Indiana men’s soccer welcomed a group of 11 newcomers for the 2023 season, head coach Todd Yeagley announced Monday. One transfer and 10 incoming freshmen were named to the class.
With multiple key contributors graduating or departing for the professional ranks, the Hoosiers looked to bolster positions all over the pitch.
The Hoosiers added two goalkeepers into the mix for 2023: Saed Anabtawi and Alex Kara. Anabtawi, a Fort Wayne, Indiana native, attended Fort Wayne Canterbury School and tallied 27 shutouts in his career.
He was twice named a United Soccer Coaches High School All-American and comes to Bloomington as a mid-year enrollee.
Kara, hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, has trained at Sporting Kansas City Academy since 2021. Kara won two state championships with Louisville Collegiate School and will join a group of Anabtawi, junior goalkeeper JT Harms and redshirt sophomore Austin Himebaugh for the upcoming season.
Junior defender Hugo Bacharach marked the sole transfer of the signing class. Bacharach spent his last three seasons at Farleigh Dickinson University, all of which resulted in First Team All-NEC honors. This past season, he was named the NEC Defensive Player of the Year as the anchor of the Knights’ backline.
Bacharach hails from Benicàssim, Spain and serves as one of two international newcomers. Yeagley has traditionally strayed from adding overseas, but Bacharach has the size — he’s six foot four — and athleticism to provide an enticing option alongside junior defender Joey Maher.
The other defender in the class is Josh Maher, who will be the third Maher brother to don the cream and crimson. Jack, the oldest, currently plays for Nashville SC in the MLS, and Joey was an invaluable piece of last season’s national championship squad.
Josh is rated as the No. 35 prospect in the nation according to Top Drawer Soccer and most recently played with St. Louis CITY SC of the MLS Next Pro league. Josh, from Caseyville, Illinois, possesses a college ready-build and plenty of high-level experience.
“Josh is one that we feel can have an immediate impact,” Yeagley said on Monday. “His leadership, his understanding of the position and his winning ways make him a special player.”
EJ Dreher, from Valparaiso, Indiana, will be staying in his home state and joining the team as a mid-year enrollee. Dreher was a four-year letterman at Valparaiso High School and also earned a letter in basketball.
He was a highly touted player from Indiana City FC, which Dreher led to four state cup championships. Yeagley specifically noted the midfielder’s engine and versatility as shining traits.
Logan Oliver, a defensive midfielder from Baltimore, Maryland, captained the Philadelphia Union U17 team in 2022. Oliver is rated as the No. 134 player in the country, per Top Drawer Soccer, and figures to make immediate contributions.
“He follows the footsteps of some of our all-time best with his quality and his intangibles,” Yeagley said. “We feel amongst all the holding midfielders in the country, he is unique and special.”
Westlake, Ohio native Justin Schreffler completes the trio of incoming midfielders. Schreffler bears a similar versatility as Hoosier senior defender Brett Bebej, who has been dubbed the team’s “Swiss army knife.”
Schreffler is a 2022 United Soccer Coaches All-American and notched 46 goals and 30 assists in his time at Westlake High School. Yeagley described Schreffler as the most versatile player in the class, adding that he could play wherever needed.
Alex Barger, from Naperville, Illinois, is one of the more decorated newcomers. Barger was named the 2021-22 Gatorade Illinois Boys Soccer Player of the Year and was rated as the Midwest’s No. 13 recruit.
He is No. 2 in assists and No. 7 in goals in Naperville North High School history, and he also has earned United Soccer Coaches High School All-American honors twice.
Clay Murador, hailing from Aledo, Texas, was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing soccer, football and track and field. Yeagley lauded the attacker’s athleticism and said he can play in any of the front four spots in the Hoosiers’ system.
Originally from Bibiani, Ghana, Collins Oduro is the second international newcomer. Most recently playing for The Phelps School in Pennsylvania, Oduro possesses the explosiveness of former Hoosier star attacker Herbert Endeley, who recently inked a deal with FC Dallas of the MLS.
“He can play wide, he can play central. (He has) dynamite speed, excellent 1v1 ability,” Yeagley said of Oduro. “We feel he is as dynamic and as talented an attacker in this class.”
Rounding out the newcomers is Hendersonville, Tennessee product Lucas Wolthers. He is rated in the top 150 players in the country and has played at the academy level with Nashville SC. He comes to the Hoosiers a long, marksman-type forward with central attacking capabilities.
“I’m really excited to have this group of young men join us here at Indiana,” Yeagley said. “Overall, great culture, great kids and excellent students. We think all of them are going to have a big impact.”