New Northern Michigan University coach Alex Fatovic names 8 men’s soccer recruits

Alex Fatovic

MARQUETTE — It’s a new era with Northern Michigan University men’s soccer as new head coach Alex Fatovic has introduced eight newcomers to the program.

He’s put an international stamp on his first recruiting class, with seven coming from outside the U.S. — five from Europe and two from South America.

They join Texan Baruc Delgado when the team takes the field for the first time later this month at Wisconisin Lutheran in Milwaukee on Aug. 26. The Wildcats’ first home game is at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, against Lewis on the NMU Soccer Field.

The other recruits are Dylan Woods of Ireland, Jan Hoffmann and Philipp Rimmler of Germany, Jorge Uriarte of Spain, Tommaso Lami of Italy and Erik Lotysz and Nicolas Bevacqua of Argentina.

“I am pleased to announce our first recruiting class, a top-five recruiting class nationwide, achieved in just two months,” Fatovic said in an NMU Sports Information news release. “It speaks to how well we’ve demonstrated the tremendous potential at NMU to challenge for championships every year.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishment in this short transition period to advance NMU men’s soccer by signing players from the top levels worldwide and domestically. At the same time, our returning squad has put in a significant amount of work this summer to welcome this stellar class of players with a brand-new culture and plan to help us compete for silverware in 2022.”

The new coach was also appreciative of the help he received in putting this recruiting class together.

“I’d like to thank all of our new NMU friends for their help in identifying top talent for us, as well as seeing the value in NMU and our soccer program for their quality players,” Fatovic said. “We are excited to begin our 2023 classes and beyond and welcome all interested players to get in touch immediately. We know we have something special here in Marquette, and now the collegiate soccer world is about to find out, too.”

Fatovic was named head coach in May, replacing the only coach the varsity program had, Dave Poggi, who compiled a 33-52-13 record in six seasons.

Fatovic had been an assistant coach for the men’s soccer program at NCAA Division I Columbia University of New York City since 2019. Previous to that, he spent eight seasons as an assistant coach at D-I Marshall in West Virginia.


Here are quotations from Fatovic about each of the recruits:


Baruc Delgado, Splendora, Texas — “Baruc Delgado is a fantastic signing, and we are excited to see Baruc’s versatility, athleticism and work rate.

“Baruc played his club ball with the Houston Rise of MLSNext, and for us to get a player of his caliber from the top league in the United States, is immense.

“Baruc traditionally was an attacking player but has settled in at right back, which is excellent for how we play with attacking outside backs.

“Although one of the team’s younger players, I expect Baruc to contribute immediately.”


Dylan Woods, Donegal, Ireland — “Coming into a new team without much knowledge of the players, I knew we needed stability, size and willingness to win aerial balls in central midfield. Dylan Woods fits all those needs and more and will be a massive presence for us in defensive midfield.

“Having played for the Finns Harps youth academy of the Irish Premier League, Dylan knows how to be tough and grind out games in harsh conditions, but at the same time has excellent feet and will help us advance the ball through central midfield.”


Jan Hoffmann, Windhagen, Germany — “Jan Hoffman comes to us from Cologne, Germany, where he played for FC Hennef 05 in the German Mittelrheinliga, the second-highest youth level in Germany.

“Jan is a hard-working left-sided wing-back who will pose an attacking threat as an out-and-out left-back but can also do a shift at wing-back.

“He has a fantastic personality, is an absolute pleasure to be around, and will fit right in with our diverse group.”


Philipp Rimmler, Grünstadt, Germany — “Philipp Rimmler comes to us as a(n NCAA) Division 1 transfer from Wright State in Dayton, Ohio. I know Phillip will bring instant college soccer familiarity at an extremely high level. At the same time, Phillips’s youth pedigree is relatively high, having grown up and lived his entire childhood in Germany.

“He brings great comfort on the ball, and he will allow us to retain possession, swing the play and create entries in between and behind the opposition backline.”


Jorge Uriarte, Bermeo, Spain — “Jorge Uriarte is a proper out-and-out right attacking winger who comes to us from the Basque country in Spain.

“Having grown up in the Athletico Bilao youth academy, Jorge brings experience, attacking quality, and soccer intelligence. Jorge comes from a family of footballers and coaches and will be an easy fit in our attacking system.”


Tommaso Lami, Bologna, Italy — “Tommaso Lami may have been our last signing, but he’s certainly not the least. Learning his football at the famed Bologna FC youth academy of the Italian Serie A, Tommaso has always been a natural left winger that can also come in and play as a 10 and 9.

“We see him playing opposite Jorge on the left flank, and now with a duel wing threat like this, combined with depth on the current squad, we have the quality in both the central midfield and wide areas to bring a balanced and deceptive attack.

“Tommy is a monumental addition to the team and locker room, and we anticipate an immediate impact from Tommy.”


Erik Lotysz, Buenos Aires, Argentina — “Erik Lotysz was an absolute no-brainer. Erik is everything you want in a center-back: mature, focused, a true leader and excellent on the ball.

“Having played for Club Deportivo UAI Urquiza in the Primera Nacional, the second level of Argentinian soccer, Erik understands how to help us build out of the back and defend as one compact unit. He is an instant team leader and will be a fantastic teammate on and off the field.”


Nicolas Bevacqua, Buenos Aires, Argentina — “Nico is a crafty left-sided attacking midfielder who will bring great balance to our attacking midfield. Nico can play in between the lines and gets in great pockets of space to help advance and penetrate the backline. With his ability to link our attack in both wide areas and centrally, it just adds another balanced layer to our attack, and we expect Nico to be a big part of our goals scored this season.”

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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