Following a successful 2015 campaign in which they won the regular season Big Ten title, the Ohio State men’s soccer team has started 2016 off right with the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.
According to College Soccer News, the Buckeyes’ recruiting class is the fourth best in the country. It is the second consecutive year the team has had a Top-10-ranked class.
Leading the class is defenseman Andrew Lombard. The transfer from Northeastern University has a history of success, having previously led his club team, the New York Red Bulls, to an 18-4 record. He was also named to the under-20 U.S. National Team back in 2015.
Two of the recruits come to the Scarlet and Gray after previously playing for other countries. Midfielder Leo Kossaka, native of Brazil, spent most of his playing time in Quebec where he spent time on the under-17 Canada National Team. He turned down a contract to join the Montreal Impact before joining the Bucks. The other international student is defenseman Niall Logue. The Northern Ireland native had previously played at the Yavapai Junior College in Prescott, Arizona, where he served as a two-time All-American captain.
The remaining five recruits are all from Ohio with three of them from nearby suburb Dublin, Ohio. Goalkeeper Brennon Davis is the record holder of career saves at Dublin Jerome high school, and was named all-OCC. Midfielder Brady Blackwell is a transfer from San Diego State University and was previously considered a Top-150 high school recruit. The second former Top-150 high school recruit and third player from Dublin, midfielder Jack Holland was named to several acknowledgements in his final season in high school. He was recognized as team MVP, first team all-OCC, all-district, all-region and all-state.
Hailing from Copley, Ohio, defender Michael Dichlian transferred to OSU from Cleveland State University. He has been named a two-time captain and all-conference player back in his high school days at Copley High School. He played club for Cleveland United.
The final recruit and second goalie is Canal Winchester native Matt Appel. The Xavier University transferee spent time playing club with the Columbus Crew. In his high school career, he had been named to the first team all-league three times and was a two-time all-region goalkeeper.
“We are very excited about the incoming class of players whom we feel will address the positional needs required for the 2016 team,” head coach John Bluem said in an email. “This is a very talented group of players, but also young men who will represent Ohio State in the highest standard possible in the classroom and community.”
The recruits will get their first chance to take the field as Buckeyes on Aug. 16 when the team takes on Butler.