Loyola Chicago announced five early signing members of its 2019 recruiting class. The Ramblers have added a ton of athletic ability with a class that includes experienced junior transfer midfielder Jusin Sukow and four true freshmen who will join a solid contingent of returning players including senior Josh Lagudah, the 2018 MVC Goalkeeper of the Year and junior midfielder Giann Magnow who was a 2018 Second-Team All-MVC selectoin.
Departures and Gaps – The Ramblers lose a seven member 2018 senior class. The graduation of defeneder Grant Stoneman who was the 2018 MVC Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time MVC First-Team selection leaves the biggest shoes to fill. Some reloading will have to take place in the midfield due to the departure of Tucker Stevenson (0g, 2a), a 2018 MVC Second-Team selection, Fabian Lifka (2g, 3a), and Ryan Walker (1g, 1a). Loyola Chicago will also be without the services of forward Alec Laskinski who had thirteen career goals..
Opportunities for Improvement – Solid play on the defensive side of the ball has been a trademark for the Ramblers. Six of their ten wins in 2018 were by a 1-0 score. The Ramblers are tough to beat when they score first but they struggled in 2018 when their opponent scored first. In all seven of their losses their opponent scored first. In only one of their ten wins were they able to come from behind to claim a victory. Additional firepower, balance, and the emergence of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball would be a big plus.
Coaches Recruiting Class Comment – Neil Jones stated, "We could not be more excited to welcome this recruiting class to the Loyola Men's Soccer program. Each of these five young men embody the values of a Loyola Rambler Men's Soccer student-athlete." Jones added, " On top of these positive traits, each one is a top level soccer player that fill specific positional needs in our team moving forward."
Summary – Loyola Chicago was 10-7-2 overall with a 3-1-2 record in Missouri Valley Conference play in 2018. The Ramblers have had double digit win seasons three out of the past four years. They were 3-1-2 in MVC play in 2018 finishing in the number two spot behind Central Arkansas. The Ramblers advanced to the championship match of the 2018 MVC Tournament where their season came to an end when they were defeated by recent nemisis Central Arkansas 2-1. The Ramblers will enter the 2019 season with several key gaps to plug but with a solid necleus of returning players spiced with a recruiting class that could contribute immediately.
Sean Knoblauch – Midfielder – Coon Rapids, Minnesota – Played at Shattuck St. Mary's Academy where he started twenty-nine of thirty-five contests over the past two seasons.
Liam Moore – Defender – New Plymouth, New Zealand – Played with the New Zealand National Team. A physical 6'1" center back who was the captain of the Wellington Phoenix Reserves for three seasons.
Alex Moskal – Forward – Schaumburg, Illinois – Played for the Sockers FC Chicago. Netted four golas during the 2017-2018.
Andrew Mitchell – Defender – The Woodlands, Texas Woodlands HIgh School. – Captain and center back of the Texans Houston Development Academy. Started every game so far in the 2018-2019 season.
Justin Sukow – Midfielder – San Antonio, Texas – Junior transfer from the University of South Carolina where he started twenty-seven of thirty-four games over the last two seasons. Scored five goals in 2017. Scored three goals in 2018.