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Balog inks five for MSU Billings

Posted at 2:24 PM, Mar 26, 2018

(MSUB Athletics release)

BILLINGS – Adding another batch of new faces to the 2018 Montana State University Billings men’s soccer recruiting class, head coach Alex Balog announced five more signings for next season on Monday.

All five new players are incoming freshmen, and they bring the total number of new faces for the 2018 campaign to 11 after six early signings.

2018 MSUB Men’s Soccer Signings
Name Position Year Hometown Previous School(s)
– Johan Espinoza Midfielder Freshman East Wenatchee, WA Eastmont HS
– Adama Kante Forward Sophomore SeaTac, WA Tyee HS/Highline College
– Liam Knox Defender Junior Kirkland, WA Lake Washington HS/Bellevue College
– Bryan Maxwell Defender Freshman Spokane, WA Lewis & Clark HS
– Dalton Mauzay Goalkeeper Freshman Cheney, WA Cheney HS
– Andres Perez Midfielder/Forward Freshman Pittsburg, CA Pittsburg HS
– Pascal Pisarek Defender Freshman Herne, Germany Gymnasium Wanne
– Marvin Putu Forward Freshman Melun, France Auguste Perdonnet
– Ludvig Rhodin Goalkeeper Senior Hoganas, Sweden Filbornaskolan/University of Mary
– Austin Shafer Forward Freshman Jamestown, ND Jamestown HS
– Brady Tesch Midfielder Freshman Auburn, WA Auburn Senior HS

Johan Espinoza
East Wenatchee, Washington
Eastmont High School
5’6” – Midfielder
Intended Major: Undecided

A three-year letterwinner under head coach Eric Duffey, Espinoza was voted as his team’s offensive MVP in 2017. He was a first-team all-Big 9 Conference selection as a senior, after leading his squad in goals for the third straight season. Espinoza was a two-time honorable mention all-league midfielder/forward, and led his team in assists in 2015 and 2017.

Coach Balog on Espinoza: “Johan is one of Washington’s hidden soccer gems. He got on our radar through our extensive network of high-school and club coaches. He has the ability to take players on and create chances out of nothing, because of his superior technical ability. We were also impressed with his dedication and punctuality during the recruiting process. With Johan’s commitment, we feel we have what we need in the middle of the field and are wrapping up our recruitment of midfielders.”

Espinoza on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB for many reasons, but most importantly because I want to study business. The business program at MSUB is really good, and what I have heard about the soccer program here makes me highly interested.”

Pascal Pisarek
Herne, Germany
Gymnasium Wanne
5’10” – Defender
Intended Major: Undecided

Pisarek has competed for the Bundesliga U17 and U19 clubs during his prep career in Germany. He wore the captain’s arm band in 21 fixtures on the U17 squad, playing primarily as a center back, left back, and defensive midfielder.

Coach Balog on Pisarek: “A left-footed center back with footballing abilities and speed was an absolute priority for us, and with Pascal we have found our guy. We believe he’ll fit right into our system and team. Pascal is a team player who understands his role on the field, and who is not afraid to roll his sleeves up and do the dirty work. We are very confident that with the background Pascal comes from, he will make an immediate impact on our program.”

Pisarek on choosing MSUB: “MSUB is a great university where people can find themselves and grow to be independent adults. The soccer team is very good, and I am sure that we will work hard every day to reach our dreams and win titles. Another important reason I chose MSUB is its high level of academics, which is the most important thing to me. The town of Billings, the environment, the culture, and the climate are other things that convinced me.”

Marvin Putu
Melun, France
Auguste Perdonnet
5’9” – Forward
Intended Major: Business

An attacking player, Putu will join fellow international Guillaume Kremer as the second French player on MSUB’s roster. Putu competed for head coach Stephane Moreau for two seasons during his prep years at Auguste Perdonnet.

Coach Balog on Putu: “Marvin is a player who we cannot wait to see on the field. He’s got an outstanding soccer background and education, and has shown success both on and off the field. Marvin was recruited by multiple programs before choosing MSUB, which, given his pedigree, I’m very proud of. His skillset should be a great fit for the GNAC, so we are expecting Marvin to contribute right away and become an important player for us from the get-go.”

Putu on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because the school’s academic and soccer programs interested me. It gives me the possibility to keep my studies going while also playing soccer. Athletically I think this was the best decision I could have made, and I have a good feeling about Coach Balog.”

Austin Shafer
Jamestown, North Dakota
Jamestown High School
6’0” – Forward
Intended Major: Secondary Education

A four-year letterwinner under head coach Mark Sherfy, Shafer will add depth to MSUB’s lineup up top as a forward. He was a first-team all-state selection in the fall of 2017 after earning second-team all-state honors the previous year. Serving as his team’s captain, Shafer was also a two-time all-conference selection while being named the 2016 team MVP.

Coach Balog on Shafer: “Austin is the latest player to commit to our program after being discovered at our college ID camp. He showed very well technically during the camp, and it is clear he’ll be a reinforcement to our squad. There is definitely some work he’ll have to do, but we have the utmost confidence he’ll grow into a quality GNAC player sooner than later.”

Shafer on choosing MSUB: “I really liked the school and the soccer program, and am very excited to further my education and playing career at such a great school.”

Brady Tesch
Auburn, Washington
5’&” – Midfielder
Intended Major: Education

Tesch earned four letters in soccer playing primarily as an outside midfielder for the Trojans. He was named his soccer team’s Rookie of the Year in 2015, before leading the squad with six goals and six assists as a sophomore. In 2017 he began a two-year stint as team captain, and he was an all-academic selection all four of his prep years. In addition to soccer, Tesch ran on the cross country team at Auburn Senior HS for four years, and was named his team’s most inspirational runner in 2016.

Coach Balog on Tesch: “Brady will provide us with offensive versatility and depth. He can play on the wing or as a 9, and his speed and technical ability will be weapons we hope to use early on in the season. Coach (Thomas) Chameraud saw Brady play at the PSPL Surf Cup in Seattle, and was convinced right away that he would be a good fit. After a successful visit, it turned out that Brady shares many of the same values and principles that our program has, so we didn’t hesitate in making an offer to him. Besides his qualities on the field, Brady has a proven track record of being able to get the job done in the classroom, which is exactly what we want from our student-athletes.”

Tesch on choosing MSUB: “I wanted to be at a smaller school because I knew class sizes would benefit me in the long run. After touring the campus and meeting the team and coaching staff, I knew that MSUB was the school for me. I look forward to spending the next four years at MSUB.”

MSUB’s men’s soccer team went 9-10 in 2017 and finished in a tie for third place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a league record of 6-6.