Men's Soccer Announces Five Signees for 2015 Class

Head Coach Louis Bennett reports yet another top-15 recruiting 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, 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.

Howell, a 6-1 forward from Bradenton, Florida, was a three-sport standout in soccer, cross country and track since the seventh grade at Saint Stephen's Episcopal School. He spent the previous two seasons with Chargers SC Academy where he served as team captain and was the leading scorer of the eastern conference, while ranking 10th-nationally in the developmental academy. His efforts earned him a call-up to the national camp in 2011, as well as a Manchester United Nike Premier Cup appearance in Oregon.

A Naples, Florida native, Tweedie starred as a three-sport athlete at his high school and held the captain position in all three sports as a senior. Tweedie was a member of the U15 Florida Fire, which won the U15 Disney Showcase tournament. The 6-foot center midfielder was named All-State and earned a tryout with the Charlton Athletic FC in London. Tweedie, originally from England, was named MVP of his high school team on three separate occasions.



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
• Ranked No. 66 in the IMG Academy Top-150
• Won the 2012 and 2013 MLS Generation Adidas Cup with the Seattle Sounders FC
• Won the 2013 USSDA Winter Showcase
• Member of the Washington State Olympic Development Team from 2009-12 and captained the squad in 2012.

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
• Won the U-15/16 US. Soccer Developmental Academy championship with Real Salt Lake-Arizona in 2013

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
• Played five years of varsity soccer for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School and made it to the state final four as an eighth grader
• Leading goal scorer for Chargers S.C.
• Played in Manchester United Nike Premier Cup in Oregon
• Captain of the "A" Florida Team and Region III Team in 2011 and 2012.

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
• Played in the Premier Development League with the Southwest Florida Adrenaline
• Earned a tryout with the Charlton Athletic FC in London
• 2013 and 2014 All-Collier County Athletic Conference Team
• Three-time soccer MVP at Naples High School
• 11-time letter winner at Naples High School in soccer, golf, and tennis

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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