MEN'S SOCCER ADDS NINE NEWCOMERS FOR 2016 SEASON
Feb. 4, 2016

ROCHESTER, Mich. - Oakland men's soccer head coach Eric Pogue announced the addition of nine student-athletes on Thursday consisting of four from Canada, three from Michigan, one from Kansas and Liberia.

"First off, I would be re-miss if I didn't thank our staff of hard working coaches that have worked extremely hard putting this recruiting class together led by our Associate Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator, Stephen Gorton," said Pogue. "Overall, we are extremely excited about our 2016 Oakland men's soccer recruiting class which will go down as one of our top talent-wise recruiting classes in the Golden Grizzlies NCAA Division I era on paper. Time will tell if they reach their potential, but they have all the tools to be successful in the Black & Gold."

"With the graduation of our eight seniors this fall that left Oakland with three conference titles in four years, we knew that this was a very important class for the future of Oakland soccer. These 14 incoming players not only fit what we were looking for talent-wise, but more importantly, we feel they are great fits from a character and culture perspective," added Pogue. "This is even more important when you are building a championship team for sustained long term success on the field, in the classroom and off the field in the community."

"We are adding a good combination of quality NCAA Division I, junior college transfers and true freshman that we feel can make an immediate impact in the fall with the top-class national powerhouse schedule we have planned. We are excited about the potential of the players coming in along with the excitement the program has received picking up some of the nation's top recruits and mixing them with the returning young players who are hungry to prove themselves. We are constantly trying to improve our recruiting efforts and with this class, we feel that we are taking another large step in creating a fantastic soccer environment here at Oakland University. We have won two back-to-back Horizon League titles, gone to consecutive NCAA Tournaments and are looking to continue that success with this incoming class."


 

 

Oakland Men's Soccer 2016 Recruiting Class 

Name

Class

Position

Hometown

High School/Club Team/College

Kaveon Dux

Fr.

Forward

Berkley, Mich.

Summit/Vardar SC

Adam Giorgio

Fr.

Defender

Woodbridge, Ontario

Bill Crothers Secondary/Vaughan SC

Nyal Higgins

Fr.

Defender

Ajax, Ontario

Sinclair Secondary/Vaughan SC

Sullivan Lauderdale

Fr.

Goalkeeper

Pittsburg, Kan.

Pittsburg/Springfield SC

Liam McQueenie

Fr.

Goalkeeper

Unionville, Ontario

Bill Crothers Secondary/Vaughan SC

Spencer Nolff

Fr.

Midfield

Grand Blanc, Mich.

Grand Blanc/Vardar SC

Evan Sawula

Fr.

Midfield

Thunder Bay, Ontario

St. Patrick/Thunder Bay Chill

AJ Shaw

Fr.

Defender

Rochester Hills, Mich.

Rochester Adams/Vardar SC

Wilfred Williams

Jr.

Defender

Monrovia, Liberia

Liberty/FC Dallas/Eastern Florida State College


KAVEON DUX - F
Freshman
Berkley, Mich.
Summit/Vardar SC

Highlights
All-National Team Award selection, two-time All-State Team
Member of 2014 National Homeschool championship team, 2013 and 2014 Michigan State Homeschool State Cup Champions
2014 fall high school leading scorer with 37-of-81 team goals in 25 games, also scored 11 goals in four games at national tournament

Why Dux chose Oakland: "Oakland offered me an opportunity to compete at the highest level in the engineering world and on the soccer field. The level of commitment Oakland has to the soccer program is higher than the average sports school. I'm very excited for the opportunity to represent the area that I've grown up and lived in for most of my life."

Head Coach Pogue on Dux: "Kaveon is a strong and powerful striker that comes to us from the Vardar Academy and Coach Demir Muftari, after being developed in his younger years by United FC. His passion and desire are seen in the way that he works on the field, but more importantly, we were drawn to Kaveon in the recruiting process by what an amazing young man he is and envision him as a future leader for us. A recruit that's ceiling has not even come close to being reached yet, Kaveon has the ability to find himself in goal scoring opportunities and has the style of a running back type of striker.  We think Kaveon is going to really blossom at Oakland."


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ADAM GIORGIO - D
Freshman
Woodbridge, Ontario
Bill Crothers Secondary/Vaughan SC

Highlights
Member of the U18 Canadian National Team pool
Won 2014 and 2015 U18 Ontario Youth Soccer League (OYSL) championship with Vaughan SC
Also won Ontario Cup and Canadian National Championships Silver Medalists with West Toronto Cobras
Honor Roll Selection 2012-2016

Why Giorgio chose Oakland: "My first reason as to why I chose to attend Oakland University was the quality of their academic programs. After attending Oakland on an unofficial visit in 2015; I was astonished by the unity and family atmosphere of the team which is extremely important to me. Lastly, Oakland's soccer program is on the rise and I wanted to be in an environment where I would be challenged each day to succeed both athletically and academically."

Coach Pogue on Giorgio "Adam is a right sided outside back from Toronto that has extraordinary pace, size, athleticism and great technical ability. At 6'1, he is a hybrid of a shutdown defender and also an attacking back that loves to get forward and join the attack. Adam is a player that we were drawn to right away in the evaluation and recruiting process because of his ability to do both the defensive and attacking parts of the game at a high level which fits perfectly into our system here at Oakland. Adam is going to be a player that opposing attackers are going to have to deal with for years to come."


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NYAL HIGGINS - D
Freshman
Ajax, Ontario
Sinclair Secondary/Vaughan SC

Highlights
Member of the U18 Canadian National Team pool
▪Member of Ontario Provincial team
▪Member of Ajax team that won Ontario Cup and Vaughan that won the Disney Showcase
▪2012 Honor Roll selection

Why Higgins chose Oakland: "The reason why I chose Oakland was because the campus is nice and smaller campus which makes it easy to get to places. Another reason is it feels like I'm at home. Finally, the people at Oakland are great, nice and love soccer, which is a bonus."

Coach Pogue on Higgins: "Nyal is a 6'2 center back from the Toronto area with great size, athleticism and technical ability with a huge upside that we are very excited about coming to us after being developed in the Ajax FC program through his youth. This is the same program we got Austin Ricci and Shawn Claud Lawson from so we have a great track record of players coming from Ajax and being successful at Oakland. Nyal was a recent call-up to the Canadian U17 youth national team pool this summer and besides having all the physical tools, he also has a good technical passing range, a great soccer mind, communicates and organizes and is a leader in the backline. Nyal has the feel of someone that is mature beyond his years by the way he handles situations on the field and his interactions with his teammates on and off the field.  Nyal is going to be someone that can really become a big time player on the college soccer scene."


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SULLIVAN LAUDERDALE - GK
Freshman
Pittsburg, Kan,
Pittsburg/Springfield SC

Highlights
▪2012-15 All-District selection
▪2013-15 PHS Golden Glove recipient
▪In 2015, set school career shutout record (25) also set most shutouts in season (10) and lowest season
goals-against-average (.67)
▪National Honor Society and Honor Roll selection

Why Lauderdale chose Oakland: "Given the consistent output of professional level goalkeepers developed by Oakland University, it was easily my top choice. Also, I am excited about the opportunity of graduate training with the coaches at Oakland so I will have a solid foundation for pursing collegiate coaching as a career. Lastly, Oakland had a degree plan that suited my academic choice perfectly."

Coach Pogue on Lauderdale: "Sullivan is a goalkeeper from Pittsburg, Kansas that trained and played for coach Tonianse for many years prior to Armen coming to Oakland this fall to assist with our goalkeepers. Sullivan excelled at our summer recruiting camp and we were able to see a goalkeeper with a tremendous upside. I always say when I recruit goalkeepers to Oakland that I can't teach size, athleticism, work rate, and coach ability, so if you have all those like Sullivan does, we can train and improve the technique, decision making and distribution. Sullivan is very dedicated, driving 4-5 hours roundtrip multiple times per week to play top-level club soccer in Kansas City. Besides being a talented soccer player, Sullivan possesses all the character qualities that we have here at Oakland and really epitomizes the word 'student-athlete'.  We are very excited for Sullivan's bright future at Oakland and help him reach his fullest potential in the Oakland Black & Gold."


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LIAM MCQUEENIE - GK
Freshman
Unionville, Ontario
Bill Crothers Secondary/Vaughan SC

Highlights
Member of the U18 Canadian National Team pool
▪Team Ontario member 2012-14 winning National Championship in 2013
▪Member of Vaughan SC U21 Ontario Cup Champions in 2013 and 2015
▪Honor Roll Selection 2013-15

Why McQueenie chose Oakland: "After many school visits, Oakland University represented the best opportunity for me to attain my academic and athletic goals. I look forward to experiencing everything this top flight coaching staff has to offer and doing my part to uphold the tradition and reputation that exists at Oakland University".

Coach Pogue on McQueenie: "Liam is an absolutely fantastic addition to our Golden Grizzly team between the pipes this fall and is someone we have been tracking for over two years. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario Canada, Liam received a recent call up to the Canadian U17 national team pool this past summer. Liam continues the proud and storied history and tradition of top goalkeepers choosing Oakland to compete and win championships along with receiving the proper training and tutelage to reach their fullest potential of becoming a future professional. With his empowering frame at 6'6, keen eye of reading the game, organization of the backline and imposing presence, McQueenie will look to compete immediately for the Black & Gold's first choice goalkeeper position in Fall 2016."


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SPENCER NOLFF - MF
Freshman
Grand Blanc, Mich.
Grand Blanc/ Vardar SC

Highlights
▪Started for Grand Blanc HS leading team to undefeated regular season and Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) Conference championship in 2013
▪Had Goal of the Day at Academy Showcase in Westfield, Ind.
▪Member of National Honor Society along with LINKS program to help students with autism

Why Nolff chose Oakland: "I chose Oakland University because of its outstanding physical therapy program, the great collegiate environment, beautiful campus and facilities along with the outstanding men's soccer program and coaching staff."

Coach Pogue on Nolff: "Spencer is a player that we have watched for a long time coming up through the years with WAZA initially and eventually with the Vardar Academy with coach Demir Muftari and Mike Lupenec. He has developed his game in the midfield and has really found a home as a holding midfielder. Spencer is a simple player that will play one and two-touch soccer and we think as he gets develops and gets bigger, faster and stronger, he will have a nice future here at Oakland. He is a disciplined player that doesn't have tendencies of getting lost in the midfield. We saw a lot of Derek Nowak in Spencer, which is a great compliment, and are anticipating equal success from him."



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EVAN SAWULA - MF
Freshman
Thunder Bay, Ontario
St. Patrick/Thunder Bay Chill

Highlights
▪Member of Ontario Cup Champions (2013), Winnipeg Youth Soccer League Champions (2013, 2014), and Norther Soccer League Champions (2011, 2012)
▪Triple Gold Medalist at USA Cup Tournament and member of championship teams (2012-2015)
▪Selected to Ontario Provincial Team (2012-14), Empoli FC Trials, Vancouver Whitecaps Residency Trails
▪Four-year Ontario Scholar with 4.0 GPA

Why Sawula chose Oakland: "The opportunity to play for an excellent soccer program while receiving a great education is why I chose Oakland University. The top-level coaching staff, athletic facilities, team continued success, campus and academic programs all appealed to me. Seeing fellow Thunder Bay native Gavin Hoy have a lot of success at Oakland also contributed to my decision."

Coach Pogue on Sawula: "Evan is a player that was not on a lot of programs radars due to living in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and we think we got a real sleeper with a huge upside similar to Oakland alumni and Thunder Bay product, Gavin Hoy. We have had a great relationship with Tony Colistro for a number of years and really respected the type of player that comes out of the Thunder Bay Chill development pipeline.  Evan has a great soccer IQ and is a player with good vision and craftiness in the final third of the field.  We are excited to see Evan in our system here at Oakland."

 

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AJ SHAW - D
Freshman
Rochester Hills, Mich.
Rochester Adams//Vardar SC

Highlights
▪2012 Oakland Activities Association (OAA) All-Association Honors
▪Member of three-time Vardar Michigan State Cup Champions (2011, 2012, 2013), Regional Champions (2012, 2013), Nike Cup Champions and Manchester United World Final Participant (2012)
▪Voted Vardar Nationals II Best Player (2012)
▪Worked at Special Olympics soccer event to help developmentally and physically disabled adults

Why Shaw chose Oakland: "I am excited to begin the next chapter of my soccer development at Oakland University. Oakland's soccer program is outstanding with a great history and I look forward to helping bring home many championships! Oakland University will provide me with a great education and I look forward to beginning in the fall class of 2016."

Coach Pogue on Shaw: "AJ is an exciting recruit that is local player from Rochester Adams high school and has been coached through the years in the Vardar youth system (initially MetroStars) under coach Pat Hilton, John Phillips, Curtis Ward, Morris & Mike Lupenec (both Oakland soccer alums) and Demir Muftari. He has a great track record of being mentored by top coaches throughout his development. He can play multiple positions, is strong defensively with an excellent work rate and engine to do those things. We anticipate AJ can come in and fight for playing time right away this fall. He is a player that we believe is a great addition to our program."


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WILFRED WILLIAMS - D
Junior
Monrovia, Liberia
Liberty/FC Dallas/Eastern Florida State College

Highlights
▪2015-16 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) First-Team All-American
▪Member of U14 and U15 USA Youth National Team
▪Team captain leading Eastern Florida to 2015 NJCAA National Semifinals
▪Member of Premier Development League South Atlantic Division Champions for Charlotte Eagles

Why Williams chose Oakland: "I chose to go to Oakland University because soccer is one of the top main sport on campus. A lot of Division I schools have American football and it takes away the focus from other sports like soccer. With Oakland, it's not the case because they don't have American football and the focus is on soccer during the season. They have a good amount of fans that come out to watch them play and the facilities are unbelievable. I love how they have a coach for each position to help you focus and dominate on the pitch in the position you play. On my visit, there was a lot of signs that led me to know Oakland was going to be my next home."

Coach Pogue on Williams: "Wilfred was a great pick up for our program.  He has NCAA Division I experience (after transferring from Memphis to Eastern Florida State) and was one of the top rated junior college players in the country this past fall helping lead Eastern Florida State Junior College and Coach Oliver Twelvetrees to the junior college national semi-finals. Being able to pick up a unanimous NJCAA Junior College First-Team All American was a great addition for us as he chose Oakland over other Division I programs in the country. Wilfred is a left back that gets up and down the field and plays both sides of the ball. He is not just a tremendous athlete with a great left foot and the versatility to 3-4 different positions at a high level, but Wilfred is more importantly a person of tremendous character and an immediate leader once he arrives on campus. Wilfred, a native of Liberia before moving to the USA, is a former member of the USA U14 and U15 National Teams and spent two years in the Dallas FC youth academy residency program. He has a tremendous pedigree and has a very bright future and we expect big things from him here at Oakland."

 

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