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NCAA May 21, 2019

Penn State men’s soccer program signs 11 players for 2019

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State men’s soccer head coach Jeff Cook has finalized his 2019 signing class, announcing the addition of 11 players to the Nittany Lion roster.

“We are very excited to welcome this outstanding group of student-athletes to our men’s soccer program at Penn State,” said head coach Jeff Cook. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to assemble of group of players who we believe can make significant contributions to our program on the field, but most importantly, are young men of great character who fit in perfectly with our program’s developing culture.”

The incoming class includes nine true freshmen and two transfers: Liam Butts, Will Campbell (UNC), Owen Elliott, Michael Gaines, Seth Kuhn (Duke), Kyle May, Omar Ozbay, Andrew Privett, Kris Shakes, Alex Stevenson, and Jalen Watson.

Cook’s first six recruits in Butts, Gaines, May, Privett, Shakes and Stevenson earned top-10 recruiting class kudos from Top Drawer Soccer during the early signing period in fall 2018.

The 11 newcomers join 14 returners from the 2018 roster, including midfield captain Aaron Molloy.

Liam Butts

Forward | 6-1 | 165 | Lawrenceville, Georgia

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played five seasons for GSA 01 Phoenix in the Southern Regional Premier League (2010-15)…Won two state championships (2013, 2014) and one regional title (2013)…Earned Best XI honors during the 2015 US Youth Soccer Championships…Moved on to play three seasons with the Atlanta United FC in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (2016-19)…Helped win a national title in 2016-17…Attended Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia…Played one season at Grayson, helping the Rams to a 9-7 record (2016)…Scored 12 goals in 2016 and earned 6A first team All-Region honors.

PERSONAL
Full name is Liam Shiloh Naeem Butts…Son of Cheryl and Sule Butts…Has one younger sister, Njeri…Planning to major in actuarial science…Born February 20, 2001 in New Port Richey, Florida.

Will Campbell

(Graduate Transfer)
Defense | 6-1 | 178 | Wallingford, Pennsylvania | UNC

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
2015-18 • UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL
Four-year member of UNC men’s soccer team that won four-straight ACC regular season championships and made two College Cup appearances…Earned an ACC Academic Honor Roll selection in 2016.

PRIOR TO COLLEGE
Played three seasons for the Philadelphia Union Academy under Jeff Cook…Helped win U17 Generation Adidas Cup in 2012…Captained U18 Union clubs for two seasons (2013-14, 2014-15)…Played eight seasons with Nether United, and served as captain for 2012 Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup championship team…Attended YSC Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

PERSONAL
Full name is William Campbell…Son of Garikai and Diana Campbell…Has two brothers, Robert and George…Comes from a soccer family as Robert plays at University of Delaware (2018-current) and George is committed to Maryland while four other cousins played collegiate soccer…Pursuing a graduate degree in management and organizational leadership from Smeal School of Business…Born December 5, 1996 in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Owen Elliott

Goalkeeper | 6-1 | 160 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played nine seasons with SJEB Rush ’00 in both the EDP and NPL leagues…Attended Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia…Played four seasons with Springside with 13 shutouts in both 2016 and 2017 seasons…Helped Blue Devils to a Inter-Ac Championship and PAISAA State Championship in 2017…Earned first team All-Inter-Ac honors and Richardson Dilworth Lees Memorial Award for Soccer in 2017.

PERSONAL
Full name is Owen Elliott…Son of Oona McCullough and Chad Elliott…Has one sister, Nora…Father, Chad, played water polo at Princeton…Planning to major in business…Born December 23, 2000 in New York, New York.

Michael Gaines

Defense | 6-1 | 165 | Oxon Hill, Maryland

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played six seasons with DC United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy…Attended Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.

PERSONAL
Full name is Michael Malik Gaines II…Son of Michael Gaines and Eden Brown Gaines…Has one younger brother, Rameses…Father, Michael, was a walk-on lacrosse player at Virginia…Grandfather, McClinton Brown, played football at Colorado State…Planning to major in journalism…Born January 9, 2001 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Seth Kuhn

Midfield | 5-11 | 157 | Wyomissing, Pennsylvania

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
2018 • DUKE • FRESHMAN SEASON
Helped Blue Devils to a 11-7-2 record and Sweet 16 appearance with seven starts…Played in all 18 matches…Named to Top Drawer Soccer’s 2018 Preseason Freshman Team.

PRIOR TO COLLEGE
Played three seasons with the PA Classics and four seasons with Philadelphia Union Academy under Jeff Cook…Attended YSC Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

PERSONAL
Full name is Seth Alexander Kuhn…Son of Ted and Jill Kuhn…Has two brothers, Austin and Ben, and two sisters, Cassidy and Grace…Mother, Jill, played field hockey at Mount St. Mary’s…Brother, Austin, played soccer at Penn (2014-17)…Sister, Cassidy, runs cross country at the University of San Diego (2016-current)…Planning to major in communications…Born April 4, 2000 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.

Kyle May

Midfield | 5-11 | 180 | Lebanon, Pennsylvania

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Spent seven seasons with the PA Classics in the USSDA…Attended Cedar Crest High School in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

PERSONAL
Full name is Kyle Derrick May…Son of Dena and Jamie Cascarino…Has four brothers…Mother, Dena, played field hockey at Old Dominion and Millersville…Step-father, Jamie, played soccer and tennis at Lebanon Valley College…Enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies…Born November 17, 2000 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Omar Ozbay

Midfield | 5-10 | 154 | Morganville, New Jersey

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Spent seven seasons with the Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy league…Attended Marlboro High School in Marlboro, New Jersey.

PERSONAL
Full name is Omar Ozbay…Son of Kenan and Anna Ozbay…Has one sister, Ariana, and one brother, Oscar…Enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies…Born May 27, 2001 in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Andrew Privett

Midfield | 6-2 | 170 | Fallston, Maryland

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played six seasons with Baltimore Celtic 2000s in the U.S. Youth Soccer National League…Won back-to-back national championships (2017, 2018)…Attended McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland…Played all four seasons of varsity soccer…Helped McDonogh School to two MIAA championships (2015, 2017)…Named second team All-State and first team All-Metro and All-MIAA during the 2017 season…Captained 2018 team, and scored 15 goals and added 12 assists…Earned a spot on Top Drawer Soccer Fall High School All-American Watch List and the USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason Boys Soccer Team (2018).

PERSONAL
Full name is Andrew Dayton Privett…Son of Shane and Kim Privett…Has an older sister, April…Planning to major in business…Born August 2, 2000 in Towson, Maryland.

Kris Shakes

Goalkeeper | 5-11 | 182 | Sunrise, Florida

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played four seasons with the Philadelphia Union Academy in the USSDA league…Spent two years with the U.S. Youth National Team…Ranked No. 59 on Top Drawer Soccer’s top-150 players list…Attended YSC Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

PERSONAL
Full name is Kristopher Shakes…Son of Sandra Jackson and Carlton Shakes…Has on older sister, Kristina, who played soccer at Clemson (2013-17)…Enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies…Born April 27, 2001 in Margate, Florida.

Alex Stevenson

Defense | 5-9 | 165 | Bel Air, Maryland

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played five seasons with the Baltimore Armour in academy league…Helped team qualify for Academy playoffs in back-to-back seasons (2016-17, 2017-18)…Captained U17 squad (2017-18) and U14 squad (2015-16)…Scored 15 goals in first four seasons in USSDA play…Ranked No. 98 on Top Drawer Soccer’s top-150 players list…Attended C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Maryland…Member of National Honor Society.

PERSONAL
Full name is Alex John Stevenson…Son of John and Stefanie Stevenson…Has one sister, Lindsey…Father, John, played baseball at Lenoir-Rhyne University…Sister, Lindsey, runs cross country at St. Mary’s College (2017-current)…Planning to major in applied mathematics…Born February 22, 2001 in Towson, Maryland.

Jalen Watson

Defense | 6-0 | 165 | Ontario, Canada

PRIOR TO PENN STATE
Played two seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps Academy in the USSDA…Also played five seasons with Erin Mills Soccer Club in the OYSL…Attended University Hill Secondary in Vancouver, British Columbia.

PERSONAL
Full name is Jalen Ellis-Watson…Son of Pamela Watson…Has a younger sister, Lilyana…Planning to major in education…Born March 23, 2000 in Toronto, Ontario.