamie Eckmayer (Harrington Park, N.J.), Robby Gargaro (Naperville, Ill.) and Matt Ribbens (Tinley Park, Ill.) will all join the Rams' squad this coming season.
"I'm very pleased to have this small but talented group of players joining the squad this fall. I know they will fit in well at the University of Rhode Island - not only on the field and with the team, but among the student body on campus as well," O'Connor said. "Their experience and abilities will provide us with some excellent depth as we look forward to hosting the 2009 Atlantic 10 Championship.
- 5'8", 165 lbs.
- Harrington Park, N.J.
- Northern Valley-Old Tappan High School
"Jamie was a player that attended our Rhode Island Elite Soccer Academy last summer and immediately caught our attention - not only because of his skill on the field, but also with his competitive nature, speed and athleticism. Whether playing wide or up top, I am very confident that he will do a job for us."
Prior to URI:Was an All-State, All-League and All-County selection at North Valley Old Tappan High School for coach Jeff Beaudette... Captained his team and was the leading goal scorer... Was invited to play in the All-County and North vs. South All-Star games... Played club soccer for Parsippany United under Drew University coach Lenny Armuth... Team advanced to the Super Y National Finals in Tampa, Fla... Played club soccer for PDA Cruyff... Team was USYSA Region I finalists and Jefferson Cup Champions... Helped lead the NVOT indoor track team to its first league championship in track & field (2008-09 season)... Captured the 55-meter run and the long jump (21' 1 ½") while also earning team points with a career-best 6-foot high jump.
- 6'2", 165 lbs.
- Naperville, Ill.
- Neuqua Valley High School
"Robby is an experienced player and starter for the prestigious Chicago Magic Soccer Club (IL). I first saw him last year at the Disney Showcase in Orlando over Christmas and he caught my eye. What struck me most about him was his calmness under pressure as well as his ability to cover ground with his pace and athleticism. He is one of two Magic players who we are glad to have in Rhody Blue."
Prior to URI: Was a four-year starter and played both forward and defender for coach Jim Johns at Neuqua Valley High School... Captained his conference champion team which was ranked #1 in Illinois as well as in the Midwest Region and #5 nationally... Was a starting defender for the nationally-recognized Chicago Magic USSF Academy where he played for coach Tommy Cholowa and trained under the direction Chicago Fire assistant coach Mike Matkovich... During his time with the Magic, his teams won four USYSA Illinois state titles, qualified for three USYSA Snickers Regional Tournament of Champions and appeared in two USYSA National Championships... Was an Illinois Olympic Development Program regional team selection and was invited to the Super Y National Training Camp.
- 5'8", 145 lbs.
- Tinley Park, Ill.
- Andrew High School
"Matt is a kid I've known since my days coaching at the University of Chicago. I had the pleasure of seeing him develop over time with the Chicago Magic SC and then worked with him at the University of Notre Dame boys soccer camp last summer. He has an excellent soccer brain while his quickness and technical ability allow him to be effective in many positions on the field. He is best friends with our other Chicagoland signee Robby Gargaro which will help them both tremendously when it comes to the personal transition to the college."
Prior to URI:Was a three-year starter, co-captain and leading goal scorer at Andrew High School for coach Pat MacDonald... Played club soccer with the Chicago Magic USSF Academ for coach Tom Choloway and trained under Chicago Fire assistant coach Mike Matkovich... Won four USYSA Illinois State championships, three Midwest Regional championships and two USYSA National championships... Was an Illinois Olympic Development Program team member... His father Dave is the former men's soccer coach at Trinity Christian (Ill.) and currently is the athletic director at the University of Chicago Lab School.