International and standout college players will highlight the elite roster of invitees to the 2014 North American Soccer League Player Combine set for the University of California, Irvine from January 24-26.
This will be the fourth time the NASL has held a combine and the first ever on the west coast, which has previously led to several players earning professional contacts, including Mark Anderson of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, who was the third top goal scorer in 2012, and Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Jordan Gafa.
“What we are trying to do with this Combine is create a vehicle for a lot of young men who aspire to become professional players to live out their dreams and also benefit NASL clubs,” said former U.S. Men’s National Team Assistant Coach Ralph Perez, who is working alongside NASL coaches and an group of experienced college coaches at the 2014 Combine. “They want talented players who might have fallen through the cracks for various reasons and would be good players for them sign to their clubs.”
The NASL takes a look at some of the players that will be put through their paces at the Combine this week with the possibility of earning a place at a NASL team preseason training camp and ultimately a professional contract.
Goffin Boyoko (Forward) – Led UC Santa Barbara with eight goals while earning 2013 All-Big West Honorable Mention and College Sports Madness All-Big West First Team honors … Helped the Gauchos to reach the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament in 2013 … Born in Paris, France, he played on the U-16 team in 2004.
Achille Campion (Forward) – Featured as one of the top 100 Division I players by Top Drawer Soccer last year, the Levallois, France native saw action in 18 matches and scored seven goals, while helping UC Santa Barbara to reach its 11th consecutive appearance at the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament in 2013.
Enrique Cardenas (Midfielder/Forward) – The 2013 Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year, played all 23 matches with UC Irvine while scoring eight goals and seven assists … The Coachella, Calif. native helped the Anteaters to the Big West Conference Championship and a berth into the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament in 2013.
Mark Daus (Defender) – Played all 20 matches for Santa Clara University in 2013, helping them to an 11-9 overall record with six shutouts … The native of Plano, Tex. was named West Coast Conference (WCC) All-First Team and College Sports Madness WCC Second Team for the Broncos.
Connor Dreschler (Defender) – Saw action in all 21 games with Cal Poly State while scoring three goals in 2013 … The Orange, Calif. born also spent 2013 with the PDL’s Ventura County Fusion.
Harrison Hanley (Forward) – The native of Oak Park, Calif. had a team leading six goals with Santa Clara University in 2013 … Saw action in 20 games with the Broncos and was named to the West Coast Conference (WCC) All-Second Team as well as College Sports Madness WCC Second Team.
Carlos Montes (Forward) – Played 17 matches and scored four goals for Santa Clara University in 2013 … The San Jose, Calif. native was named to the West Coast Conference (WCC) First Team and College Sports Madness WCC Second Team for the Broncos.
Tarek Morad (Defender) – Started all 23 matches for UC Irvine in 2013 and helped the Anteaters to the to the Big West Conference Championship and a berth into the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament … The Chino Hills, Calif. native was also earned Second Team All-West Region accolades along with All-Big West Conference Honorable Mention.
Phil Muscarella (Defender) – Played 19 games with Santa Clara University … The Camarillo, Calif. native was vital in the defense helping them to six shutouts in 2013.
Lee Nishanian (Defender) – Saw action in 20 matches and the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native scored once for Cal State San Bernardino in 2013.
Anthony Salciccia (Midfielder) – Former member of the U.S. Under-18 team, played 18 games and scored five goals with six assists for Cal State Berkeley in 2012 … The San Jose, Calif. native claimed first-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Peter Schmetz (Defender) – Played 16 times and scored three goals for UC Santa Barbara, while helping them to reach the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament … Born in Düsseldorf, Germany, he also earned the following honors in 2013: College Sports Madness Big West Defender of the Year, All-Big West First Team and NSCAA All-Far West Region Second Team.
Grant Basey (Defender) – Currently with English club Ebbsfleet United FC, played on Wales Under-21, U-19 teams in 2006 and the U-17 squad in 2005 … Signed with English side Charlton Athletic FC in 2007 and played 46 games in three seasons … Also saw action with local clubs Barnet FC (2007), Brentford FC (2010-2011), Peterborough United FC (2011-2012), Wycombe Wanderers FC (2012-2013).
Cedric Betremieux (Forward) – Plays currently for AFC Compiegne of the Championnat de France Amateurs Group A, where he has scored four goals with four assists in 13 games … A Doubai, France native spent 2012 playing with Paris Saint-Germain’s reserve squad where he saw action in 13 games and scored once … Played on the French Under-15 and U-17 teams, he went on to spent more than a decade with local sides and Belgium clubs, where he saw action in a total of 210 games, while scoring 72 goals with 22 assists.
Emmanuel Cristori (Forward) - The native of Cordoba, Argentina is currently playing for local club CA Chacarita Juniors … He has also seen action the last three years with clubs spanning three continents: Persiba Bantul of Indonesia (2011-2012), Bolivian side La Paz FC (2011), CD Alhaurino of Spain (2010) and Greek club Ionikos (2009-2010).
Calvin Crooks (Defender) – Former U.S. Soccer Youth National Team Player (Under-14, U-15, U-16, U-20), is currently with English side Droylsden FC … Born in Epsom, England but also has U.S. citizenship, spent 2012 with English club Rochdale AFC and the Spanish reserve team of Real Racing Club de Santander.
Renan Dias (Midfielder/Forward) – Played 38 matches with the Brazilian amateur club AFIA from the local association of IESA Araraquara in 2013 leading them to a 29-5-4 record … A native of São Paulo, Brazil, he has spent the last two years with AFIA, leading them to the State Championship in 2012.
Noah Figueras (Forward) – The under-20 Barcelona, Spain native is one of the youngest internationals on the combine roster … Comes from the FC Barcelona Academy.
Erlys Garcia Baro (Defender) – Former member of the Cuban men’s national and Under-23 teams, has played with Los Angeles Blues of the USL PRO since 2011, playing in over 40 matches … A Havana native, who also spent time with L.A. Azul Legends of the PDL (2010), began his career with Ciudad de La Habana in Cuba.
Geoffrey Ghesquiere (Midfielder) – Former Belgium Under-19, U-20 National Team member, played with SC Feignies of Championnat de France Amateurs … Born in Roncq, France, competed with Belgium clubs KV Courtrai (2010-2012) and KSV Roulers (2009-2010).
Peter Gregory (Midfielder) – Has played with the English Championship side Nottingham Forest FC and the club’s Under-21’s reserve team … A native of Eastbourne, England, also played with Portsmouth FC in the Championship, FA Cup and League Cup after coming through the Academy’s U-18, U-16 team.
Randell Harrevelt (Defender) – Has been with Excelsior Veldwezelt of Belgium since 2012 … The Amsterdam, Netherlands native also spent last seven years with youth teams such as Nottingham Forest FC of England and local sides’ VVV-Venlo, FC Volendam.
Clayton Karsari (Defender) – The Amsterdam, Netherlands native has played with local side FC Hilversum from 2010-2012.
Gonzalo Ludueña (Forward) – Former member of the Argentinean Under-17 team that finished third at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Finland, has been playing for Manta FC of Ecuadorian Serie A since 2012 … Born in Cordoba, Argentina, he has also spent time with local side Defensores de Belgrano as well as CD Universidad de San Martin of Peru, Chilean clubs CD Everton and O’Higgins FC.
Santiago Martin Maidana (Midfielder) – Born in Munro, Argentina, he currently plays for Deportivo Aremino in the Primera B Metropolitana.
Michal Misiewicz (Goalkeeper) – Born in Greece but moved to Alberta, Canada and has represented the national team at the Under-17, U-20 and U-23 levels … He is currently playing for Blyth Spartans FC in England after stint with Polish side Świt Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki … Also played with FC Edmonton and its reserve squad in 2012.
Jose Manuel Miranda Boudy (Goalkeeper) – Former member of the Cuban men’s national and Under-23 teams, currently with the NPSL’s Orange County Pateadores … The native of Varadero, Cuba, played eight times for the Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO in 2012.
Leopoldo Morales (Forward) – Former player with Tigres UANL of Mexico, he spent 2013 playing with Los Angeles Blues of USL PRO and MLS’ CD Chivas USA Reserve team … The Zamora, Michoacán native also played two seasons with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
Enrique Narvay (Forward) – Spent the last two years with Argentinean clubs Comunicaciones-Buenos Aires and Club Guaraní Antonio Franco … Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, he also played Deportivo Carapeguá of Paraguay in 2012.
Gonzalo Rovira (Forward) – Currently with Club de Gimnasia y Tiro of Torneo Argentino A Regional Division … The native of Corrientes, Argentina has also played the last three years with local sides CA Douglas Haig, CA San Lorenzo de Alamgro, Ecuadorian club Deportivo Quito and CD La Serena of Chile.
Matthew Uy (Defender/Midfielder) – Born in New Hyde Park, N.Y. and former member of the U.S. Under-17, U-20 teams, however also holds Filipino Citizenship … Currently playing in the Philippine’s United Football League with Loyola Meralco Sparks FC … Earned four international caps with the Philippine’s National Team and led them to the 2012 Peace Cup title while earning the tournament’s best midfielder award.
2014 NASL Combine Schedule at UC Irvine
Friday, January 24
12 pm – 1:30 pm: Game #1, Training Session
2:30 pm – 4 pm: Game #2, Training Session
12 pm – 1:30 pm: Game #1, Training Session
2:30 pm – 4 pm: Game #2, Training Session
9am – 10:30 am: Full/Small Sided Game (All Star invitees)
Media Note – All 2014 NASL Combine Training Sessions and All Star Game are only open to media with coaches and selected player available afterwards with coordination with the UC Irvine SID Contact (Alex Croteau) onsite. Media wishing to attend the sessions are asked to contact NASL PR Coordinator Steven Torres: firstname.lastname@example.org