DURHAM, N.H. - University of New Hampshire men's soccer head coach Rob Thompson has announced that Alex Russell (Harrisburg, Pa.) and Josh Bronner (Belchertown, Mass.) have both signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Wildcats beginning in the fall of 2008.  
    Russell, a four year varsity player at Central Dauphin East High School, led his team to the District 3 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) playoffs during his junior and senior campaigns.  The six-foot-one, 165-pound senior captain was selected as a Mid-Penn Conference All-Star in 2006 and 2007.  For the past six years, Russell has played for the Eastern Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program and helped the team to a 2007 Region I championship.
    “Alex is a smart defender that can play in central defense or perhaps in a holding role,” Thompson Said. “He is good in the air, positions himself well and can pass the ball with ease.”
    Russell plays club soccer for the Pennsylvania Classics, a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League.  In 2004 the Classics were the EPYSA Under-14 state cup finalists and were state cup finalists again in 2006 as a U-16 team.  In 2007, Russell’s club team made it to the EPYSA U-17 state cup semi-finals.
    Bronner, a four-year varsity soccer player at Belchertown High School, is a two-time All-State first team selection. In his first three seasons at Belchertown, the team won three straight Western Massachusetts Division II championships (2003-05). The 5’ 11”, 170-pound midfielder led the division in scoring both his junior and senior seasons and totaled 40 goals, 20 of which came during his senior campaign, to go along with 15 assists. He was an All-State selection in 2005 as the team lost the Division II state championship in penalty kicks. Bronner captained the Orioles his senior campaign and was again named an All-State first team member. In addition to soccer, Bronner played three years of varsity basketball player at Belchertown High School.
    “Josh is a ball winner that can play in a few spots,” Thompson stated. “He works hard, will get stuck in, is strong in the air, and will do the dirty work to be successful. I see him primarily as a defensive midfielder, but his blue collar mentality will serve him well in any position.”
    Upon graduation, Bronner preformed a post-graduate year at Wilbraham & Monson Academy. While there he was named as a Western New England Prep School Soccer Association Class M All-League and All-Star selection in 2007.  His Western United club team won four straight Massachusetts State championships from 2004-07.  In 2007, the team reached the USYSA Regional finals. Bronner will join Western United teammate, Colin O’Donnell, a current Wildcat freshman goalkeeper, at UNH this fall.
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