Maryland men’s soccer announces five additions to its 2019 roster

Coach Sasho Cirovski claps from the sideline during Maryland men’s soccer’s 1-0 win over Denver at Ludwig Field on Oct. 16, 2018. (Andi Wenck/The Diamondback)

Maryland men’s soccer announced the addition of five new players to its roster Thursday, 50 days before the team begins its defense of the national championship.

Coach Sasho Cirovski welcomed forwards Luke Brown, Tej Munshi, Louis Spicer, defender Marques Antoine and goalkeeper Niklas Neumann to the squad that is expected to return 16 members of the championship team.

Brown brings an experienced attacking option to the roster as a transfer after three years at Hofstra. During his time with the Pride, Brown found the back of the net 17 times and dished out eight assists in 50 matches.

“Luke is a dynamic attacking player who is capable of creating and finishing,” Cirovski said in a release. “He is a proven high-level college player that will fit in seamlessly with our style of play. He is a skillful player but also plays with a lot of grit.”

[Read more: Maryland men’s soccer announces its 2019 schedule featuring College Cup rematch with Akron]

Munshi scored more than 50 goals at Woodward Academy in Georgia and was the 4A DiVarsity Player of the Year in 2018. Cirovski sees Munshi as a player who will flourish as he adjusts to the college game, noting his ability as both a goal scorer and a creator with finishing passes.

Spicer joins the team from England after being a member of the Norwich City and Leicester City academies in his youth career. His new coach in College Park envisions him as a winger who will create opportunities with his passing, crossing, dribbling and creativity.

The trio of new forwards provides more options as the Terps look to subside the loss of 15 goals from the departures incurred from last season’s roster.

On the defensive half, Antoine arrives from Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact academy team. During his time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league, Antoine made 30 starts and scored two goals. He also has featured at the U-15 and U-17 Canadian National Team camps.

[Read more: Vinicius Lansade will leave Maryland men’s soccer to pursue professional opportunities]

“Marques is an exceptional central defender who is very comfortable playing out of the back but is known for his tenacity in defending,” Cirovski said in a release. “He can play both central roles, is very good in the air and has always been the leader of his teams.”

Those traits are welcomed on a team that lost now-MLS defender Donovan Pines, who was an imposing presence as a center back and helped lead Maryland to clean sheets in each of its five NCAA tournament games in 2018.

Neumann arrives at Maryland from Germany and joins a group of inexperienced college goalkeepers. As the team transitions to a new goalkeeper after Dayne St. Clair manned the net for two seasons, the other three goalkeepers on the roster have not made a start during their time under Cirovski.

“Niklas is an outstanding young goalkeeper. He has had some very good experiences in the German Oberilga at both the youth and senior levels,” Cirovski said in a release. “He has a commanding presence in goal, is very good at reading the game, organizing and also capable in distribution.”

These five newcomers are the second group to be announced, with eight having been introduced in March. On Monday, defender George Campbell, part of the March commit group, opted to forgo his eligibility to sign a hometown contract with Atlanta United FC.

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