Player name: Andrew Putna
Last club: University of Illinois at Chicago
One thing you need to know
During his four years as the first string starter at UIC in goal, Andrew recorded a total of five assists with four coming in his junior season alone. He has the power and technique to reach any part of the field with his towering goal kicks that have a nice hang time.
What he brings to the team
Sean Phillips, Andrew’s coach at UIC characterized him in the following way. "His body of work over the past four years, on and off the field, is deserving of this opportunity. Not only have his play and training habits contributed to three championships in four years, his academic work has him on track to graduate in four years. I am sure he will represent himself and UIC well in the future."
As Putna moves into the professional ranks him work ethic will serve him in good stead as he faces a increase in competition as well as games and length of season. With Lalo Fernandez, who had the bulk of the starts for the Monarchs last season, and Conner Sparrow returning for 2017, Andrew should serve a constant force for improvement and see his own share of time in the net.
Why you should be excited
With his hanging goal kicks and strong leg, Andrew can reach any part of the field with a fair degree of accuracy helping the Monarchs in the field to clear lines and move quickly into offensive mode. The elevation of Rio Tinto should only enhance this ability as he grows familiar with the field and greater altitude.
Putna has proven to be durable and capable of maintaining game fitness and with the demands of the longer USL season. With Nick looking to be away from RSL due to callups with the MNT, Lalo will be spending more time with the first team leaving room for Andrew to make an immediate impact in his first season with the Monarchs.
Predictions for 2017
- Andrew will serve a notable role in allowing the offensive side to play higher and transition quickly as the offensive picks up speed throughout the season.
- Andrew will see at least five starts in goal for the Monarchs during 2017.
- Although only a rookie, Putna will demonstrate mental strength and toughness by putting setbacks like the fluke goal score by Timbers 2 behind him quickly.