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Andre Glasnovic, Goalkeeper, NK Zagreb
Commitment: San Francisco
Players from Europe continue to swell the ranks of Division I college programs, as eligible talent from abroad see opportunity to leverage soccer prowess into a discounted or even free education.
A chance encounter alerted Andre Glasnovic, a goalkeeper for Croatia’s U18 MNT and part of NK Zagreb, of the opportunity.
“I actually went on a tennis match to watch my friend and there was an agency which helps young athletes to get in touch with colleges in the U.S.,” Glasnovic told TopDrawerSoccer.com.
That alerted him to the possibility of playing Division I soccer while also pursuing an education, and it eventually led him to San Francisco, where he’ll join the Dons next fall.
“I consider that American system is brilliant because the student-athletes can get a great education and continue to develop their soccer skills at the same time,” Glasnovic said.
The netminder had played for Croatia at the U16 through U18 levels and had the chance to become a professional soccer player if he stayed at home. However, he eventually jumped at the chance to live in the United States, something he’s always wanted to do.
“It wasn't an easy decision, but I just remind myself that I've been always wanting to live in U.S. and the fact that I would be able not just live, but play my favorite sport and study at the university such as USF was something that made [sense],” he said. “I'm sure it will be amazing experience for me.”
A compatriot in the Bay Area tipped him off to Eddie Soto’s program at USF and the opportunity to join the USF program.
“I actually contacted one Croatian guy who lives in California saying that I'm searching for a college and he got me in touch with the Don's head coach,” Glasnovic said.
Emmanuel Twumasi, Forward, Kent School
Commitment: Wake Forest
The Right to Dream program has sent some impressive names to the Division I soccer ranks: from past stars like Michael Tetteh and Fifi Baiden, to current standouts such as Joshua Yaro and Abu Danladi.
Kent School’s Emmanuel Twumasi, another Right to Dream graduate, will join Wake Forest in a couple of years after verbally committing to the ACC program.
“I decided to commit to Wake Forest because it is great academically and has a good soccer program,” he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “I am confident that the coaching staff at Wake will have a lot to offer to me as a soccer player with all the experience they have. I also like the size of the school and the fact that they play in the ACC.”
Twumasi aims to make his contributions as a player both on and off the field, and is a striker with deadly speed and finishing ability. Wake’s coaches and tradition of success caught his eye.
“I like the fact that the soccer program has been consistent for the last decade,” Twumasi said. “The coaching staff also had a huge impact on my decision because we have a great relationship.”
He’s the first verbal commitment to Wake Forest for the class of 2016.