Monday, July 13, 2015

New recruits spark optimism for UIS men's soccer program

University of Illinois Springfield men’s soccer coach Jesse Miech is enjoying what his incoming recruits are showing him this summer and they’re not even on campus.

Classes start next month and freshmen midfielders Andrew Mullican and Grant Bauer are still playing with their club team. “They just won regionals at the National Premier League,” Miech said. “It’s really exciting that they are still playing this summer at a competitive level.”

Mullican and Bauer are members of St. Louis Scott Gallagher under-18 Metro boys soccer team playing in the National Premier League national tournament this week in Indiana.

Other incoming recruits are enjoying summer success at the club level. Freshmen midfielders Michael Deavilla and Jeremy Hardcastle won the Missouri State Cup under-18 title in May with Lou Fusz Soccer Club coached by Marty Pike, who played for the Prairie Stars’ 1986 NAIA national championship team.

International flair Freshman forward/midfielder Ardijan Berisha last played in Germany. After graduating last year from John Jay High School in New York, he went to play for FSV Erlangen in Germany.

Miech has brought in defenders Collin Anderson and Zach Downing. Anderson is a Scott Gallagher product and graduated from Francis Howell in Missouri. Downing joined Northern Illinois for the spring semester earlier this year after two years at Parkland College. The Danville native will now play for UIS.

Junior forward Zachary Allevi was born in Bulgaria, lived in Australia and spent the last two seasons at Parkland.

Junior forward Kanye Sayon is another former Parkland player. His older brother, Eddie Sayon, also played for UIS. The family is from Liberia, but left the country due to a civil war there. Kanye graduated from Champaign Central High.

Freshman striker Niles Smith also has college experience. He graduated a semester early from Collinsville and enrolled at UIS in January.

“We’ve got some key guys returning who played a lot of minutes,” Miech said. “We’ve got some guys who we think are going to give us a lot of minutes.”

This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on July 8, 2015.

Read the entire article online.