"He can play up front and be one of the best goal scorers in the country," Caringi said about Bulls. "He can (also) play wide in the midfield, and set up a lot of players, which he really did last year."

Bulls' booming foot is another asset.

"You look at the great goal scorers, and they have the knack to strike a ball well, strike it on goal, whether he's serving it wide or in the box," Caringi said. "He just has that knack, which is a gift."

Bulls chose UMBC over UC Santa Barbara, Connecticut and Wake Forest.


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"They wanted me to be here, and a part of this family, and this team and this atmosphere," he said. "I think that's what really drove me to come here, and I really wanted to stay in Baltimore, where I won a national championships at the youth level."

Bulls, who played with his brother Dan during his freshman year, was even hungrier after the 2009 team won only six games and some questions were raised about a possible transfer.

Yet he was adamant about staying put and building a winner.

"I wanted to be a part of a new face for UMBC," he said. " I wanted to be someone who was a part of transitioning UMBC into the program that it is today."

He feels just as good about his decision to stay now as he did then.

"After my first year at UMBC, I knew I had made the best decision. I'll still say that today, and I'll probably say it for the rest of my life," Bulls said. "I want to be able to leave a mark and set a standard that even years beyond it will still be held," he said.

Beyond that, he wouldn't mind following the path of several former Retrievers who went on to play professionally.

"My goal is to be successful in soccer," he said. It's something that's been a part of my whole life and I would love to get the opportunity to play professionally anywhere."

Meanwhile, he has some unfinished business at UMBC.

"I'm ready for a next challenge, but I'm right here and now and I'm really trying to go out with a bang," he said.