Michigan 2009 Season Outlook

Aug. 27, 2009

The Michigan men’s soccer program reached new heights in 2008 by advancing to the NCAA Championships for the third time and defeating a top three program for the first time in program history. In its 10th season Michigan looks to continue its climb to the top of the intercollegiate soccer world with nine new faces mixed with 16 returning letterwinners.

Head coach Steve Burns returns for his 10th season as head coach of the Wolverine program and will welcome back his entire staff from last season. Former assistant coach Paul Snape has been elevated to associate head coach while Chris Grassie and volunteer coach Waldir DeSouza will continue to roam the U-M sidelines.

Michigan will be in a bit of a rebuilding mode in the front line this season after losing leading scorer Peri Marosevic and Jake Stacy, who accounted for over 50 percent of the Michigan offense a season ago. Senior Mauro Fuzetti will be called on to anchor the front line, after tallying nine goals last season as U-M’s third leading scorer. The Wolverines will look to returners Cam Cameron and Tom McCurdy for depth up front as well as talented freshmen Alex Martinez and junior college transfer Justin Meram.  

With the graduation of four midfielders with over 225 games played and 128 starts between them the
U-M midfield will take on a vastly different look in 2009. Sophomore Adam Shaw, who saw action in 12 games with seven starts last year, will bring some experience to the midfield but the middle line of attack will be bolstered by the addition of four freshmen and a transfer. True freshmen Latif Alashe, Hamoody Saad, Noble Sullivan and David Yang as well as Central Florida transfer Seung Tak Nam will all make bids for time in the U-M lineup. 

Two-time captain senior Daniel Gray will lead the U-M backline this season. Gray, who started each game last season, has made 31 career starts and will be joined on the defensive line by Julian Robles, a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2006. Robles, has made 48 career starts including each game in the last two seasons.

With the loss of All-American Michael Holody to graduation the Wolverines will look to fill the void with the experience of juniors Matt Schmitt and Jeff Quijano. Schmitt made 14 starts last season and Quijano was in the starting lineup on eight occasions.  In addition, the Wolverines will gain the services of Chase Tennant, who spent the last two seasons on a mission. Tennant, who earned 2005 Big Ten All-Freshman honors, has seen action in 38 career games with 35 starts in his two seasons with the Maize and Blue. 

For additional depth, sophomores Eric Leifland and Jarrett Kerr will be called on.  Freshmen Brian Klemczak and Kofi Opare will also be in the mix for the defensive corps after joining the Maize and Blue in 2009.

The Wolverines will have a new face in goal this season after the graduation of three-year starter Patrick Sperry. U-M will look to Chris Blais to backstop the Wolverines this season. Blais saw action in three games in 2008 with one start and boasts 0.65 goals against average.  Tim Bergsma, a redshirt freshman will add depth.