KANSAS CITY, Mo. --- The UMKC men's soccer team recently had eight more players commit for the 2019 season. The 2019 recruiting class swells now to 13 total athletes after five were signed to National Letters of Intent this past winter. The eight additional individuals to commit to playing for head coach Rick Benben's program include: Eli Crow, Nolan DeWeese, Emmanuel Iwe, Seth Kacich, Kevin Komodi, Zinedine J. Kroeten, Mateaus Lewis and Mikhail McComie.
"The importance of our 2019 recruiting class cannot be overstated," stated coach Benben. "We return a core group of excellent players, but we need starters and depth at every position. We were able to accomplish that with this group. They are collectively very good athletes with fantastic technical abilities. They all come from winning programs with fine coaches and will provide us the opportunity to develop into a successful team quickly."
UMKC is going through a youth movement as the 2018 team lost 13 seniors due to graduation. During the final stretch of last season, the Roos pulled off victories in three of their four final games of the year, with a comeback win over Houston Baptist on senior day.
The Roos have now added three Christian Brothers College High School athletes in the 2019 class with DeWeese and Kacich committing to UMKC. Those two team up with Nate Temm, who was an earlier signee from the powerhouse St. Louis, Mo., private school. Coach Benben is an alum from CBC and has close ties to the program to this day, prompting him to seek after the talent pool that resides with the school.
In addition to the CBC trio, there are other prep athletes in the 2019 Roo class who were teammates prior to their UMKC career. Iwe and Kroeten graduated from Saint Louis Park High School (Minn.) playing together on the soccer program. Crow and Lewis each competed on the Sporting Iowa club team (Sporting Kansas City Club affiliate) when they were preps in the central Iowa area.
Eli Crow | Urbandale, Iowa | Urbandale High School
Crow brings goalkeeper experience to the UMKC program. At Urbandale High School (Iowa), Crow started in the net in 34 matches compiling 10 shutouts and over 100 saves. He was a two-year varsity starter in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, including being named to the Honorable Mention All-Conference team. He was a member of Sporting Iowa club, being a part of a State Cup championship three times. During his junior and senior seasons, Crow moved to Kansas City to compete for the Sporting KC Academy, which was formed in 2007 by the professional organization to identify and develop young players from the region.
What coach Benben says "Eli is an accomplished Keeper. He has excelled for both his high school and club teams. He had a stint with the Sporting Kansas City Academy, where he performed well and showed promise to become a fine Keeper."
Nolan DeWeese | St. Louis, Mo. | Christian Brothers College High School
DeWeese, a two-time state champion, is a highly touted player who has accomplished many awards throughout his high school career. During his senior season at CBC, DeWeese would go on to earn national awards from TopDrawer Soccer (West All-American Team) and United Soccer Coaches (High School All-American). In 2018, the St. Louis, Mo., native would notch the Missouri Class 4 All-Region and All-State Player of the Year honors from the Missouri State Soccer Coaches Association (MSSCA).
What coach Benben says "Nolan is a very gifted player. He combines size, strength and speed with a great understanding of the game. Nolan is a leader on the field and will be a key player for us here at UMKC."
Emmanuel Iwe | Minneapolis, Minn. | Saint Louis Park High School
Iwe graduated from Saint Louis Park High School with teammate Zinedine J. Kroeten. Heading into his senior year, Iwe has totaled 39 career goals and 61 career assists in 55 career games. He was named to the All-State First Team as a freshman and sophomore. As a member of the Tucson, Ariz., Soccer Academy, he won the 2016-17 Arizona State League Championship. Iwe has a family member with collegiate experience as his brother Chukwuka played college soccer at Lincoln College (Ill.) and Illinois-Springfield.
What coach Benben says "Emmanuel is a dynamic attacking player. He has already garnered a lot of professional interest both in the US and abroad. We look forward to him developing to his full potential here at UMKC."
Seth Kacich | St. Louis, Mo. | Christian Brothers College High School
Kacich, a CBC Honors Program student, teamed up with DeWeese in the back line to help CBC to the Missouri Class 4 state championship with one goal and three assists in 2018. As a senior, he was part of 18 team shutouts and the program was stingy on the defensive end allowing just .55 goals per match. Individually, Kacich earned Second Team All-State, First Team All-Region and First Team All-District accolades.
What coach Benben says "Seth is an excellent defender and was one of the key players for CBC as they won the Missouri State Championship. His steadiness and smarts will go a long way in making him a valuable player in our program. Seth is outstanding in the classroom as well."
Kevin Komodi | Budapest, Hungary | Letenyei Lajos Gimnazium
Komodi is a midfielder from Budapest, Hungary who will bring a variety of national club soccer experience. He was a five-year member of the Puskas Akademy Felcsút team, which is a football club based in Felcsút, Hungary, that competes in the top flight of Hungarian football. Komodi helped the team win the championship in three age levels (U-17/U-18/U-19). This past season, Komodi was a member of the MOL Vidi Football Club. His team participated in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. His father was a professional soccer player and now is a coach.
What coach Benben says "Kevin is an attacking midfielder with a great engine. He covers ground and can score goals on his own. Kevin is a very good passer who will combine with our other newcomers very well."
Zinedine J. Kroeten | Saint Louis Park, Minn. | Saint Louis Park High School
Kroeten, a senior from Saint Louis Park High School, delivered six goals and two assists during the 2018 campaign. His team won the conference championship two-straight years. Individually, he collected All-State honors his final two seasons, including a first team accolade as a senior.
What coach Benben says "Zinedine is a crafty attacking player. He has the ability to make and score goals. We are looking forward to him having a positive effect on our team in the attacking third."
Mateaus Lewis | Cedar Rapids, Iowa | Prairie High School
Lewis, a member of Sporting Iowa (Sporting Kansas City Club affiliate), arrives to Benben's team with a proven track record as he has won three Iowa State Cup Championships throughout high school at the midfielder position. He is the all-time assist leader at Prairie High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a nominee for the Iowa Gatorade High School Player of the Year.
What coach Benben says "Mateaus brings a great record of scoring goals to our team. He has been able to score at every level of high school and club soccer and we expect to see the same here at UMKC. Mateaus is an accomplished play-maker also."
Mikhail McComie | Arima, Trinidad & Tobago | Fatima College High School
McComie, from Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, is a forward that had a team-high nine goals and five assists as a senior at Fatima College High School. He received an invitation to attend training sessions with the Central F.C. Senior Team, a professional football club in Trinidad and Tobago. He also participated in track finishing second in nationals in the 4x400-meter relay.
What coach Benben says "Mikhail comes to UMKC with the potential for great success. Mikhail is a hard-working two-way strong center forward with the ability to score. His 6-2 frame, combined with his outstanding speed, will provide us with a good focal point for our attacking."
2019 Incoming Class (13 total)
|Eli Crow*||GK||6-0||185||Fr.||Urbandale, Iowa||Urbandale High School|
|Nolan DeWeese*||D||6-3||175||Fr.||St. Louis, Mo.||Christian Brothers College High School|
|Emmanuel Iwe*||F||5-8||155||Fr.||Minneapolis, Minn.||Saint Louis Park High School|
|Seth Kacich*||D||6-1||160||Fr.||St. Louis, Mo.||Christian Brothers College High School|
|Ryan Khedoo||MF||5-6||130||Jr.||Brampton, Ontario||St. Thomas Aquinas HS / St. Louis Community College|
|Kevin Komodi*||MF||6-0||167||Fr.||Budapest, Hungary||Letenyei Lajos Gimnazium High School|
|Zinedine J. Kroeten*||MF||5-10||150||Fr.||Saint Louis Park, Minn.||Saint Louis Park High School|
|Mateaus Lewis*||F||6-0||160||Fr.||Cedar Rapids, Iowa||Prairie High School|
|Mikhail McComie*||F||6-2||172||Fr.||Arima, Trinidad & Tobago||Fatima College High School|
|Garrett Nevshemal||MF||5-8||155||Fr.||Winterset, Iowa||Winterset High School|
|Roderick Orellana||MF||5-9||160||Fr.||Des Moines, Iowa||Abraham Lincoln High School|
|Logan Payne||GK||6-3||185||Fr.||St. Louis, Mo.||De Smet Jesuit High School|
|Nate Temm||F||5-10||155||Fr.||St. Louis, Mo.||Christian Brothers College High School|
^ Athletic eligibility entering 2019 season
* Late commitments
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