Earlier this month, FC Cincinnati and the FC Cincinnati Academy held a signing event at Mercy Health Training Center for four U19 academy players set to join Division I soccer programs ahead of the 2023 season.
Matt Dreas (Akron), Ryder Mills (Yale), Alen Kapic (Akron) and Austin Wells (IUPUI) were accompanied by family and staff at MHTC including FC Cincinnati General Manager Chris Albright, U19 Head Coach Eric Lichaj and Director of Player Development Larry Sunderland as they signed letters of intent for their respective universities.
“We are really proud of each of the guys for their hard work on and off the field, and for being a part of the FC Cincinnati Academy,” said Academy Player Care Specialist, Meghan Viens. “This event was a chance to celebrate their successes with their families, coaches, the club and each other as teammates.”
The four college-bound athletes are among the first players to have suited up for the Young Garys. Dreas, Mills and Wells were part of the academy’s first year in 2019 with Kapic joining a year later in 2020.
Dreas and Kapic are set to play for the University of Akron and link up with former FCC Academy player, Ashton Kamdem, adding depth to a strong Zips team coming off the program’s 35th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Dreas and Kamden shared the field in 2022 with FC Cincinnati 2 during MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season.
Mills will lace-up his boots for the Yale Bulldogs and get his first taste of collegiate soccer in the Ivy League. Mills is the second FCC Academy player to commit to an Ivy League school and will square off against former academy product, Daniel Samways (Cornell), in league play.
Wells heads West to Indianapolis as he joins an IUPUI Jaguars program hungry to improve on one of their better seasons in recent years. The Jaguars nearly earned their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2000 but fell to Cleveland State in the Horizon League Tournament Championship.
“We are proud to see these academy graduates continue their academic and soccer journeys,” said Larry Sunderland, Director of Player Development. “The academy is focused on developing great players and even better people. These guys are a testament to that ideal.”
The academy season continues as the U15-U19 boys prepare for MLS NEXT Fest in Indio, CA. The event features over 300 of the top youth teams across the United States and Canada. The week-long event will take place from Dec. 2 through Dec. 8. You can follow along with all the action at mlssoccer.com/mlsnext.