Men's Soccer Announces Five Signees for 2015 Class
Feb. 11, 2015
MILWAUKEE - Head Coach Louis Bennett has announced the first five members of the Marquette University men's soccer program's 2015 recruiting class. Signing their letters of intent were Luis Barraza (Santa Teresa, New Mexico), Toby Howell (Bradenton, Florida), Ruben Sanchez (Frankfort, Illinois), Ben Tweedie (Naples, Florida), and Kees Westra (Monroe, Washington).
"The 2015 class was targeted at filling gaps in the squad and improving the depth with quality student-athletes," Bennett said of his incoming class. "This goal has been achieved with a well-balanced, talented, ambitious and committed group that will embrace the Marquette style, brand and culture."
Checking in just outside the top-10, Marquette has posted its third-consecutive top-15 recruiting class according to TopDrawerSoccer.com, highlighted by Sanchez who ranks No. 59 in the IMG Academy Top-150.
As a midfielder for the Chicago Magic PSG, Sanchez is having a highly successful 2014-15 Development Academy campaign. After starting all eight games he's played, the 5-10 midfielder totaled five goals in helping his squad post a 7-3-4 record thus far. Sanchez played his high school soccer at Lincoln-Way North and was a four-year member of the varsity squad. In his senior season he was the Phoenix's leading scorer.
Westra will join the Golden Eagles in 2015 after playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy Program. Ranked as the No. 66 prospect in the IMG Academy Top-150, Westra won two MLS Generation Adidas Cups with Sounders FC and won the U.S. Soccer Developmental Association Winter Showcase in 2013. The defender was also a member of the Washington State Olympic Development Program from 2009-12.
Barraza, a 6-2 goalkeeper from the Real Salt Lake-Arizona developmental program, signed with Marquette after his squad won the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals in 2013 and Barraza posted five saves in the match. Real Salt Lake is currently positioned atop the standings again this season with a 16-1-3 record. Barraza has started 11 games in the net and has posted one shutout during the 2014-15 developmental season.
Ruben Sanchez | Midfield | Frankfort, Ill.
Ranked No. 59 overall in the IMG Academy Top-150
Scored five goals this season for the Chicago Magic PSG
Four-year letter winner at Lincoln-Way North High School
Bennett on Sanchez: Ruben could be one of the best central defenders/defensive midfielders in his age group. His experience in the U.S. Academy and U.S. training camp exposure has given him a strong appetite and ambition for quality. He is a great addition to our team.
Kees Westra | Defender | Monroe, Washington
Bennett on Westra: Kees, stylistically, is a custom fit at an attacking outside back in the Marquette mold. He is quick and gets forward often allowing him to attack and cross the ball well. His MLS academy experience with the Seattle Sounders also preps him well for the collegiate challenge.
Luis Barraza | Goalie | Santa Teresa, New Mexico
Bennett on Barraza: Luis Barraza (a.k.a. 'Wicho') brings a skillset that is in line with the Marquette goalkeeping standards established here. He has a positive mentality and has received great prep from the Real Salt Lake Academy coach in their residential center in Arizona. His field presence and ability to play with his feet will help him fit right into the fold with our team and goalkeeping unit.
Tobin "Toby" Howell | Midfield/Forward | Bradenton, Florida
Bennett on Howell: Toby gives us needed depth in the striker position. He is a rangy, mobile forward that has the ability to get behind and between defensive lines. His fitness and stamina allow him to put himself in goal-scoring situations which, for his club and high school, produced top-scoring prestige. Once he becomes acclimated to the college game, I see no reason why he cannot do the same at Marquette.
Ben Tweedie | Midfield | Naples, Florida
Bennett on Tweedie: Ben has a skillset that allows him to play several positions. As a midfielder or an outside building back, his vision and solid soccer IQ will bring additional commotion all over the pitch. It's rare to find a U.S.-based player of his ability still available this late into the recruiting calendar so, needless to say, we are very happy to add Ben to round out the class.
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