SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo Men's Soccer program has announced the first four signees of its 2011 recruiting class. Midfielder's Bruno Da Silva and Joel Purkiss will join defender Sean Mcfarlane and goalkeeper Nolan Peek on the Lions' roster beginning in the fall of 2011.
In total, the Lions see nine additions from last year's squad, including four defenders, three midfielders, one forward, and one goal keeper.
"I am very excited to get on the field with the team," said first year coach Keith Fulk. "I look forward to evaluating their talent and getting them to believe in one another as we prepare for our first game. I feel this team has potential and can put a good product on the field that fans can enjoy."
The nine newcomers will join the 15 returners from last season's 9-6 squad. Each of the 24 are expected to make a contribution to the team's efforts over the course to the their 15-game regular season schedule.
Bruno Da Silva
Lake Alfred, Fla.
Auburndale Senior High School
Da Silva joins the Lions from Auburndale Senior High School after playing four years under Coach Guy Jennings. The midfielder was tabbed 2010 and 2011 Soccer Player of the Year by the Ledger and Newschief newspaper while also being selected an ESPN All-American in 2010.
Coach's Perspective: ""Bruno is a talented young player. He brings a new level of creativity and flare to our midfield position that will cause real problems with our opposition. He garnered All-State recognition through high school and played at a very high club level with the Clearwater Chargers Academy Team. Bruno is also an excellent student off the field and will make an immediate impact on and off the field."
King Edwards VII High School / Herkimer Country Community College
Purkiss, a native of Sheffield, England, competed at King Edwards VII High School under the tutelage of Phil Wymer. Purkiss was listed as the team's top goal scorer five consecutive years and Player of the Year on two occasions. After his successful stint at King Edwards, Purkiss spent two seasons at Herkimer County CC. While there, the attacking midfielder helped lead his team to a Region III Championship while earning Player of the Year accolades. He wrapped-up his stint at HCCC with a selection to the Division III All-Soccer Tournament Team.
Coach's Perspective: "Joel is a talented player that did very well at the junior college level. He is very good at keeping the ball, connecting passes, and dictating the tempo of the game. He had great success at Herkimer, earning All American honors and we hope to see that translate here to Saint Leo. His experience and ability will be welcomed in a position where we lost a lot of talent."
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
American Heritage High School
Mcfarlane is talented defender who spent four seasons under Marcel Nevelef at American Heritage High School. The gifted back helped solidify the back four and will be a critical piece of the Lions' success over the next four seasons.
Coach's Perspective: "Sean is an extremely gifted athlete. He brings speed and tenacity as a defender that will be an asset to our team. The Weston FC Academy product will help sure up a backline that graduated some crucial players. He brings depth and athleticism to our team and will look to compete for playing time right away."
Grayslake North HS
Peek spent four seasons at Grayslake North High School under the tutelage of Adam DeCaluwe. The 6'3" 'keeper put together a stellar resume during his stint with Grayslake as he was named Daily Herald All-Area and First Team All-Conference. In addition, Peek holds the GNHS records for shutouts with 12, and led the teams charge at a conference title in 2010.
Coach's Perspective: "Nolan is a solid young goalkeeper that has a lot of experience playing at a high level. He is a very good shot stopper and organizes his team well. His size and presence in goal make him formidable in net. He will join a strong goalkeeping contingent with returners Jake Hirst, McKenzey Scott and Sean Jones. Nolan will push the others right away for playing time, in what will be a fierce goalkeeper competition."
The Lions will open their fall campaign with a trip to Orlando, Fla. as they will take on Division I opponent the University of Central Florida on Saturday, August 20.