SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly men's soccer program's incoming class of players for the 2019 season increased to eight on Wednesday with the announcement from fifth-year head coach Steve Sampson that winger Robert Knights (above; Irvine, Calif.) has joined the squad as a graduate transfer from UCLA while outside back and winger Logan Thralls (Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif.) signed a National Letter of Intent.
Knights, who has one year of eligibility remaining and will pursue a master's degree in accounting, made nine appearances during the last two seasons for UCLA after redshirting in 2015. A former invitee to the United States U-18 Men's National Team training camp, the 5-10 Knights competed for both the Los Angeles Galaxy academy program and Strikers FC at youth level. Academically, Knights was a four-time scholar-athlete honoree at UCLA.
"Robert is one of the most creative wingers in the country," Sampson said. "We expect Robert to contribute immediately in making Cal Poly more dangerous around goal. He's an exceptionally talented player with an enormous amount of experience and that experience will provide additional maturity in helping us reach our goals of winning the Big West Conference and going far in the NCAA Tournament."
Thralls joins Cal Poly from United States Soccer Development Academy program San Diego Surf. Also a standout sprinter, Thralls was a three-year letterwinner in track and field at San Dieguito Academy and, in 2016, ran the fourth quickest 800 meters by a freshman in California. The 5-9 Thralls intends to major in philosophy.
"Logan is an explosive and talented outside back who we consider a diamond in the rough," Sampson said. "He's one of just two freshmen in our incoming class and will compete for playing time. Logan is as smart as he is talented and we very much look forward to his contributions."
The seventh and eighth additions to Cal Poly's incoming 2019 class, Knights and Thralls join graduate forward Spencer Held (Agoura, Calif./California), graduate midfielder Colin Hyatt (Santa Barbara, Calif./Stanford), junior defender Jackson Brady (Christchurch, New Zealand/Salt Lake City Community College), junior midfielder Creed McKinnon (Margaret River, Australia/North Idaho College), junior defender Josh Graham (Manchester, England/St. Louis Community College) and freshman forward Noah Boettiger (Boulder, Colo./Colorado Rapids Academy).