PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s soccer team will welcome five student-athletes for the 2016 season as announced by head coach Rudy Fuller.
“This is a group we think can make an immediate impact on our program,” said Fuller. “They are an accomplished group with a desire to continue the strong tradition we have built here. We are fortunate to have 10 starters returning for next season and those players will be a big part of getting the freshmen on board and ready to carry the banner of Penn Soccer forward.”
Casey Barone | D
6’1 | 165 pounds
Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East/BW Gottschee
Before Penn: Played club soccer for BW Gottschee … Member of 2015 BW Gottschee team which won Eastern Conference championship … BW Gottschee is 15-0-0 this season in the U18 Division … Lettered twice at Half Hallow Hills East before joining Development Academy program … Named All-County in 2013 … National Spanish Honor Society member … National Junior Honor Society member … High Honor Roll student … Volunteers with Dix Hills Top Soccer, working with disabled students.
Personal: Son of Marni and Michael Barone … Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach Fuller on Barone: “Casey is a strong, intelligent defender that will strengthen our backline. His Blau Weiss Gottchee Academy team has been the top team in the Development Academy through the first half of the 2015-16 season and Casey has played a large role in their success.We are excited to add Casey to our program, and think he will help solidify our team defensively in the years ahead."
Brandon Bartel | M
5’10 | 170 pounds
Fleming Island, Fla./Fleming Island/Orlando City SC
Before Penn: Ranked No. 149 by CollegeSoccerNews.com among Class of 2016 … Played for Orlando City SC in the U.S. Development Academy system … Played on the 2014 Orlando City U16 squad which reached the national tournament … Played on the 2015 Orlando City U16 team which was the Southeast Division champions … Played for the 2013 Florida state squad which won the ODP title … Also lettered one year at Fleming Island, the first freshman to do so in school history … Principal’s Scholar Award recipient all four years.
Personal: Son of Jodi and Tony Bartel … Older brother, Austin, plays soccer at Florida Atlantic … Level 8 gymnast … Enrolled in Wharton with a concentration in finance.
Coach Fuller on Bartel: “Brandon is a talented midfield player with strong leadership qualities. He comes to our program from an outstanding Orlando City Academy team, and he has been a stalwart in their midfield for the past few years.He makes those around him better and we look forward to his contributions to our team this fall.”
Sam Hefter | F
5’11 | 180 pounds
Hermosa Beach, Calif./Mira Costa/Real So Cal
Before Penn: Played club soccer for Real So Cal (U18) and L.A. Galaxy (U16) … Won Southwest Division championship with L.A. Galaxy … Won national championship while playing for Cal South ODP program … Led the L.A. Galaxy U16s in scoring … Named to national “best XI” while leading the Cal South ODP team to national crown … Honor Roll student.
Personal: Son of Tracey and Richard Hefter … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on Hefter: “Sam is a proven goalscorer, and he has the versatility to play in a number of different spots in the attacking half. He joins our team from the Real So Cal Academy and before that he played with the LA Galaxy’s Academy team.He is a sniper in and around the box and we think he will be a tremendous compliment to some of the players on our roster.”
Arty Kouzine | F
6’2 | 170 pounds
Bryn Mawr, Pa./Harriton High School/PA Classics
Before Penn: Ranked No. 137 by CollegeSoccerNews.com among Class of 2016 … Competed for the PA Classics U16 squad and for FC Europa … Led PA Classics in scoring in 2013-14 and 2014-15 … Spent time in developmental training camp with Everton (2011) and Glasgow Rangers (2012) … Distinguished Honor Roll student.
Personal: Son of Venus and Igor Kouzine … Born in Canada … Father played basketball and soccer at St. Rose College and played for the Ukrainian Junior National Basketball team … Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Fuller on Kouzine: “Arty is an experienced attacking player that has shown he can score goals in a variety of ways from a number of different positions. He shouldered much of the goal scoring load for his PA Classics team, and we think he will be a good addition to our forward line. We are pleased to have him joining our program and believe that he will make a positive impact on the field going forward.”
Dami Omitaomu | M
5’7 | 145 pounds
Knoxville, Tenn./Farragut/ FC Alliance
Before Penn: Lettered three times at Farragut High School … Named All-State in 2015 … Named first-team All-Region in 2015 … Second-team All-Region selection in 2014 … Named All-District, All-KIL and All-Pep-Extra in 2014 and 2015 … Member of four state championship teams (2012-15) … Won Region and District titles in 2013 and 2014 … Knoxville Area Urban League member … National Achievers Society member … French Club vice president … Model United Nations member … French Honors Society member … Mu Alpha Theta member.
Personal: Son of Remilekun and Olufemi Omitaomu … Born in Nigeria … Enrolled in the School of Engineering and Applied Science as a computer science major.
Coach Fuller on Omitaomu: “Dami is an explosive, exciting player in the attack. He is lightning quick and enjoys running at players on the flank. He has been an integral part of the success his FC Alliance club team has achieved over the past few years.His qualities will make our attack more dynamic, and we feel that he will strengthen our team in the final third."