The Northeastern men's soccer program welcome new additions to their roster for the fall 2017 season. Of the incoming nine freshmen, two are goalkeepers, two are defenders, three are midfielders, and two are attackers. Players range from places as near as Greeley, CO, to as far away as France and Australia.
Head coach David Groves comments on the players, "We are all but finished with our recruiting minus maybe one or two final additions. On paper, this is a talented group and we as coaches feel very comfortable from top to bottom. The type of players that are putting in the work in the offseason to make sure they get to go as far as they can in this game. I believe we are bringing in the type of competition that will challenge and ultimately improve all players on a daily basis."
The different styles of play from each of their backgrounds will help lead the charge in order to compete in the Region IX Tournament.
Goves also adds, "We now feel comfortable with the strength in our numbers to handle the grueling fall season."
Clement May (Goalkeeper) from Paris, France.
Developed in INF Clairefontaine, (a special academy for the best players in France – similar to IMG Bradenton where players such as Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka developed). After Clairefontaine, he moved to Ligue 1 academy Caen and was a full starter at the U19 National Level. Won numerous championships including the KB Cup against FC Porto and La Coupe de Paris.
Alejandro Salazar (Goalkeeper) from Greeley, Colorado.
Lettered in Varsity for 2 years at Greeley Central High School and played eight years for Northern Colorado Soccer Club, winning the Colorado Presidents Cup and the Real Cup.
Omar Navarro-Perez (Defender) from Greeley, Colorado
Lettered in Varsity for two years at Greeley Central High School and played three years for Northern Colorado Soccer Club, winning the Colorado Presidents Cup and the Real Cup. He was named All-Conference his senior year.
Djai Essed (Defender) from Sint Maarten
Has played three times for his national team. Djai has participated in trials with AFC Ajax and the New York Red Bulls. For his performances with the Red Bulls, he received the event's Excellence Award. He is a transfer from Feather River College in California.
Willi Velasquez-Vicente (Midfielder) from Greeley, Colorado
Lettered in Varsity for four years at Greeley Central High School and played three years for Northern Colorado Soccer Club (where he was captain), winning the Colorado Presidents Cup and the Real Cup. He was named All-Conference honorable mention his senior year.
Arthur Prunis (Midfielder) from Reims, France
Arthur was a part of the Stade de Reims (Ligue 1) academy for 13 years, winning the national championship at the U19 National level in 2015. He was selected and participated in trials for his region to be evaluated by the French National team coaching staff.
Jean Carre (Midfielder) from Verlinghen, France
Jean developed in the Lille (Ligue 1) academy and was a starter for the U19 National level team at the club. Jean was part of the academy at the club for 12 years. Lille are one of the most famous youth academies in France, developing players such as Chelsea and Belgium star Eden Hazard. Represented the French national team at the regional youth level.
Cristian Catalan (Attacker) from Denver, Colorado
Lettered in Varsity for four years at Denver West. Was selected for the Denver Public Schools All Star team, named to the All-State team, and scored 36 goals during his senior year of high school. He played his club soccer for Estudiantes
Connor Hickman (Attacker) from New South Wales, Australia
Played for Wigan Athletic (former English Premier League team) in their youth system before moving to Australia. He has won the First Premier Division in Australia at the youth level, representing the team as captain, and winning player of the year.
The Plainsmen's official home opener will be against Colorado Northwestern on Wednesday, August 30.