The new arrivals for the NYIT men’s soccer team for the 2018 season have a distinctly international flavor as the 10 additions come from four different countries.
Head coach Carlos Delcid is adding from the United States Rexhep Dalipi, John Gamble, Wilber Gomez and Salvador Jimenez; Ofentse Kwenaite and Nkululeko Mkhonto from South Africa; Spain’s Alejandro Izaga and Nuno Mecia Lopez; and Matthaeus Granger and Che Richards from Trinidad & Tobago.
Granger joins NYIT with international experience as the center back has played for T&T’s U-17 national team.
“He’s aggressive,” Delcid said about Granger. “He has speed. He’s very athletic with a great touch. And he brings international experience.”
NYIT men’s soccer also has a strong tradition of attracting talent from Trinidad and Tobago, the home of Granger and Richards. Fellow Trinidadian Kyle Cupid was a first-team All-American at NYIT in 2007.
Closer to home, Gomez is an addition to the Bears roster that hails from Long Island heading to Old Westbury from Brentwood High School and is expected to have an immediate impact on his team. His brother, Randy, is currently a member of the NYIT men’s soccer team.
“Wilber is one of the top players coming out of Long Island,” Delcid said about the midfielder. “He wasn’t looking at any D-II schools except us, because Randy is here. He had all offers from D-I schools.”
Wilber Gomez isn’t the only relative of an NYIT student-athlete to sign with the soccer program. Dalipi is the cousin of Besnik Dalipi, a member of the men’s lacrosse team this past spring.
Meanwhile, Delcid — who took a recruiting trip to Spain during the offseason — landed a pair of standouts in Izaga and Mecia Lopez.
“Alejandro and Nuno played at the highest level you can play youth soccer in Spain,” Delcid said.
South Africa, however, is a new recruiting locale for NYIT that has resulted in Delcid landing Kwenaite and Mkhonto.
As for the remainder of the U.S.-based players, Jimenez, a striker, arrives from Otero Junior College in La Junta, Calif. He hails from Reno, Nev.
“Salvador, coming out of high school, was runner-up for Gatorade Player of the Year in Nevada,” Delcid said.
Gamble arrives at NYIT from Baldwin High School.
“He’s going to be another offensive threat,” Delcid said. “He’s a very skillful, left-footed player. He can play left back and left midfield.”
NYIT enters the fall with expectations of competing for the East Coast Conference title. The Bears went 9-9-1 overall and 5-4 in the ECC in 2017.