Former Staples soccer star makes the jump to the pro’s

Former Staples soccer star makes the jump to the pro’s

Staples alum Brendan Lesch has spent the last four years playing midfield for the University of Notre Dame men’s soccer team. The former All-American will now be taking his game to the next level once again, by joining a professional club called Western Suburbs in New Zealand next month.

On how the recruitment process was initiated, Lesch said, “My coach here at Notre Dame, Bobby Clark, is the former national team coach of New Zealand. He sent an email to an old contact he had in his country, [and it] was intercepted by a former soccer player at Butler who runs an academy over there for high school aged players.”

Lesch who was once a senior tri-captain at Staples, graduated in 2010 with several accolades to his name. However, things didn’t necessarily go as planned for Lesch when he joined the Notre Dame squad, having missed the entirety of the 2013 season with a knee injury.

“As for the knee, it’s feeling great,” Lesch said. “Unfortunately the multiple acls sidelined me for about 50% of my college career, but the more time that has passed, the stronger it feels.”

The opportunity to play professionally is thrilling, but there is an element of uncertainty that goes along with it.

“If I do well, I’m sure doors will open; if I underperform, doors will close in a hurry. So I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Staples soccer coach Dan Woog was quick to commend Lesch’s skill on the field, and the impact he had while playing for Staples.

“Brendan Lesch was perhaps the most talented player we’ve had since Kyle Martino [in] ’99. He loves the game, and works very hard at it,” Woog said. “We certainly wish him the best in the next stage of his career.”

Lesch won’t have much time to kill in New Zealand; he makes his departure in early June, and will begin playing immediately, as the club is currently in the middle of their season.

On what this opportunity means to him, Lesch said, “I get my foot in the door at the professional level and can continue to build my career on two healthy legs.”