The Valparaiso men's soccer program announced two more additions to its 2013 roster on Monday, as freshman Nico Campbell and SMU transfer Jacob Gandarilla will join the Crusader program for this coming season.
Nico Campbell (GK - Kingston, Jamaica/St. George's College/Cavaliers SC)
Campbell, a 6'4", 210 lb. goalkeeper from Kingston, Jamaica, brings talent and an experience-laden resume to the Crusaders' goalkeeping position. A graduate of St George's College, Campbell captained his high school side to championships in both the Manning Cup and the Oliver Shield - Jamaica's oldest and most prestigious schoolboy competition. With his club side, Cavaliers SC, Campbell manned the nets while his side won the Super League title in 2011-2012. A long time GK within the Jamaican youth national team set up, Campbell was the first choice GK in the 2011 FIFA u17 World Cup in Mexico, earning the starting job in narrow losses to Japan and Argentina in group play. This past spring, Campbell represented the Jamaica u20 side in the CFU and CONCACAF u20 World Cup qualifiers.
"Nico is a terrific addition to our program and adds to an already deep goalkeeping pool," said Crusader head coach Mike Avery. "Competition for the starting job and for the backup spot will be intense all season long, which is a good thing both for our team and for the goalkeepers involved. Nico has a lot of physical tools, and he has been well prepared through his experiences and his training. We are excited to get him into camp and start working with him, because we believe he has a lot of natural ability. We're also excited to add Nico Campbell, the person, because he has been a real pleasure to get to know these past few months and he will fit right in with the boys on the team."
Jacob Gandarilla (MF - Albuquerque, N.M./Shattuck St. Mary's [SMU])
Gandarilla, a 5'6" attacking player, joins the Crusaders as a transfer from SMU in Dallas, Texas. As a freshman on a talented Mustang squad, Gandarilla played a contributing role off the bench while helping SMU to a 10-5-5 record and an appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Appearing in eight contests for the 2012 C-USA regular season champion Mustangs, Gandarilla scored a goal in a 3-2 overtime victory against Harvard. Prior to SMU, Gandarilla attended boarding school in Faribault, Minn. at Shattuck St. Mary's. In 2011, Gandarilla helped lead the Shattuck team to the Minnesota State Championships while being named MVP for his u18 club side.
"Jacob is another addition to the program that brings a lot of attacking quality, versatility, and technical ability to our side," said Avery. "Jacob can play a lot of different roles, and his quickness and creativity make him a very difficult player to defend. We followed Jacob closely while at Shattuck, and are excited to bring him in now as a transfer from a very good SMU program. When Jacob visited with us last spring, it seemed as if he had been here forever - the fit was that good."