(Editor’s note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – The final batch of signings for the 2019 Montana State University Billings men’s soccer team was announced on Monday by head coach Thomas Chameraud.
A total of seven new players will join the four previous signings, as well as the returning group with the 2019 fall season on the horizon beginning in the next month.
6-0 – Defender
Intended Major: Undecided
Aka is among three French players added to the MSUB roster, and will begin his time at MSUB with four years of eligibility. The 6-foot defender has played primarily as a center back and right back, and figures to add size and a strong presence to MSUB’s back line.
Coach Chameraud on Aka: “We are really happy that Yaniss decided to come to Billings. We had to compete against several Division I programs, but (former head coach) Alex (Balog) did a fantastic job recruiting him. Soccer-wise, Yaniss should have an impact right away on our team. He is a complete player with great speed, vision, and technique. With his experience he has from France, we have high expectations for him. We hope he will bring us to the next level.”
Aka on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because coming to the U.S.A. has been a dream since I was young. The university is beautiful, and there are other French players which is important for my integration. I look forward to wearing the yellow and blue colors and helping the team reach the highest possible level.”
5-11 – Forward
Intended Major: Education
Cuevas comes to MSUB after competing at Skagit Valley College for two seasons. He was named conference most valuable player and a first-team selection during his senior campaign, after leading his team with 15 goals and 33 total points. Cuevas had a pair of hat tricks throughout his sophomore season, and scored eight goals over his final four games. Four of his 15 goals counted as game-winners as well.
As a freshman in 2017, Cuevas was a first-team all-NWAC selection after scoring six goals and adding six assists for 18 points. He started all 17 matches, and turned in his best performance with a goal and two assists against Everett on Oct. 28, 2017.
Prior to his time at Skagit Valley, Cuevas was a four-year letterwinner in soccer at East Valley High School in Yakima, Washington. He was a first-team all-state pick as a senior, after earning CWAC Player of the Year and all-conference recognition for the third straight season.
Coach Chameraud on Cuevas: “Paul is coming off a very successful year at Skagit Valley College, and we hope he will build on it during the next fall at MSUB. His profile will bring variety to our front line, with his vision and great technical skills. We expect him to find the back of the net often, and his college experience will help our guys to reach our goals.”
Cuevas on choosing MSUB: “I really feel like MSUB is a good fit for me, having the education program and the degree I want to pursue. The great coaching staff and players made me feel welcomed at MSUB, and I look forward to being here.”
6-0 – Forward
Intended Major: Business
Hauksson will add further depth to MSUB’s attacking unit, and will have four years of eligibility as a Yellowjacket. He completed his prep career at Fjolbrautaskolinn I Garoabae in Iceland, and intends to study business at MSUB.
Coach Chameraud on Hauksson: “Petur is a tall and strong forward who will bring a different profile to our offensive line. Petur also has technical ability, good speed, and he is lethal in front of goal. He is a complete player, being a left-footed forward, and he will be a huge asset for us. He will allow us to be less predictable by playing in different formations. We expect Petur to be on the score sheet as many times as possible.”
Hauksson on choosing MSUB: “When I got in touch with the coaches at MSUB, I knew right away that it would be the perfect move for me to begin the next chapter in my life. The school looks very exciting and the weather in Montana is similar to Iceland which gives me a little taste of home.”
Bismarck, North Dakota
5-9 – Midfielder
Intended Major: Health/Human Performance
Holtz earned a pair of letters competing under head coach Ryan Okerson at Century High School in Bismarck, North Dakota. Playing primarily as a midfielder, Holtz tied for his team lead with five assists during the 2018 campaign. He helped the Patriots to a third-place finish at the 2018 North Dakota state tournament, and led his squad to a 2018 Western Dakota Association conference title.
Holtz also competed for the Magic Soccer Football Club, where he helped the team to the U19 Minot Indoor Cup title in 2019, as well as indoor state titles in 2017 and 2018.
Coach Chameraud on Holtz: “We are happy to bring Jacob to MSUB, as he was one of the best players in North Dakota. He will add depth to our midfield, and he is a versatile player who can perform at multiple positions on the field.”
Holtz on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I felt it was the perfect place to further my education and pursue a degree in health and human performance. I also believe MSUB offers the opportunity to play soccer in a great program at a high level. I felt at home the minute I stepped foot on campus, and I look forward to getting to know the community of Billings.”
5-9 – Forward
Intended Major: Undecided
Lamare will enter MSUB as a junior, after competing at Le Likes at the college level in France for two seasons. During the 2019 campaign, Lamare led his league with 14 goals and was one of just four players to reach double figures in scoring.
Prior to his collegiate career, Lamare attended Lycee Pierre Gueguin where he participated in soccer for three seasons. As a youth player in both 2016 and 2017, Lamare led his club in goals scored with 16 each season.
Coach Chameraud on Lamare: “We are excited to bring a player like Theo to our team. He went through the academy of Lorient and then played for Concarneau which is a very good club in France. Once again we are bringing someone who knows what high-level soccer is and what it takes to be successful. With his strong body and speed, Theo will be able to create some chances for himself and for his teammates. He will add competition to our front line, which can only increase the quality of our team. We will count on Theo to be decisive right away for us.”
Lamare on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I was interested in the school and soccer program, and I will also be able to discover the Montana environment. Continuing my studies while playing soccer at a good level were paramount to me. In terms of sports, I think this was the best decision I could have made thanks to the contact I had with Coach Chameraud.”
5-11 – Goalkeeper
Intended Major: Business
Martin enters MSUB as a well-established goalkeeper, who will compete for minutes right away. The Chateauroux, France, native plans to study business.
Coach Chameraud on Martin: “Jessy has spent all of his time at the excellent academy of Chateauroux in France. He knows what it is like to be in a high-quality environment, and how important it is to win games. Jessy is a strong goalkeeper, very good shot stopper, and he has excellent distribution. He will bring experience, professionalism, and a winning mentality to our team.”
Martin on choosing MSUB: “I am excited with the goals Coach Chameraud has for the team, and I knew that MSUB would be a perfect fit for me in order to continue my studies and reach my soccer goals. I have already started to discover the team, staff, and the campus.”
6-0 – Defender
Intended Major: Undecided
Rivera will join MSUB’s program after two successful seasons as a defender at Yavapai College. Rivera led his team to a national semifinal finish at Yavapai, and was an all-region and all-conference selection. As a sophomore in 2018, Rivera started all 21 matches, after starting 26 during his true freshman season in 2017.
Prior to his collegiate career, Rivera earned four letters in soccer at Animo Leadership Charter High School. He was named defensive player of the year, most valuable player, and all-state during his junior and senior years for the Aztecs. He was a three-year captain, and helped his team to the CIF title during his freshman season.
Coach Chameraud on Rivera: “We are extremely excited to have Andrew as a Yellowjacket. He will fit exactly into our new philosophy we are implementing in the fall of 2019. Andrew was really successful at Yavapai, and he will bring this winning mentality that we need to our returners. His experience will be a huge asset, and we are expecting great things from Andrew in his two years at MSUB.”
Rivera on choosing MSUB: “From the moment I stepped on campus, MSUB had a different feeling to it. As soon as I met with the team and coaches, they welcomed me with open arms. The school is good both academically and athletically, and I feel like the coaching staff along with the team can take my game to the next level.”