International student seems to be a soccer star in the making

Cal State LA men’s soccer player Marlon Radel reflects on his first season in the program

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Marlon Radel

Marlon Radel warming up before his first career game for the Cal State LA Golden Eagles against Saint Martin’s on Aug. 25

Brian Perez, Multimedia Reporter

Marlon Radel, an international student, is a freshman defender for the Golden Eagles men’s soccer team. The freshman defender stepped into a starting role most of the season and helped the defending national champions, the Golden Eagles, throughout the semester.

The Magstadt, Germany native, was part of the defense that posted 10 shutouts out of 20 and played over 850 minutes this season. 

Radel previously played for the “ib Berufliche Schulen” in high school, located in Asperg, Germany, before coming to Cal State LA in August of 2022.

“I wanted to always play college-level football,” he said. “I felt it was time for me to leave former club FC Nottingen after two seasons. It was time for something new, and I told my family I wanted to play in college in America.”

When he was 16 years old, he played in youth academies. He said he always knew that soccer would be part of his future. 

Cal State LA’s men’s soccer Coach Michael Erush is happy to have Randel, with his experience playing in Germany.

“He started every game for us, and he was very consistent,” Erush said. “I saw him really develop as the season went on. He came from playing pretty much at a professional level in Germany, so I expected him to adapt pretty quickly as he joined two months before the semester began.”

Freshman defender Andrew Portis, who played alongside Radel for most of the season, talked about their connection.

“I enjoyed playing in the backline with Marlon,” Portis said. “Both of us are freshmen, so this was our first season, both somewhere completely new, but he is an amazing defender and teammate to have beside you. I look forward to next season.”

Now, Radel has become a key player for the Cal State LA men’s soccer team, part of the team that won the 2022 NCAA Division II National Championship for the second straight year in Cal State LA men’s soccer history.

Radel won an important award to begin the season, including the 2022-2023 Defender of the Week of Aug. 22-28, which is the first time a Cal State LA player won the award since October 2019.