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Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer Team


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Head Coach: Joe Veal (10th year)
Assistant Coach: Tony Deakin (1st year), Tim Kelly (1st year)

Asst. Coach/Keeper Coach: Sean Downey (2nd year)

2014 Record: 11-8-1, WHAC 4-5-1
Team Statistics - 2014
Prospective Athlete Questionnaire

2014 Schedule

Wed., Aug. 27 vs. Cleary Grand Rapids, Mich. W 5-0  
Sat., Aug. 30 vs. Roosevelt Grand Rapids, Mich. W 3-1  
Wed., Sept. 3 @ St. Xavier Chicago, Ill. W 4-0  
Sat., Sept. 6 @ Goshen Goshen, Ind. W 3-1  
Thurs., Sept. 11 vs. St. Francis (Ill.) Grand Rapids, Mich. W 3-1  
Tues., Sept 16 vs. St. Francis (Ind.) Grand Rapids, Mich. W 4-1  

Fri. - Sat.,

Sept. 19-20

Watherford Estates Lodge Classic

hosted by Bethel College

Mishawaka, Ind.    
Fri., Sept. 19 vs. Indiana Wesleyan Mishawaka, Ind.

L 1-3

Sat., Sept. 20 @ Bethel Mishawaka, Ind.

L 4-0

Sat., Sept. 27 vs. Cornerstone* (Homecoming) Grand Rapids, Mich. T 0-0 (2OT) Listen on the Radio
Wed., Oct. 1 @ Madonna* Livonia, Mich. L 2-3  
Sat., Oct. 4 vs. #22 Northwestern Ohio* Grand Rapids, Mich. L 0-2  
Wed., Oct. 8 vs. Lawrence Tech* Grand Rapids, Mich. L 1-2  
Sat., Oct. 11 @ UM - Dearborn Dearborn, Mich. W 4-2  
Wed. Oct. 15 vs. #1 Davenport* Grand Rapids, Mich. W 1-0  
Sat. Oct. 18 @ Marygrove* Detroit, Mich. L 2-0  
Sat., Oct. 25 @ Indiana Tech* Fort Wayne, Ind. W 3-1  
Wed., Oct. 29 vs. Concordia* Grand Rapids, Mich. L 1-2  
Sat., Nov. 1 @ Siena Heights* Adrian, Mich. W 3-0  
Sat., Nov. 8

WHAC Tournament Quarterfinals

@ Marygrove

Detroit, Mich.

W 2-0

Tues., Nov. 11

WHAC Tournament Semifinals

@ Northwestern Ohio

Lima, Ohio

L 1-2

* denotes WHAC league game


No. Photos Name Yr. Pos Ht. Hometown/High School (College)
0 Ty VandePoel Ty VandePoel So. GK 5-9 Holland, Mich./Holland
1 Christian Brink Christian Brink Fr. GK 6-2 Holland, Mich./Holland
2 Peter Brandenburg Peter Brandenburg Jr. MID 6-0 Mason, Mich./Mason
3 Matt Jackson Matt Jackson Jr. DEF 6-2 Kalamazoo, Mich./Kalamazoo Christian/Grand Rapids CC
4 Michael Weber Michael Weber Jr. DEF 6-2 Traverse City, Mich./Saint Francis
5 Chris Grote Chris Grote So. DEF 5-9 Carmel, Ind./Indianapolis Chatard
6 Justin Reamon Justin Reamon Jr. MID 5-11 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
7 Juan Torres Juan Torres Jr. MID 5-8 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
8 Mitchal Rosendall Mitchal Rosendall Jr. MID 5-11 Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern/Western Michigan
9 Jon Malecke Jon Malecke Sr. DEF 5-9 South Lyon, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
10 Aldony Mendez Aldony Mendez Jr. FWD 5-9 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
11 Charlie Wait Charlie Wait Sr. MID 6-1 Byron Center, Mich./Byron Center
12 Yianni Demo Yianni Demo So. FWD 6-1 Macomb Township, Mich./Chippewa Valley
13 Steven Hower Michael Hower Jr. MID 6-0 Holland, Mich./Zeeland East/Muskegon Community College
14 Marlon Bykerk Marlon Bykerk Fr. MID 5-4 Caledonia, Mich./Caledonia
15 Melecio Terrones-Luna Melecio Terrones-Luna So. MID 5-5 Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming
17 Ryan Wagenmaker Ryan Wagenmaker Jr. FWD 6-1 Muskegon, Mich./Reeths Puffer/Muskegon CC
18 Alex Detwiler Alex Detwiler So. DEF 5-9 Grosse Points Farms, Mich./Grosse Pointe South
21 Enrique Padilla Enrique Padilla Jr. DEF 6-0 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
22 Arnes Becirovic Arnes Becirovic Jr. MID 6-2 Kelloggsville, Mich./Kelloggsville
23 Cam Vela Cam Vela So. MID 5-8 Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Northern
24 Jacob Bedi Jacob Bedi Fr. MID 6-2 West Bloomfield, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central
25 Patryk Biel Patryk Biel Fr. MID 5-9 Grandville, Mich./Grandville
26 Nicholas Ellingboe Nicholas Ellingboe Fr. FWD 5-11 Spring Lake, Mich./Spring Lake
27 Jameson Cunningham Jameson Cunningham Fr. MID 5-10 Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids
28 Shamil Kurji Shamil Kurji Fr. DEF 5-10 Richmond Hill, Canada/St. Roberts Catholic/North York - Ontario
31 Jason Lenon Jason Lenon Fr. FWD 6-0 Rockford, Mich/Rockford
33 Nedim Mehanovic Nedim Mehanovic Fr. FWD 5-8 Grand Rapids, Mich./Northview
37 Todd Hall Todd Hall Fr. GK 6-6 Muskegon, Mich./Muskegon Catholic Central
38 Kyle Hibbard Kyle Hibbard Fr. GK 6-2 Sterling Heights, Mich./Adlai Stevenson
-- Dakota Goldsmith Dakota Goldsmith Fr. MID 6-3 Rockford, Mich./Rockford


Joe Veal

Joe Veal - Head Coach


(616) 632-2474 (Office)


Joe Veal begins his tenth year leading the men's soccer program at Aquinas College. In 2011 Veal became the winningest coach in Aquinas history and in 2012 achieved his 100th win as an Aquinas coach and his 200th win as a College coach. Coach Veal now has a 124-48-11 overall record at Aquinas and a 61-22-7 record in conference games at Aquinas. In his ten years at the helm of the program the Saints have won the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) regular season championship 3 times in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and the WHAC tournament three times, in 1996 and 2007, and 2012.


Veal has built the program based on trying to recruit solid student-athletes that possess strong character traits to compliment their outstanding soccer skills. Veal comments, "There are so many aspects to look at in conducting a successful program. We focus on recruiting quality student-athletes that have good skills, ball control and touch. We also look for players that have a strong understanding of game tactics.


He also credits the success of the program to the influence of his Assistant Coaches during those years. “Matt Roberts, Tony Rowe, Levi Swaney, Brian McKeough, Chad DuRussel, Rodger Garner are all former players who love the game of soccer and love Aquinas and have worked very hard to maintain a program of excellence.”


After playing high school football, Veal took up the game of soccer. From that point on, he has never looked back and soccer has been a big part of his life. Upon graduation, Veal continued his education and playing career at Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN. He was a four year varsity player on the men's soccer team and was selected as a team captain his junior and senior seasons. He also garnered All-District recognition his junior year. Veal completed his education at Bethel College and graduated with a degree in Biblical Literature and Youth Ministry. He later returned to complete the requirements to be a Health and Physical Education teacher. After graduating from Bethel College, he spent three additional years at Bethel in the capacity of athletic director and teaching and coaching soccer.


After years at Bethel, Veal was ready for a new challenge and he was selected as the first head coach at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis for two seasons. He was named district coach of the year one of those years. Veal then moved to Grand Rapids, MI where for the next seven years he was an Assistant Professor and head soccer coach at WHAC rival Cornerstone University. The Golden Eagles won a conference championship under Veal's leadership in 1993.


In 1996 Veal joined the Aquinas College Saints program in a co-coaching position with coach Pat Hoatlin. The Saints won the WHAC tournament that season. Veal, who is currently a Health Education teacher in the Rockford Public School system, then coached the varsity boy's soccer team at Rockford for nine seasons.


When the men's soccer coaching position became open in 2005, Veal realized he was ready for a new challenge and was optimistic about the Aquinas College program. The rest is history and Veal has continued to produce teams that are disciplined and hard working on the field. He believes in taking talent and adapting the system to get the most out of his players. Veal has a strong conviction regarding developing a servant leader mentality in his players. He explains, “One of the five NAIA Champions of Character traits is servant leadership. Jesus was the ultimate role model of that trait. The original Saints, the disciples, at first sought to be the greatest among each other and Jesus taught them otherwise when He said, “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)


Joe Veal is married to Sylvia and they have four children, two sons and two daughters.




Photo Not Available

Tony Deakin - Assistant Coach


Tony Deakin begins his first season in the Saints Men’s Soccer program. He replaces Coach Rodger Garner who took over as Head Coach for the Aquinas Women’s team. Coach Deakin will assist Coach Veal in all areas of administrating and coaching the team, but mainly will be involved with coordinating the Saints offense.


Tony has experience in coaching over the last ten years with youth teams such as SCOR, PASS, Georgetown Rangers, and Figtree Academy. He has completed his USSF National C License and has a NSCAA Professional Development Certificate. He currently serves as a Coach for the Grand Rapids Crew U15 Boys and Girls, U12 Boys, and U8 Academy teams.


Coach Deakin has an extensive and honored background as a player. He played college soccer at Davenport University (2005-2009). While at Davenport he was selected to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference All-Conference 1st Team all four years. He also was a team captain all four years and helped to lead Davenport to a WHAC Tournament Championship. His freshman year he was selected as WHAC Newcomer of the Year. His junior year he was named WHAC Player of the Year. He was twice named as a NAIA All-American. In addition to playing in college Tony has played semi professionally in England for the Oldahm BORO Football Club for two years and in Australia for the Cringilia Lions Football Club for two years.


Educationally Coach Deakin earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management at Davenport. He has also achieved his BTEC National Diploma in Sports Science and is a Certified NASM Sports Trainer. Besides coaching Tony works for MVP Sports as a personal trainer.


Tony is married to Amanda (Jock) Deakin, who was a member of the Aquinas Women’s team for four years.

Sean Downey

Sean Downey - Assistant Coach/Reserve Team Coach


Coach Downey starts his second year with the Saints program as an Assistant Coach and will also serve as the Reserve Team Coach. Coach Downey has implemented the Aquinas College Men’s Soccer Facebook page as well as the team Twitter and Instagram accounts that allow the fans of the Men’s Soccer team to follow the team and get updates on the team.


Sean came to Aquinas in the summer of 2012 when he moved to Grand Rapids after he transferred to Aquinas College from Michigan Tech University in Houghton. Sean graduated from Aquinas in the spring of 2014 with his degree in Sports Management. Coach Downey has served as the U9 Girls and Head Keeper Coach for LASSO. Last year he served as a staff coach for the Grand Rapids Crew and coached several Grand Rapids Crew teams. Currently Sean serves on the staff of the West Michigan Fire Soccer Club.

Sean completed his USSF D License and has earned a NSCAA Professional Development Certificate.


Coach Downey is originally from St. Clair, Michigan. Sean has playing experience with several premier level clubs including Nova, Vardar, BASC, and Wolves. Sean was also a four year starter for his varsity high school team at Cardinal Mooney Catholic Preparatory School. Plagued with injuries during his junior and senior year of high school Sean was unable to play in college and is pursuing a career in coaching.



Photo Not Available

Tim Kelly - Assistant Coach


Tim Kelly begins his first year in the Saints Men’s Soccer program. Tim has served as a coach with the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association and with Hope College Soccer Camps. Tim grew up in Kalamazoo where he attended and played for Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central. While there he was selected to the MHSSCA All-State Team in 1997 and 1998. He was a member of the 1995 State Championship team as well. Coach Kelly went on to excel at the college level at Hope College. While a member of the Hope College team for four years, Tim was named to the the All-MIAA All-Conference Team in 2001 and 2002 and to the MIAA All-Academic Team in 2001. In 2002 Hope won the MIAA Championship and made it to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 and Tim was a Co-Captain and Team Defensive MVP on the team.


Tim married his wife Julia in 2009 and relocated to Grand Rapids from Long Beach, California in 2013 is now the Planning Manager for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.


Season Preview

2014 will be a year to build on the accomplishments of 2013. After a year of extreme changes in the Aquinas starting line up and roster the team looks to reload and be as competitive as ever.


Coach Veal was proud of what the Saints accomplished in 2013. Coach Veal explained, “I cannot even begin to say how proud I am of our Team last year. We lost all four starting defenders and our starting goalkeeper from 2012 and yet we attained a .9 Goals Against Average and were in the top ten for shutouts in the NAIA for most of the season. We also lost 86% of our scoring from 2012 and yet we scored 54 goals. Better yet, the players played as a Team as well as any team I’ve coached in 35 years of coaching. It was all about the Team, no egos, no selfishness.”


The 2014 Saints will need to replace five starters, all seniors. Gone are First Team All-Conference selection Michael Gagnon, (8 goals, 7 assist) from the midfield. Also, Second Team All-Conference Selection Mitch Torres, (4 goals, 5 assist), leaves a big hole to fill in the midfield. Both Gagnon and Torres were four year starters. Also graduating were second leading scorer, forward Jonathan Spencer, (9 goals, 6 assist), and midfielder Tucker Hogarth, (2 goals, 2 assist), as well as goalkeeper Craig Demshuk, (.92 Goals Against Average).


Although the team will return only six starters from last years team they will have three players who were starters from previous years return to bolster the lineup. Justin Reamon and Mitch Rosendall were both starters on the 2012 WHAC Tournament Championship team. Justin took a year off from his studies and Mitch missed last season to recover from an off season ACL injury. Also returning will be Ryan Wagenmaker. Ryan started two games in 2013 and scored two goals before injuring his knee and missing the rest of the season.


At defense the Saints return all four starting defenders. Returning are central defenders Rico Padilla (Jr., Northview, 1 goal, 1 assist) and Matt Jackson (Jr., Kalamazoo Christian/Grand Rapids Community College, 3 goals). Returning at outside defender will be very strong defender, Jon Malecke (Sr., Detroit Catholic Central, 2 assist) and Alex Detwiler (So., Grosse Point South). Michael Weber (Jr., Traverse City St. Francis, 1 goal, 1 assist) will also look to solidify the defense after playing multiple positions as he filed the role of super sub in 2013. Looking to add depth in the defense are Ty VandePoel, (So., Holland) and Charlie Wait, (Sr., Bryon Center).


The midfield will look very different after losing three of the four starters. The coaching staff will use the preseason to figure out which players will be best suited to help the Saints at midfield. The lone returning starter is Juan Torres (Jr., Northview, 2 goals, 2 assist). Two players will likely transition from defense to the midfield. Peter Brandenburg, (Jr., Mason, 3 goals, 3 assist) often started on defense and moved to the midfield as a game progressed. A defender in 2012, Justin Reamon (Jr., Northview/Hope) will use his attacking ability as a midfielder. Mitch Rosdendall (Jr., Forest Hills Eastern/Western Michigan Univ.), will utilize his possession and distribution skills to help the team with ball control and possession. Challenging for playing time will be a number of returning players including Cam Vela, (So., Forest Hills Northern), Efrain Cano Jr. (So., Wyoming), Melecio Terrones-Luna, (So., Wyoming, 1 goal), and A.J. Broughton (So., Spring Lake). A number of newcomers will also challenge for starting positions and playing time in the midfield. 


At forward the Saints return WHAC Newcomer of the Year, Aldony Mendez, (Jr., Northview, 19 goals, 9 assist). Looking to contribute are players Ryan Wagenmaker (Jr., Reeths Puffer/Muskegon Community College) and Yianni Demo, (So. Chippewa Valley).


The big question for the team will be at the goalkeeper position. Four freshmen look to battle for the starting position and significant playing time.


Other changes in the team include the coaching staff and the addition of a reserve team. After Associate Head Coach Rog Garner was named the Head Coach for the Aquinas Women’s Soccer Team, Coach Veal needed to find an experienced assistant. Filling the position is Tony Deakin. Tony is from England and had a very accomplished career at Davenport University. Tony was WHAC Newcomer of the Year his freshman year and was a WHAC First Team All-Conference selection every year he played at Davenport. His junior year Tony was WHAC Player of the Year. Tony played semi-professional soccer in England for Oldham Boro FC as well as for the Cringila Lions FC in Australia for two years. He has over ten years of coaching experience at the club level. He currently is a staff coach for the Grand Rapids Crew. Tony has a USSF C license and also is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Tony is married to former Aquinas Women’s Team player Amanda (Jock).


Also joining the staff is Tim Kelly. Tim had a successful four year career at Hope College where he was a Co-Captain and helped lead the team to a NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen appearance. He was named to the MIAA All-Conference team two years. Tim is married to Julia and is the Planning Manager for Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.


Returning to the staff will be Sean Downey. Sean will transition from Student Assistant to Assistant Coach and Reserve Team coach.

“We lost five starters from last year but in reality have nine starters returning with the return of the three players who have started in the past.” explained Coach Veal. “We are all excited about the potential the team has to be successful in the WHAC and beyond. The guys have been working very hard in the off-season and with the leadership of our captains, Rico Padilla, Jon Melecke, and Matt Jackson, as well as our upperclassmen, I have seen improvement with their strength, conditioning, and skills.”


While reloading the roster with talent and depth, the Saints will look to not just match their 2013 success, but build on it and challenge for the WHAC Championship.