The American University men's soccer team has signed five newcomers to the 2012 squad, Head Coach Todd West has announced.
F Peter Behm (McLean, Va./McLean High School)
Behm was part of McLean High School's district championship as a forward/attacking midfielder in his sophomore season. He currently plays for Potomac Academy but has also competed with the NOVA Royals, helping them reach the US Youth National Semi-finals in 2009. Off the field, he holds a 3.9 GPA and was named MHS' Outstanding Journalist of 2011.
"Behm likes to run at defenders and has the ability to 'stretch' opposing defenses," West said. "He will compete for time right away as he has the ability to score goals as well as create space for team-mates by running off the ball. He adds pace to our attacking group and should take some of the focus off of Sane [junior forward Alassane Kane]."
M Stephen Hauschild (Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill High School)
A spring transfer, Hauschild graduated from Winston Churchill High School, where he was a Second Team All -Gazette performer in high school. He also played with the Potomac Academy team during his high school days. Hauschild comes from a soccer playing family as his father played a Loyola (Md.) and his uncles competed at William and Mary and James Madison.
"Stephen came in as a mid-year transfer and has already integrated himself into the program," remarked West. "He is a versatile player able to perform well in many positions. I see Stephen as a central midfielder in our current 4-3-3 formation, however he can also play wide. Stephen has good feet, is an honest defender, and has the ability to find players even under intense pressure. He is very calm and his vision and distribution are excellent. Stephen will only improve as he learns our system and possession style of soccer."
GK Jonathan 'Dylan' Hobert (Carrollton, Ga./Carrollton High School)
Hobert is a goalkeeper from Carrollton High School in Georgia, where he has been named both team captain and team MVP. He has garnered invites to both the Georgia High School All-Star game and national camp. Hobert also plays club soccer with Birmingham United after spending three years with FC Georgia Premier, a state finalist last season. He currently holds a 3.7 GPA.
"Hobert is an athletic goalkeeper with good range and shot stopping capabilities," West commented. "He will compete for the No. 1 GK position with the departure of Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year Matt Makowski."
GK Leland 'Lee' Newhaller (Tampa, FL./Berkley Preparatory School)
Newhaller hails from Tampa, FL., where he recently posted a shutout in the 2A Regional Final to lead Berkley Prep to a regional championship. He has notched over 100 saves this season for the Buccaneers, one of the top soccer programs in the state. Newhaller also plays club soccer for Tampa Bay United.
"Newhaller will also compete for the No. 1 GK position," West explained. "He's a good athlete with the ability to read the game and cover our back four. He's good off his line with the ability to control the 18-yard box. With returner Billy Knutsen, Hobert, and Lee [Newhaller], we should be strong in goal for the foreseeable future."
D Keith 'Jay' Shoates (Sterling, Va./Potomac Falls High School)
Shoates is a defender hailing from nearby Sterling, Va. He plays club soccer for RFC 93, which will represent Virginia at the US Regional tournament this summer as the Virginia state champions. Shoates was also recently ranked No. 147 on ESPN's list of the top 150 college prospects.
"Shoates should compete for time in our back four immediately," Coach West said. "He adds tremendous pace to our backline and has an exceptional ability to cover teammates. Coming from RFC coached by Todd Hitt, he should be well equipped to come in as a freshman."
The Eagles have reached the Patriot League final in each of the past three seasons and will return four All-Patriot League First-Team honorees from a season ago, including sophomore Cristobal Soto and juniors Adem Gokturk, Kane, and Ryan Morales.
"I am pleased with our incoming class and feel each of them has the ability to come in and play right away," West added. "Obviously, there is a big step up for each of them so their preparation this spring and summer will determine how well they transition into the Division I level. But I am confident that this group will help us compete for a Patriot League Championship this fall."