PASADENA (June 27, 2019) – The Caltech men's soccer team has announced its Class of 2023 incoming recruits.
"The theme for this year's recruiting class, in addition to recruiting quality technical soccer players, was to add grit, character and some physical presence, and I believe we have succeeded in every area," Head Coach Phil Murray said. "We have been building a squad to be able to compete in the SCIAC over the last four years and I believe this group will enhance the current squad=, providing us with some options and opportunities that we haven't had at our disposal."
|Josh Finnerty||Sam Klauer||Joon Park||Travis Xiang|
|Walled Lake, Mich.||Knoxville, Tenn.||Incheon, South Korea||Sanford, Fla.|
|Detroit Catholic Central||Christian Academy of Knoxville||Chadwick International School||Seminole|
Walled Lake, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
Josh Finnerty comes to Caltech from a soccer family. His father, Bryan, played goalkeeper for the Detroit Rockers of the National Professional Soccer League between 1990 and 2000, leading his team to a league championship in 1992. His fraternal twin brother Owen, another goalkeeper, is off to play Division I soccer for the University of Michigan. Josh, a defender, has shown an ability to affect play with or without the ball and has also shown a scoring touch from the back line. Finnerty's goal in the district semifinals helped set a tone for Detroit Central Catholic in one of the key wins of his senior year and has also achieved all-league, all-district, and all-academic honors over his high school career, in addition to winning the Michigan state championship in 2017.
"Josh not only adds strength, size and a wealth of playing experience from his club and high school career but also good technical ability and most importantly, a winning mindset," Murray said. "He is a proven leader and has the correct mentality to be a successful college athlete in a challenging, yet rewarding environment like Caltech. He can play in a number of positions and I expect him to have a significant and immediate impact on the group."
Knoxville, Tenn./Christian Academy of Knoxville
An exceptional two-way player, Sam Klauer will make contributions to the men's soccer team both on and off the field thanks to his technical prowess and strong character. In addition to being a responsible defender, the Tennessee native has also shown to be a goal scorer and has a knack for the dramatic. As a senior, Klauer scored in the 87th minute to lift Christian Academy to a 3-2 overtime victory against Grace Christian Academy in the Division II-A District 1 semifinals. His on-field skill will allow him to fill a variety of roles for the Beavers and his winning mindset should help him flourish in Murray's system.
Sam's versatility makes him a very attractive player to have in the team," Murray said. "He is a tenacious tackler and competitor, excelling in 1-on-1 situations. He is quick and enjoys the physical battles necessary at this level. As with all of the players I try and recruit into the program, he has the right temperament and character, is a leader who takes responsibility for himself and his team, and has the necessary grit to be a success in Division III soccer."
Incheon, South Korea/Chadwick International School
Joon Park brings with him all of the necessary physical and mental tools it takes to be a sound defender. The South Korea-native has the pace and ability to move forward into advanced areas of the field and impact his team offensively and defensively. Park's experience as a three-year starter and two-year captain, as well as his versatility, will provide the opportunity to make an immediate impact when he arrives on Caltech's campus.
"Joon has a wealth of international playing experience," Murray said. "Similarly to the other member of this years recruiting class, he can operate in a number of positions on the field. He will only add to what will be a wealth of depth and options to choose from this year, and I think he'll be a great addition to our squad."
Travis Xiang's diverse resume could provide plenty of opportunity to factor into the Beavers' immediate plans. He has earned a slew of team superlative awards throughout his career and like many Caltech players has captaining experience, leading his club team between 2015 and 2017. He is a two-time conference champion in Florida, a competitive soccer state, and a two-time all-county honorable mention. Xiang's fundamentals could lead to a smoother transition than most when he arrives in Pasadena this fall.
"Travis is an outstanding defender, with good pace and being left footed adds some balance to our back four," Murray said. "He engages with the parts of the game that are necessary to be competitive: tackling, challenging and winning his defensive battles. He has extensive club experience, great temperament, and the physical and technical tools necessary to thrive at Caltech."
This year's crop of recruits will look to add to a core that won its first SCIAC game since 2011 last year while collecting a number of individual accolades along the way for successes on the field and in the classroom.