BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Five Chicago Fire Academy alums were recently named to TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Top 100 upperclassmen list ahead of the fall collegiate season.
“I think it says a lot of our program,” said Academy Director Larry Sunderland. “All these guys have come through our system and they’re some of the top college players in the country. It’s a great accomplishment for them but I think there are others out there that didn’t get recognized.”
Having tallied 10 goals and nine assists in 65 games, Northwestern midfielder Chris Ritter (Winnetka, Ill.) heads into his redshirt senior season at ninth on the list while Wildcats teammate Joey Calistri (Deerfield, Ill.) used nine goals and two assists in his freshman season to register at #52.
Two Marquette players also made the list with Eagles senior midfielder Bryan Ciesulka (pictured above; Naperville, Ill.) coming in at #20. The diminutive midfielder has tallied nine goals and 15 assists across 54 games for Marquette heading into his final season. Meanwhile, redshirt junior goalkeeper Charlie Lyon (St. Charles, Ill.) came in at #28, following a season in which he went 16-4-1, garnering 10 shutouts in the process.
Finally, no list like this is complete without a little representation from the Hoosiers. That comes in the form of Indiana University midfielder Jacob Bushue who has appeared in a minimum of 20 games over each of his first three seasons in Bloomington, tallying three goals and seven assists while helping the Hoosiers to their eighth NCAA College Cup last December.
Of the above four players, all but Bushue spent time with the club’s PDL team this season and are viewed as potential Homegrown signings according to Sunderland.
“I think these are guys we should be looking down the line to be in Fire uniforms playing inside Toyota Park one day. They all have the potential to be there.”