Update on Brilla Players Excelling on the Collegiate Level

by Datti Jinkiri

At the conclusion of Brilla’s successful PDL season, many of the players immediately began preparing for their college seasons. They have had large levels of individual and team success. Here are updates on them:

Dustin Ashley had a solid senior season anchoring the UW-Milwaukee backline, playing in 17 games and starting in 16. He will be furthering his career on the professional level. At the conclusion of the season, he signed with the Milwaukee Torrent, an expansion team in the American Soccer League.

Josh Barrera had another solid season for the local Mississippi College Choctaws. The Houston native leaves the program as one of the winningest players in its history. Barrera started 12 of 13 games on the backline this season.

The Nebraska-Omaha duo of Logan Mendez and Josh Christensen both played big minutes for the Division 1 Mavericks. Mendez finished second on the team with 6 goals. He also added 4 assists. Christensen started and played in nine matches in goal for Omaha. He led the team in saves (33) and wins (5).

Brandon native Michael Durr had another productive season at Division 1 Longwood University, starting in and playing in 18 matches. That gives him 54 starts in his college career. He tallied a goal and an assist this season.

Ignacio Flores started and played in 17 matches for NAIA’s Park University. The defender scored seven goals and added two assists, helping the team to a runners-up finish in the conference tournament.

The University of Northwestern Ohio trio of Carlos Garces, Michael Gonzalo, and Sergio Royo each capped off successful individual seasons. Garces played in 17 matches and started in eight for UNOH. He scored three goals and assisted on four others. His most important goal was an 83rd minute winner in the WHAC Tournament final. The goal clinched UNOH’s first ever conference championsip. Gonzalo, the Englishman, started all 20 games for UNOH and added two goals and an assist during the season. Royo had a season to remember. He scored 17 goals in 19 matches, giving him 42 in his college career. The Spaniard, who led Brilla in goals this summer, also added 10 assists for the season.

Tom Gavin ended his illustrious career by leading Palm Beach Atlantic to a 17 win season. Gavin started and played in 19 matches for the Division 2 Sailfish. The midfielder scored 4 times and added three assists during the season.

Perica Obradovic’s season with Oklahoma Weslyan is still ongoing. His team will be playing Rocky Mountain in the second round of the NAIA Tournament on November 30th. Obradovic, who was named first team all-conference, scored 5 goals and added 16 assists for the Eagles this season.

Manu Saez tallied 11 goals and five assists in 17 matches for Hannibal-LaGrange University. That gives him 36 goals and 19 assists in his celebrated career with the NAIA team.

Macauley King ended his great freshman year with 21 starts for Division 2 Young Harris College. He scored two goals and assisted on two others for the Mountain Lions, who are coached by Brilla coach Mark McKeever.

Finally, Louis Tambini led Southern Connecticut State with 10 goals and added an assist. He was also named First Team All-Conference for the 9-7-1 Owls. Congrats to all of the guys on such successful college seasons.