FORT MYERS, Fla. – First-year FGCU men’s soccer head coach Jesse Cormier has finalized his initial recruiting class with the Eagles, welcoming nine newcomers to the Southwest Florida beach-lined campus.
The talented and diverse pool of newcomers includes five freshmen and four sophomores. They hail from an incredible seven different countries, three continents and three states in America.
Below is more information about each of the new additions who will be joining an FGCU team which returns almost all of its firepower after leading the country in nearly every offensive category a season ago, including goals with 62 – nine more than any other team. The program reached record heights in 2016 as the Green and Blue secured a program-record 14 wins as part of a 14-4-3 overall mark, a program-best 10-game winning streak in the middle of the season and a national ranking for the final nine weeks of the year, including a program-high #11 showing in the NSCAA Poll.
The first official day of practice for the defending ASUN Champions is next Wednesday, Aug. 9. The season kicks off on Aug. 25 with a marquee matchup as FGCU travels to Colorado to take on defending College Cup participant Denver.
#2 Chris Clement
Hometown: Mallorca, Spain
High School: Academy of Toulouse
Bio Blast: Trained in the RCD Mallorca Academy for five years, and most recently played in the Spanish 3rd Division for Playas de Calvia. Clement is trilingual, having a French father and American mother.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Chris has a strong background as he grew up in a very good academy program at Mallorca. He addresses what we as a staff perceive to be a need with his great energy to join the attack and get forward, but also recover and solve problems defensively.”
#15 Kareem Riley
Hometown: Couva, Trinidad and Tobago
High School: Presentation College
Bio Blast: Riley competed with the U-20 Trinidad and Tobago National Team. He was also a fixture with the U-17 Trinidad and Tobago squad in World Cup qualifying and was noticed as one of the top youth players in the nation. Riley was also a top student-athlete at Presentation College and represented his Central FC club team.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Kareem is a great addition to our team because of his size, skill and shooting from long range. He will compete to play right away, and have a presence in the spine of our team.”
#16 Andres Brealey
Hometown: San Jose, Costa Rica
Previous School: Freed-Hardeman University (Tennessee)
High School: Anglo American
Bio Blast: An attacking midfielder who is transferring from NAIA Freed-Hardeman University. As a freshman with the Lions he played in 12 games and scored four goals, including a hat trick. The four goals were the 4th-most on the team, and he also added an assist for nine points – also the 4th-highest total on the club. During his high school career, Brealey was a three-time champion of UNAFUT with the Reportico Saprissa Youth League.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Andres is dynamic on the ball, and he has vision and quality in the final third. He has a unique versatility, and should provide some attacking excitement. We feel he will be a great addition and give us a new dimension into the future.”
#18 Tom Denat
Hometown: Toulouse, France
Previous School: William Penn University (Iowa)
High School: College des Trois Vallees
Bio Blast: Transferring from NAIA William Penn University where he manned the midfield and was a key contributor in WPU’s successes. He played in 16 games, made 15 starts and finished 2nd on the team with four assists. Denat added a goal for six points on the year – tied for the fifth-most on the roster.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Tom has a very good feel for the game. His spatial awareness and keen decision making will be a real asset for the program. Tom is a special midfield talent who will do a very good job in helping us keep possession and play in the right spaces.”
#19 Javi Navas
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Previous School: Carroll College (Montana)
High School: Futeca School
Bio Blast: Transferring from NAIA Carroll College after an impressive freshman season in the backline. Played in 17 of 20 games, making four starts. Navas scored a goal and added an assist to finish the campaign with three points. Helped protect a goalkeeping unit which posted a 1.43 goals against average and four clean sheets.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “We decided Javi would be a good addition to our program after reviewing his background and watching him tactically make smart, simple decisions. He doesn’t complicate the game, understands his role and I think will be a valuable member of our squad.”
#24 Lucas Bueno
Hometown: The Hague, Netherlands
Previous School: University of Tulsa
High School: International School of The Hague
Bio Blast: Transferring from Tulsa University where he played in just two games as a freshman, but scored one goal in only 25 minutes of action. That strike came against in-state FGCU foe UCF. Bueno was a regular for Dutch teams HV and CV1 while attending the International School of The Hague.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Lucas has unquestionable talent and skill. He is a rangy, skillful winger who will be dynamic in the attack. To be a more complete player he needs to embrace the defensive side of the game.”
#26 Parker Holland
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
High School: West Orange
Bio Blast: A high school standout at West Orange as a center back, Holland helped lead his team to the state final 4 as a senior. He is an exceptional student with high character. Holland played his club soccer for ACYS Spirit United.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Parker is a high-IQ player with a rare level of intelligence. He has a good approach as he really simplifies the game. He is someone we as a staff think we can really develop into a quality player.”
#29 Connor Gavigan
Year: Redshirt Freshman
Hometown: Aurora, Colo.
Previous School: Creighton
High School: Grandview
Bio Blast: Utilized a redshirt season at Creighton last year. Gavigan played at the club level for Colorado Rapids Academy and practiced with the Colorado Rapids MLS side while playing matches with U-18 Academy Team. He also played preseason with the Colorado Rapids first team in 2016. Attended Grandview High School and was a standout all four years.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Connor is a technician. He has a very calm demeanor which contributes to him performing consistently in high-pressurized situations. We also feel he has very good feet to help us as we build out of the back.”
#30 Josh Morgan
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
High School: Sacred Heart
Bio Blast: Graduated from Sacred Heart High School. Played his developmental soccer with the USDA Santa Cruz Breakers U-18.
Cormier’s Thoughts: “Josh has size, work ethic and a real desire to be a No. 1 keeper in this program. We feel he has the potential and ability to deliver for us as he gains the necessary experience and prerequisite skills.”
For up-to-the minute information and a behind-the-scenes look at the FGCU men’s soccer program, follow on Twitter @FGCU_MSoccer, Instagram @FGCU_MSoccer, Facebook /FGCUMSoccer and YouTube /FGCUAthletics.
HEAD COACH JESSE CORMIER
Jesse Cormier was hired in January 2017 to become just the 2nd head coach in program history. The head coach at Vermont for the previous 13 seasons, Cormier won 14 games with the Catamounts in 2016 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Second Round. During his time with Vermont, Cormier guided the program to the America East Tournament in 12 of 13 seasons, making five title game appearances, winning two tournament crowns, claiming a regular-season championship and advancing to three NCAA tournaments, including a pair of Second Round appearances. Cormier has a 114-89-47 (.550 winning percentage) overall record as a head coach.
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.