Head coach Jeremy Fishbein announced in a press release that the Lobo men’s soccer team has added two offensive-minded transfers: attacking midfielder Colin Brezniak, from the University of Pittsburgh, and forward Matthew Puig, from the University of Tulsa.
Both players will be eligible for the program’s spring schedule — which begins in March — and have three years of eligibility remaining.
Brezniak was included in the National Top-100 Freshman list following the season. He finished his freshman fall campaign with three goals and added four more last spring, competing at the collegiate level at only 17 years old. Prior to enrolling at Pitt, Brezniak spent time in both the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United Academies. During his time with the D.C. United Academy, he practiced regularly with the senior team. He scored 14 goals for the D.C. United under-16 team his last full season in the academy.
In comments provided by the University, Fishbein seemed excited about the new addition.
“I love Colin’s tenacity and desire for excellence,” Fishbein said in a release. “From my first conversation with Colin I knew this was a kid I wanted to coach. He’s passionate about the game, knows who he is as a young man and is going to be an incredible teammate. He is a handful around the goal and his skill and work rate will lead to goals and assists. A proven scorer, he is also going to bring out the best in his teammates.”
The additional newcomer, Puig, was an American Athletic Conference All-Rookie and All-Conference teams in addition to earning two AAC Rookie of the Week awards. He lead the team in shots with 45, goals with eight, points with 17 and shots on goal with 27.
His club team, Oklahoma FC “A” won four straight state championships from 2011 through 2014. He scored 33 goals and added 29 assists to the squad during that time. As a member of the team at Deer Creek High School, he scored 66 goals and added 42 assists on his way to winning the Golden Boot, awarded to the highest goal scorer, all four years.
“Matt is a natural center forward,” Fishbein said in a release. “He has all of the qualities you look for in a forward: intelligence, creativity, skill, athleticism and a nose for the goal. He’s demonstrated that he can score big goals at the collegiate level, and he has fit seamlessly into our style of play. His work ethic and desire to score goals are going to make us a much more dynamic attacking team.”
The Lobos kick off the spring schedule on March 10 on the road against USL side Phoenix Rising FC. The first home game will follow on March 31 with the UNM Alumni Game, before the team welcomes Air Force to town on April 7.
Cameron Goeldner is a freelance sports reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer and softball but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.