4 sign to play soccer at Bethany

By Tony Stennett, Bethany College SID
April 30, 2016

LINDSBORG — Bethany College has announced the addition of four signees to the 2016-2017 men's soccer recruiting class: Zen Tristan Baatjes, Auckland, New Zealand; Lucas Muckley, Stourbridge, West Midlands, England; Carlos Aguilera, Kansas City, Kan.; and Danny de Abda-Borg, Egham, England.

Baatjes is a left back and a defensive midfielder who played at Rutherford in New Zealand. He was a three-sport athlete, also playing second base in baseball and a small forward in basketball. Baatjes was the Junior Player of the Year in 2011-2012, and was the Waitakere Player of the year as well.

Bethany coach Shane Taylor said: "Zen is a player with good athleticism and technical ability which will allow him to transition and contribute right away. I know Zen is excited to move on to the college level and we are equally excited to have him on our team."

Baatjes is the son of Eldred and Noletta Baatjes. He has a 3.0 grade point average and wants to study Sports Management when arriving at Bethany.

Muckley is a forward and winger from Old Swinford in Stourbridge. He has spent time as a trialist at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, Birmingham City FC, and Walsall FC. Muckley represented the county at the U-18 level and for Worcester City in the FA Youth Cup. He was the top scorer for the Tipton Town U21 and in the same season was the top scorer in the league with 26 goals.

"Lucas is a strong forward, a consistent finisher, and we are excited to have him join us,” Taylor said. “His speed and work rate can wear out opposing teams. He plays for teams competing at a high level in the UK and that experience will help him transition to soccer at Bethany.” 

Muckley is the son of Simon and Eileen Muckley. He has a 3.0 grade point average and wants to study Psychology in his time at Bethany.

Aguilera is a right back and played at Schlagle High School in Kansas City. He was a varsity starter his final three years of his high school career. Aguilera was All-League honorable mention and in another season was All-League second team. He also led his team to their first-ever playoff win in school history and was a captain on the team.

"We are excited to have Carlos join our program this fall. He is a versatile and smart defender who can play multiple roles," Taylor said. "Carlos comes from a solid soccer background giving him the experience needed to play at the next level."

Aguilera is the son of Maria Del Carmen Rosales and Arnulfo Aguilera. He has a 2.75 grade point average and plans on studying Pre-Physical Therapy while attending Bethany.

Abela-Borg is a midfielder and a defender who played at Charters Sixth Form in Berkshire. His high school team won its league. He was a director of AYSO Soccer camps across New Mexico, Nevada and California where he led coaching session for various academies.

"Danny is one of the most versatile players we have signed this year,” Taylor said. “He has experience playing forward, midfield and defense. His work rate and experience give him an edge in transitioning to the college game. We are very excited to have him joining our team."

Abela-Borg is the son of Nigel de Abela-Borg and Michelle Casey. He sports a 3.6 grade point average, and plans to study Digital Arts while attending Bethany.