LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Men’s Soccer head coach Cesar Markovic announced the competition of the team’s incoming signing class in preparation for the Fall 2019 season Tuesday afternoon. The Saints will welcome eight new faces hailing from three different countries to Loudonville, bringing its newcomer total to 11 for the upcoming campaign.
The addition of Siena’s incoming freshman come after Markovic the announced the addition of three mid-year enrollees to the roster back in January. The Saints welcomed NCAA Division I transfer Antonio Linge and NJCAA National Champion Jacob Pacheco to Loudonville, while adding prep school attendee Tyler Swanbeck a semester early.
"I believe that this class, along with the spring signings of Pacheco, Linge and Swanbeck, present a tremendously improved team for the future,” Markovic said. “I am super excited about the future and can't wait until preseason to see all these guys on the field. We have addressed what I felt was needed to compete at a higher level in the MAAC."
Chris Cossu | Defender | Bellmore, New York | Mepham High School
Cossu heads north to the Capital Region after picking up All-State honors while at Mephan High School his senior year. The 2018 Nassau County Championship MVP, he helped Mepham to a county championship least season, ranking second in Nassau County in assists (13) and adding three goals. A Nassau County All-Star and Second Team All-Long Island honoree as a defender, Cossu took home All County Honorable Mention honors his junior season and was named Rookie of the Year during his freshman campaign. Currently an Academic All-American nominee and National Honor Society member, the two-year high school captain played his club ball for Massapequa 2001 Elite.
Coach Markovic on Cossu – “Chris has a very good left foot and a big, strong body. He possesses an incredible long throw that is a weapon anywhere near the opposing goal.”
Niko Dimkopoulos | Midfielder | Fayetteville, New York | Jamesville-DeWitt High School
The younger brother of Siena Women’s Soccer rising junior Sophia Dimkopoulos, Nico spent the last six years playing at the Empire United Development Academy in Rochester, New York, becoming one of the youngest players in the history of the league to be accepted when he began at just 12 years old. A letter-winner at Jamesville-DeWitt High School, he was a member of the National Honor Society and earned a spot on the High Honor Roll in every semester of high school. At the conclusion of his club soccer career, Dimkopoulos was tied for the longest tenure in the Empire United Academy’s history, and accumulated several Player of the Game honors, as voted by his peers and coaches.
Coach Markovic on Dimkopoulos – “Niko has competed as a starter in perhaps the toughest division in U-19 American Soccer, playing week after week against the likes of New England Revolution, NYC FC and Montreal Impact. That experience will help him be a contributor at the college level. Niko is a very well-rounded player.”
Luke Ferrari | Defender | Cortlandt Manor, New York | Kennedy Catholic High School
The first of two incoming signees from Kennedy Catholic High School, Ferrari led the squad in assists and was an All-League selection in each of his three years with the team. A two-year captain, the defender aided Kennedy in winning its first ever CHSAA Championship during his senior year. Additionally, Ferarri started for the New York Soccer Club for four years and was a member of their U13/14 USSDA team.
Coach Markovic on Ferrari – “Luke has a very good engine and can really make a lot of things happen on the left side as a winger or defender.”
Gylfi Gestsson | Defender | Reykjavik, Iceland | Fylkir U19
One of four international additions to the team for the upcoming season, Gestsson played his club ball for Fylkir soccer club, working his way up to the U19 squad. The defender notched three assists in 12 games in 2019, while appearing in 22 matches for Prottur Vogum with four assists in 2018. Gestsson played in every game for club in 2016 & 2017 and has aided Fylkir in winning the second-best league in Iceland in 2017, as well as the Iceland U19 Cup, the U19 League B in 2016 and a silver medal in the 2014 USA Cup. Gestsson placed within the top-5 in his grade academically throughout his secondary education.
Coach Markovic on Gestsson – “Gylifi has a fantastic left foot and strong physical presence defensively. He is playing at the highest senior level in Iceland, the Iceland Premier League. Gylfi has been playing and training with great players for the past 2 years. That experience will give our group a definite boost.”
Svavar Nokkvason | Midfielder | Reykjavik, Iceland | Breidablik U19
Joining Gestsson and rising sophomore Birgir Thorsteinsson in hailing from Iceland, Nokkvason started 10 of 15 games with Breidablik of the U19 First Icelandic Division, one of the top-rated leagues in the country.
Coach Markovic on Nokkvason – “Svavar is capable of playing almost anywhere on the field. He has a tremendous physique and is a tremendous passer of the ball. He is very quick for a player of his physical stature and will be a blessing to our attackers.”
Luke Rossiter | Goalkeeper | Granite Springs, New York | Kennedy Catholic High School
Joining Ferrari in heading north from Westchester County, Rossiter was also part of the Kennedy Catholic High School squad that captured a CHSAA title in 2018. A four-year letter-winner as a goalkeeper, he earned All-League onors last season, leading the team to a 1-0 shutout in the city championship game. A three-sport athlete at Kennedy, Rossiter played his club soccer with the Premier Soccer League Club, heling his team to a New York Club League championship in 2016. A high honors student throughout high school, he graduated as a Student of Excellence.
Coach Markovic on Rossiter – “Luke is a fantastic athlete with amazing size. He has tremendous potential as a goalkeeper. He has very good feet for a keeper.”
Luca Santabarbara | Striker | Rotterdam, New York | Schalmont High School
Joining the Saints as a local product, Santabarbara played for Schalmont High School and Black Watch Premier 2000/2001, a top-5 club program in New York East. The Striker helped both teams capture multiple league and tournament titles, including the Jeff Cup Orange Premier Championship, Manhattan Championship and Disney Championship in 2018, and the Massepequa and Potomac Memorial titles in 2017. A two-year varsity captain, Santabarbara netted 45 goals while leading Schalmont to a pair of BYS Section II Class B Championships.
Coach Markovic on Santabarbara – “Luca is a very quick and crafty attacking player who has good creativity. He is a player that has been coming to camp since he was a young boy. His love for soccer and Siena bring him back to our field as a young man.”
Mark Sojer | Defender | Ljubljana, Slovenia | Nk Olimpija
The first player to join the team from Slovenia in recent memory, Sojer recorded three goals and seven assists while playing for Nk Olimpija. The team gave the defender experience in the prestigious Prva Slovenska Mladinski Noagometna Liga “Elite Slovenian U19 League”.
Coach Markovic on Sojer – “Mark is a versatile Defender that has played in all 4 positions in the back. He has played at the highest youth level in the Slovenian Top Flight and the National Team of his country. He is strong, explosive and experienced. He will be a big contributor in the back.”