The Union University men’s soccer program is looking to rebound in the 2008 season after finishing in fourth place in 2007. Head coach Clovis Simas is entering his third year at the helm of the team. Simas will have to replace six seniors lost to graduation, including two-time All-American Benny Crozier and All-American goalie Chris Lean.
The Bulldogs are only returning 10 of their 31 goals scored from last season, leaving Simas to look at his top returners and new recruits to make a big impact early. The Bulldogs’ top returners include Wagner Oliveira, Richard Norman, Paul Turner, and Josh Hanna. The Bulldogs are also expecting an immediate impact from their top recruits Michael Bruce, Chris Waugh, Rafael Carvalho, Dejan Kostic, and Nic DeSio.
The varsity team has four seniors, including Wagner Oliveira, Matthew Lynn, Hani Nyabam, and Michael Lee. John Hawley and Brian Jones are also seniors in the Union soccer program this season.
Union’s junior class has seven varsity players. Jordan Thompson, Marcos Matos, Alessandro Oliveira, Kevin Bradley, Anthony O’Neill, Rabo Garbo, and Paul Turner will each help solidify this team with their experience from past seasons.
The sophomore class boasts six players on the varsity roster. Mike Phelan, David Romer, Rafa Rodriguez, Richard Norman, Josh Hanna, and Jared Carpenter will each have opportunities to contribute often with the loss of so many from last season. Kevin King, Dennis Regalado, and David Creswell will spend time in reserve for Union this year. David Wilson returns for his sophomore year but will not play due to injuries suffered in the February 5 tornado that hit Union’s campus. His leadership and wisdom, however, will prove to be very valuable as a student assistant coach.
Eight freshman are on the varsity roster on this young team. Darlan Rocha, Dejan Kostic, James Landham, Michael Bruce, Rafael Carvalho, Cooper Rawls, Nic DeSio, and Chris Waugh have earned spots early in their careers in this Union soccer program. Freshman reserve players include Weston Wax, Micah Thomas, Joseph Dallas, Antonio Hernandez, Collins Mensing, Peter Yu, Zach Karchenas, Jose Marroquin, and Nate Peterson.