The Broncos bolstered their roster with the addition of one transfer and six true freshmen. The class includes several highly productive playmakers who with a little seasoning should add firepower to Western Michigan's offense.
Departures and Gaps – The Broncos will be without a seven member senior class who leave Kalamazoo with more wins that any other class in the history of the program. The departure of midfielders Cameron Sipple (6g, 4a), Tommy Clark (2g, 2a), Connor McNulty, Jake Rufe (0g, 1a) and Kosti Moni (4g, 0a) and defender Ben Thorton (4g, 0a) who were multi-year starters leaves an experience and talent void that head coach Chad Wiseman will need to address. Major rebuilding will be required in the midfield and the toughness and dominance in the air that center back Thorton provided must be replaced.
Opportunities for Improvement – Western Michigan allowed soft goals at times last year and their level of intensity varied at times between halves. Improvement in both of those areas in 2019 should translate into additional wins. The Broncos could be very good in 2019 if the sophomores get the expected bump in performance now that they have a year of experience under their belts, the seniors provide leadership and set the pace, and the newcomers contribute.
Coach's Recruiting Class Comment – "I believe this is the most talented class we have ever recruited," Wiseman stated. He added, "I also beleive it is one of the best classes in the country. These players are winners, not only on the field but in the classroom and in the community. They are ready to make an immediate impact in the college game."
Summary – Western Michigan had a statement season in 2017 with a program best 17-4-1 overall record and a season ending top ten ranking. Despite several key losses due to graduation, they followed that up with an 11-6-3 season in 2018 during which they advanced to the MAC Tournament Championship contest for the second season in a row. The Broncos experienced a learning curve during the early part of the 2018 season during which they sustained four consecutive losses including three contests in which they failed to score. The good news is that Western Michigan improved as the season progressed as the freshmen – Zack Shane (4g, 3a), Caden Jackman (2g, 0a) and Mike Melaragni (3g, 2a) – contributed additional punch to the offense and they settled in as a team.
Brennan Creek – Midfielder – Kalamazoo, Michigan – Hackett Catholic Prep – Named Michigan Mr. Soccer. Netted 129 goals and contributed 104 assists during his tenure at Hackett Catholic. United Soccer Coaches All-America selection. Member of the MHSAA Dream Team. Three-time All-State selection. Played club for Kalamazoo Kingdom.
Daryl Newell – Midfielder – Chicago, Illinois – Walcott High School – Played for FC United were he was a two-year starter. Led FC Chicago to the NPL Finals as the NSIL league champions in 2017. Had ten goals and six assists in USSDA competition.
Dylan Sing – Midfielder – Berrien Center, Michigan – Lakeshore HIgh School – MHSAA 2018 Dream Team selection. All-Conference and All-Region selection. Two-time All-State First Team selection. Played club for Kalamazoo Kingdom. ODP Interregional All-Star Team member.
Jordan Walker – Forward – Normal, Illinois – Netted 106 career goals and 44 assists at Normal Community West High School. Had 32 goals his senior season. Three-time All-Section and Big 12 All-Conference selection. Two-time All-State member.
Max Keenan – Midfielder – Kalamazoo, Michigan – Hackett Catholic Prep – All-State selection for four years. Scored 103 goals and contributed 47 assists at Hackett Catholic. Played club for Kalamazoo Kingdom.
Charlie Sharp – Midfielder – Brighton, Michigan – Brighton High School – Named to the 2018 MHSAA Dream Team. All-Conference, All-County, and All-State selection. Livingston County Player of the Year as a senior. Team captain. Played club soccer for the Michigan Wolves.
Eric Conerty – Forward – Grand Rapids, Michigan – Forest Hills Central – Sophomore transfer from Butler where he played in seventeen games with eight starts in 2018 and scored two goals. Scored forty goals and contributed twelve assists during his senior year at Forest Hills Central HIgh School. Named a United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American his senior season. Played club soccer for the Columbus Crew Academy.