Following the 2017 season in which the Fordham men’s soccer team made a run to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, head coach Jim McElderry is adding 14 new players to his roster, which includes 12 freshman and two transfers.
The transfers include Johannes Pieles (Langenbach, Germany/J.C.F. GutsMuths Sportgymnasium Jena (Syracuse)) and Sameer Fathazada (Toronto, Ontario/David & Mary Thomson Collegiate (Oral Roberts)). The freshmen group is comprised of Rocco Capozza (Parisppany, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), Conrado Duhour (Miami, Fla./Immaculata La Salle), James Ford (Summit, N.J./Summit), Jacob Framson (Winter Springs, Fla./Oviedo), Jason Gomes (Elizabeth, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), Nathan Heintz (Irvine, Calif./Northwood), Sindri Ingimarsson (Kopavogur, Iceland/Commercial College of Iceland), Dominic Lambo (Cedarburg, Wisc./Marquette Univ. HS), Paul Makaj (Lagrangeville, N.Y./Arlington), Jack Murphy (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty), Ivan Ruiz (Basking Ridge, N.J./Delbarton), and Jack Sluys (Gig Harbor, Wash./Gig Harbor).
“With a large graduating class, we as a staff have worked hard to bring in a mix of new players with experience in the college game and incoming freshmen with a lot of potential,” said McElderry. “This group has players in all positions with the ability to come in and compete immediately for time. We will as always have high expectations for our team, so I am looking forward to having them integrate with our very experienced returning group of players in August.”
Pieles, a 6-1 forward, comes to Fordham after two seasons at Syracuse University. He was one of the Orange’s top performers in 2017, leading the team in scoring with a career-high 16 points on a career-best six goals and four assists. Over his two seasons at Syracuse, he started 28 of 37 matches, totaling nine goals and eight assists for 26 points.
Fathazada, a 5-8 midfielder, comes to Rose Hill after one year at Oral Roberts. He did not appear in any games as a freshman in 2017. Prior to Oral Roberts, the Toronto native graduated from David & Mary Thomson Collegiate, where he won the city championship twice and the conference championship three times. He finished as a three-time MVP and the top goal scorer in the league three consecutive years. Fathazada also competed for Team Canada in their U17-U20 pool, while playing club for Team Ontario.
Capozza, a 5-10 defender, is one of two Seton Hall Prep graduates in this year’s recruiting class along with Jason Gomes. He was a Third Team All-State and First Team All-Conference selection at Seton Hall Prep. Capozza split his club soccer between NJSCA Academy (2014-16) and Parsippany SC (2017-18). He helped Parsippany SC win championships at the 2017 Disney Classic, 2017 Potomac Memorial Tournament, and the 2017 Jefferson Cup.
Duhour, a 6-1 defender, was a four-year soccer player of Immaculata La Salle High School in Miami, where he was a two-year captain, a two-time All-Dade County selection, and the 2018 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He played club soccer for both Toros FC (2014-17) and Strikers FC (2017-18).
A 6-5 goalkeeper, Ford was a three-year varsity soccer player at Summit High School in New Jersey. A two-year starter, he helped Summit to the Mountain Division Conference Championship in 2017, while garnering All-County and All-Mountain Division honors in his junior and senior seasons. Ford played club soccer for Players Development Academy (PDA) of the ECNL, which won the 2014 NJ State Cup and USYS Region 1 Championship. He was also a part of the 2017 EDP League Championship team.
Framson, a 5-8 defender/midfielder, was a varsity soccer player at Oviedo High School in Florida. He served as team captain, earning All-Conference accolades while being voted Player of the Year by both his coaches and teammates. For club soccer, Framson played for Orlando City Academy, where he was selected for the RIII ODP Team from 2014-17 and for the Generation Adidas Select Team that played in Madrid, Spain.
Gomes, a 6-2 defender, joins fellow Seton Hall Prep graduate, Rocco Capozza, in this year’s recruiting class. A team captain, he was a Second Team All-State selection, while earning First Team SEC American Division, First Team All-Essex County and First Team Non-Public North honors. For club soccer, he played for the Ironbound Strikers, which won the U19 NJ State Cup, as well as for the Ironbound Navigators, which took the U18 Super Y League National Championship.
A 5-11 goalkeeper, Heintz is a graduate of Northwood High School in Irvine, California. He played club soccer for Strikers FC of the USSDA.
Ingimarsson is a 6-3 defender from Iceland, where he attended the Commercial College of Iceland. He played for Breidablik of the Icelandic Soccer League, which won the U19 National Championship two straight seasons and reached the Europa You League twice.
Lambo, a 5-7 midfielder/defender, was a varsity soccer player at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. A team captain, he was named the Greater Metro Conference Player of the Year and First Team All-State in 2017, while being a finalist for the Journal Sentinel Player of the Year. Lambo helped Marquette to three WIAA D1 State Championships, as a First Team All-Area and All-Great Lakes Region performer. He played club soccer for FC Wisconsin, which won the U18/19 National Championship in 2017 and the U16 Club State Championship in 2015.
Makaj, a 5-9 midfielder, graduated from Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, N.Y., where he was an All-League and All-Section pick for the varsity soccer team.
A 6-0 midfielder, Murphy graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California. After one varsity season at Archbishop Mitty, he joined Santa Clara Sporting of the USSDA, where he won three CYSA State Championships and two NorCal State Championships. He moved on to compete for Cal North ODP, spending two years on the Cal North State Team, as well as for Region IV ODP. Murphy currently plays for De Anza Force Academy.
Ruiz, a 5-8 midfielder, graduated from Delbarton in Morristown, N.J., where he helped his team to a top 10 national ranking, winning the county and state championships. He played club soccer for PDA Academy, where he was a two-time State Cup and Regional champion.
Sluys, a 6-2 defender, played four seasons of varsity soccer at Gig Harbor High School in Gig Harbor, Washington. A two-year captain, he was named MVP and All-League First Team the last two seasons, as well as First Team All-Area and First Team All-State. Sluys played club soccer for Washington Premier FC B98, where he captured two Washington State Championship and four Rainier Challenge Championships.
Information for this story provided by Fordham University.