Bears add four athletes to current crop including a pair from New Zealand and two in-state standouts
Feb. 22, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State men's soccer program announced the addition of four players to its 2013 roster on Friday (Feb. 22). Joining the program are a pair of New Zealand athletes and two in-state standouts.
Josh Finch | M/F | Wellington, New Zealand | Hutt International Boys School
Finch was selected to play for the Olé Premier Football Academy, which produced former Bear Hayden Sander, also of Wellington, New Zealand. He played senior soccer for Western Suburbs in 2011 and made a number of appearances in both the Premier and Central League. With the Hutt International Boys School, he started every game as a sophomore and junior. His junior season, he was the league's leading scorer with 27 goals in 17 games. Finch's honors include a pair of Golden Boot awards as well as Western Suburbs Club "Reserve Team MVP" and "Young Player of the Year".
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Finch:
"Josh is a strong attacking player. He has a great goal-scoring record and will add another attacking option. He has good size, speed, and strength. He is a determined and committed player and works extremely hard on and off the field. He comes from the first class Ole Academy in Wellington, New Zealand and has the intention of coming in and competing for an important role from day one. We feel he can do just that. Josh will likely play any of our attacking positions and could also play in the midfield."
Jakob Neidig | D | Nixa, Mo. | Ozark (Mo.) High
The local, two-sport standout (soccer, basketball) started all four years for the Ozark (Mo.) High soccer program. Neidig spent majority of his high school career playing forward and center midfielder for the Tigers. Coached by Tom Davidson, the left-footed athlete was a three-time all-conference, all-district and all-region selection during his final three seasons. He finished his high school career with 78 goals, an all-time record for the Tigers' soccer program. Additionally, Neidig etched his name in the record books with the single-season scoring record (28 goals) as a sophomore. That season, the Tigers set a new, single-season team record for wins with a 19-5 mark.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Neidig:
"Jakob is a left-footed player with good athletic ability. He is also a strong basketball player. Bringing Neidig on board continues our tradition of recruiting and retaining the best local Southwest Missouri talent. We are thrilled to have Jakob join our team. He will likely compete for playing time at left back and is a versatile player that could also see time at other positions."
James Routledge | M | Auckland, New Zealand | Auckland Grammar School | Marquette University
Routledge comes to Missouri State after spending a year on campus as a redshirt at Marquette University. In his final season at Auckland Grammar School, Routledge guided the "1st XI" to the Auckland Secondary School league championship, the program's first title in seven year. During the championship campaign, Routledge led the squad in points with 17 goals and a team-high 21 assists. In 2011, he was a member of New Zealand's international squad for the New Zealand All Whites U.S. Tour, in which the team played MLS youth academy teams and exhibition matches with NCAA Division I programs. In 2010, Routledge was selected to the New Zealand national tournament team and the New Zealand secondary schools team.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Routledge:
"James is a talented player from New Zealand that has already joined the spring 2013 squad. When he decided to change schools he sought us out during the winter holiday. His commitment to come to MSU and desire to be a Bear won us over. He is a technical player that can play most anywhere in the midfield. We look forward to getting to know him better as we work with him this spring."
Neal Sampson | M | Kansas City, Mo. | Park Hill (Mo.) High
Sampson, rated a three-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com, started all four years at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. and played club ball for Sporting Blue Valley SC. As a senior, Sampson notched three goals and 10 assists for the Park Hill Trojans, coached by Josh Marchbank. At the season's end, he was an all-state honorable mention forward, while also collecting SUBURBAN "Red Division" all-conference, all-district and all-sectional first team honors.
Associate head coach Michael Seabolt on Sampson:
"Neal is joining us this spring on a tryout basis. He is a fast and skillful player and we feel he has a lot of potential. He had good success at the club and high school level. We are looking forward to seeing how he can do and helping him achieve his goals."