Union Soccer Looks to Build on Last Year’s Success
The Union University soccer program is coming off its most successful postseason in the team’s short four-year history. The Bulldogs are returning 13 players from their 2001 TranSouth Conference Tournament runner-up team. Eight recruits have been added to the squad with a mixture of local and international talent in hopes of taking a step further and winning the conference to advance to their first ever NAIA Region XI Tournament.
The Bulldogs will have a talented group of seniors this year as all are returning starters. Goalie Jeff Lean returns as one of the top goalkeepers in the league. Midfielders Josue Tuchez and Adrian Yeung scored six goals last season between them and tallied five assists apiece. Joe Phiri and Kolo Goshi are returning forwards for the Bulldogs. Phiri led Union with 27 points last season, including a team leading 11 goals.
A junior class of Grant Taylor, Kekec Zivkovic, and Kyle McDiarmid will all see significant time on the field. Zivkovic and McDiarmid started as sophomores last year and tallied six goals and five assists between them.
Sophomore defender, Redzi Stojiljkovic, played an outstanding in the backfield while providing a goal and three assists from that position. Daniel Lee, Ricky Mena, and newcomer Clovis Simas join Stojiljkovic to make up a talented sophomore class.
The freshman class for the 2002 Bulldogs has eight players, four of which are from Jackson. Brett Martin, Christopher Anthony, and Matthew Marshall join the Bulldogs from JCM, Jared New is from Northside. Robert Stenson hails from Dickson, Tenn. Christopher Deegan joins the team from Scotland and Zeb Crane from Kenya. Red-shirting for 2002 from Canada is Chris Lean, brother of senior Jeff Lean.
Adrian Yeung, Jeff Lean, and Kyle McDiarmid will lead this group of players in 2002 as the team captains. These guys will be responsible for pulling a talented squad together in hopes of obtaining the conference championship. Head coach, Dr. Darin White, believes “this team has the ability to achieve a conference title and much more.” White goes on to say, “When this team unites, we will have a legitimate shot to be the most successful team in school history.”