OMAHA, Neb. – Creighton men’s soccer head coach Elmar Bolowich announced the nine-member 2013 recruiting class on Monday that has agreed to play for the Bluejays beginning this fall.
The incoming class will join a solid core of Creighton players that finished last season with a 17-4-3 mark and its second consecutive appearance in a College Cup last December. CU also won the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular-season and tournament titles for a second straight season.
"I am very pleased to announce our 2013 recruiting class," said Bolowich.“Several of these players will compete for immediate playing time, and based on our evaluations, they are talented enough to do so. Goalkeepers Michael Kluver and Connor Sparrow as well as seven field players bring a great balance to our squad.
"I am very excited to welcome these student-athletes to Creighton in August, and begin training for our first season in the new Big East Conference. This class will add a great deal of strength and depth to our team. We will face a very challenging schedule this fall,and with our newcomers and returning players we have a strong group to play our “Creighton Style” of entertaining, attacking soccer."
The nine prospective student-athletes hail from all over the world. Two international players from Germany join three Nebraska natives and four other U.S. newcomers. The U.S. recruiting map stretches from Georgia north to Minnesota and west to Colorado.
Below is a brief breakdown of the nine newcomers.
Ben Bakke, Fr., D, Minnesota Thunder, USSF Academy
Scored two goals in 25 starts with the Minnesota Thunder in the past two seasons ... Participated in club soccer as a starter since 2004 helping team to three State Cup Championships … In 2011 club team claimed the Region 2 Championship and finished third in the nation … Qualified for Olympic Development Program … Trained abroad in Turkey and Brazil … Earned All-State honors as a junior while attending Minnehaha Academy … Native of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Brock Fitzgerald, Fr., MF, Lincoln Pius X HS, Omaha FC
Local prospect playing club ball with Omaha FC and high school career at Lincoln’s Pius X High School ... Currently ranked No. 9 player in latest TopDrawerSoccer.com Heartland Regional Rankings … Scored two goals to lead his team to the 2011 ODP Interregional Championship … Member of 2010 Nebraska Class B State Championship team … Started every game of his high school career … Claimed multiple honors from both the Omaha World-Herald as well as the Lincoln Journal-Star … Native of Lincoln, Neb.
One of two international players in this year’s class ... Most recently played for the German soccer club VFL Rhede … The 6-0 footballer attended Alexander-Hegius-Gymnasium … Prior to secondary school, played youth soccer with FC Twente Enschede, playing in several international cup tournaments … Native of Ahaus, Germany.
International player from Germany … Most recently played for the German club TSC Euskirchen … The 5-10 footballer attended St.-Angela-Gymnasium in Bad Münstereifel, Germany … Previously played club ball with SC Fortuna Köln in Cologne and Bonner SC in Bonn … In 2012 netted a personal best total of 14 goals in the Under-19 Mittelrheinliga with TSC Euskirchen ... Also played on the Class A junior championship team SC Fortuna Köln in 2012 … Native of Zülpich, Germany.
Michael Kluver, Fr., GK, Skutt Catholic HS, Omaha FC
Local prospect from Papillion played club ball with Omaha FC … Concluded career at Skutt Catholic High School by leading team to a second straight Class B championship match … Named the 2013 Gatorade Nebraska Soccer Player of the Year … Owns multiple awards from Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star … Member of the 2012 Nebraska Class B State Championship team … The Greater Omaha Sports Committee 2013 Soccer Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year … President’s Education Award winner and NCPA Academic All-State selection … Native of Papillion, Neb.
Ricardo Perez, Fr., MF/F, Colorado Rapids, USSF Academy
Recognized as 2012 NSCAA All-America selection … Played for the Colorado Rapids Reserves beginning in 2011, debuting at age 15 … Currently ranked as the No. 19 player in the latest TopDrawerSoccer.com Boys IMG Academy 150 … Stands fourth in the website’s Rocky Mountain Regional Rankings and is No. 10 in the midfielder position rankings ... Joined the Rapids Academy in 2008 … Played in all games of 2012 USDA Finals, where the Rapids U-18s finished sixth in the nation, scoring 10 goals … Played on a U.S. Club Soccer National Finalist squad in 2009 … Native of Fort Collins, Colo.
Alex Prusa, Fr., MF/D, Creighton Preparatory, Omaha FC
Local product with ties to Omaha FC while starring at Creighton Prep ... Led the team back to the Class A state championship game for the third straight season in 2013 ... Helped Creighton Prep claim back-to-back state titles in 2011-12 with a 42-1 record … Owns multiple awards from Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star … With Omaha FC, Prusa and his teammates claimed the last four state championships and advanced to the regional semifinals in 2012 under coach Mike Dean … Native of Omaha.
Connor Sparrow, So., GK, St. John Vianney H.S., Missouri-Kansas City
A sophomore transfer from UMKC … Started 15 games in goal as a freshman last season for the Kangaroos … The 6-2 goalkeeper posted a 6-8-1 record with a pair of shutouts … Carried a goals against average of 1.64 … Started the team’s 3-0 loss against Creighton in Morrison Stadium last October 16, allowing two goals in 45 minutes of action … Helped UMKC to a 6-2 record at home and 5-2 conference ledger ... Earned a spot on the Summit League All-Tournament Team for his efforts … Prior to freshman campaign played for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy … Native of St. Louis.
Erick Yang, So., MF, Concorde Fire, USSF Academy
A sophomore from his home state of Georgia … The 5-8 midfielder has participated in soccer since an early age … Most recently played for the Norcross Fury under the tutelage of Tony Annon … Also played for the Concorde Fire in Atlanta … Played soccer for a couple years before switching to football as a senior … Helped Brookside High School claim the Georgia Class 5A State Championship in 2010 as a two-way placekicker ... Class 5A All-State First Team selection in his first season as a football player … Native of Lawrenceville, Ga.
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