University of Akron head men’s soccer coach Jared Embick announced Monday that English winger Sam Gainford has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Zips next fall.
Gainford, who trained at Liverpool Academy since age 10, was a member of the club’s Under-18 team where he played forward and attacking midfield. The native of Whitehaven also played in several NextGen Series games for Liverpool U-21. He is expected to play forward for the Zips.
Gainford, who will have four years of eligibility at UA, joins the Zips’ original 10-player signing class announced in May, which includes Clint Caso, Louis Cross, Robby Dambrot, Jonny DeMoya, Riley Grant, Brett Gravatt, Adam Najem, Tyler Sanda, Ismail Seremba and Victor Souto.
Gainford is the third English recruit added by Embick this offseason. Cross, a native of Lancashire, is a product of Blackpool FC Academy and Seremba, who hails from London, comes from Chelsea Academy.
In all, the Zips will welcome 10 incoming freshman and a college transfer in 2013.
Akron swept the Mid-American Conference regular-season and tournament titles for the fifth time in six years last season and advanced to the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. UA will return nine letterwinners and five starters for Embick’s first year at the helm.