Grande Alums Roundup

Grande Sports Academy alums continue to shine at the next level.

In the past 6 years over 130 Grande Sports Academy graduates have gone on to pursue their collegiate soccer careers at various programs of all levels across the country. There are currently a remarkable 21 GSA alums playing at one of the Top 25 ranked NCAA Men’s Soccer programs. With the new NCAA Men’s Soccer season underway and first weekend of games completed, we take a closer look at how some of the boys did in our Grande Alums Roundup.

Aaron Herrera named the CUSA Defensive Player of the Week

Aaron Herrera started off his sophomore season at University of New Mexico on a good note as he was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week after his impressive defensive performance vs No.12 ranked Notre Dame despite his team losing 0-1. He will be in action again on Friday, September 2 in UNM’s home opener vs CSU Northridge. Aaron spent 3 years at Grande Sports Academy and developed into an irreplaceable right back for the U18 academy. He also had a highlight of the year in 2015 when he scored this incredible bicycle kick.

Five GSA alums made history as Grand Canyon University Men’s Soccer shatters attendance record

Damian German, Amer Sasivarevic, Niki Jackson, Daniel Moreno and Patrick Ring were all part of the historical moment last Friday when Grand Canyon University Men’s soccer team christened their brand new stadium and had the largest attendance (6,402) ever to watch a college soccer game in the state of Arizona. Damian (Goal & Assist) and Niki (Goal) also played vital roles in their season opener as they both got on the score sheet in their 4-2 win over UCF to make a historical night even more special. Damian, a native of West Phoenix, was an invaluable member of the Grande Family for 3 years and has played over 100 games for our academy teams. He was part of the historical U17/18 team who broke the record of goals scored in a single U.S. Soccer Development Academy season (177 goals) and the top scorer of the 2014-2015 USSDA season with 34 goals scored in 40 games.

Freshman assumes starting role at the first whistle of the season

Another Grande Sports Academy alum, Alex Knox, continued to impress at the next level. Alex, one of the hardest working young players and a distinguished student on top of that, fought his way into the starting XI for the Wake Forest University’s first two games of the season as a freshman. He played a total of 126 minutes and helped his team to their first win of the 2016 campaign (2-1 vs Cal Poly University). Alex is famous for being the youngest student athlete ever to join Grande and first one to complete all 4 years at the academy.

From Mexico to Italy: Salcedo to continue his career in Serie A

Carlos Salcedo is the first Grande Sports Academy alum that will play in the top Italian division Serie A. He joined ACF Fiorentina, one of the top Italian clubs, on a one year loan from Chivas Guadalajara (MEX). The Italians will have an option to buy him after the 2016-17 season. Carlos came to Grande Sports Academy in 2012 from Mexico and signed a Homegrown Player contract with Real Salt Lake in 2013.

Grande Sports Academy Alums called up to U.S. Men’s National Teams

Aristotle Zarris, a former Grande Sports Academy player for 2.5 years, played an important role in U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team’s victorious trip to Europe where they had won the 2016 Václav Ježek Tournament in Czech Republic last month.

Elijah Rice (Washington University) and Tanner Dieterich (No. 8 Clemson University) have been called up into U.S. U-19 Men’s National Team by head coach Brad Friedel for their trip to Subotica, Serbia where they will play in the 2016 Stevan-Vilotic Cele tournament from Sept. 1-5.

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