FORT MYERS, Fla. – Several FGCU men’s soccer players – both current and incoming – are gearing up for a run at an unprecedented sixth-straight Atlantic Sun Conference Championship this fall by prepping their games at the local, regional, national and international levels this summer.
Incoming freshman goalkeeper Sawyer Jackman (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East HS) recently won a U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship as his Chicago Fire Academy U-17/18 club carved its place in history last weekend. As the starting keeper, Jackman helped the Fire to a series of playoff wins, culminating with a 3-1 triumph over Real Salt Lake-Arizona at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
Coming off his first season in the Green and Blue in which he was named at A-Sun All-Freshman Team performer, Miguel Jaime (Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek HS) has spent the summer with the Real Colorado Foxes in the Premier Development League (PDL). Last week he was named to the PDL Team of the Week after scoring four goals in two goals, helping his team take four points. Additionally, the midfielder has been tabbed to the PDL Scouting Network as one of the league’s top prospects.
Rising seniors Steven Oliveri (Stuart, Fla./Jensen Beach HS) and Skylar Wilks (Tampa, Fla./Newsome HS) have both been playing locally with the Southwest Florida Adrenaline as part of the PDL. Oliveri, a midfielder, and Wilks, a defender, have both been PDL Team of the Week Honorable Mention selections throughout the course of the summer.
Coming off one of the best seasons in net in program history, goalkeeper Nathan Ingham (Keswick, Ontario/Keswick HS) and incoming midfielder Dylan Sacramento (Unionville, Ontario/York University) both began the PDL playoffs Tuesday playing for Kitchener-Waterloo United Football Club. Ingham backstopped the club to a 2-0 shutout in the wildcard game. In 13 games this summer, Ingham has a goals-against average of 0.77, allowing just 10 goals over 1,170 minutes and producing 39 saves. Sacramento, meanwhile, has issued three assists – the fourth-most on the roster – despite playing only eight contests. Additionally, Ingham has been named to the PDL Team of the Week once this summer, in addition to training stints with Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew of the MLS.
A top-100 recruit, Dennis Zapata (Orlando, Fla./University HS) served as the team captain this summer for his Orlando City U-23 club as part of the PDL. With more games played than anyone else on the roster, 14, Zapata has controlled the midfield and issued one assist for the Lions.
Oregon State transfer Eli Roubos (Toronto, Ontario/Northview Heights Secondary) recently had his PDL year come to a close as Ingham and Sacramento handed his Toronto FC Academy team a 3-2 loss in the regular-season finale. Roubos will be a sophomore defender with the Eagles this fall.
Rising sophomore Kamar Marriott (Tampa, Fla./Wharton HS) is currently competing as part of FC Dallas 97 Premier at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. The team is 0-1-1 through two group matches thus far with another slated for Thursday. Marriott, who came on strong at the end of the year and proved to be a vital asset to FGCU’s backline, also had training stints this summer with the FC Dallas first team as part of the MLS.
Fellow defender Aaron Guillen (El Paso, Texas/Coronado HS) has also been training most of the summer with FC Dallas, in addition to midfielder and fellow rising senior David Robledo (Dallas, Texas/Hillcrest HS).
The most notable training sessions have come from reigning A-Sun First Team member Rodrigo Saravia (Guatemala City, Guatemala/College Internacional Montessori) as he was called into the Guatemala National Team Camp late last month and has since been training with the U-23 Guatemala National Team in preparation for Olympic qualifying matches.
A pair of freshmen last year who played at opposite ends of the pitch but made a significant impact offensively and defensively, Albert Ruiz (Barcelona, Spain/UE Cornella/CE L’Hospitalet) and Nicolas Samayoa (Guatemala City, Guatemala/Colegio Valle Verde) have been training with the CE Sabadell FC reserves in Spain and Antigua GFC in Guatemala, respectively. Ruiz was named to the A-Sun All-Freshman Team last year, while Samayoa started all 19 games he appeared in, playing 90 minutes or more in every contest except one.
Rounding out the training for FGCU players is rising senior Santiago Ortiz (Cali, Colombia/Montverde Academy), who has spent the summer training with Deportivo Cali U-21, a professional club in his native Colombia.
Coming off the program’s third NCAA Tournament appearance in only four years of eligibility last fall, FGCU head coach Bob Butehorn welcomes 17 new faces who will join 15 returning letterwinners which last year won an unprecedented fifth-straight A-Sun regular-season title with a 4-1-1 record. FGCU went on to defeat UNF in the A-Sun Championship title game, 1-0, to earn its automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
FGCU will open the 2015 season against 2014 NCAA Championship quarterfinalist Georgetown at home on Aug. 28. The contest will be the first of 15 on the year, which features 10 non-league tilts, seven home contests (all scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.) and eight road matches. In total, three non-conference opponents participated in the 2014 NCAA Championship, and five won at least 10 games last year. Additionally, five non-conference opponents finished 2014 inside the top-50 in the RPI, and three were inside the top-30.
FGCU is led by Bob Butehorn, who has coached 45 A-Sun All-Conference selections since FGCU started its program in 2007. In just four years of postseason eligibility, Butehorn has guided FGCU to three A-Sun Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances – in 2011, 2012 and 2014 – and has won an unprecedented five-straight A-Sun regular-season championships. His teams have been ranked nationally on several occasions by multiple media outlets, and in 2013 he won his 100th career game.
SUPPORT THE CAUSE
FGCU Athletics sponsors events throughout the year to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.