Andrija Novakovich, Forward, United FC (Wisconsin)
As a 2014 high school graduate, there is still plenty of time left in the recruiting process for Andrija Novakovich, but he already found his perfect fit so why wait.
Novakovich, a local Wisconsin talent, decided to stay close to home and join the 2014 recruiting class for Marquette.
“At times, I would think about playing out of state and how that might be a cool experience,” Novakovich told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “However, being raised in a close-knit Serbian community, made me realize that I wanted to stay home. I also have always liked having my family at my games.”
Marquette’s Big East Blue Division Championship last season played a part in the decision for Novakovich.
“The Big East conference has many great teams, which are competitive,” the forward said. “The Golden Eagles winning last year made me realize that they are truly one of top teams in soccer today.”
The local talent also said that Marquette recruiting many of the other top players in the area played a role in his commitment.
“The Big East win was a part of my decision but the fact that other local high school guys were being recruited and were committing there also made me think it was another way Marquette was preparing for and investing in the team’s future.”
The team’s future looks bright with Novakovich. While the striker does not have national attention from Development Academy play, he has led his club team to state titles, as well as his high school to a number of accolades.
Last season, he led the team in scoring with 24 goals in only 12 games played. He also earned the opportunity to train in Europe.
“I had a chance to play at Partizan in Belgrade,” Novakovich said. “The experience was awesome but I felt like it would have been even better if my family was there with me.”
With his commitment, the prolific forward will have the chance to shred defenses in front of his family every week at Valley Fields.
Brent Arnold, Goalkeeper, PA Classics
School: West Virginia
There were a plethora of reasons that goalkeeper Brent Arnold decided to make his verbal commitment to play at West Virginia starting in the fall of 2013.
“I decided to commit to West Virginia because it had the best combination of academics and athletics,” Arnold wrote TopDrawerSoccer.com in an email. I want to study Engineering and play for a top soccer program and West Virginia was the best fit.
“What also led me to commit to West Virginia was the whole coaching staff and Coach [Marlon] LeBlanc's dedication to the soccer program while going through the conference realignment. Coach LeBlanc is committed to playing a strong schedule with the goal of playing for a national championship.”
Arnold brings plenty of the experience to the Mountaineers, as his club team PA Classics is one of the Philadelphia Union club feeder teams. As a result, Arnold played on the Union’s U17 team last summer and is eager to don his new colors.
“I am most excited about playing at a high level soccer program with a great schedule and being able to play in front of one of the greatest home crowds,” he said.
Jonathon Otting, Defender, Lexington FC
The work that head coach Andy Fleming has put in at Xavier building a stronger program has helped to turn the heads of potential recruit, and it helped secure the verbal commitment of Jonathon Otting.
“I chose Xavier because the soccer program has proven it is one of the top up and coming programs in the nation,” Otting wrote TopDrawerSoccer.com in an email. “I also felt that the coaching staff was a good fit for me and would help me reach my full potential.”
But it’s more than the work that Fleming has done in building the program itself, as he and the rest of the staff played a prominent role in Otting’s decision.
“Andy Fleming and his coaching staff was one of the main reasons I chose Xavier,” Otting said. “I was also impressed by all of the recent success that Coach Fleming has brought to the program in his short two year tenure.”