NEWBERRY — Newberry men’s soccer Head Coach Bryce Cooper has announced the signing of seven players for the 2018 season.
Cooper is coming off his second season at Newberry where he and the Wolves went 5-9-3 and earned the eight seed in the South Atlantic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship. The team would also earn the United Soccer Coaches team academic award for the 2016-17 season. The Wolves posted a 3.37 overall team grade-point average last year.
“Reuben and Patrick did a great job identifying quality players from all over the region and internationally that addressed our needs and had high character. We placed an emphasis on strengthening our defense and building from the back, which you can see in this class,” Cooper said. “Just as in our two previous classes they have welcomed the challenge of helping us continue to create new expectations for this program as we look to develop a culture of excellence both on and off the field and compete for our first championship. With some key returning players from this past season, along with the addition of this class, we feel that this team will have the ability to compete with anyone in the Southeast Region going forward. I am excited to work with each of them and welcome them to the Newberry family.”
A defender from Genova, Italy, Salvarezza grew up playing in the academy of Genoa Football Club (Serie A) then moved to compete in the Serie C U-17 for Suditorol. He was named captain on both the Genoa Football Club and Sudtirol sides.
Cooper is excited to see Salvarezza join the pack.
“Giacomo will be a great addition to our squad and will look to be an anchor for our backline. He has great size, good athleticism, and has been in leadership positions previously with having been captain of both his club teams. His composure, class, quality and experience will pay immediate dividends for us,” he said.
A central midfielder from Charlotte, N.C., Paul was most recently a member of the Carolina Rapids Development Academy. He also played with the North Carolina ODP state team, ODP Regional camp, as well as U.S. National Team regional pool. Paul was the second leading scorer in Southeast Conference in USSSDA (United States Soccer Development Academy) in 2014-15, and trained with the Trinidad and Tobago U17 National Team in 2016.
Cooper was impressed with Paul during the recruitment process.
“We had seen Troy play several times including most recently at our prospect camp and thought he got better and better each time. He is a creative player who makes those around him better and will fit well into our system and style. He comes from a great background and environment and we are excited to see his growth and development over these next four years,” he said.
A defender from Weaverville, N.C., Witcher most recently competed with the HFC (Highland Football Club) and advanced to the USYS Region III Championships. Witcher was a four-year starter for the varsity team at North Buncombe High School team with accolades including MAC All-Conference team for three years, two-time WNC All-Region Team, and captain his senior year.
Cooper sees the potential Witcher brings to the program.
“Janson was our first commit and has been very involved throughout the process, which means a lot to any program. He has good versatility and has great intangibles including his work rate, mentality and desire to make himself and those around him better. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Newberry family,” he said.
Joao Rizzon Dos Santos
A defender from Viamao, Brazil, Dos Santos most recently competed for Tamoio F.C. and MZM Academy in Porto Alegre. He played high school soccer at Colegio Marista Gracas and was a member of the Genoma Colorado Academy, who is affiliated with Sport Club Internacional. Dos Santos is not a stranger to success, winning a national championship in 2014.
Cooper believes Dos Santos will have a huge presence on the field.
“Joao will be an immediate impact for our program along the backline. He has excellent pace and has good timing out of the back to allow him to get forward and be dynamic in the attack. He provides good service and can also create chances on goal with his pace and quality on the ball. Joao should be a highly impactful player for us for years to come and I’m really looking forward to working with him,” he said.
A central midfielder from Wallace, N.C., Maldonado was a four-year varsity player at Wallace Rose Hill. His accolades include two-time Class A State Champions in 2015, regional runners up, and tabbed Rookie of the Year in 2014.
Cooper is stoked to see Maldonado join the program.
“Javi has been on our radar for some time, since coming to one of our prospect camps last year. He has won several state championships at Wallace Rose High School and knows what it takes to win at a consistent level. He’s a blue collar kid that has had to work for everything he’s gotten in life, and the mentality he will bring every day to this program will be invaluable. He’s good in the tackle, breaks play up well and makes good decisions on the ball. He will be a great asset to this program and I’m excited for him and his family,” he said.
A defender from Asheville, N.C., Chavez played for HFC (Highland Football Club) in Asheville from 2012-2016 and joined CESA (Carolina Elite Soccer Academy). He participated in the SCYSA U18 State Championship in 2016, competed in the 2016 USYS Region III Championships, and was a member of the USYS National League. During high school, Chavez played at T.C. Roberson.
Cooper believes Chavez is a key addition to the team.
“Christian comes from a great environment and has been well coached over the years. He is a smart and technically clean player that will make for a good college defender at this level. He will help us continue to raise the expectations and perceptions of this program and we are excited to work with him,” he said.
A forward from Mechanicsville, Md., Barnes was a three-time letter winner and all-county honorable mention in his senior year at Chopticon High School. He also was a member of SMS Impact, a club soccer team.
Cooper was impressed by Barnes’ skill set.
“Trevor has good size and athleticism and can play as a true target forward. He has a great attitude and high character and we know that he’ll embody all the values that we try to instill in our players. His older brother is a member of the men’s lacrosse team which was a big selling point for the family; it will be nice to see them both have success,” he said.