July 12, 2019, Sterling, Colo. — Dani van Steijn from Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands became the sixth and final soccer student-athlete of the 2019 graduating class to continue his athletic and academic career. Van Steijn signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) with California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, Calif.
In 2018 as a sophomore, Van Steijn was awarded National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Third Team All-American, First Team Region IX South, and finished with 27 total points. His point total is the third all-time in school history. Growing up outside of Amsterdam, he played four years with Ajax professional academy. Other extracurricular activities he participated in here at Northeastern included being a part our Student Senate and volunteering within the local youth soccer club as a referee and coach.
On his signing day, van Steijn said, "The reason I choose California State University Dominguez Hills is that the facilities are great and they have everything to win a national title. Also, studying in the middle of Los Angeles was always one of my biggest dreams." Van Steijn continued, "My experience at Northeastern was one to never forget. I had a very successful two years and I made lifelong friends who I will never forget. I want to thank all my professors, faculty members, friends, and everybody else who made those two years unforgettable. The Plainsmen soccer program is going to do great things in the following years. Last year we had our best ranking in school history which was at highest at 12 and I think with the sophomore group they will have next year, and the new recruiting class, very good things will happen."
He concluded by saying, "My goals for CSUDH are to get a starting spot right away and help the team compete for a national title next year. I am excited about playing and receiving my bachelor's degree in my next two years."
After leaving the University of San Francisco, Eddie Soto is in his first season as head coach of CSUDH. In regards to signing van Steijn, Soto said, "I am very happy to have found Dani. He was ready to commit to another university when I first connected with him. But once he learned more about me, the university, and our location, he was very excited to pursue Dominguez Hills."
Soto finished by saying, "Dani is a player with lots of experience, and since coming to the states he's adapted well and is ready to make an impact in division two. I cannot wait to have him here come August."
Thinking back on his time with van Steijn, Northeastern's head coach Keith Buderus said, "It is easy for me to write a lot about Dani after spending two years with him. Our supporters in the community and everyone on campus loves Dani and speak very highly of him. The 2018 season was my first as a head coach and I relied very heavily on Dani. He never shied away from the challenges that come with being a leader to your peers. As our captain, he was the motor and voice of our team."
"Dani is a top player who understands how to take care of himself as a student-athlete, on and off the field," said Buderus. "I have always said the strongest piece of Dani is his mentality; he embodies what it takes to succeed in college soccer in America. He is a well-rounded player who was our heart and soul; he would be a stalwart in any team. His tenacious and gritty attitude is a joy for any team and then you pair that with his leadership ability and he quickly becomes a top player."
Buderus said van Steijn will be remembered for more than just his soccer skills. "He was also a leader and role model off the field where he grew very close with a few families and youth in Sterling. He was a positive example to his teammates and I know he is ready to immediately step into any environment and infuse energetic leadership. He is the type of person you can never replace nor forget and we wish him the best of luck with everything in life."
The Plainsmen soccer team will look to continue their success this fall with their first game beginning August 23.