With eight seniors graduating from the IU men’s soccer program, the former players have started to find homes with professional teams to play at the next level.
Two more former players to announce their signings are midfielders Austin Panchot and Jeremiah Gutjahr.
On Wednesday morning, Panchot announced his signing with United Soccer League’s North Carolina FC. He scored 13 goals with nine assists in his four years at IU.
Panchot was also responsible for a pair of game-winning goals in the NCAA Tournament to help guide back to the College Cup.
“Austin is coming from an outstanding program with good coaching and a great environment,” North Carolina FC Coach Dave Sarachan said in a press release. “They had a good run this year and he was one of four or five seniors that I watched and I think could translate to the next level. His starting point coming in will be good for a young player and he’ll have some versatility.”
It was reported by Paul Tenorio, a national soccer reporter for the Athletic that the homegrown contract between Gutjahr and the Chicago Fire was done on Jan. 8 but the deal was officially announced just eight days later.
On Jan. 22, the Fire announced the deal with Gutjahr for the 2019 season. The contract also has a club option for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. Former IU men's soccer defender Grant Lillard signed a homegrown contract with the Fire last season.
After suffering a season-ending injury last season, Gutjahr resumed his position as a key member of the IU defense that led the NCAA with 15 shutouts. In 2018, Gutjahr also scored a goal in the Big Ten Tournament Championship against Michigan and recorded an assist in a win against the University of Evansville.
“Jeremiah epitomizes the word professional in his daily preparation, academic work and training habits,” IU Coach Todd Yeagley said in an IU Athletics press release. “He wore the IU jersey with pride over the past four years, helping to build upon our tradition of excellence at Indiana University. Jeremiah will now live out his childhood dream of playing for the Chicago Fire. The Indiana Fire DA played a large role in his development and now he’s able to play alongside the professional players he once watched and admired as a youth player.”