June 16, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Fifteen former Notre Dame men’s soccer players currently are competing professionally around the world. Ten are playing in the United States, while five are overseas.
Six former Fighting Irish student-athletes are part of Major League Soccer (MLS) teams, while four are in the United Soccer League (USL)/North American Soccer League (NASL). The foreign countries represented are England, Finland, India and Sweden.
Here is the breakdown of where the former Irish players currently are competing (numbers in parentheses indicate years played at Notre Dame):
Major League Soccer (MLS)
Matt Besler – D (2005-08) – Sporting Kansas City
Jeb Brovsky – M/D (2007-10) – Vancouver Whitecaps
Bright Dike – F (2005-09) – Portland Timbers
Bilal Duckett – D (2007-10) – Vancouver Whitecaps
Kevin Goldthwaite – D (2001-04) – Portland Timbers
Justin Morrow – M/D (2006-09) – San Jose Earthquakes
United Soccer League (USL)/North American Soccer League (NASL)
Greg Dalby – M/D (2003-06) – Charlotte Eagles
Jack Stewart – D (2001-04) – NSC Minnesota Stars
Jack Traynor – D (2005-08) – Orlando City
Philip Tuttle – GK (2006-10) – Harrisburg City Islanders
John Mousinho – M (2004) – Stevenage F.C.
Steven Perry – F (2007-10) – Ekenas IF
Joseph Lapira – F (2004-07) – United Sikkim FC
“The most important thing for any student-athlete coming to Notre Dame is that they graduate,” says Fighting Irish head coach Bobby Clark. “This will be one of the biggest assets to them as they go through life, but it is also nice that we can help them reach their potential in soccer. Most of the players that we recruit are top-of-the-line youth players and it is a nice challenge for me and my staff to help them develop and pass them on to the next level.”
The Fighting Irish have had 18 MLS draft picks during Clark’s 10 seasons at Notre Dame.
“There is no question that Notre Dame is becoming quite the pipeline to the pros as the last two years have seen eight players get drafted into the MLS,” adds Clark. “The nice thing is that all will leave with their Notre Dame degrees in their back pocket. We try to put most of our players on a three-and-a-half year track so that if they are drafted in January, they have already finished their studies and can immediately join their team and try to make the squad. This takes commitment on the players part as they really need to have good time management skills. They may have to study a couple of summer terms, but it really is worth the effort as it allows them, if drafted, to then devote all their efforts into trying to win a roster spot.”