Published: October 26, 2010
If you can lead a team through a successful tour against the top clubs in Europe then the chances are you can thrive in college.
The Discover Europe alumni are making that abundantly clear this season as they rip through the college ranks and guide some of the top programs in the country.
It would appear that experiencing the game overseas as a part of the SuperElite® program has done some good for the following young players:
(Note: Does not include current professionals or club players who have participated in SuperElite® Program.)
Soony Saad, Michigan: A member of the Discover Europe squad this past summer and in 2009, Soony’s goal-scoring ability is truly international. He’s exploded onto the Big Ten scene with 12 goals, second in the conference, and a conference-leading 90 shots.
Joe Sofia Jr.
Hamoody Saad, Michigan
: Big brother, and a poised influence for Soony, Hamoody, was one of the more polished players on this past Discover Europe squad. He is a versatile play-maker – a good striker of the ball and quality distributor – who is helping the Wolverines along with three goals and an assist.
Kelyn Rowe, UCLA
: The Bruins feature three tour members, including the dangerous Rowe who is having an exceptional freshman campaign. Rowe is leading the program with six goals and five assists in one of the breakout performances in the nation this year.
Joe Sofia, UCLA
: Nicknamed “The Hammer” (as of right this moment), Sofia is a physical defender who doesn’t back down. He gave the tour squad a decided edge in 2009 and has been an instant impact starter in his freshman year.
Patrick Matchett, UCLA
: Sofia’s partner in crime, Matchett is a defender in the same mold. The two worked well together during the tour in 2009 and have continued their chemistry on the college stage. A couple minor injuries have pulled at Matchett’s season, but he’s a regular starter when healthy.
A.J. Corrado, SMU
: A smart player who is gaining an invaluable apprenticeship with the No. 5 SMU
, Corrado notched his first collegiate goal earlier this year and is enjoying a productive freshman season. He has played in all 14 games and is a great passer in the middle of the field. He showed the same winning qualities during his 2010 Discover Europe tenure.
Zach Barnes, SMU
: One of the top players on the 2009 tour squad, Barnes has four goals for SMU
. He’s very poised on the ball and is an opportunistic scorer.
Miles Byass, San Diego State
: Byass scored the first goal of his career Monday with more undoubtedly to come. He’s a talented 1v1 attacker who feeds off confidence and can produce exceptional plays on the field. Byass is a two-time member of the Discover Europe Tour.
Sean Cote, George Mason
: Was one of the two reliable goalkeepers on the 2010 Discover Europe team. Cote has taken the starting role for the Patriots program and soared – he’s currently second in the Colonial Athletic Association in both shutouts and save percentage.
Paolo DelPiccolo, Louisville: Possibly the offensive MVP of the 2010 tour, DelPiccolo is a very dependable midfielder who plays with toughness. He stabilized the offense this summer as a holding midfielder and is currently a full-time starter on a No. 2 Louisville program that has yet to lose.
Nikita Kotlov, Indiana
: One of three Hoosiers who are members of the Discover Europe alumni, Kotlov is one of the best athletes to come through the SuperElite program. A dangerous runner and scorer, Kotlov has four assists and two goals in his freshman season.
Blake Wise, Indiana
: Played on two tour teams and is establishing his identity as a freshman. Wise is a physical specimen and a tireless worker. He makes plays with his effort and has one of the better throw-ins
in the country.
Harrison Petts, Indiana
: This 2009 Discover Europe player is smart and crafty with a good feel for the game. Petts is a guy you can depend on to consistently play good balls to his teammates. He has five assists and two goals while starting every match.
Trevor Hubbard, South Carolina
: Another two-time tour member, Hubbard was a valuable defender in Europe who is being featured in the midfield for the Gamecocks. His work rate and desire is always a plus on the field.
Eric Shannon, Cal State Bakersfield(m): Shannon was one of the two keepers on the 2009 Discover Europe team and has had no issue adjusting to college competition. He earned the starting spot as a freshman and was a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honorable mention. This season he already has seven shutouts.
Ryan Bauer, Dayton
: Bauer is a 2009 member whose maturity allows him to thrive at several positions on the field. In international play he was used as a defender and holding midfielder where he currently contributes for Dayton. Bauer has three assists and one goal this season.
Ryan Metts, Wake Forest
: Metts is from the 2009 team; he’s a strong technical player and a possession keeper who will continue to develop as he works his way into playing time for the Demon Deacons.