FLC men’s soccer signs a Jack of all trades for starters

For defense, midfield or offense, the Fort Lewis College men’s soccer program added a versatile player to the mix.

The first of a “handful” of recruits that FLC head coach Oige Kennedy plans to announce, Malik Badawi from Fresno, Calif., is the first player to be announced after national signing day Wednesday. Badawi’s signing was announced Thursday.

“Malik is a very exciting player that we have very high hopes for,” Kennedy said in a news release to The Durango Herald. “He can play in a number of positions and has distinguished himself in defense, midfield and as a forward. He will join the program with a very strong playing background.

“We feel Malik has all of the necessary skills to develop further with us here in Durango.”

Badawi, 6-3, 170 pounds, was a two-year starter for Bullard High School and played for the well-respected West Coast soccer club Cal Odyssey Development Academy.

“It’s important for our program to add academy players such as Malik to our squad,” said Kennedy, who’s guided perennial powerhouse FLC to Division II national championships in 2009 and 2011.

“They play at the highest level in the country and are tested week in, week out against quality opposition. They have to be able to combine high school and lots of travel for soccer, which is the ideal preparation for life as a college soccer player.”

FLC, which spent two weeks at No. 1 in the national rankings, is trying to rebound from a down year in which it went 9-8-2, 6-6-2 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference – its 16th consecutive winning season and 17th in a row in the RMAC Tournament.