July 31, 2013
DEKALB, Ill. -- Northern Illinois men’s soccer and head coach Eric Luzzi announced the signing of three international student-athletes to join the Huskies this fall. Richard Hall (Billericay, England/The Billericay School), Albert Levett (Southend-on-Sea, England/Belfairs High) and Chris Bernard (Langley, England/Chalfonts) round out the incoming class, which now features 11 players, for the Huskie men’s soccer team.
"I am extremely excited to announce the remainder of our 2013 recruiting class,” said NIU head coach Eric Luzzi. “We were very pleased with the eight guys that we announced in February and we were hopeful at that time that we would be able to add one or two internationals to this group. The fact that we got three guys coming from overseas, especially with the quality of player and personality that these guys bring, is amazing.
“Even for top-level players there is an adjustment to playing at the Division I college level here, but I anticipate that all three of these guys will be very good players for us and will compete for time right away this season."
Hall is a defender from Billericay, England where he played for Billericay Town FC in the Blue Square South in the sixth tier of English football. He also spent part of his youth career at Leyton Orient Football Club.
"Richard is a very good, left footed, left back. He is clean on the ball, likes to get forward a lot and when he is in advanced positions he serves a quality ball. On top of that, he is a very mature, focused and driven young man, and he will be a perfect fit for our team and our culture on and off the field."
Levett, a native of Southend-On-Sea, England, is a midfielder who spent time as a youth trainee at Barnet Football Club. Levett helped Barking Abbey College win the 2010-11 England U18 Schools Championship and Essex win the County National Schools and Youth Cups in 2011-12.
"Albert plays the holding mid role very well. He is very technical, never gives the ball away and he gets it in terms of the small details of how to play the defensive mid position. He will be a great addition to our central midfield corps, and has all the soccer tools and intangibles to have a very good career at NIU."
Bernard, a native of Langley, England, most recently played for Windsor Football Club in England’s Combined Counties League Premier Division. Bernard made his debut with Windsor’s first team last November.
"Chris is a player that was initially planning on looking to come over to the States to start school in 2014, so he had just started his process when we saw him. We were immediately impressed with what we saw from him as a soccer player and, eventually, even more impressed with him as a person. Chris is an athletic kid, who has a great appetite to attack. I believe he is capable of scoring goals and assists for us and I think he will be a great fit for how we want our team to attack. He is the last piece in what has become a very big class for us and we couldn't be more excited to have Chris joining us this fall."
Coming off of its second-straight appearance in the MAC Tournament Final, the Huskies will open the 2013 season with an exhibition match at home against IUPUI on Saturday, Aug. 17. NIU begins the regular season slate on Friday, August 30, against Cincinnati in Columbus, Ohio.