West Virginia University men’s soccer coach Dan Stratford has announced the addition of four student-athletes to complete the 2021 signing class.
Joining the Mountaineers this fall are Adam Burchell (Hertfordshire, England), Frederik Jorgensen (Aarhus, Denmark), Kasimir Lauber (Freiburg, Germany) and Otto Ollikainen (Helsinki, Finland). The group becomes part of WVU’s nine-player incoming class, which also features defender Simon Kalinauskas, goalkeeper Lorenzo Nuñez, midfielder Max Trethewey, defender George Pitsillides and forward Yoran Popovic.
“It’s great to finally wrap up this year’s recruiting class with our final signings,” Stratford said. “We feel as though we are adding nine quality players who will give our team and training environment another lift. Quality depth is such a key element to the success of our program, and with this recruiting class, we feel as though we have made significant strides in that area.”
Adam Burchell/Forward/Hertfordshire, England
Burchell arrives to Morgantown after a three-year stint at the University of Charleston, where he helped the Eagles win the 2019 Division II National Championship under Stratford. He scored six goals in 23 games played for UC in the 2019 campaign, before tallying eight goals and four assists for 20 total points in just eight games last spring. A native of Hertfordshire, England, Burchell previously attended Brampton College and played his club soccer for Andrew Landesburg with the London Lions. He was named the club’s Young Player of the Year in 2015-16, and 2016-17. The son of James and Carolyn, Burchell plans to major in sport management at WVU.
“I’m looking forward to working with Adam for the second time in his college career,” Stratford said. “Adam was recruited to Charleston in 2018, and he made great strides over the next two seasons. He also made invaluable contributions to the National Championship in 2019. He was just named to the all-conference team due to his prolific numbers in the attack last spring. We’re thrilled to have a player like Adam, not only for the attacking threat he possesses, but he is a quality young man with a great attitude who fits the culture of this program. He is a composed finisher with a great tactical understanding, and I’m looking forward to adding him to our attacking options.”
Frederik Jorgensen/Defender/Aarhus, Denmark
Jorgensen joins the Mountaineers after playing for Brabrand IF in Denmark’s Third Tier. This season, he played in 11 games for the club, including eight starts. Prior to that, he logged 29 career matches for Aarhus GF’s U-19 club, scoring four goals in that time. Additionally, he led his club to a pair of national titles at the U-17 level. The son of Bo and Christina, Jorgensen plans to major in sport management at WVU.
“Frederik fits the profile we look for when recruiting a fullback,” Stratford said. “He has an abundance of pace, loves to get forward and has the skillset necessary to provide a number of assists from our left side. When we considered our playing style and our tactics heading into the fall, Frederik checked every box for what we were looking for from his position. As an incoming freshman, it’s great that he already has some experience playing men’s football in Denmark and had exposure to the Danish Youth National Team.”
Kasimir Lauber/Midfielder/Freiburg, Germany
Lauber comes to WVU after two seasons at Lincoln Memorial University, where he saw action in seven games, with four starts, in 2020-21. As a freshman, he started all 17 games for the Railsplitters, recording one goal and four assists for six total points. He also totaled 16 shots and seven shots on goal in 2019. Prior to that, Lauber attended Rotteck Gymnasium Freiburg in his hometown Freiburg, Germany, and played club soccer at SC Freiburg. He was a member of the U-15 German National Team and participant at the U-16 national team camp. The son of Meinrad and Inge, Lauber plans to major in industrial engineering at West Virginia.
“We’re excited to have Kasimir joining us this season from Lincoln Memorial,” Stratford said. “He was on WVU’s radar before he made the move to America, due to his decorated career in the Youth Bundesliga, and his experience with the German Youth National Team. Kas has great awareness and an excellent left foot that can unlock the opponent, so we’re pleased to have him continue to bolster our attacking threat.”
Otto Ollikainen/Midfielder/Helsinki, Finland
Ollikainen travels to West Virginia from Helsinki, Finland, where he played club soccer for FC Honka. Before that, he spent much of his youth career at HJK Helsinki. While there, he helped his club win the U-17 Finnish League in 2017. Ollikainen also has national team experience, earning spots on the U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-19 rosters for Finland. The son of Matti and Lili-Anne, Ollikainen plans to enroll at WVU in marketing.
“Otto is a very accomplished footballer with a wealth of experience at the National Team level in Finland,” Stratford said. “It is always reassuring to assess a recruit when he is playing for his country, with and against some of the best young players in Europe. Otto is a smart player with good technical abilities that allow him to be more versatile, though his best work appears to be done from central midfield. We have enjoyed getting to know Otto through the recruiting process, and he looks to be another great fit with his personality and the culture of the program.”
The Mountaineers open their 2021 fall camp next month in preparation for the season opener at Robert Morris on Thursday, Aug. 26, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.