RMU men’s soccer adds 14 players in 2021 recruitment class


Men’s soccer added 14 players to its recruiting class. Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo/Colonial Sports Network

Samuel Goldberg

The Robert Morris men’s soccer team has added 14 new members who will take the pitch at the Northern Athletic Complex (NAC) for the upcoming 2021 fall season as the team makes its return from Canonsburg.

The Colonials will look to fill in the missing pieces on their roster to try and take the next step in their second season of Horizon League play following a season where they scored just one goal under new coach Jason O’Keefe.

Friedrich Petrelli – Goalkeeper, Germany

The goalkeeping tandem of Mike Zolnierczyk and Grant Glorioso did its best to keep goals out of the net last season, but with Glorioso set to graduate after 2021, RMU hopes it found its goalkeeper of the future in Petrelli, an international add from Germany. Spending the last few seasons with FC St. Pauli, Petrelli may not be the biggest keeper (listed at six feet tall) but his handling and reach abilities make up for it.

Colton Spence – Defender, Cheswick, Pennsylvania

Spence is another interesting signing as the Colonials gained a versatile player who can play basically anywhere along the back four, assuming the Colonials play four defenders this year. Spence is a local athlete from Deer Lakes High and profiles as a strong addition to the Colonials. He picked up hardware in high school, being named All-Section and All-WPIAL three times.

Andrew Kemper – Defender, Morgantown, West Virginia

Kemper is another solid back for this Colonials defense coming out of University High School and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Youth Academy. He mainly is a center back with a commanding lead in the backfield, and his quickness in the backfield could lead to him being a reliable part of a young back core.

Jacob Haskins – Defender, Cincinnati, Ohio

Haskins is another versatile defender that can play anywhere along the back four. Playing at Milford High School, he racked up three All-League First Team nominations as the team captain. versatile

Noé Bijou – Defender, France

Bijou is an athletic defender whose defending skillset is like no other. It will be tough for teams to score with Bijou in the mix, who spent time with AS Nancy-Lorraine in France.

Charlie Lawrence – Midfielder, England

Lawrence brings some experience from playing in England with Reading FC in the U18 Premier League. He has an attacking side to his game that he could slot over to the central attacking midfielder position (CAM).

Owen Jowett – Forward/Midfielder, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jowett is a forward that will provide a fresh look to the attacking side of the Colonials. He adds depth and a rocket of a shot from outside the sixteen. Coach O’Keefe hopes the Manitoban can be a big part of the Colonial attack going forward.

Connor Hain – Midfielder/Defender, North Royalton, Ohio

Hain is another talented player for the Colonials who can step anywhere in the mid-field or anywhere along the back four. He has a strong ability to pass the ball.

Lucas Shearer – Midfielder, Honolulu, Hawaii

Shearer provides his great soccer mindset and skillset to the Colonials. He will mainly play midfield but has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net and is a fast learner that can adjust quickly to college pace, according to O’Keefe.

Lucas Hammerle – Midfielder, Connellsville, Pennsylvania

Hammerle is a midfielder who has the potential to be a reliable scoring option for the Colonials. Considered a two-way midfielder, Hammerle can defend well and attack well on both ends of the field. At Connellsville High School, Hammerle recorded the third-most goals (44) and second-most assists (29) in school history and he hopes to translate that success to RMU.

Gabe Norris – Forward, Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania

Norris is a dangerous player when he steps on the pitch. His ability to score is there and he proved that with 51 goals during his Highlands High School. Norris has been on Coach O’Keefe’s radar for a while and is one of many forwards added to fortify the forward position.

Gal Ben Dayan – Forward, Holon, Israel

Dayan is coming to the Colonials with some experience playing in one of the top divisions in Israel for the last few years. Dayan provides a great leg with a great soccer ability and looks to translate his success in Israel across the pond to the United States.

Hugo Kadima – Forward, Besancon, France

Kadima Joins the squad with some NCAA experience playing for Ohio Valley University and is a tremendous transfer acquisition for O’Keefe’s squad. As a freshman with the Fighting Scots in 2019, Kadima scored seven goals and an assist in 20 games and will attempt to continue that success at the Division I level.

Nathan Richard – Forward, Oslo, Norway

Richard has a high motor and scores from anywhere on both the left and right sides. He has the ability to just get open and score. He is a natural scorer, scoring 25 goals in 59 games in Norway as a left- and right-wing.

The Colonials will look to shake things up with these additions to the team after a mediocre start to their Horizon League history, a season where they went 1-6-1. With a set-in-stone non-conference schedule to get their feet wet, it should be a better season for RMU.