Soka University head men's soccer coach Marine Cano announced his first seven signings of the 2013 recruiting season.
Matteo Barbiero comes to Soka from Vincenza, Italy. He was a member of the Longare Calcio first team, a central defender for the Vincenza Calcio youth sector, and Liceo Classico, where he played under the direction of Antonio Pigafetta. His ability to win balls in the air both offensively and defensively and his tactical defensive abilities will play an impactful role for the Lions this season. Cano said about Barbiero, "Matteo will give us a good European style of reading the game. I feel that with his experience it will be able to improve our wing attack system. Barbiero's skill, tenacity in taking players on one versus one, and creativity on and off the ball will prove extremely valuable for our team."
Trey Bower comes to Soka from Scottsdale, Arizona. Bower played for Valparaiso United Futbol Club coach Saed Karaselimovic. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and his ability to mark players out of a game will serve as a valuable strength for the Lions. Cano said about Bower, "His speed will prove to be a valuable asset to our team. He is a ball winner. His strength and ability to win tackles will help us to regain possession. He will be a welcome site helping us maintain possession of the ball at key times in the match."
Max Heine comes to Soka from Ashland, Oregon. He will be a strong addition to the left side for the Lions. His work ethic and competitive mentality and determination are all traits that the program welcomes. He does a great job of getting passes into the box and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. Cano said, "I am very excited that Max will be on our team next year. He works hard in trainings and in games. I believe that his mentality will set a standard for his teammates and I look forward to coaching him over the course of the next four years."
Braxton Kody Keo comes from Garden Grove, California. He played his high school soccer for Pacifica High School. He was captain for the Mariners. He earned co-defensive most valuable player honors and All-Empire Soccer League second team honors. For his efforts in the classroom, he earned scholar athlete honors. Cano said, "As a local boy we are excited to add Braxton to our roster. Braxton's tenacity will help the team out in defense and with his aggressiveness to take players on in one versus one situations combined with his skill on the ball he will prove to be a valuable asset to our program."
Tyson Laa Deng comes from Cairo, Egypt. He was a coach's award recipient in soccer and captain of multiple teams. He is a versatile athlete having participated in basketball, crew, downhill and nordic skiing, snowboarding and tennis. His academic prowess includes academic awards in Algebra, Classical Music Studies, Leadership and Music, Physical Science, Spanish and Technical Theater. He was also an elected member of the Academic Committee, Dorm Head/Proctor, Judicial Board and Kitchen Advisor. He is a member of the honor roll and the Paul Lehmann Award winner which is awarded to the student who lives the school's spirit. Cano said about Deng, "Tyson's adaptability and flexibility will be utilized abundantly. I believe that Tyson will run at the opposition and get our offense into good positions that will create scoring opportunities. He is going to be a great addition to the squad."
Sean Maddex comes to Soka from Diamond Bar, California. He played his high school soccer for Diamond Bar High School. He helped lead the Brahmas to back-to-back Hacienda Soccer League championships. For his efforts in the classroom, he made back to back All-Hacienda Soccer League Academic teams. Cano said about Maddex, "Sean will give us depth as a goalkeeper. He will help us so we can keep the ball out of the net. His distribution skills will allow us to maintain possession and I believe he will be an integral part of starting our attack. As a goalkeeper myself, I look forward to working with Sean as well as watching him compete."
Albert Pineda comes to Soka from Lakewood, California. He was a first and second team Academy League honoree for the Wildcats. He brings an abundance of skill and vision to the Lions' program. His capacity to distribute the ball under extreme pressure puts him in the position to potentially start this next season. For his efforts in the classroom, he was named a member of the National Honor Society and was also named a National Hispanic Scholar. Cano said about Pineda, "Albert is a very skillful player could find a starting position at center midfield because of how he can run a midfield. I am very excited for the upcoming year and with the addition of Albert and the other incoming freshman we now can represent."
Cano said about his signees, "We are so excited for the future of our soccer program. These incoming freshmen are a huge addition to our team and will look to continue the traditions of pride, courage and commitment that our former and current soccer players have set. It will be very exciting to watch these seven athletes grow and develop over the next four years."