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Breaking down the 2019 Indiana men’s soccer recruiting class

The Indiana men’s soccer team added 12 new players to its roster for the 2019 season — the list included 11 incoming freshmen and one transfer from Evansville.

The Hoosiers added four forwards and midfielders, three defenders and one goalkeeper to their roster. With 10 out of the 11 players from last season’s starting 11 gone, Indiana needed a good and deep recruiting class in order to make sure there isn’t a rebuilding process that needs to be started.

Although some of the newest commits won’t make an immediate impact during their time at Indiana, there are some that could be in the mix for some significant minutes in 2019 — and possibly a starting spot.

I’ve broke each player down by position and what they bring to the table for Indiana whether it be for next season or in the years to come.

Let’s dive in, starting with the lone goalkeeper coming to Bloomington.

Goalkeeper

Roman Celentano | 6-2 | 180 | Naperville, Illinois | Sockers FC Academy

Celentano comes from a suburb in the Chicago area and is the starting goalkeeper for the Sockers FC Academy U-18/19 roster. He’s started in 68 games for the academy teams with a save percentage of 65.13. He has a tall frame and a ton of athleticism. His diving ability sticks out when you watch his game, and he likes to extend his body to dive to where he needs to be. His quick reflexes will only get better under IU Goalkeeping Coach Zac Brown, who played a big part in Trey Muse’s development over the past two years.

It doesn’t seem like he’ll make an immediate impact, but rather down the line once he gets a year or two under his belt. Indiana still has three other goalkeepers on its roster as of now, including senior Sean Caulfield, who is likely to fill the starting role next season.

Defenders

Brett Bebej | 6-0 | 153 | Shorewood, Illinois | Chicago Fire Academy

IU loves its Fire Academy players, and it added a few more in this year’s recruiting class. Bebej comes in as a three-star prospect with many capabilities. Bebej’s natural position is at center back, but he can also play at right back and in the midfield. He has good size for a defender, but his passing and vision are what stick out the most. He can ping balls down the field like Timmy Mehl used to do in a Hoosier uniform, and he has nice speed and quickness.

Mehl is gone, which leaves a vacant spot at center back alongside soon-to-be sophomore Jack Maher. If Bebej can impress the coaching staff early on, he could be in contention for that spot come August.

Andrew Goldsworthy | 6-1 | 180 | Bloomington, Indiana | Indiana Fire Academy

Goldsworthy comes into the fold having two years of Indiana Fire Academy experience under his belt. He’s already played for IU Assistant Coach Kevin Robson during his developmental years, so there’s already some familiarity between the two parties. He’s a defensive-minded midfielder, who can also play along the back line.

Yeagley said earlier Wednesday that he’s excited for Goldsworthy’s trajectory, which probably means he’ll be an asset later down the road for Indiana. But with IU’s current midfield situation, Goldsworthy has a chance to fight for a starting spot, which has no returning starters in 2019.

Simon Waever | 5-11 | 155 | Holte, Denmark | University of Evansville

Waever doesn’t exactly have the fondest memories playing against Indiana during his time at Evansville, but he now joins the Hoosiers who are in need of what he brings — experience, talent and leadership. He led the Purple Aces in assists (7) last season and has started in 55 matches across three years.

Yeagley mentioned his ability to play out wide, which is something that Indiana loves to have. Griffin Dorsey, Andrew Gutman and Rece Buckmaster thrived down the wings for the Hoosiers, and Waever could have similar success. With both fullbacks gone for Indiana, Waever will have the opportunity to play for the Hoosiers in either of those positions and contend for a starting spot as well.

Midfielders

Luke Boha | 5-11 | 150 | Bargersville, Indiana | Center Grove HS

Like Goldsworthy, Boha has also worked with Robson in the past. He’s been one of the best players in the state of Indiana over the past few years, and he earned First-Team All-State in 2018.

Yeagley mentioned how excited he was to have Boha join the Hoosiers and is looking forward to his development. Boha will be a name to keep an eye on down the line — IU has a knack for developing players from Indiana.

Brennan Conger | 5-10 | 155 | Cornelius, North Carolina | DC United Academy

Conger comes to Bloomington with two years of DC United Academy experience. He’s a three-star recruit, who has scored 25 goals for the academy, and he is the captain of the U-19 squad this season. Conger is one of the most talented players coming to Bloomington this upcoming season, and he is very versatile.

He’s talented both on and off the ball, and Yeagley mentioned how Conger has played just about every position for the DC academy. Conger should be in the mix to compete for one of the midfield roles for the Hoosiers, and he could also have a freshman impact like Mason Toye and Griffin Dorsey had two years ago.

Alex McGill | 6-0 | 160 | Columbus, Indiana | Indiana Fire Academy

McGill brings great instinct in the final third to a team which struggled in that part of the field during some parts of the last two seasons. The IU staff has seen McGill develop over the years under Robson, and he set the school record for most goals scored in a season (22) for Columbus North HS.

Tall for his position, McGill brings length and vision into the midfield position, and he could be contending for a rotation spot for years to come. Yeagley and staff are all in on his development, which is why they wanted him at Indiana.

Aidan Morris | 5-10 | 155 | Fort Lauderdale, Florida | Columbus Crew Academy

Morris comes to Bloomington boasting a four-star ranking according to Top Drawer Soccer, and he ranks No. 61 in Top Drawer’s IMG Academy 150. He also has youth national team experience under his belt, making appearances for the US U-18 team. He’s trained with Columbus Crew’s first team several times, and something tells me he’ll be getting great guidance from a former Crew member in Danny O’Rourke.

Yeagley mentioned how Morris will make “an immediate impact” next season, so he’s surely going to get the opportunity to start in the midfield for IU. Morris is a big advocate for cross training and yoga alongside soccer, too.

Forwards

Victor Bezerra | 6-0 | 175 | Chicago, Illinois | Chicago Fire Academy

Bezerra is another highly-touted recruit coming to Bloomington. A three-star commit, Bezerra has scored 46 official US Development Academy goals in his career. He’s trained with the Argentina National Team, AC Milan and Chicago Fire. If he does get significant minutes, he would be trying to fill the void left by Justin Rennicks in the goal-scoring department.

The Hoosiers struggled to put the ball into the back of the net at times last season, and Bezerra will surely compete with others, including freshman Ryan Wittenbrink, for the starting striker spot.

Herbert Endeley | 5-10 | 152 | Blaine, Minnesota | Totino-Grace

Endeley is a three-star recruit, who was named Mr. Soccer for the state of Minnesota in Class 1A this past season. He’s scored 77 goals in 74 career matches and dominated in high school. Although he’s got a knack for scoring goals, Endeley also has great vision to find his teammates as well.

His passing ability is arguably just as good as his finishing, and Yeagley loves to play strikers who can also pass the ball well. Fun fact: He has African roots and even lived in Tanzania for five years when he was a child.

Maouloune Goumballe | 6-2 | 163 | Cincinnati, Ohio | Columbus Crew Academy 

Goumballe is another forward who can score and pass the ball extremely well. Yeagley said he’s one of the best attackers in the country. He can play either at striker or out wide on the wings, which are both needed during the transition in the offseason.

Yeagley also mentioned how Goumballe can help the Hoosiers fill different roles next season, so it sounds like he will get an opportunity to get some first-team minutes early on in his career.

Joshua Penn | 5-10 | 160 | Naperville, Illinois | Sockers FC Academy

Penn comes in as the highest-ranked commitment for Indiana. He’s a four-star recruit and the No. 12-ranked player in Top Drawer Soccer’s IMG Academy 150. He’s ranked No. 1 in the Midwest region and has played for the US U-19 and U-20 men’s national teams. Penn has a ton of talent and versatility, who will surely be a centerpiece for next season’s team.

He’s scored 57 goals and recorded 40 assists during his time with Sockers FC. Yeagley said Penn’s balance with both feet is special, and he can play out wide for next season’s team and maybe even beyond the 2019 season.

Michael Ramirez

I am a junior from Dallas, Texas, and am currently studying Media in the Media School and minoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I worked for the Indiana Daily Student for the past two years where I covered men’s basketball, men’s soccer, water polo and cross country. I also served as the Sports Editor in the Spring of 2018. I am a member/radio host for WIUX, and I host a weekly podcast to talk anything and everything sports. Past internships include Digital Content for FC Dallas and sports reporting for Star Local Media. You can reach me at michrami@iu.edu or on Twitter @michrami_ for all your Dallas and Tottenham sports takes.

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