Aug. 12, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s soccer incoming freshman class is ranked ninth according to College Soccer News. Bob Novak (M), Danny O’Leary (M/D), Dillon Powers (M), Kyle Richard (M/F), Grant Van De Casteele (D) and Eric Tilley (M/D) make up the stellar class.
Headlining the Fighting Irish rookie crop is Powers (Plano, Texas), who was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year. Powers also was named the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Co-Player of the Year. This summer, the Texas native spent time training with the United States Under-20 national team. Powers also is a member of the U.S. U-18 national squad. He was tabbed as a 2008 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American along with being ranked as the No. 7 prospect on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s `2009 Top 100 Men’ recruits list. He won the under-17 national championship with Andromeda SC, which also featured fellow Irish freshman Van De Casteele.
Novak (Homer Glen, Ill.) was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s `2009 Top 100 Men’ recruits. He is a two-time all-state midfielder and a four-year starter at Lockport Township. Novak plays for the Chicago Magic club team. He captured the ODP national championship with Team Illinois along with being a Super Y-League under-15 national champion with the Magic.
O’Leary (Naperville, Ill.) was ranked 24th on TopDrawerSoccer.com’s `2009 Top 100 Men’ recruits. He has played for the Chicago Fire Academy and Sockers FC Chicago Academy teams. O’Leary is a Region II ODP member and a two-time Illinois ODP captain. He claimed the 2007 ODP national championship along with the 2005 and 2007 Illinois state cup titles.
Richard (Louisville, Ky.) is a member of the ODP Region II team and competed with the squad during their Costa Rica tour. He is a 2008 Super Y League national team member. Richard was named MVP of the 2006 Tampa Bay Sun Bowl as he helped his team win the tournament title. He was a member of the United 1996 FC that won the Kentucky State Cup championship in 2007 and 2008. Richard started for three seasons at Saint Xavier and won the Kentucky high school state championship in 2007 and 2008.
Van De Casteele (Plano, Texas) is another member of the class that was named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s `2009 Top 100 Men’ recruits. He is a teammate of Powers on Andromeda SC. They won the U.S. Youth Soccer national championship with their Andromeda squad. The team also was USYS regional finalists in 2007 and Disney Showcase finalists in 2008 along with traveling to Sweden and England in 2006 where they were Manchester United Umbro Cup champions. Van De Casteele was a three-year letterwinner at Frisco Centennial and was named the District Player of the Year in 2007.
A late addition to the Fighting Irish freshman class was Tilley (Albuquerque, N.M.), a walk-on. Tilley was a three-time first team all-district selection in addition to being a two-time 5A all-state first-team pick. He played with the New Mexico ODP from 2005-08 on the ’91 team. Tilley was a Region IV ODP finalist in 2008. He helped his club capture the New Mexico state cup championship in 2009. Tilley was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Sandia High School and was a two-time team captain.
Notre Dame Men's Soccer 2009 Freshman Class
NAME POS. HT. WT. HOMETOWNBob Novak M 5-6 145 Homer Glen,Ill.Danny O'Leary M/D 5-11 165 Naperville, Ill.Dillon Powers M 5-11 172 Plano, TexasKyle Richard M/F 5-10 155 Louisville, Ky.Eric Tilley M/D 6-0 160 Albuquerque, N.M.Grant Van De Casteele D 6-2 165 Plano, Texas