POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – The Marist men’s soccer team and head coach Matt Viggiano have announced the seven members of the Marist class of 2021, who will join the program this fall.
“I’d like to thank coach Cusano for helping me put together our recruiting class” said Viggiano. ”I think this incoming class will augment well the numerous returning players we have back. Coming off 11 wins and losing 1 senior who started, they will come in and add to depth and a couple will step up and put themselves in the mix for playing time. I expect them to seamlessly fit right in. They have a lot of guys ahead of them that can show them the program so there isn’t a lot of pressure. We expect them to make an impact but because we have so much returning, they can find their way a little bit while still complimenting what we already have.”
Blake Aronson – Defense/Midfield, Walt Whitman High School
A versatile defender and midfielder, Aronson attends Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, NY. Blake had 23 goals and 15 assists in 3 years playing varsity. He started all 60 games throughout those 3 years and was a Long Island Semi-Finalist in 2016 and Long Island Finalist in 2014. Aronson was a New York State AA High School Champion in 2015 and was named All-State in 2015 and All-State and All-Region in 2016. His club team the Dix Hills Hurricanes are currently the National Finalists for US Youth soccer. Aronson was captain of the Region I ODP team since 2013 and has travelled to Italy, Turkey, and Spain with the regional team throughout the past four years. His Eastern New York ODP team was National Champions in 2016 and he was selected as a top 11 player for the tournament.
Viggiano on Aronson -- “Blake is a kid who has the versatility to play multiple positions. He is a solid player and I could see him finding himself in a position to get on the field and make an impact. He can contribute at multiple position on the field and that will certainly help us.”
Allen Gavilanes – Midfield, St. Bendict’s Prep
A skillful and creative left footed attacking midfielder, Gavilanes played for the national powerhouse St. Benedict’s Prep soccer team as well as the Cedar Stars Academy. He was selected First Team All-State, First Team All-County and First Team All-Division throughout his time in high school. St. Benedict’s were New Jersey Prep state finalists in 2016. Allen also was selected as a Pro 11 team member at the National ODP Camp. With the East Brunswick Soccer Club, Gavilanes also won a state championship and was ranked #1 in the country at the club level.
Viggiano on Gavilanes – “Allen is a left footed creative player. He brings an added element to our team with the ability to unlock teams with his passing. He’s a very creative offensive player and guys like that are always good to have. He also comes from a very strong pedigree playing at St Benedicts which is arguably the best prep school in the country.”
Justin Jaime – Midfield/Forward, Jim Thorpe Area High School
A dynamic attacking player, Jaime played for the PDA Academy in New Jersey for four years and the pre-academy for one year and won a national championship at the U13 age group. He was the leading goal scorer for the U16 team in the 2015-2016 season with 6 goals in 26 appearances playing the forward and outside midfield positions. Jaime recently transferred to the PA Classics U18 Academy for the 2016-2017 where he plays the attacking midfielder position.
Viggiano on Jaime – “A creative 1v1 player that brings a different dimension to the game. Jaime has the ability to beat people 1v1 and score goals and we look forward to adding him to the offensive mix this season.”
Jakob Lindqvist – Defense, Borgarskolan Gävle
A strong and skillful defender, Lindqvist played for Ljusdals IF growing up at the youth level from 2004-2014. He then transferred to Gefle IF and was featured as their captain and starter at the left center back position for the U17, U19, and U21 academy teams from 2014-2017 which compete in the Allsvenskan, the top academy league in Sweden. Lindqvist was selected for two caps to play for the Swedish Youth National team in 2014. He also played for the district team for both boys born in 1997 and 1998 and was selected as Young Player of the Year for Ljusdals IF in 2014 and Rookie of the Year in 2013.
Viggiano on Lindqvist – “We expect him to make an impact from day one. He comes from a great pedigree and has played at a high level. Jakob’s ability on the back line will add stability and skill to the position and he will be a very solid addition to our back line.”
Evan Mason – Defense, Fairview High School
A hardworking and tough defender, Mason played for both Fairview High School in Boulder, CO as well as the prestigious Colorado Rapids Developmental Academy throughout his four years of high school. Playing mainly the right back position, Mason started in 13 of 16 games in which he appeared during his junior year for the Colorado Rapids. In his senior year, Mason scored 10 goals and had 7 assists for Fairview.
Viggiano on Mason – “He comes from an MLS Academy and is a hard-nosed industrious defender. He has good pace and has tremendous upside. We will have to see how he translates his game to Division 1 but we are excited to have Evan Mason.”
Arturo Ruiz – Midfield, Morristown High School
A speedy left footed midfielder, Ruiz played for both TSF X from 2012-2016 and the STA Gunners from 2016-2017. For TSF X, Ruiz competed at the Dallas Cup reaching the Semi-Finals in 2015, the NPL Nationals in Greensboro NC in 2014 where his team reached the finals, and was ranked as high as #1 in US and #1 in NJ on gotsoccer.com in 2013. Ruiz also travelled internationally with TSF to Argentina in 2015, Spain in 2014, Peru in 2014 and Brazil in 2013. While in Spain, Arturo was selected to the Real Madrid Select Team with 32 international players. At Morristown High school, Ruiz played four years of varsity soccer and was selected to the 2016 All State (North 2), All Morris County 1st Team, All Conference 1st Team, the NJ Seniors All-Star Game, MHS Varsity MVP, 2015 All State North 2, All Morris County 2nd Team 2015, and All Conference 1st Team 2015. His team was also NJ State High School Sectional Champions of North I, Group IV in 2014.
Viggiano on Ruiz – “Hard working engine. He was a kid who attended our defensive clinic. Arturo is a lefty that’s creative and good 1v1. His work rate and his intensity will translate well to our level”
Giuliano Santucci – Goalkeeper, Yorktown High School
An athletic and skillful goalkeeper, Santucci serves as the starting goalkeeper for his Beachside U18 Academy team that is currently in 3rd place in the Northeast Division of the USSF Development Academy League and 19th overall in the country. Prior to Beachside, he played for New York Soccer Club from 2009-2016 where he was a 3 time New York State Champion in 2011-13. Santucci also led his team to a Regional Championship in 2013. His NYSC team won many league and tournament championships including the Dallas Cup Championship in 2016, the NPL National Championship in 206, the EDP Championship in 2015, and the Potomac Memorial Championship in 2015. Santucci also played for Yorktown High School where his team were section finalists in 2015 and he was selected as All-League, All-Section and Yorktown’s MVP. He has also been selected for trials and invited to many prestigious programs including the US National Team Camp in 2014, the USSF Regional Combine in 2014, the USSF Training Centers from 2012 to 2016, NYCFC Training Center in 2015, Real Madrid Selective Program in 2014, Adidas Generation in 2015, trial with Club Brugge (Belgium) in 2014, trial in Boston Rivers First Team (Uruguay) in 2015, trial with MSV Duisburg (Germany) in 2016, trial with Peñarol (Uruguay) in 2016, and trial with Defensor Sporting (Uruguay) in 2015 and 2016. Finally, Santucci also served as kicker and punter for Yorktown High School Football team in 2016 where he was selected All-League and All-State.
Viggiano on Santucci – “He has strong pedigree coming from an academy program. He is a great distributor of the ball with his feel and his hands. We look forward to him coming in and pushing the current group of goalkeepers and are pleased to add him to the mix in our net.”