Men's Soccer Strengthens Roster with Additions for 2014
July 7, 2014
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State men's soccer program announced the addition of eight players who will be joining the team for the reigning Missouri Valley Conference regular season champions for the 2014 season. The student-athletes are Kevin Birk, Jake Laird, Andrew Dittemore, Brett Landles, Liam Priestley, Scott Midgley, and Ryan Burnyeat . Jacob Kovarik will be attending the Missouri State University Honors College and joining the Bears Men's Soccer team in January 2015
2014 Men's Soccer Commitments:
Kevin Birk, Defender, Washington, Mo., St. Francis Borgia Regional
Kevin Birk comes to Springfield as a defender from Washington, Mo. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy and St. Francis Borgia High School product joins the Bears as a three-year varsity team captain for the Knights. Birk played exclusively for SLSG Metro U-18 Academy in his final year of high school, which he served as team captain in the fall. For St. Francis Borgia, Birk was a two-time all-district and all-region selection, as well as an all-state second team and honorable mention honoree.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Birk:
Jake Laird, Defender, Troy, Ill., St. Triad High School
Jake Laird joins the Bears as an experienced defender. The U.S. Soccer Development Academy player competed his freshman and sophomore seasons at Triad high school before playing exclusively for his Academy team, SLSG Metro. Over the course of three years with the Academy side, Laird has started 52 of 61 games. He also is a two-time Honorable Mention Mississippi Valley selection.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Laird:
Andrew Dittemore, Goalkeeper, Gardner, Kan., Gardner Edgerton High
Sporting Kansas City Academy's goalkeeper, Andrew Dittemore, has signed with Missouri State for fall as well. Dittemore played two seasons in net for the Trailblazers, where he was named team MVP in his sophomore campaign, before transitioning into the goalkeeper position for the Sporting KC Juniors.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Dittemore:
Brett Landles, Midfielder, Barrie, Ontario, St. Joan of Arc
Missouri State strengthens the midfield with the signing of Brett Landles. The Ontario native has played for Toronto's elite soccer club, Sigma FC for the past four years. Landles' Sigma FC side won the U17 Potomac Championship in Maryland last may.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Landles:
Liam Priestley, Goalkeeper, Southend, Essex, England, St. Thomas More
Tottenham Hotspur academy goalie Liam Priestley has signed to join the Missouri State soccer team in Fall of 2014. The keeper will join a Bears side which already consists of 8 English players.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Priestley:
Scott Midgley, D/M, Auckland, New Zealand, Kelston Boy's High, Auckland City Youth
Missouri State adds versatile defender/midfielder Scott Midgley to an already strong freshman class for this upcoming fall. Midgley was the Auckland City Youth team captain and player of the year this past season for the undefeated league champions. Midgley will join the Bears as the team's third native of New Zealand, and second from the city of Auckland.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Midgley:
Jacob Kovarik, F/M, Columbia, Mo., Rock Brindge High School
Missouri native Jacob Kovarik will be enrolling at Missouri State this fall as an Honor's College student with plans to join the team in January 2015. While at Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Kovarik played on three Bruin soccer teams which finished third in state, and placed fifth his senior year. The versatile player tallied 13 goals and 9 assists in his senior campaign, while earning First Team Academic All-State, Second Team All-State, First Team All-Region, First Team All-District, and the Harry Lewis Award.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Kovarik:
Ryan Burnyeat, F, Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom, Wallsend Boys Club, Doncaster Rovers FC
Missouri State has added some additional offensive firepower in the form of Englishman Ryan Burnyeat. The forward will be joining the team in the fall with experience playing for Wallsend Boys Club and Doncaster Rovers FC. The latter is the same club that current senior defender Andrew Turner played for prior to MSU. With Wallsend Burnyeat won 5 trophy's, he represented Doncaster in the Gothia Cup in Sweden, and played against Manchester City in the Youth Cup.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Burnyeat: