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Feb. 3, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina men’s soccer coach Mark Berson announces the addition of transfer Christoffer Wallander-Ianev and incoming freshmen Evan Collins and Jeffrey Lu on 2016 National Signing Day.

“Our coaches Spencer Lewis and Joey Worthen have done a great job,” said Gamecock head coach Mark Berson, “and we are excited about these young men coming to South Carolina to further develop and enhance the winning tradition of the Gamecock soccer program. They are excellent students as well as being top-notch players. This is a great way to begin our signing period on opening day, and we look to build on this class in the coming weeks.”

Wallander-Ianev, a defender from Gavel, Sweden, comes to South Carolina after two years at Maryland. The 5-10 defender scored a goal in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Match. As an amateur, he helped his teams win two state championships.

“We look for Chris to help us at the right back position, where he also played in the Maryland program,” commented Berson. “Chris enrolled in January, and he is training with the team now in our winter workouts and will be a big part of our team this spring. He is a fine player with experience already at the college level.”

Collins, a versatile defender from Carlisle, Pa., played for coach Steve Klein’s PA Classics Academy. Also a member of the Eastern PA ODP, he helped his team win the Region I Championship and an appearance at nationals. He also played soccer for two years and ran track for a season at Carlisle High, and he spent time training with Hershey FC in the NPSL.

“Evan’s ability to play in the back line or as a holding midfielder enables him to help us at a number of spots on the field,” remarked Berson. “He first caught our eye at camp last year, and we are very glad to have him joining us. He is physically strong and will be well suited to the college game.”

Lu, a goalkeeper from Marietta, Ga., has played with the North Atlanta Soccer Association for coach Todd Gispert. He helped the team take the Disney championship in 2014. He’s been a part of the ODP Region III pool and Georgia 98 ODP team. A four-year member of the Walton Comprehensive High team, Lu won the school’s Scholar-Athlete award.

“Jeffrey has good size and excellent quickness,” said Berson. “For a big goalkeeper, he also gets down for low shots very well. His distribution skills are good, and he gets the ball out on the break very quickly. Jeffrey has all the tools to be an excellent goalkeeper as he gains experience.”

The Gamecocks advanced into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the 21st time South Carolina has played in the national event. Seven Gamecocks earned awards from Conference USA, South Carolina men’s soccer’s home for the past 11 seasons.