Butler University men’s soccer adds three newcomers to 2020 roster
Butler University men’s soccer coach Paul Snape and his staff have signed three standouts who will join the program for the upcoming 2020 season.
Okoko attended St. George’s School in Edgbaston, England. He played for the English Football League Club Birmingham City Academy from U12 through U18. He scored more than 50 goals in 100 games as a youth academy player. Okoro was invited to trian with the England National U15 & 16 Teams.
Coach Snape on Okoro: “Nick is highly talented attacking player who possesses an abundance of skill, technique, speed, and tactical knowledge. He has learned his craft at one of the most prestigious soccer academies in England, and this experience should help him transition to the level of Division I college soccer quicker than most incoming freshmen. His ability to score and create goals will bring another dimension to our attack this year! What instantly stands out about Nick is his highly infectious positive attitude. He is a very competitive, driven, focused young man who is always exploring ways to grow as a person and as an athlete. His selfless behavior combined with talent will definitely make our program stronger.”
Graziano was a three-year starter at Evergreen High School, leading the conference with 13 goals as a junior (2018) and following that with eight goals as a senior in 2019. He twice earned all-conference honors. The Academic All-State honoree played club soccer for the Colorado Rapids.
Coach Snape on Graziano: “Nick attended one of our college prep camps and it was apparent from the first minute of camp to the last minute of camp that he is a highly motivated person who is determined to succeed in whatever he does. He is combative midfielder who is fiery, brave and aggressive in the tackle. He also possesses good technique which will help adapt quickly to our style of play. His left foot has the ability to unlock organized defenses with sublime passes and crosses. Nick welcomes any challenge thrown at him, and I believe his ‘fighter mindset’ will raise the level of intensity and quality within our playing environment.”
Minor was a starter for his Zionsville High School team dating back to his freshman season. He played four years of club soccer with the Indiana Fire Development Academy, starting 66 of a possible 78 games. Minor maintained a 4.0 GPA or higher throughout his high school career.
Coach Snape on Minor: “We’ve known Ben for the last 6-7 years as he was a regular member of our summer soccer camp program. In the last couple of years, he has made a big jump in his development as an elite performer. Ben is a super fit, tough, resilient, tactically aware defender who takes pride and ownership in leading his teams to victory. He is very intelligent young man who holds himself to the highest standards both on and off the field. Ben possesses so many of the attributes we look for in a Butler student-athlete: Respect, Hard work, Integrity, Discipline, Courage, Humility, & Ambition. We are all very excited about having Ben as an integral part of our program for the next four years.”
Butler returns seven starters from a 2019 team that posted an 11-7-2 record and earned an NCAA Tournament berth, the program’s third in the past four seasons.
The Bulldogs’ 2020 fall schedule will be announced soon.