BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In head coach Dean Koski‘s 30th season at the helm of the Lehigh men’s soccer program, the incoming freshman class will be made up of seven new names ahead of the 2021 season.
With seven sophomores and now seven freshmen, the number of underclassmen is now at 14 before the new season starts.
The Class of 2025 has a wide-spread representation across the United States and another student-athlete from Africa as the incoming class includes a native(s) of California, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Accra, Ghana.
“It is my privilege to introduce and welcome our incoming class of ’21 to the Lehigh men’s soccer program and our university,” said Koski. “What distinguishes this class is their competitive success with their high school and club teams winning state, regional and national championships. Prospects who come from successful programs are typically driven to win and we place great value on competitiveness.
“Additionally, this class brings a high level of character and academic achievement which at Lehigh, is essential to success on and off the field. On behalf of my staff, we are pleased to welcome these young men to the Lehigh Soccer family.”
Yoni Aidlberg – San Jose, Calif. – Bellarmine College Prep – De Anza Force – DEF
Yoni attended Bellarmine College Prep and joins the program from Northern California. He has competed at both the US Development Academy/MLS Next level along with his high school team. Yoni helped his high school win the Nor Cal Championship as a sophomore and senior, while captaining his development academy team. He joins sophomore Nolan Jetter out of one of the top clubs in the country: De Anza Force.
Coach Koski on Yoni: “Yoni is a talented two-way player, and will add depth and quality as a wing back. He has experience playing out wide in attack, in defense, or in the center of midfield, and is capable of being a dynamic player in any position he slots into. Yoni is a confident player who is capable of contributing goals and assists through the run of play or through set pieces.”
Ryan Gross – Warrington, Pa. – Central Bucks South – Philadelphia Ukrainian SC – GK
Ryan is a local player from Warrington, Pennsylvania and attended Central Bucks South High School. He’s competed at the top levels of US Youth Soccer in the country, winning a state championship and competing for three years at the National League level with his club, Philadelphia Ukrainian SC.
Coach Koski on Ryan: “Ryan will be an excellent addition to our goalkeeping pool, as he comes with a great deal of experience and maturity. He is a strong shot stopper with a hunger to improve and learn. Ryan has a very high-level work ethic that we value in our program and should settle well into the program.”
Perry Kingson – Accra, Ghana – Kent School – Black Rock – FWD
Perry joins the program from Accra, Ghana and attended Kent School in Kent, Connecticut. He has excelled playing for his high school team as well as playing with Black Rock FC. Perry has also competed in USL2 with LVU and Black Rock. He joins Michael Tahiru as only our second Ghanaian student-athlete in program history.
Coach Koski on Perry: “I’m very excited to bring Perry to the program and Lehigh. He is a left footed forward or attacking midfielder, who can unbalance defenders with his speed and creates goal scoring chances for himself or others. Perry’s strength, quickness and soccer IQ will add sophistication to our attacking group.”
Matias Mancheno – Park Ridge, N.J. – Bergen Catholic – New York SC – MF
Matias attended Bergen Catholic and has experience playing with PDA at the ECNL level as well as the US Development Academy/MLS Next level with PDA and NYSC. He was a conference champion with his High School team in 2017, while also winning an ECNL National Championship in 2019 with PDA.
Coach Koski on Matias: “During the recruiting process, we saw Matias’ ability to play multiple attacking positions well, which will be valuable to the team. He is a strong technical player with good size and game IQ, and Matias has played for some of the top clubs in the country and has experienced success with those teams, and we anticipate those successes will help him transition nicely to the Division 1 level and Lehigh soccer.”
Nikhil Mhatre – Coopersburg, Pa. – Moravian Academy – Lehigh Valley United – DEF
Nikhil will make the short trip to Lehigh from Easton while having attended Moravian Academy and playing for Lehigh Valley United. He has helped his LVU team to the state cup championship in 2018 and his high school program win the state championship in Fall 2019. Nikhil has participated at the National League level and is competing this summer in the USYS National Championship with LVU.
Coach Koski on Nikhil: “I have been fortunate to be a part of Nikhil’s development for years, having coached him with LVU. He has the size, competitiveness and strength to match his strong technical qualities. I know his drive will be very important in helping him contribute to the program his next four years. Nikhil’s defending, distribution and confidence with the ball out of the backline make him a great fit to the way that we play, and I’m excited to be a part of his continued development.”
Harrison Van Vliet – Flanders, N.J. – Delbarton – STA – DEF
Harrison will be joining the program as a defender from North Jersey, having graduated from Delbarton High School and playing club soccer for STA. He was a regular participant with STA in the USYS National League competing against top teams nationally while winning a US Club National Championship in 2019. Harrison also helped his high school team achieve the NJ State Championship all four of his high school years, earning All-League, All-County and All-State honors.
Coach Koski on Harrison: “Harrison is a defender who will be a good fit to the team. He plays with calmness and composure and will bring athleticism to the backline. I’ve watched Harrison play both as a central defender and an outside back, and his versatility will help him as he transitions to the Division 1 level.”
Tommy Zipprich – Evanston, Ill. –Loyola Academy – FC United – FWD
Tommy arrives to Lehigh from Chicago where he attended Loyola Academy, playing club soccer for FC United. He has excelled at the club and high school level, participating in USYS National League and Nationals. Tommy won both the State Cup and Midwest Regional Championships with FC United. Additionally, he was selected as the first All-American in Loyola program history. Tommy was a two-sport athlete at Loyola Academy, also competing on his school’s basketball team.
Coach Koski on Tommy: “Tommy is an athletic attacking player, who is capable of creating space with the ball in and around the box. Tommy impressed me and the staff with his creativity in the final third, and ability to play different attacking roles. As a two-sport athlete, we think Tommy’s best soccer is still ahead, and I’m excited to bring him in to our program.”
Lehigh Men’s Soccer Class of 2025