After four years with the Duquesne University Men’s Soccer Program, Head Coach Chase Brooks has built a program that progressed each season under his direction.
In 2016, they produced an impressive seven-game shut-out and unbeaten streak. The Dukes finished the season 8-5-5 overall and 3-2-3 in the tough Atlantic Ten, while putting together an impressive 6-1-2 home record.
Now with a new class of 12 new players — Brooks is looking to build on that.
On Thursday, Brooks announced his 2017 recruiting class that includes a trio of Top 150 national recruits, five ranked among the Top 20 in their respective region and seven from US Soccer Development Academy clubs.
The class is currently ranked among the Top 20 nationally by TopDrawerSoccer (as of Jan. 30).
“Character and team-orientated are the words we use to describe this group of future Dukes,” said Brooks, who will be entering his fifth season in 2017.
“We are a family here at Duquesne. Everything we do is program first, and individual second. These guys embody these beliefs and we are very excited to add them to our family!
This class includes one local player of note — Brendan Akut. who helped lead Plum to the WPIAL playoffs in 2016.
Akut has played for Arsenal FC and returned to his home school district (Plum) his senior year, after attending Kiski School.
With Arsenal, he was on a team that were PA West State Cup champions in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2015. Akut’s versitity and ability on the ball was exceptional enough to have garnered an opportunity to be a part of the U.S. National Team pool as a futsal play
While leading Plum to its first playoff berth since 2011, he earned first team all-section and all-WPIAL honors and at school is a member of National Honor Society.
“Brendan is a local player from Arsenal FC that loves to attack and get to goal. We are looking forward to him bringing his confidence and work rate to Rooney Field,” said Brooks.
Here’s the complete recruiting class for Duquesne men:
2017 DUQUESNE MEN’S SOCCER RECRUITING CLASS
|Name||Pos. / Cl.||Ht. / Wt.||Hometown||High School||Club Team|
|Brenden Akut||M / Fr..||6-1 / 150||Pittsburgh, Pa.||Plum||Arsenal FC|
|Omar Ayala||M / Fr.||5-10 / 150||Norristown, Pa.||YSC Academy||Philadelphia Union USSDA|
|Zion Beaton||M/F / Fr.||6-2 / 172||Belleville, Mich.||Belleville||Michigan Wolves|
|Jack Bessey||D / Fr.||6-2 / 190||Algonquin, Ill.||Huntley||Sockers FC USSDA|
|Dorion Dixon||M/F / Fr.||5-9 / 160||Chantilly, Va.||John Champe||Bethesda SC USSDA|
|Tyrese Edwards||F / Fr.||5-10 / 171||Brampton, Ontario||Cardinal Ambrozic CSS||Woodbridge Strikers SC|
|Erik Espinoza Jr.||M/D / Fr.||6-1 / 175||Stafford, Va.||Brooke Point||Bethesda SC USSDA|
|Jesper Evensen||M / Fr.||6-1 / 178||Sandefjord, Norway||Thor Heyerdahl VGS||Sandefjord Fotball|
|Liam Harmon||D / Fr.||5-9 / 150||Bloomsburg, Pa.||Bloomsburg||North Union United/PA Classics USSDA|
|Andrew Murray||M/D / Fr.||5-10 / 155||Fanwood, N.J.||Scotch Plains||Players Dev Academy USSDA|
|Brett Stern||M/F / Fr.||5-10 / 155||Lockport, N.Y.||Newfane||Empire United USSDA|
|Vito Vincent||M / Fr.||6-0 / 185||King of Prussia, Pa.||Upper Merion||FC Europa|