UIC Men's Soccer Welcomes Two Notre Dame Transfers, Local Product

July 12, 2013

CHICAGO - UIC head men's soccer coach Sean Phillips continued to bolster his 2013 roster Friday, announcing the additions of Notre Dame transfers Danny O'Leary and Bob Novak, as well as St. Ignatius College Prep product Alex Simon. All three newcomers are natives of the Chicagoland region.

O'Leary and Novak both earned their bachelor's degrees from Notre Dame at the conclusion of the 2012-13 academic year, and will enroll in graduate school at UIC. Both student-athletes will be immediately eligible to suit up for the Flames during the 2013 campaign.

O'Leary attended Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, and has seen action in 50 games at UND over the last three years, collecting 12 career points, including five goals. Novak prepped at Lockport Township High School, and played in 34 matches for the Fighting Irish over the past three seasons, including nine starting assignments in 2012. Simon was a four-year letterwinner at St. Ignatius College Prep, and joins four other newcomers that starred for the nationally-prominent club Raiders FC.

O'Leary, Novak and Simon join a 2013 recruiting class that includes the following student-athletes: Kyle Hamann (Lemont, Ill. /Lemont), Joel Leon (Cicero, Ill. /Morton East), Gabriel Martinez, Jr. (Chicago, Ill. /George Washington), Andrew Putna (Lemont, Ill. /Lemont) and Gonzalo Romo (Hammond, Ind. /Bishop Noll).

Danny O'Leary

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
High School: Neuqua Valley
Last College: Notre Dame (2009-12)
Height/Weight: 5-11/165
Position: MF/F

Coach Phillips on O'Leary: "We are very excited that Danny chose UIC to continue his playing career as he works towards his master's degree. Danny, who played in 50 games for Notre Dame the last three years starting 38, is a proven top level Division I soccer player who will be able to immediately bring a high level of athleticism, ability, leadership and experience to our team."

AS A SENIOR (2012): Appeared in and started 20 matches ... scored a pair of goals, including one game-winner ... also tallied one assist on the season ... took 31 shots, including 14 shots-on-goal ... helped Fighting Irish earn top overall seed in 2012 NCAA Tournament.

AS A JUNIOR (2011): Started all 18 matches and notched seven points on three goals and one assist ... made his first career start in the season opener, a scoreless draw versus Indiana ... gave the Irish a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute against Denver when he deposited his first career goal in an eventual 2-2 draw in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament ... scored in the fourth minute in a 1-0 upset of third-ranked Louisville ... put the Irish on the board in the 21st minute in a 3-0 victory at Georgetown ... assisted on Notre Dame's first goal in a 2-1 win at Providence.

AS A SOPHOMORE (2010): Played in 12 matches ... attempted one shot ... saw 129 minutes of action on the field ... made his collegiate debut in the season opener, a 1-0 setback to UCLA in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic.

AS A FRESHMAN (2009): Did not see game action, redshirting the season.

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Region II ODP member ... two-time Illinois ODP captain ... 2007 ODP national champion ... 2007 Region II ODP champion ... 2007 Illinois State Cup champion ... 2007 Dallas Cup quarterfinalist ... 2006 Region II ODP champion ... 2006 U.S. Club Soccer National Cup finalist ... 2005 Region II ODP semifinalist ... 2005 U.S. Youth Soccer Region II champion ... 2005 Illinois State Cup champion ... 2005 U.S. Club Soccer Midwest Regional League champion ... ranked 24th on's 2009 Top 100 Men's recruits list ... two-time all-star selection at Notre Dame soccer camp ... top-10 percent of Nike's National SPARQ rating ... four-year member of the '91 Illinois State ODP squad ... played for Chicago Fire Academy and Sockers FC Chicago Academy teams ... two-time starter in football (wide receiver, kick-off returner) ... older sister attended Notre Dame ... son of Dan and Kathleen O'Leary ... enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business as a marketing major.

Bob Novak

Hometown: Homer Glen, Ill.
High School: Lockport Township
Last College: Notre Dame (2009-12)
Height/Weight: 5-6/145
Position: MF

Coach Phillips on Novak: "Bob is another player from Notre Dame who chose UIC to continue his post graduate studies about whom we are very excited. He possesses a great soccer mind and tremendous work ethic on the field. His addition will bring immediate depth and strength into our team at the midfield positions this fall."

AS A SENIOR (2012): Saw action in all 22 games with nine starts ... helped the Fighting Irish capture the top overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament ... attempted four shots.

AS A JUNIOR (2011): Played in 10 games, including eight starts ... tallied one goal ... made his first career start in a 4-1 win over Dayton at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic ... scored his first career goal just 26 seconds into the match in a 2-1 triumph of Bucknell in the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament ... that was the quickest Notre Dame goal of the BIG EAST era (since 1995).

AS A SOPHOMORE (2010): Played in two games ... saw time in a 5-1 win over Cal Poly that clinched the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament title for the Fighting Irish ... played in a 4-1 victory over Marquette.

AS A FRESHMAN (2009): Did not see game action, redshirting the season.

HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Member of the Chicago Magic Soccer Club ... named to's `2009 Top 100 Men' recruits ... selected to Region II pool team as U-13, U-14 and U-15 ... won ODP national championship with Team Illinois ... two-time all-state midfielder ... started on his varsity squad all four seasons at Lockport Township ... Super Y-League U-15 national champion with the Magic ... runner-up with the Magic at the United States Youth Soccer Association (USYSA) U-14 national championship ... three-time Region II champion ... son of Richard and Mary Fran Novak.

Alex Simon

Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
High School: St. Ignatius College Prep
Club: Raiders FC
Height/Weight: 5-8/145
Position: D

Coach Phillips on Simon: "A former camper, Alex showed us his winning intangibles and passion for the game right away. He has constantly pushed himself as a player the past several years with his high school - St. Ignatius - and club teams - Raiders FC Premier. The work really started to leave a positive mark on every game he played over the past year. We look forward to him providing pace, tenacity, depth and competition in the wide positions on the field." -Played at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory for four years, helping the program to one of its best seasons in school history in 2012. The Wolfpack finished the season with a 20-4-1 record and were Co-Champions of the Chicago Catholic League.

-Played for Chicago United from 2009-2011 and was a key player in a program that captured US Club league, state and regional championships during that time.
-Part of the Raiders FC club that qualified for the USYS National Championships in back-to-back seasons (2012, 2013), including a landmark 2012 season where Raiders FC won the USYS Region II Championship, the USYS Midwest Regional League and the Disney Showcase. Raiders FC also finished second in the USYS National League, were IYSA U17 State Cup finalists and were USYS National Championship runners-up last summer.
-In the current 2013 season, Raiders FC have won the USYS National League and claimed the IYSA State Cup en route to qualifying for the 2013 USYS National Championships.
-First caught the eye of the UIC coaching staff at the UIC Soccer Camp.