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A tall presence in goal for Weston FC’s U16 Development Academy side, family ties factored into Etan Mabourakh’s decision to make a commitment to an Ivy League program.
“I feel very comfortable with UPenn, both my father and sister are alumni,” the shot-stopper told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “There is a warm, open culture at the school.”
Of course, obvious opportunities in the classroom were another major reason he looked north.
“As an Ivy League school it can offer me a top level education and a chance to study under brilliant professors and broaden my intellectual horizons,” he said.
Penn, which made the tournament last fall prior to getting knocked out in the first round on penalty kicks, liked the culture of the team as well.
“They are a close-knit group of guys, and they play an exciting brand of soccer,” Mabourakh said. “I am looking forward to playing under the coaching staff, spearheaded by Coach Rudy Fuller.”
The opportunity to improve himself drew Thomas Butzke’s commitment to this particular Patriot League program.
“I decided to commit to Boston University because I see it as the best place for me to grow not only as a player for those four years, but as a person,” Butzke told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “Between the high level soccer they have instilled at BU and their business schools being one of the most competitive in the country, it was almost too good to be true.”
Last fall wasn’t the team’s best performance, as injuries plagued BU. But Butzke is optimistic that won’t be a trend that lasts.
“After seeing that they are returning a lot of key players, getting their injured players back, and what seems to be a strong ‘14 class ahead of me, I really think that they are set to come together in the next couple of years, and I would love to be apart of that,” he said. “When I visited it was obvious that I was wanted there. Coach Roberts, Coach Black, Coach Okrah, and the players made me feel as if I was a part of the team already. The coaches sat me down and told me the plan they had for me for the four years I would be there. I really liked this cause it shows how much thought they have really put into me as a player and a person.”
The school’s city location was another draw for Butzke, who was also swayed by a trip to a basketball game. He knows that there won’t be a shortage of things to do when he begins his career there.
Butzke is the first reported BU commitment for 2015.
Charlie D'Adamio, Goalkeeper, Colorado Rapids
Commitment: Coastal Carolina
Conway, S.C. is some distance from Colorado.
So what made Rapids goalkeeper Charlie D'Adamio make the decision to swap the mountains for the beach?
“I decided to commit to Coastal because it has a nationally ranked soccer program, the campus is beautiful, coaches are really good and know what they are talking about, and they send players to the pros every year,” D'Adamio told TopDrawerSoccer.com.
The Chanticleers certainly have made an impact in the last few years under head coach Shaun Docking, a progression that drew D'Adamio’s interest. Coastal also had his major, and the school’s campus was a major draw.