Valparaiso University men's soccer coach Mis' Mrak has announced that he has signed five players to National Letters of Intent to join the Crusaders this fall. In addition, Mrak has added a transfer from the University of Massachusetts.
Joining the Crusaders this fall are Brett Bermes, Clifton Brown, Paul Leitelt, Andrew Stewart, and Kevin Zidron, along with transfer Tyler Pagano.
Bermes is an outside defender from Portage, Ind. A two-time captain at Portage High School, he was a Second Team All-State selection as a senior. He was the 2004-2005 Portage High School Young Man of the Year and was a member of the Indiana Olympic Development Program State Team from 1998-2003.
Brown is a central defender from Chillicothe, Ohio. A two-time captain at Unioto High School, he is the school's all-time single season and career assist leader. In 2003 he was an NSCAA All-Midwest selection and in 2004 was a Second Team All-Ohio selection.
Leitelt is an attacking midfielder from Munster, Ind. In 2004, he was an All-State selection for Munster High School after being named to the state's Second Team as a junior.
Stewart is a central defender from Buffalo Grove, Ill. He was a 2004 All-Sectional selection for Stevenson High School.
Zidron is an attacking midfielder from Cincinnati, Ohio. As a junior and senior at Anderson High School, he earned All-Southwest Ohio and All-City honors as the city's assist leader. He was a member of the Ohio South Olympic Development Program from 1999-2002.
Pagano, an outside defender from Arlington Heights, Ill. played at Mundelein High School before heading to the University of Massachusetts. At Massachusetts, he scored two goals and added two assists while playing all 19 games this past season, making 18 starting assignments.
?These players represent a bright future for Valparaiso University's men's soccer program," Mrak said of the group. ?All of these individuals are not just talented athletes but have tremendous character. All are great students and have a diligent work ethic beyond the supervision of their coaches."