SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs have announced the signings of Grande Sports Academy alumni Jose “Coco” Navarro, Etiandro Tavares and Ricardo Velazco while Real Salt Lake announced the signing of Adolfo “Fito” Ovalle, raising the number of GSA alumni that have signed professional contracts to a total of 20 players.
“Fito” Ovalle becomes the ninth Grande Sports Academy alumnus to sign with Real Salt Lake and the sixth alum to be part of the team’s 2015 roster. Ovalle played 62 games for Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy from 2012 through 2014, winning the 2012-13 U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 National Championship.
Casa Grande-native Ricardo Velazco joins USL club Real Monarchs after a three-year college career playing for California State University, San Bernardino and the University of Louisville. Velazco played 56 games between 2010 and 2012 for RSL-AZ U-17/18, scoring 20 goals in that time.
Velazco scored a team-leading six goals in the 2012 season at CSU San Bernardino, earning First-Team All Conference and California Collegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year honors. At Louisville, Velazco was named to the 2013 First Team All-American Conference and NSCAA First Team All-Midwest Region.
“Coco” Navarro signs with Real Monarchs after a two-year college career at Marquette University. In three years with RSL-AZ, Navarro played in 82 games, scoring 46 goals and earning 2012-13 USSDA U-17/18 West Conference Starting XI honors.
Etiandro Tavares rounds out the group of signings, becoming the 20th Grande Sports Academy alumni to sign a professional contract. Tavares played in 44 games for RSL-AZ in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 USSDA seasons, scoring eight goals in that time before joining Arizona Western College.
Grande Sports Academy would like to congratulate all four players on taking the next step in their careers and wish them the best of luck in their upcoming seasons!