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Courtesy: GS Photo

Menís Soccer Adds Transfers From Western Illinois and SMU

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 07/12/2016
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Diego Lopez (left, photo courtesy of Western Illinois); Bryan MIssana (right)

KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan head coach Chad Wiseman has announced the addition of two midfield transfers, Diego Lopez (Western Illinois) and Bryan Missana (SMU), to the men’s soccer roster. Both players will be eligible to compete for the Brown & Gold this upcoming fall.

Lopez and Missana brings WMU’s number of newcomers for the upcoming season up to 13 as the pair joins four previous transfers Evan Brandon (UConn), Tommy Clark (Bradley), Jake Rufe (Indiana) and Kyle Taalman (Ohio State) and seven incoming freshmen. Western Michigan had 10 seniors graduate out of the program following the 2015 season.

“Diego is a great addition for many different reasons,” Wiseman said. “He is an experienced Division I player that has scored and created goals at our level. He is an exceptional athlete with good speed and quickness and most importantly, he is an explosive player.

“Bryan brings a skill set to our team that I don’t think we have currently. He has four years of eligibility and I expect him to get better and better as his career goes on. I can say without question you will see his name on the scoresheet this fall.”

Lopez comes to Western Michigan with one year of eligibility remaining after playing his first three seasons at Western Illinois where he appeared in 45 career games, totaling five goals and six assists. In his rookie season, he was WIU’s second-leading point producer with nine points on three goals and three assists, earning Second Team All-Summit League honors and a spot on the Summit League All-Newcomer Team. Lopez’s sophomore season in 2014 was hampered by injury, but he bounced back last year as a junior to start 16 games and notch two goals and three assists.

“Diego has the knack to get in behind defenses, he can run at defenders in the final third and is a player that is full of confidence,” Wiseman added. “He has the ability to play three different midfield positions in our system and I look for him to have a immediate impact within our program.”

Missana signed with SMU prior to last year after playing his prep career at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s Development Academy in Faribault, Minn. Out of high school, Missana was a Region III Olympic Development Program participant and a four-star recruit according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. He redshirted this past fall on SMU’s highly competitive team that finished the season ranked No. 11 in the nation and fell to No. 5 Akron, 2-1, in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.

“Bryan is a natural left-sided player that can absolutely smash the ball with his left foot,” Wiseman said. “He is a player that can also go at defenders in the final third and deliver a very good ball into the box. He has great size and toughness and is hungry to prove he can have an impact at the Division I level.”

Western Michigan is coming off one of its most successful seasons in 2015 and returns 15 players from that roster. The Broncos earned their first ever Top 25 national ranking and set a school record with 12 shutouts while posting 11 wins. Wiseman collected Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors and the Broncos produced four all-region players, six All-MAC selections and an NCAA statistical champion.

The Broncos begin this year’s campaign with two preseason matches, traveling to Loyola-Chicago on Aug. 13 and hosting DePaul in an exhibition on August 21. The 2016 season officially gets underway with a pair of road games as the Broncos take on Marshall Aug. 26 and Dayton Aug. 28. WMU welcomes Summit League opponents IPFW and IUPUI for the first regular-season home games, Sept. 2 and Sept. 5.

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