Provo, Utah – The BYU men’s soccer team will officially kick off their NIRSA national championship winning defense against the Utes on September 14th. The Cougs will hold open tryouts September 4th, and 5th; after which, the staff will hold morning practices leading up to their official home opener against the squad up north on September 14th.
Head Coach Brandon Gilliam will look to fortify the Cougs as they strive to stay undefeated in NIRSA play, and defend their national championship run the previous year.
This year, the squad losses some key members of the team, including Tag Wilson (Mission), Alfie Gallegos (Graduation), Jesse Hein (Professional), Matthew Kurtz (Graduation), and Eli Holmstead (Mission). However, the Cougs will return loads of experience all around the pitch. The Cougs return several key starters including Mitchell Scott (Defense), Seth & Taylor Fankhauser (Midfielder), Christian Bain (Forward), and Tanner Whitworth (Forward).
Senior Captain Mitchell Scott will look to anchor the defense, and strive to maintain a high level of play throughout the whole season.
Additionally, the Cougs return Ben Fankhauser and Mike Anderson from their individual LDS missions. Both players will look to make an immediate impact this upcoming Fall season for the Cougars. Kai Kamoe and Matthew Kurtz both join the Cougar coaching staff to bolster the already impressive staff of coaches. Kamoe starred as a soccer standout at BYU-Hawaii. Kurtz played defender while at BYU. Kurtz played under both Chris Watkins and Brandon Gilliam and has been a part of the team since 2010. Last year, he helped the squad win the NIRSA championship and recently graduated in April.
With BYU men’s soccer returning to collegiate club play in 2017, the Cougs reignite the rivalries with local schools around Utah. The 2018 schedule will pit the squad against Utah on September 14th, and a quick turnaround against Weber St. the following day, September 15th. Both games are at home on South Field, and will be featured live on BYU’s YouTube channel.
All of the members returning to the squad are excited to get back to work, continue their undefeated run, and win another NIRSA National Championship for the University in November.