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Significant changes shift college soccer signing period

Carter Breen (Norwin) is one of four local players to sign with Duquesne (Photo - Carter Breen Twitter)

Significant changes shift college soccer signing period

The traditional early February National Signing Day came and went last week. The first Wednesday of February in recent years was set aside for many high school senior soccer players to announce where they’ve signed letters of intent to attend and play soccer.

This past Wednesday was quieter than usual.

That’s because this school year, significant updates to the signing period rules sped up the timeline. In the past, there was an early signing period (usually in November) followed by a break over the holidays (dead period) before signing NLIs resumed in the spring during the regular signing period.

All athletes outside of football and men’s and women’s Division 1 basketball players began signing scholarships on November 14, 2018 and continue to sign anytime through August 1, 2019.

Thus, the new “National Signing Day” for soccer players this season was November 14. With that date falling right near or after the conclusion of the high school soccer season, especially here in Pennsylvania, many seniors weren’t ready to make their decisions, while some, who had already made their decisions for some time, didn’t waste a moment to sign on or soon after November 14.

Larry Fingers, who coaches both for Canon-McMillan high school boys program, and with Century United where oversees the club’s College Center programs, currently has 60 former boys players in the college ranks, believes this system helps both the players and the college coaches.

“A lot of kids were changing their minds,” Fingers said. “The new rule provides a chance for the colleges to lock down a player earlier, and that also provides a chance for that student-athlete to secure a scholarship that has been offered.”

In the past, NCAA D2, D3 and NAIA schools have waited for D1 programs to complete their recruiting classes before ramping up their signings.

Now that D1 schools will be completing their signings earlier, coaches from the other division levels were busier over the holidays and early in 2019 instead of mid -to-late spring.

With these changes, we’ve been playing catch-up, but we’re doing our best to stay on top of things.

Special thanks to the efforts of Pittsburgh Soccer Now contributor Ed Rosensteel, we have begun to compile a list of Pittsburgh area high school seniors that have made college commitments and have signed a National Letter of Intent. Ed was able to compile a strong list of the female commitments, and we’re starting to build the list for their male counterparts. If you have any additions to these lists, please contact us at pghsoccerreport@gmail.com.

In addition, the Riverhounds Development Academy will be hosting its own Signing Day event on Tuesday, February 12.

 

Class of 2019 college commitments

 

COLLEGE SHOWCASES

While many of this year’s high school seniors either have made their decisions, or some are still in the process of narrowing down their choices, younger players aspiring to play collegiate soccer some day are currently in the heart of indoor and showcase season.

Once again, some of the bigger clubs in the area are hosting College showcases, bringing in dozens of coaches and clubs from all around the region for these weekend tournaments.

Some other clubs will have showcases at different times of the year. For example, Arsenal FC of PA held a showcase in December at Seneca Valley High School.

LOCAL DI PROGRAMS

One of the ramifications of the changes in signing period is that the college programs will likely not be in position to announce or share upcoming new class of player until later in the Spring.

 

We know of at least one local player who made a commitment to a local Division I program on Wednesday.

In the coming weeks, we’ll start to get more information and take a look at the local college programs, and where they stand with their incoming classes. Because the final signing period extends to August 1, they may not have a lot of information available on incoming players.

Here’s some of the ‘commitments’ that we’re tracking with a little assistance from TopDrawersoccer.com:

PITT MEN

Name Year Pos. City State Club
Kai Lammers 2019 MF Greenwich Connecticut NYCFC
Luke Mort 2019 F Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Veljko Petkovic 2019 MF New York NYCFC

DUQUENSE MEN 

Name Year Pos. City State Club
Nathan Dragisich 2019 F McDonald Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Brian Bruzdewicz    Peters Twp   Century United

Carter Breen     Norwin     Century United

Markello Apodiakos   Belle Vernon    Century United

 

PITT WOMEN

Name Year Pos. City State Club
Anna Bout 2019 D Cambridge Ontario Burlington Youth Soccer
Mackenzie Edwards 2019 F Jamison Pennsylvania Continental FC DELCO
Catie Hassett 2019 MF Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Century V FC
Caitlyn Lazzarini 2019 GK Nazareth Pennsylvania PDA
Madeleine Moran 2019 D Edmonton Alberta FC Edmonton
Athalie Palomo 2019 MF Lewisville Texas FC Dallas
Madison Root 2019 MF Ephrata Pennsylvania Rage Soccer Club (PA)
Krystyna Rytel 2019 F Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Century V FC
Sarah Sinnott 2019 F Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Century V FC
Marisa Tava 2019 MF New Jersey Match Fit Academy FC
Abigail Wert 2019 MF Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Amanda West 2019 F Burlington Ontario Burlington Youth Soccer

DUQUESNE WOMEN 

Name Year Pos. City State Club
Jaimi Araujo 2019 F Tabernacle New Jersey PDA
Maddie Genicola 2019 D Norwin Pennsylvania Century United
Brianna Passaro 2019 F Commack New York Massapequa SC
Kristina Skulte 2019 MF Virginia FC Virginia

Natalie Bell  2019        Hickory    Century United

Jessica White 2019      Hickory    Century United

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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