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Academy defender commits to Wake Forest

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Under-16 defender Joseph DeZart II has verbally committed to play college soccer at Wake Forest in 2016.

By Matt Ralph

Defender Joseph DeZart II is the latest Union Academy player to commit to playing college soccer in one of college soccer's best conferences, according to TopDrawerSoccer.

DeZart, who has verbally committed to play in the ACC with Wake Forest, combined with Auston Trusty to create one of the toughest center back duos in the Development Academy this season. He played in 26 games and started 22 games during a regular season that saw his team concede just 18 times in 26 games. He started five of the team's six postseason games and came off the bench in the other one as they went 5-1 in postseason play and finished third.

The Jackson, N.J. native joined the U-16 team in the fall after playing for the NJSA 04 U-16 team the two previous seasons and IronBound Soccer Club before that.

Wake Forest have made the NCAA tournament 14 of the last 16 seasons and won a national championship in 2007. Union first-team players Brian Carroll (2000-2002) and Michael Lahoud (2005-2008) both played college soccer at Wake Forest.

DeZart will have a lot of familiar company in the ACC when he arrives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2016. Teammates Trusty and Jack Skahan have both committed to North Carolina and Raheem Taylor-Parkes has committed to Virginia. U-18 midfielder Michael Swift recently committed to Clemson for 2016.

Recent Academy graduates Morgan Hackworth (Syracuse), Sean Wilson (North Carolina), Will Campbell (North Carolina) and Oliver Calvo (Louisville) will join Union Academy alums Shane Campbell (Louisville), Colton Storm (North Carolina), Darius Madison (Virginia), Tyler Skwara (Boston College) and Patrick Berneski (Notre Dame) already playing in the ACC, which has had one of its teams win the College Cup in 7 of the last 10 years.