Bulldogs Add Six Men’s Soccer Recruits
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler head coach Paul Snape has added five freshmen and one transfer to his 2014 roster, as the Bulldogs begin preparation for their second season in the BIG EAST Conference. The six newcomers represent four different states and the Republic of Cyprus.
Snape's recruiting class includes first-year players Joey Bastian of Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S., Bennett Kim of Carmel, Ind./Carmel H.S., Eric Leonard of Palatine, Ill./Fremd H.S., Eli Appleby of Rockford, Mich./Rockford H.S., and Marco Charalambous of Nicosia, Cyprus/The Senior School, plus transfer Robert Flott of Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell H.S. Flott played one season at UNC Greensboro, before transferring to Butler this semester.
"This incoming class brings an enormous amount of talent, desire and passion," said Snape of his recruits. "I expect these six players to immediately add value, depth and quality to an established squad of high performers. We are expecting 2014 to be a very successful year in the history of the Butler men's soccer program."
Butler's 2013 Recruits
Robert Flott (Bishop O'Connell; Arlington, Virginia / UNC Greensboro)
Robert joins the Bulldogs after one season at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and is currently enrolled and on the team at Butler. As a three-year letter-winner at Bishop O'Connell, he was named to First Team All-WCAC as well as the Washington Posts' All Metro team his senior year. Robert was a four-year member of the Development Academy for Potomac, Maclean and DC United. In the classroom, he was a three-time member of Bishop O'Connell's Principals list.
Robert on transferring to Butler: "I chose Butler because of the balance and combination of its' academics and athletics. I instantly felt comfortable in Indianapolis and feel I have the chance to be a part of an up-and-coming program on the national stage."
Coach Snape on Robert: "Robert is a tall, athletic goalkeeper with good agility, flexibility and acceleration. He is a good shot stopper and is commanding in 1-on-1 situations. Tactically he understands what style and system of play we want to play here at Butler. Most importantly, he possesses the right character and personality to succeed at Butler. He is hard working, focused, and determined to push himself and his teammates to win titles. His presence makes our goalkeeping unit one of the strongest in the BIG EAST."
Joey Bastian (Carmel High School; Carmel, Indiana)
Joey graduated Carmel High School in December and is currently enrolled, and training with the team at Butler University. As a freshman, starting for Carmel, he was named second team All-State. The following season, as a sophomore, Joey received first team All-State honors as well as being named to the Indianapolis Star Super-Team. He was three-year member of the Indiana Fire in the Development Academy and named to the National Top 150 Recruits of 2014 by both Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News.
Joey on choosing Butler: "The academics at Butler are top caliber. With a combination of the current players, an excellent coaching staff and the incoming players, I believe we have a great opportunity to fight for BIG EAST and National Championships each and every year."
Coach Snape on Joey: "Joey brings a lot of energy, courage, technical ability and tactical awareness to our program. We've known Joey for a few years and when he is focused and playing well there aren't too many better forwards in the nation than him. He can score goals in many different ways, he loves to bring his teammates into the play, and he has a good understanding of how to create space for himself and others. His work rate and winning mentality is second to none. Joey relishes a challenge whether it be playing against a big physical center back or playing in a hostile environment. Most importantly, Joey is a team player whose number one priority is to help the team win!"
Bennett Kim (Carmel High School; Carmel, Indiana)
Started Freshman and Sophomore year for Carmel High School's Varsity team. Named to the 2011 All-Conference and All District teams as well as Indianapolis Star Super Team. Bennett is a three year starter and two year captain for Indiana Fire United in the Development Academy league. He was named to the 2012-2013 Development Academy Central Conference Starting IX team, as well as TopDrawerSoccer's National top 150.
Bennett on choosing Butler: "I chose to attend Butler because of the opportunities the University provides in the classroom, as well as on the soccer field. I felt the coaches and players have very similar style of play and goals of achievement as my own. I am looking forward to earning a degree from a top academic University, as well as competing for championships in the BIG EAST."
Coach Snape on Bennett: "Bennett brings intelligence, focus and composure to our program. He is a very good technician who has complete control over the ball. His vision and awareness of what's happening in the game is of a very high standard. He has the potential to become one of our main conductors on the field for the next four years. He is rarely caught out of position and he does a fantastic job of anticipating where the ball is going to be played. What stood out about Bennett in the recruiting process wasn't just his attacking skills, but his defensive mind-set. He loves the physical side of the game; he prides himself on being a great 1-on-1 defender and he is one of the hardest working players on the field. He's plays with authority, self-confidence, and discipline. He is a player that fits our philosophy and way of thinking both on and off the field."
Eric Leonard (Fremd High School; Palatine, Illinois)
As a starter for Fremd, Eric was a two-time All-Conference award winner as well as a 2011 All-Area Team selection. He is a member of the Chicago Sockers Development Academy team for the fourth consecutive season, and is currently captaining the side. Eric's accomplishments in the classroom are just as impressive. He has been a High Honor Roll each semester in High School and is a current member of the National Honor Society. His Volunteer work includes, but is not limited to, Relay for Life, PADS, Feed My Starving Children and Food Rescue. Eric plans on majoring at Biomedical Engineering at Butler.
Eric on choosing Butler: "Attending Butler is a dream come true. I cannot wait to be a part of an academic institution with a great coaching staff, a team of skilled and hard-working players, and a top engineering program."
Coach Snape on Eric: "The first thing that you notice about Eric is his passion for life and soccer. He is a born leader and someone who has the rare ability to consistently motivate his teammates to push beyond their perceived limits. He is a versatile player who possesses the technique & tactical acumen to play in several positions without a drop off in performance levels. He has always been the heart and soul of any team that he has played for. His work rate is phenomenal and he loves the physical side of the game. He also understands that to become to a successful soccer player you need to dedicate your time and efforts into improving your strengths and weaknesses. Eric is the ultimate team player who loves to win!"
Marco Charalambous (The Senior School; Nicosia, Cyprus)
Marco joins the Butler Bulldogs from the island of Cyprus. He has been a member of the Cyprus National teams from U15 – U21. For the 2011/2012 season, he was voted the Best Under 21 Player by the Cyprus Football Association. Marco was a member of the club team APOEL. He became the first player from the APOEL Academy to make his debut with the first team in a UEFA Europa League Competition.
Marco on choosing Butler: "Coming from the small island of Cyprus, I was looking for the perfect marriage of academics and soccer. I couldn't find a better match than the one offered in Butler – a University with one of the Best Business schools in the country, small classes, an excellent coaching staff and playing in one of the top conferences in the BIG EAST."
Coach Snape on Marco: "Marco will bring quality, experience, and a winning mentality to our program. He is a top caliber player who has already performed at an extremely high level back in Europe. His insight on how the game is played at the international level will massively benefit our current squad of players. He is a very technical player that loves to beat defenders 1-on-1 and then play the defense splitting pass. He is very comfortable playing in tight areas and his ability retain possession is excellent. He possesses great vision and awareness, and his perception on how to create space for both himself and his teammates is outstanding! His is a student of the game who regularly watches video of the world's best teams and players. His desire to succeed as a player is matched by his will to win for the team!"
Eli Appleby (Rockford Senior High School; Rockford, Michigan)
In his junior year at Rockford as the team captain, Eli received All-State and first Team All-Conference recognition. He won an ODP national championship for the state of Michigan and was twice named to the Region II team. Eli played for the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors until this year, where he currently plays in the Development Academy for Vardar. He has been named to the Principal's Honor Roll every trimester of his High School Career.
Eli on choosing Butler: "With coach Snape, everything felt like a face to face conversation because of his friendly and straight forward manner. He explained the direction he hoped to take the program, and described where he hoped I would fit in. My communication with the current players confirmed the positive experience I am excited to begin. The school itself was exactly what I was looking for because of the small class size and the variety of business majors offered."
Coach Snape on Eli: "From the moment we recruited Eli we knew that he would be a great fit for our program. He brings a lot of positive energy and he always trains and plays with a smile on his face. He is a fierce competitor who gives his absolute best on the soccer field. He is as a full back that enjoys the defensive responsibilities of this position. He has good size, strength and he is very aggressive in the tackle. On the attacking side of the ball he possesses good long range distribution and the ability to whip in some deadly crosses. He is a very coachable young man who is eager to learn and grow as a player. We are all very happy that Eli has decided to come to Butler.
Butler completed its first season in the BIG EAST last fall with an 11-8-1 record and a sixth place finish in the final conference standings. The Bulldogs earned a berth in the BIG EAST Tournament in their initial league campaign.