Men's soccer inks talented Edwardsville native striker Clayton Pearson

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Edwardsville native Clayton Pearson signs National Letter of Intent to attend SIUE.

EDWARDSVILLESIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez has announced another addition to men's soccer's 2016 class.

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Clayton Pearson has signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Cougars in the fall.

The native of Edwardsville, Illinois, is a 6-foot, 1-inch striker who brings impressive credentials to SIUE.

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"We always want to keep the best local players and especially those who are right in our backyard," SIUE Head Coach Mario Sanchez said. "We're expecting some very good things out of Clayton over the next four years."

Pearson has played two full seasons with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Metro of U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He currently is ninth nationally in goals per game at 0.87. Pearson has scored 13 goals in 15 games which ranks him second among Central Region players.

"In my opinion, he is one of the top five forwards in the country," Sanchez said. "From a recruiting perspective, this is a very big signing for us. It shows the significant strides we have made by keeping a kid like this here in town when he's had attention, literally, from around the country."

He previously played with St. Louis Scott Gallagher National Premiere League team, where he was part of the starting XI for a U14 NPL National Championship team.

SIUE is the defending Missouri Valley Conference champions after winning the school's first ever regular season title in 2015. The Cougars finished the year with a 12-4-2 record and a 5-1 slate in MVC play.

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