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Men's Soccer Strengthens Roster with Additions for 2014


Mar. 4, 2014

Schedule/Results  | Roster  | @MSUBearsMSoccer


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State men's soccer program announced the addition of five players who will be joining the team for the reigning Missouri Valley Conference regular season champions for the 2014 season. The five student-athletes are Kevin Birk, Jake Laird, Andrew Dittemore, Brett Landles, and Liam Priestley.


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:
"Kevin is a two sport athlete in Soccer and Basketball. He will add leadership, size, and technical ability to the MSU defense. We expect that he will come in and immediately compete for a position at centerback. He is a product of the St. Louis Scott Gallager Illinois Academy, one of the top clubs in the region, and was coached by former MSU assistant Jeremy Alumbaugh."


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:
"Jake is a very technical left footed player. He can play in the midfield or at left back. He will fit in perfectly with our possession oriented style of play. Dangerous service on restarts is also a strength for him. He is also a product of the St. Louis Scott Gallager Illinois Academy, one of the top clubs in the region, and was coached by former MSU assistant Jeremy Alumbaugh."

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:
"Andrew is going to add to the strong tradition of MSU goalkeepers. He is talented and possesses a very strong work ethic. We feel he has the determination it takes to be an elite goalkeeper. He is a product of the Sporting Kansas City Academy and has trained with the Sporting first-team. It is fantastic to add a local young man with experience playing with the only Major League Soccer franchise in Missouri. With the addition of Andrew there are 9 current Bears who learned their trade in youth academies attached to top professional teams."

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:
"Brett is a strong player that combines size, athletic ability, and technical skill. He is going to immediately compete for playing time anywhere in the back or defensive midfield. I have known Brett for a number of years after working with him at a summer camp. He is a determined athlete and carries himself well on and off the field. Brett plays for Sigma FC, one of the top clubs in the Toronto area and a club that has consistently produced elite NCAA Division I soccer players. Thanks to family ties in Scotland Brett also has had the opportunity to train with numerous top Scottish youth academies, including Motherwell, Hamilton, and Celtic."

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:
"We are very excited to add Liam Priestley to the team for 2014. He has tremendous experience with the Tottenham academy since he was 11 years old. We feel that he is a goalkeeper that can come in and compete for playing time early on in his career. He is very quick and distributes the ball well. We have no doubt he will continue to grow, work hard, and develop into an impact goalkeeper for the Bears. He makes 10 players in our squad who have developed with the youth sides of professional academies."

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