Jake Kent-Koop has gone from Division III powerhouse to USL Championship.
The New Mexico native, who starred for Messiah for four seasons, has signed on with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for the 2024 season.
“Jake had a great career at Messiah and has all the tools to make the jump to the USL Championship,” Riverhounds head coach Bob Lilley stated in a news release. “He is a physical defender who runs well, and we believe he will grow quickly in our system.”
Across 78 career games, Lent-Koop made 60 starts scoring a dozen goals and assisting on three others. He finished his time in Grantham with 27 career points, but his impact was mostly felt on the defensive end. He anchored a Messiah backline that allowed just 45 goals in the 78 games that games that Lent-Koop appeared in his career for a 0.58 goals per game average.
Though Division III soccer players turning pro isn’t common, Kent-Koop isn’t the first to go from Messiah to USL or even the first to play for the Riverhounds. Jacob Bender played for Charlotte Independence in 2017 while Jack Thompson and Nick Thompson were teammates on the Hounds in 2016-17. Former Messiah head coach Dave Brandt – now at Bucknell – also coached with the Riverhounds.