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Men's Soccer - Tue, Jul. 22, 2014

Jordan Oyer - Sports Information Director

 

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Holy Cross head men's soccer coach Omar Gallo has announced the 2014 recruiting class. Steven Smith, Connor Gillig, Fabio Aiello, Kyle Hendzel, Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu, Harry Francis, Chad Swieca, Jong Hyun Son, and Macauley Hill will join the Saints beginning in the fall of 2014.

Steven Smith, Junior Midfielder - Lucan, Ireland

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Steven is a great addition for us. He will bring leadership to the team and a lot of intensity on the field. The one thing that stands out about Steven is his experience, having already played two seasons at the PDL level. As a coaching staff, we believe that Steven will provide us with that extra step that is needed in order to achieve the team goals we have set forth. More importantly, he is a player who wants to have success, is willing to learn and can be a versatile player when called upon."

Steven's Comments

"I know my decision to sign with Holy Cross is one that I will never regret," Smith stated. "Working under the leadership of Coach Gallo is what I'm most excited for. What he has managed to achieve in the last two years as head coach is amazing. I want to be part of the team that takes the program to that next level and reaches the National Tournament. I'm really looking forward to the start of camp and showing the CCAC that Holy Cross is the team to beat in 2014."

 

Connor Gillig, Freshman Defender - Kalamazoo, MI

  • First Team All-State as a sophomore and senior
  • State semifinal run as a sophomore
  • District Champions as a sophomore, junior and senior
  • Kalamazoo Gazette/M-Live All-Area Team (2011, 2012)

Coach Gallo's Comments

"We graduated two of the top center backs in the conference so we knew we needed to bring in players who can come in and have an immediate impact at the position. Though Connor will be a true freshman, we are expecting him to come in and compete for a starting position. His tactical awareness and decision making on the field is what intrigues us as a coaching staff. Connor is a stand-out student and individual. He will represent Holy Cross in a great way over the next four years."

Connor's Comments

"I chose Holy Cross for its strong academics and small classes," Connor stated. "The thing that really sold me, however, was how close of a group the men's soccer team is. Every time I went down to practice or play with the team, the guys always seemed to be getting along great and seemed to be great friends."

 

Fabio Aiello, Sophomore Midfielder - Hanover Park, IL

  • Transferred from Aurora University in Aurora, IL

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Adding Fabio to our program is quite exciting," Gallo stated. "He is a talented player that has developed under the guidance of Dino Delveski (current head coach of the Chicago Inferno PDL). Coach Dino has a very successful track record playing at the next level, so anytime we can bring in a player who is affiliated with coaches like Dino, we're excited. Fabio will provide us with multiple options: he's a crafty center midfielder who will work to control the game, and he's also a player who can also provide us some depth at the winger position."

Fabio's Comments

"I chose Holy Cross because I want to be part of this extraordinary group of guys coach Gallo has put together to achieve one common goal of winning a national championship," Fabio stated. "Under his guidance, I believe our mission will be successful. Relating to school, the campus is a nice community, has my academic interests, and I believe will it give me the necessary skills to be successful later in life."

 

Kyle Hendzel, Freshman Midfielder - Lisle, IL

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Kyle is another strong addition for our program," said Gallo. "He is the younger brother of recent graduate TJ Hendzel (SR/Lisle, Ill.), who was all-conference as a center back this past season. We have high expectations for Kyle who, like his brother, has a strong work ethic and the determination to succeed at a high level. His physical appearance and ability to control the game is what stood out for our coaching staff."

 

Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu, Junior Midfielder - Lagos, Nigeria

  • 2012 NJCAA All-American 
  • 2012 NJCAA Golden Boot Runner Up with 27 goals
  • 2012 NJCAA Region IV Player of the Year
  • Transferred from Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, IL

Coach Gallo's Comments

"I am extremely excited about the signing of Lukman. Anytime you can bring in a Junior College All-American who led the nation in goals is fantastic news. It just shows the respect we have earned from the top players around the world." Coach Gallo continued, "Over the past four years, one area we have been lacking in was having a consistent goal scorer; The expectations for Lukman will be quite high, but I think he is ready for the challenge. We are hoping his success on the pitch and more importantly off the pitch will carry over during his journey at Holy Cross College."

 

Chad Swieca, Sophomore Defender - Sugar Grove, IL

  • Transferred from Lipscomb University after Freshman season 

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Bringing Chad in for us was a tremendous signing. Chad not only brings some height to our team, but he brings leadership and great knowledge of the game. As a NCAA D1 transfer he understands how high the bar has been set and we are expecting him to come in and have an immediate impact both on and off the field."

 

Harry Francis, Freshman Defender - Stockport, England

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Harry arrives to us with more experience than your typical freshman. Harry was named Bolton Academy Player of the Year in England, this shows he is ready to fill the shoes of our two key losses in the defense. I am confident he will produce for us and represent our institution in a positive way."

 
Jong Hyun Son, Junior Midfielder - Hoein, South Korea
 
Coach Gallo's Comments

"Son will bring a lot of creativity to our team this year. He is a dynamic, quick, and crafty midfielder who will be important for us to create chances on goal. Son's ability to know the next play before it happens is what makes him stand out. His tactical awareness in the game will make everyone better around him. He has the ability to be one of the best players in the CCAC this season."

 

Macauley Hill, Junior Forward - Port Huron, MI

  • Transferred from Syracuse University, where he played wide receiver for football

Coach Gallo's Comments

"Macauley brings size and strength to our team, but more importantly he brings leadership. As a transfer from a top level program like Syracuse University football he brings experience on what it takes to compete on highest level. We will be looking at Macauley to be a leader this year and show the younger guys how to maintain a winning program. We also know that Macauley will give us production on the field as well as leadership in the locker room."