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Men’s Soccer: Powers eyes championship for Irish

Matt DeFranks | Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not many people can claim hip-hop mogul Kanye West, musical legend Stevie Wonder and Irish coach Bobby Clark as inspiration in their lives. For Irish junior midfielder Dillon Powers, all three have influenced his life on and off the field.

Powers, who returns for his third season with the Irish this year, is not only a soccer player, but also a music producer.

Senior defender Aaron Maund and midfielder Michael Rose, along with Powers, form most of the Dallas-based hip-hop group Luck or Skill. In high school, Powers formed the group with Michigan State student Chris Burgess and has since added his teammates to the band.

Though they’re close off the field, Powers and Maund are even closer on. Both play in the center and both earned preseason All-Big East and All-American honors.

Powers also played with the U-20 United States National Team in both 2009 and 2011.

“Playing for your country is always a great honor,” Powers said. “To represent your country on any stage is an indescribable feeling. It was a great experience.”

Mike Powers coached his son and junior Irish defender Grant Van De Casteele on club team Andromeda F.

Clark said Powers’ national team experience helped prepare both Powers and Van De Casteele for college play.

“I give the credit to Mike Powers for Dillon and Grant,” Clark said.

The junior political science major is one of the three elected Irish captains this season. Powers shares the captaincy with fifth-year defender Greg Klazura and Maund.

“It’s a huge honor to be voted by teammates,” Powers said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to lead this team and, hopefully, get us to the next level.”

Clark, whom Powers calls not only his coach but also a mentor, said the captains have done a tremendous job since taking over the team’s leadership positions.

“Dillon is a very positive and influential player on this team,” Clark said. “He came in as just a good player and is growing in authority. He is learning to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and really influence games.”

A year ago, Powers, who models his game after Barcelona midfielder Xavi, tallied four goals and 12 points while starting in each game. In his career, he has played in 38 games and compiled 17 points as the central midfielder.

“It’s something I’ve always liked to do to set the pace of the game,” Powers said. “When I dictate the pace, it’s fun.”

Despite everything Powers has achieved to date, he said there is still a box left to check-off on the to-do list.

“A national championship is always the goal and I believe we can do it this year,” he said. “I’m still waiting for my greatest moment.”