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NCAA Jun 14, 2024

Reigning Ivy League Men’s Soccer Tournament champion Yale introduces Class of 2028

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Kylie Stannard, the 5K Corral Head Coach of Yale men’s soccer, will welcome a strong Class of 2028 to campus this fall.

Owen Bull, Jorik Dammann, Salif Leintu, Teague McCammon, Sven Meacham and Vaughan Osga all bring strong credentials on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

“We are thrilled to welcome these new players and families into our YMS Family. It is a talented class but, more importantly, consists of high character off the field and competitive edge on the field. We are adding some much-needed size, physicality and athleticism with this group, but they also have strong qualities on the ball that we expect to really push our returning group and provide competition in multiple positions,” Stannard said. “While we have a very strong and experienced group returning this fall, we still have big shoes to fill in a variety of ways, so there will be lots of opportunities for guys to step up to the new challenges, which is always very exciting.”

“I want to thank my entire staff on their great work and countless hours recruiting hundreds of players throughout the process, building relationships with them and their families, and ultimately helping bring this class together. None of this comes together without them.”

The Yale men’s soccer team is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history, with their second NCAA tournament appearance in the past four seasons. The Bulldogs wrapped up the regular season as the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament, while also playing an extremely competitive non-conference schedule. The team went on to win the inaugural Ivy League Tournament Championships with wins over Harvard and Brown.

After automatically qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019, the Bulldogs upset Bryant on the road on a last-minute goal by Max Rogers. The win marked the first in an NCAA Tournament game for the Elis since 1999. Ultimately, Yale fell in the second round to Hofstra, but 2023 marked an incredible run that the team looks to emulate in 2024. The two NCAA Tournament appearances over the past four seasons marked the quickest succession by Yale teams since the 1989 and 1991 squads achieved the goal over 30 years ago.

The Bulldogs graduated several key seniors from last year’s Ivy League Tournament Championship team including Rogers, leading goal-scorer Eric Lagos, and captain Jake Schaffer. But with a strong recruiting class, filled with players exhibiting diverse skill sets, Yale will look to compete for a conference crown once again.

Here is a closer look at the Class of 2028:

Owen Bull
6-4, 185
Trumbull, Conn.
Trumbull High School
CFC/AC Connecticut USL Academy

High School: Played for Trumbull High School and served at team captain… two-time All-American… two-time All-New England… two-time All-state… 2023 Connecticut College Soccer Association Player of the Year… broke school record in all-time goals and points.

Club: Most recently played for AC Connecticut and placed third in the nation… also played for CFC ECNL.

Academic honors: Member of National Honor Society… member of math and social studies honor society.

Personal: Father Danny Bull played rugby for Scotland and the USA National Team… cousin Reilly Connors was the team captain of the Yale men’s ice hockey team in 2024.

3 Questions for Bull

Biggest soccer influence? “Steven Gerrard. I grew up supporting Liverpool, and I always looked up to Steven Gerrard. I admired his inspirational leadership, passion, and his positive influences on and off the field.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “My idols are both of my parents because they have consistently been positive influences for me throughout my entire life.”

Why Yale? “I chose Yale because of the positive environment, comraderie, and unity that the team consistently portrayed. Also, because of the opportunity to pursue academics and athletics at the highest level possible.”

Stannard on Bull: “I always love having guys from Connecticut and I think we are getting the top player in the state with Owen. He is only scratching the surface of his potential and we are excited to see what he can become when he puts even more focus into soccer after having been a multi-sport athlete throughout high school. He brings much needed size and physicality to our front line and moves very smoothly for his size. However, he is much more than pace and power. He has very soft feet and good hold up play to combine with others well. He is also a good target in the air. I am really excited about what Owen can become.”

Jorik Dammann
6-2 185
Austin, Texas
St. Stephen’s Episcopal School
Lonestar SC

High School: Team captain… finished as program’s leading scorer… Soccer Academy Top Scorer all four years.

Club: Texas Central Champions (Premier Division)… UPSL National Playoffs (Round of 32)… U17 ECNL placed second overall in Texas… leading scorer on the team.

Academic Honors: High honor roll in every year… Academy Academic Excellence award winner… National Merit Finalist… two-time U.S. Presidential Scholar nominee… Texas State Math League list of students with perfect score, high score.

Personal: Mother Amina Dammann played top-flight field hockey in the German Feldhockey Bundesliga… Brother Jorn rowed for Yale for one year… Volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Community First! Village, Central Texas Food Bank, iACT, TreeFolks, and Mobile Loaves & Fishes… has been folding modular origami regularly since second grade and has since created internationally acclaimed award-winning modular origami models of over a thousand pieces.

3 Questions for Dammann

Biggest Soccer Influence? “Miroslav Klose. As a German-American, I always supported Germany in the World Cup. In the first World Cup I watched, Brazil 2014, Klose became the record goal scorer as Germany went on to win the tournament. Since then, I have had a poster of him hanging on my bedroom wall. He is strong, composed, and smart on and off the ball. I also thought his front flip celebration was awesome, but my parents forbade me from attempting it.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “Growing up, I idolized my older brother Jorn because his ambition and determination knew no bounds. Whether it is becoming a chess master or rowing for Yale Crew, he loves to seek out tremendous challenges and works very hard towards achieving them. To this day, he inspires me to pursue my own dreams with unwavering determination, even when faced with uncertainty or setbacks.”

Why Yale? “Aside from Yale’s outstanding soccer program, it is not only one of the best universities in the world for my areas of interest (linguistics and mathematics), but it also encourages me to study both simultaneously. Furthermore, Yale feels like home. Visiting my older siblings, I have witnessed the interconnected community that is fostered through the residential college system and the soccer team, and I would love to join this community.”

Stannard on Dammann: “Jorik is someone who really impressed us at our camps and has Yale blue running through his veins with his brother and other relatives having attended Yale. He is a physical force and tough as nails, which I absolutely love. He will work relentlessly on and off the field and will give absolutely everything to help the program. He is an ultimate team player and willing to do whatever is asked. He is an elite athlete that brings a lot of versatility. He primarily plays as a forward but has also played as a center back and center mid. Jorik reminds me a lot of what Eric Lagos was coming in and has potential to have similar impact in his career.”

Salif Leintu
6-1 175
Burtonsville, MD
Winston Churchill High School
Bethesda SC

Club: Two-time Super Y National Champion (2018, 2022)… was invited on Super Y National Tour… AFCON Final 4 Mali National Team… 2023 U17 FIFA World Cup Bronze Medalist… National Academy Championship All-Star Game participant.

Academic Honors: Honor roll student.

Personal: Helped the first female immigrant Maryland Circuit Court Judge campaign reach second place by canvassing voters and manning polling places… volunteered in a camp to help kids from low-income families learn soccer, compete, stay fit, and develop discipline.

Human Interest: “During my time in Mali, training for the African Nation and World cups, I was fortunate enough to engage and build amazing relationships with players from underserved communities. These experiences have heightened my commitment to using my voice and position to contribute to the greater good of society. Drawing from these experiences, I have decided to open soccer schools in Africa and other underserved countries, giving kids access to better training, and education to fulfill their dreams. I aim inspire other athletes to join me in launching mentoring programs around the world. Through these initiatives, young athletes from underserved communities will get a chance to compete on a leveled playing field.”

3 Questions for Leintu

Biggest Soccer Influence? “I’ve always been impressed by how Paul Pogba stands out for his exceptional skills on the field, dynamic playing style, and versatility. Additionally, Pogba’s journey from a youth player from an underserved community to a World Cup-winning midfielder with a strong work ethic is a true motivation. Off the field, his confidence, charisma, and philanthropic efforts are great sources of inspiration. Overall, Pogba’s combination of talent, resilience, and positive impact beyond the game are qualities that I do my best to emulate throughout my life.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can” attitude has been the focus of my life. I emulate his commitment to excellence through a great work ethic, resilience, curiosity, humility, and positivity.”

Why Yale? “Yale provides me the academic environment where learning and curiosity is celebrated, intellect is nurtured, and excellence is the norm.  It will develop me to be a global leader that will push the boundaries of knowledge while embodying innovation to become accomplish my professional goals. Athletically, I aim to elevate Yale’s soccer team in whatever way I can, and hopefully help bring multiple Ivy League and National Championships to the Bulldogs.”

Stannard on Leintu: “Salif has been a consistently top player for a top-tier club, Bethesda SC, that is in the MLS Next Playoffs regularly. He also gained incredible experience at the top youth level in the world last year when representing the Mali U17 youth national team at the African Cup of Nations, as well as finishing 3rd place at the U17 World Cup. In my opinion, Salif is one of the top 5 strikers in the nation at his age and he has potential far beyond that with the proper mindset. He is a physical force that is always looking to make runs behind and keep the opponent honest. Like the other strikers we are adding to this class, he will bring some much-needed size, pace and physicality, but he will also need to acclimate quickly to the defensive and fitness standards we demand.”

Teague McCammon
6-2 160
Bedford, Texas
Braswell High School
Solar SC

Club: Four-year team captain for Solar MLS Next u16, u17, u18/19, u18/19… 2022 Jefferson Cup Champions for Solar u17 MLS Next Academy… 2020 Copa Rayados International Champions for Solar u16 MLS Next Academy.

Academic Honors: Was first in class of 767 students during first two years of high school.

Personal: Father Ryan McCammon played volleyball at the University of Utah (1999-2001)… older brother Jordan plays soccer at Trinity College… sister Ainsley is committed to play soccer at the University of Virginia… second-oldest of six siblings.

Human Interest: “Over the summer of 2022, I got the opportunity to travel to Mexico with my team to play in the Monterey Elite Cup, and while the soccer part of the trip was great, I found a new perspective of gratefulness and empathy for the inhabitants. It’s hard to comprehend what life is like in third world countries when you have only ever witnessed life from a first world perspective. Traveling to Mexico opened my eyes to the difficulties that so many people have to endure, and makes me appreciate the quality of life that I have.”

3 Questions for McCammon

Biggest Soccer Influence? “My biggest soccer influence is Bastian Schweinsteiger because I grew up watching him play, and I am a big fan of the way that he plays. I try to model the way I play based on how he played, and I hope to achieve some of the success that he has achieved.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “My idol is my Mom because she is a perfect model of the type of person I strive to be. She is the kindest most genuine and patient person I have ever met, and every day I try and match her quality of character.”

Why Yale? “I selected Yale because I instantly felt a connection to the community as soon as I stepped on campus which I felt I would fit perfectly into. I also quickly fell in love with the soccer program, from the kindness and quality of the coaching staff and players to the amazing facilities, I knew instantly that I wanted to be a part of the environment that had been created. Lastly, the education that Yale is able to provide is phenomenal, which I know will allow me to achieve what I wish to achieve with my career ambitions.”

Stannard on McCammon: “Teague plays for one of the best youth clubs in the nation at Solar SC that not only produces top talent but also consistent winners. Teague is capable of playing the 6 or 8 in the midfield and also has the attributes to play anywhere in the backline. He has a great engine which is critical to how we want to play. He is a two-way player that can connect the game for us but has a competitive edge to him and very willing to do the important defensive work.”

Sven Meacham
5-11 165
Washington D.C.
Walter Johnson High School
Bethesda SC

Club: Won group in MLS Flex in Maryland beating FC Dallas and Toronto… came in third place at the National Academy Championship in Bradenton, Florida at the IMG complex… recorded two assists at MLS NEXT FLEX group stage in 2024.

Academic Honors: Participated in the APEX-Reach program, a four-year course of study in which students follow a comprehensive curriculum that combines accelerated honors-level and intensive advanced placement-level coursework… achieved Honor Roll status throughout four years of high school and achieved a seal of biliteracy in Spanish.

Personal: Mother Karen was on the Vassar College crew team from 1988-92… Father Carl was on the SUNY Albany tennis team from 1990-94… older brother is on the Tufts crew team.

Human Interest: “I lived in Santiago, Chile, from 2015 to 2017 due to my Dad’s work, it held special significance for our family as my Dad’s mother was Chilean, and he had grown up there. During my time in Santiago, I attended a bilingual school and had the opportunity to play for the academy of Universidad Católica. Out of the hundreds who tried out, I was one of only two kids to make the team. This experience allowed me to form strong bonds with my teammates and coaches while also learning to speak Spanish.”

3 Questions for Meacham

Biggest Soccer Influence? “Marcelo is my greatest soccer influence. He excels in both the offensive and defensive aspects of the game, and I aspire to model my style of play after him.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “My idol is my father; he inspires me to consistently strive for excellence in sports, academics, and life. He has played a significant role in shaping the person I am today, and he continues to guide me on the path to becoming the best man I can possibly be.”

Why Yale? “I selected Yale because of its exceptional academic standing and the promising soccer program it offered. When I visited the campus, I was truly captivated by the warm, welcoming community, this coupled with the vast amount of opportunity I knew the university would provide me was what made my decision. It immediately felt like the ideal environment for me to thrive during my four years of education. The blend of outstanding academics and a burgeoning soccer program solidified Yale as the perfect choice for me.”

Stannard on Meacham: “Sven is also from Bethesda and has been a huge part of their success. He is naturally left-sided and can play as a midfielder or left back. He has deceptively quick feet and agility and confidence in tight spaces. He does a great job of creating space with his runs off the ball as well as running with the ball and taking players on 1v1. Sven is an excellent crosser of the ball both in the run of play as well as set pieces. He consistently puts the ball in dangerous spots in the box to create goal-scoring opportunities. If Sven becomes an elite 1v1 defender, he can become one of the best left backs in the country.”

Vaughan Osga
6-3 195
River Forest, IL
Oak Park River Forest High School
FC United Chicago

Club: Recorded a 6-0 record competing at MLSNEXT Flex in Maryland… elected captain from the first game with the team… played 100% of available minutes… NAC Tournament All-Star match appearance in 2023.

Academic Honors: Honor roll student.

Personal: Sibling Teagan is on the swim team at Northeastern University… Hepzibah House (Oak Park, IL), volunteering for homeless shelters in Oak Park at various churches.

3 Questions for Osga

Biggest Soccer Influence? “Cristiano Ronaldo for his intense commitment and discipline.”

Do you have a hero or idol? “No, I aspire to be the best version of myself.”

Why Yale? “At Yale, I can take opportunities to meet people with experiences that are so different from my own and use those differences to become the best version of myself. It also allows me the platform to show people what I am capable of from a soccer perspective, and more importantly, the opportunity to grow under the guidance of experienced and honest coaches.”

Stannard on Osga: “Vaughan comes to us from a very competitive club out of Chicago, FC United, that has competed in the national playoffs the past two seasons. He is strong, physical and a solid presence in the air that we really need to improve in the team. He is a capable passer but also knows his first priority is to be a strong defender and earn clean sheets. Vaughan has natural leadership skills on and off the field. He has a solid vocal presence on the field but also does great to connect and build relationships with guys off the field. He has been a long-time captain for his team and we expect him to bring a similar competitive mentality to our program.”