Roster breakdown by the numbers
18 International Players
12 Different Countries Represented
15 Players from Southeast Michigan
5 players from Out-of-state
Alec Lasinski (Returner from year 1)- Ann Arbor (Loyola Chicago)
Alec Lasinski re-joins The Mighty Oak for #seasontree from Loyola University Chicago. The former Detroit City FC striker contributed four goals and three assists in the NPSL last season, including one goal against AFC at Keyworth. We’re excited the Ann Arbor native (and Skyline alum, who was also Michigan’s 2013 Mr. Soccer) will be suiting up for his home town side for the 2017 season.
Blake Barribeau (New) - Brighton
Blake Barribeau hails from Brighton and played soccer Oakland University. He will be making the switch for the upcoming 2017 season to play at Palm Beach Atlantic University. The 5 foot 10 defender was a member of the Grand Rapids Crew which won the MSYSA State Cup championship back to back in 2014 and 2015. Solid at the back and dangerous from deadfall situations, we’re looking forward to seeing Blake suit up for The Mighty Oak.
Sam Zisette (New) - Washington
Sam Zisette joins AFC Ann Arbor following a successful collegiate career at Puget Sound University. The Seattle native has played in attacking roles in the past, though his speed and solid tactical understanding make him a viable option at the back as well, particularly in the wide channels.
Adrian Motta (Returning) - Livonia
The Madonna University alum returns for his second season with The Mighty Oak. Originally from Livonia, the 6 foot 1 stopper will be hoping to see as much game time as possible, despite there being stiff competition for the number one spot in goal.
Dario Suarez (Returner) - Cuba
After a breakout first season with the club in 2016, Super Dario returns to The Mighty Oak. Scoring 6 goals, the Cuban national team player will be looking to continue terrorizing NPSL defenses down the left. As ever, the link up play between Dario and fellow Cuban Hector Morales will be an ever present part of AFC’s attack. A few of Dario’s honors from last year include: AFC Ann Arbor Offensive Player of the Year for 2016 and team MVP, and the Great Lakes Division Golden Boot.
Jake Rosen (Returner)- Livonia (SVSU)
A fixture at right back for The Mighty Oak last season, Jake may take on a new role for AFC Ann Arbor in central midfield this time around. A defensive midfield role will feel familiar to the Livonia native - he currently plays this role at Schoolcraft College. Jake is strong in the tackle and good passer of the ball. We’re excited to see more from Jake in 2017.
Yuri Farkas (Returner) - Brazil (Madonna)
Our goal-getting Brazilian returns to Ann Arbor for the 2017 campaign. Following a great season at Madonna University, where Yuri was named WHAC Newcomer of the Year after netting 8 goals in just 13 appearances, he’ll be looking to continue his fine form in front of goal for The Mighty Oak. A physical forward with a great first touch, we can’t wait to see what Yuri has in store this year!
TJ Tomasso (Returner from year 1) - Ann Arbor
The 6 foot tall goalkeeper returns to The Mighty Oak after spending last season at Toledo United. The Southern Methodist University alum had an impressive first stint with AFC, and was the 2015 MVP. An agile and commanding keeper, TJ brings a plethora of experience, knowledge and stability to The Mighty Oak.
Kyle Breitmeyer (Returner from year 1) - Canton
The leading goal scorer for AFC Ann Arbor in season one, Kyle returns hope to pick up with the club right where he left off. The former Liberty University Striker, who finished his collegiate career in 2013, loves playing off the shoulder of the last defender and is clinical inform of goal. After spending last season taking aim for Toledo United, fans can expect to see his name on our scoresheet this season.
Matthieu Braem (Returner)- France
‘Frenchy’ is back! Our towering center back was a measure of consistency in central defense last season. The Loyola University Senior has a solid foundation in Ann Arbor upon which to build. Good with both feet and strong in the air, there is no doubt that our 2016 Defensive Player of the Year will be ready to go for the 2017 campaign.
Kevin Taylor (KT - Returner) - Ann Arbor
Another U of M man and local youth coach, KT is The Mighty Oak’s ‘jack of all trades’. Whether playing in central defense, as a holding or attacking midfielder, and even scoring goals every now and then (think away at Kalamazoo last season) KT does it all! Sold with both feet and able to read the game at a higher level than most, we’re happy to have KT remaining among our ranks for the 2017 season!
Tristan Jacob (Returner) - Ann Arbor (University of Michigan)
Just when Tristan was starting to see significant minutes on the pitch toward the end of last season, he picked up an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the season. The U of M senior will surely be chomping at the bit and ready to show Coach Rudland why he deserves to be in the starting XI, week in, week out.
Tendai Jirira (New) - Zimbabwe (UNOH)
Tendai comes to Ann Arbor following an extremely successful time at the University of Northwestern Ohio. An athletic full-back, Tendai loves making overlapping runs and sending crosses into the box. Never shy in the tackle and always willing to do the dirty work in the channels, Tendai will make a great addition to an already solid AFC back line!
Jonny Miller (New) - England
Jonny Miller is another versatile player for The Mighty Oak - traditionally playing either as a full back or in a holding midfield position. His eagerness to get forward and make overlapping runs, though, make him a pretty potent option in our attack. Currently living in London, the former Norwich City Academy player and West Suffolk College alum will be eager to get into Ann Arbor and help the side in the NPSL this year. Welcome Jonny!
Nils “Baba” Valdmanis (New) - Ann Arbor (Western Michigan)
Baba joins The Mighty Oak from Western Michigan University. The former Dexter High School man and Ann Arbor native played for the Crew academy, and is a player who brings a lot of on-field intelligence to the team. Nils is a calm, creative player and traditionally plays in the center of the park, though he may spend some time out on the right flank as well. We’re excited to have another hometown player among us!
Nick Mellville (New) - Maine (Cincinnati)
Nick is a new player to AFC Ann Arbor this season. The Portland, Maine native plies his trade at the University of Cincinnati and is a staple of the Bearcats midfield. A great passer of the ball that occasionally gets on the scoresheet as well, we are excited to see Nick out on the pitch for us in the NPSL this year!
Ben Thornton (New) - Linden (Western Michigan)
Ben hails from Linden, Michigan and joins The Mighty Oak after a club career with Michigan Wolves and is currently playing at Western Michigan University. The central defender is a powerhouse and at 6 foot 3, will surely be a target for many set pieces for us this season. We’re excited to add such a talented defender to our already impressive defensive core!
Jack Hallahan (New) - England (University of Michigan)
Jack joins The Mighty Oak from just across the street at the University of Michigan. Jack is a young striker who, despite his age, brings with him a wealth of footballing experience. Born in Redditch, England, but holding both British and Irish citizenship, Jack has played for West Bromwich Albion at the Under-18 level, as well as the Irish U-18 and U-19 National teams. A freshman at U of M, Jack scored four goals for the Wolverines last season. We’re hoping Jack can find the same form in front of goal for us this summer !
Marlon Freitas (New) - Brazil
Marlon comes to Ann Arbor following an extremely successful time at Crowder College. Marlon scored 27 goals in 17 matches for Crowder. A proven goal scorer who set the record at Crowder last season for most goals in a season, Marlon will be a dangerous option for The Mighty Oak this season. Normally lining up on the right wing, Marlon loves taking players on, running past them and finding the back of the net. We can’t wait until he’s doing it for us in the NPSL!
Jimmy Fiscus (New) - Novi
Jimmy joins The Mighty Oak from Michigan State University. As one of three captains at MSU, Jimmy is no stranger to being a leader both on and off the field. The 6’2” defender will add a calming presence at the back, and having not missed a single minute of any game for the Spartans last year, Jimmy should add consistency as well. We’re excited to see what Jimmy will be able to do for AFC Ann Arbor this season!
Jake Durham (New) - England
Jake is a freshman at American International College and was born in Bolton, England. The midfielder is offers a real threat going forward and has a soccer IQ higher than most his age. The Mighty Oak will be adding another exceptional midfielder to the lineup in Jake!
Steven Hernandez (New) - New York
Teammates with Jake Durham at American International College is striker Steven Hernandez. The New Yorker is just as comfortable setting up teammates as he is tucking the ball in the back of the net. Numbers don’t lie - Steven scored 4 goals and tallied 6 assists last year for the Yellowjackets. We hope he brings that clinical aspect of his game with him this summer when he joins us in Ann Arbor!
Kwesi ‘Jep’ Allen (New) - Trinidad & Tobago
Jep joins The Mighty Oak for the 2017 Campaign from Iowa Western Community College. The Trinidadian has a wicked left foot and he loves to cut inside or use his pace to get in behind opposition defenses. Jep adds even more depth to AFC’s already solid attacking core, and we can’t wait to see him tear it up at Hollway this season!
Borna Juracic (New) - Ontario
Center back Borna Juracic comes to AFC Ann Arbor from Niagara University. The 6 foot defender started every game in his freshman season for the Purple Eagles. Born in Ontario, the trip to Niagara University was a relatively short one. This summer his football journey takes him a bit farther - to Ann Arbor -and we’re excited to have him in the side for the 2017 season!
Zulfikar Karimi (New) - Ontario
Another Purple Eagle makes the four hour journey down to Ann Arbor for the Summer. Born in Afghanistan and playing collegiately in Niagara, New York, Zulfikar will be looking to make the most out of his time with The Mighty Oak and will be hoping to improve after a fine freshman season. We can’t wait to have Zulfikar on our side this season!
David Cross (New) - Scotland
David Cross heads to Ann Arbor following an incredibly successful senior season at Drury University, where the 6 foot 4 central defender ended the season tied as the team’s leading scorer with 8 goals - an no that isn’t a typo! Lethal in front of goal and defensively solid, David will add a fantastic combination of strength, awareness and experience to The Mighty Oak backline this year!
Connor Mullen (New) - Missouri
Connor Mullen is a midfielder who comes to Ann Arbor from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO. The St. Louis native will be looking to build after a positive Junior season with RU, in which he scored one goal and had 2 assists. Connor will be hoping to add depth and stability in the middle of the field for AFC this season, and we’re happy to have him on board!
Kaleb Jackson (New) - Missouri
Also joining AFC Ann Arbor from Rockhurst is Junior Kaleb Jackson. The striker had a fantastic sophomore season scoring 8 goals and adding 10 assists to ear himself a GLVC First Team All-Conference selection. The Mighty Oak will be hoping for a lot more where that came from out of Kaleb this summer!
Zach Pagani (Returner) - Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor native and Colgate Striker Zach Pagani returns to The Mighty Oak following a personal best goals haul at Colgate. Zach finished the season with seven goals and added an assist as well. Ann Arbor soccer fans know Zach well and will be very happy to see him back at Hollway suiting up for AFC again this year!
Rafael Simoes (Returner) - Brazil
Rafa returns to The Mighty Oak for the second consecutive season! Coming back to the club following a 3 goal 2 assist season at the University of Charleston Massachusetts, ACF fans will love having the big Brazilian back in the lineup in 2017!
Bruno Dos Santos (New) - Brazil
Joining fellow Brazilian Rafa Simoes in Ann Arbor this summer from the University of Charleston Massachusetts is Bruno Dos Santos . Born in Sau Paulo, Bruno plays in central midfield. A technically skilled player, good in possession and a good distributor, Bruno adds even more depth to an already excellent Mighty Oak midfield. Fans will love seeing another member of the Brazilian contingent suing up for AFC this season. Welcome Bruno!
Jesse Muskwe - Zimbabwe
The Zimbabwe native joins AFC Ann Arbor after coming to the Midwest Pro Soccer Combine by way of the Friendly Football Academy. Jesse is a creative #10 who is savvy in the team attack. His technical proficiency and ability to create in the final third will bring a dangerous element to the Mighty Oak midfield line.
Leigh Rumbold (Returner) - England
The captain is back! Leigh returns to The Mighty Oak for 2017, following an impressive season in Ann Arbor where he established himself as a leader both on and off the field. As captain, Leigh brings a calmness to the middle of the field - controlling play both on and off the ball. His level head helps us keep our shape in possession and his tenacity spurs his teammates on to win the ball back. A local youth coach, Leigh draws a big crowd to each game, and rightly so! When asked about his favorite part of playing for AFC, he quickly respond by saying “My favorite thing about playing for AFC Ann Arbor is seeing all of the kids come out to watch us play.” The kids will be excited as ever to have Leigh back this season, and so are we!
Chase Pagani (Returner) - Ann Arbor
Chase Pagani rejoins AFC Ann Arbor from Colgate University. The Ann Arbor native and Pi-Hi alum will return to Hollway this summer, and we can’t wait to see Chase hit the pitch! An injury plagued 2016 season with The Mighty Oak meant limited playing time, but Chase is already itching to get back into the side and help contribute to our success. Welcome back Chase !
Colin Watson (Returner) - England
Colin Watson returns to Ann Arbor for the 2017 campaign. Coming off the back of a successful 2016 season at Seton Hill University where he started in all 18 of the Griffins matches, Colin will be looking to bring that same defensive prowess to The Mighty Oak. A solid defender, good in the air and smart on the ball - 2017 could just be Colin’s year - and we hope it is!
Jake Rufe (Returner) - Alabama (Western Michigan)
Jake returns to The Mighty Oak midfield after a standout debut season in the NPSL last year. The Western Michigan man will be looking to pick up where he left off. Jake was a constant nuisance for opposition midfields last season, closing down space, winning the ball back and setting us on our way - this was his bread and butter. Linking up with some familiar faces in the middle, Jake will add a lot of consistency to The Mighty Oak Midfield this season! Welcome back Rufe!
Ryan Kobakof (Returner) - University of Michigan
The University of Michigan Sophomore returns to The Mighty Oak for 2017! The midfielder will be working hard to secure more minutes for AFC this season and will be more than ready to take his chance when it comes. The former Novi High School standout was First team all state and was elected to the State of Michigan Dream team in 2015. Now seeing and increasing role for the Wolverines, Ryan will be ready to go for the start of NPSL play. Welcome back Ryan!
James Vaughn (Returner) - England (Northwood University)
Vaughny is back in Ann Arbor! The England native and Northwood University man returns to the NPSL looking to build on a solid first season with The Mighty Oak. An All-GLIAC player last season for Northwood, James will be keen to jump into the action straight away for AFC and continue making a difference on the pitch. We’re thrilled to have him back this season!
Noah Kleedtke (Returner) - Brighton (University of Michigan)
Noah Kleedtke returns to The Mighty Oak for the 2017 season! Never shy about putting in the hard work, the Brighton native will be giving it his all this year for AFC and hoping to see more playing time as a result. After a successful first season with the Wolverines, Noah will be looking to carry that momentum right through the summer to help AFC in an increasingly difficult NPSL. We’re glad that Noah will be a part of this journey once again!