TULSA, Okla. - The Oral Roberts men's soccer team closed out the 2018 signing period and added 11 to the squad for the upcoming season Head Coach Ryan Bush announced Thursday.
Bush on the 2018 class:
"First, I want to thank Chris Taylor and Bobby Behrens for their hard work sealing up this class," Head Coach Ryan Bush said. "They have worked tremendously hard making sure we get the right athletic fit and kids that will fit into the culture of our program. This class addresses several needs we wanted to gain more quality depth, improve our athleticism and needed some experience in certain roles. This class has done just that. More importantly, I'm excited about the overall character of this group. They are excellent people and fit perfectly into the DNA or our program."
Brian DeSanto | Olathe, Kan. | Olathe South High School | Defender
Bush on Brian DeSanto: "Brian DeSanto is a big strong physical presence. He addresses both physical and athletic needs. We believe Brian has a tremendous upside because of athleticism and work ethic. He's a player that is versatile and could play anywhere across the backline. We love Brian's overall character and are excited to get him into the program."
Thiago Dos Santos | Natal – Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil | High School – Colegio Contemporaneo | Forward
Bush on Thiago Dos Santos: "Thiago is another player that addresses team speed issues. Thiago will come in as the overall fastest player on the team. He's competed at the highest youth level in Brazil and comes in with a lot of experience in college soccer. Thiago scored 25 goals his first 2 years of college soccer and we expect much of the same here at ORU. The most impressive thing about Thiago is how well he's immediately fit here at ORU. He's an excellent person and fit for not just the soccer program but the institution as a whole."
Cole Fedorczyk | Prosper, Texas | Prosper High School | Defender
Bush on Cole Fedorczyk : "Cole Fedorcyk is a wide back with excellent speed. He's played at a high level at FC Dallas and is good defending 1 v 1 in the open field and can get out and attack. We were impressed with Cole's competitiveness during the recruiting process. Our belief is he's a player that will come in and really grow and develop over the next 4 years."
Alex Knepper | Tulsa, Okla. | High School – Jenks High School | Goalkeeper
Bush on Alex Knepper: "Alex Knepper graduated early and we have had the privilege of working with him this spring. The first thing we are excited about is his work ethic. He has immediately earned respect from the guys with the way he has come and just worked. Kneeper has tremendous athleticism and the ability to make the big save. We are excited to see how he develops moving forward."
Alex Martinez | Tulsa, Okla. | Union High School | Midfielder
Bush on Alex Martinez: "Alex Martinez is a player we have monitored for some time now. He is a local Tulsa based player who has excelled in the club game. He competes on a team that is consistently ranked as a top club team in the country. Alex brings with him an extremely high work rate and willingness to sacrifice for his teammates. We are excited to get Alex into the program and continue to see him develop."
Nicolas Mertzokat | Dusseldorf, Germany | Radford University| Goalkeeper
Bush on Nicolas Mertzokat: "Nicolas Mertzokat is a very mature experienced leader. He was captain for a division I program a year ago that won 12 games. This says a lot about the maturity and experience he brings to the table. During the recruiting process his coaches had nothing but great things to say about the type of person he is and his ability to lead."
Miles Motakef | Georgetown, Texas | Georgetown High School | Goalkeeper
Bush on Miles Motakef: "Miles Motakef is an excellent goalkeeper and a natural leader. He comes in with a lot of tools. His feet are good, he's technically sound but most importantly he has a tremendous work ethic. His work ethic and leadership skills are what really sets him apart as a young goalkeeper."
Blake Perott | Overland Park, Kansas | Blue Valley Northwest | Defender
Bush on Blake Perott: "Blake Perott is a wide back with a lot of pace. Blake will have the ability to get up and down the line and promote an attacking style of soccer from the wide back position. Blake is a great character kid and perfect fit for ORU. He possesses a tremendous work rate and is a great team guy."
Benjamin Premenko | Paso Robles, Calif. | Paso Robles High School | Defender
Bush on Benjamin Premenko: "Benjamin Premenko is an excellent culture fit for ORU. We found him late in the recruiting process and we are glad we did. He has good physical stature and has the ability to boss the midfield around. He's willing to sit in and do the dirty work, which is a must on every good team. Ben is another kid with a tremendous work ethic and great fit for both the program and institution."
Matias Siems | Bradenton, Fla. | Mantee High School | Defender
Bush on Matias Siems : "Matias Siems is another player that is willing to do the dirty work in the center of the field. He's a good ball winner with a tremendous work ethic. He's a player that could play as a defensive mid or anywhere across the back line. Overall we were impressed with his focus and intensity both on and off the field. We believe he's a player that will flourish in the division I game.
Christos Smirlis | Edmond, Okla. | Deer Creek High School | Midfielder
Bush on Christos Smirlis: "Chris Smirlis has a great feat and very good soccer IQ. We believe his best playing days are in front of him. Chris is very smart on the ball and has the ability to get out of tight spaces, play the final pass and can score from range. Chris is an all-around great kid and will be a good culture fit at ORU."
For the latest information on ORU men's soccer, follow @ORUMSoccer on Twitter or go to www.ORUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Golden Eagles Front Row App at ORUAthletics.com/frontrow or in the App Store.