Loyola Men's Soccer Adds Local Flavor With Signees

May 18, 2010

BALTIMORE - Loyola University Maryland men's soccer announced today that five players have signed and will compete for the Greyhounds beginning this fall, with four of the players hailing from the State of Maryland.

Oumar Ballo (Baltimore, Md./Archbishop Curley H.S.), Sam Bradley (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill H.S.), Alex Bullington (Forest Hill, Md./Calvert Hall College H.S.), Cameron Coppola (Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier H.S.), and Gary Weisbaum (Baltimore, Md./Pikesville H.S./New Mexico) will join the Greyhounds on the playing field.

They join two previous signees, Diego McQuestion (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) and Thruman Van Riper (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable Regional H.S.), who signed in February.

"I am especially pleased with the local flavor of our 2010 recruiting class," Mettrick said. "We have local captains from Archbishop Curley, Calvert Hall and Gilman and a former captain of Pikesville High. Recruiting locally is important to our program, and I am very pleased to get four quality players from Baltimore.

"I think that overall, this class has strong character traits which bodes well for our future, and I anticipate a lot of healthy competition in our 2010 squad."

Oumar Ballo

Ballo finished a stellar high school career last fall by earning NSCAA All-America honors for the second year in a row at Archbishop Curley. A captain for the Friars as a senior, the native of Mali was a three-time NSCAA All-South Region and Baltimore Sun All-Metro honoree. He earned All-MIAA laurels all four years at the school and helped Curley win the MIAA `A' Conference title in 2006.

As a club soccer player, Ballo competed for the Baltimore Bays Chelsea Academy team. He participated in the U.S. Soccer Federation Youth National Team Training Center last November and was a Super Y League ODP National Poll Selection in 2006 and 2007. In addition to playing soccer, Ballo was a sprinter and triple jumper for Curley, helping the Friars win the MIAA title in 2008.

"Oumar is a tremendous athlete who can play anywhere on the back line or as a defensive midfielder," Mettrick said. "We are very pleased to sign a local two-time high school All-American. He is a highly competitive, rugged young man with great potential who comes from the nationally competitive Baltimore Chelsea Bays Club Program."

Sam Bradley

Bradley has been a member of the U.S. National Team pool and was a member of the D.C. United Academy team. He helped United reach the U-18 Academy National Finals, where it took second place, in 2009. He also competed at the USSF Academy Market Training Center last November.

At the high school level, Bradley was a three-year letterwinner, playing at The Bullis School as a freshman and sophomore and for Churchill as a junior. Prior to joining the United Academy team, Bradley was a member of the Bethesda Road Runners side that earned the 2006 regional title.

"Sam is a left-side flank player that is a very hard worker," Mettrick said. "He has a combative nature and comes from a quality D.C. United Academy program."

Alex Bullington

Bullington joins Loyola after a playing high school soccer at nearby Calvert Hall College. He earned All-Maryland and All-MIAA honors as a junior and senior and was one of the Cardinals' team captains as a senior. He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society and also earned a varsity letter as a tennis player.

In club soccer, he was a member of the Baltimore Bays Cheslea Academy team and teammate of McQuestion. The side won the 2008 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship and also took the top spot at the Jefferson Cup and Disney Soccer Showcase.

Bullington is the grandson of Loyola's winningest men's soccer coach, Jim Bullington. The elder Bullington compiled a 177-49-11 (.747) record at Loyola from 1964-1971. He directed the Greyhounds to their only undefeated season (16-0-0 in 1971) and the 1976 NCAA Division II National Championship.

"Alex has great family ties to Loyola," Mettrick said. "He is a hard working flank player who has shown very good leadership as a captain of Calvert Hall. He's another player from the highly competitive Baltimore Bays Chelsea youth program."

Cameron Coppola

Coppola helped his high school team, St. Xavier, win the Kentucky State Championship for three consecutive years, 2007-2009, and the Tigers finished the season ranked fifth in the ESPN/Rise Fab 50. He was a member of the All-State Tournament team in 2009 and scored a goal in the championship game.

In addition to his high school success, Coppola played club soccer for United 1996 FC Internationals 92, helping his team finish second in the state from 2007-2009. He participated in the 2008 Super Y National ODF Camp, as well.

"Cameron is an attacking player who will provide depth for us up front," Mettrick said. "He has very good pace and the ability to give opposing teams a different look."

Gary Weisbaum

Weisbaum will play for Loyola after spending the first two years of his college career at the University of New Mexico. A Baltimore-area product of Pikesville H.S., Weisbaum was a member of the Lobos teams that reached the NCAA College Cup in both 2008 and 2009. He was injured and did not play as a true freshman in 2008.

As a prep player at Pikesville, Weisbaum earned All-State honors as a junior and senior. He scored 23 goals and had five assists in just 16 games as a senior, and finished his career with a total of 65 goals and 13 assists. Weisbaum played club soccer for the Casa Mia Bays and the MSC Dragons, helping the Bays win the 2009 National Championship. He was a five-time member of the Maryland ODP team and helped his side win the USCSA and ODP Region I titles.

"Gary brings to us very good leadership skills and experience," Mettrick said. `He has a competitive mentality and will compete for time immediately, and he can help us in a variety of midfield positions, especially centrally."