Sports Information Director
(Notre Dame, Ind.) Holy Cross men's soccer captains Alexander Clarke (Liverpool, England) and Garbhan Grant (Letterkenny, Ireland) have signed to join the St. Louis Lions of the Premiere Development League (PDL) after helping cap off the best season in Holy Cross men's soccer history with a program best nine wins and first ever play-off appearance. Clarke and Grant join Niko Jelicic (Sucuraj, Croatia) as members of the men's soccer team to sign with PDL teams for the upcoming summer.
"I'm extremely proud of both Alex and Garbhan for making the St. Louis Lions," said Saints head coach Omar Gallo. "As a coach, it's always difficult picking captains; to see all three of our captains make the PDL this summer is an exceptional accomplishment. The boys will learn what it takes to play at the professional level through playing with Tony Glavin who is one of the most respected coaches in the country. As a coach, I'm honored to have three players playing in the PDL this summer."
Coach Gallo believes the experience these plays will go through this summer will be very beneficial to the team next season.
"Considering our guys look up to these captains, I'm excited to see what they will bring back through this experience," continued coach Gallo. "I believe all three are ready for this level and they will do an excellent job in representing our program. "
After completing the most successful season in Holy Cross men's soccer history, Clarke and Grant received an invitation to tryout for the St. Louis Lions of the USL Premiere Development League; the top-level men's soccer competition in the United States. Both players were a part of a group of around one hundred of players looking to make the final 24 man roster. An even more impressive factor is that they combine for two of the eight allotted spots for international players.
Both players completed an impressive tryout with being offered spots on the final 24 man roster. They will report to camp in the middle of May and play through July.
During his sophomore season, defenseman Alexander Clarke was a key member for the turnaround season by the Saints where he appeared and started in all eighteen games. His one goal and three assist statistical numbers helped produced a career best five points in just his second year with the program. Currently Alex has a combined two goals and five assists for nine points in thirty three career games.
"It's not only a great personal achievement for me, but a great step in the right direction for our program," said Clarke. "We're able to put the program on the map and sort of guide it in the right direction. This is my dream to play at this level and I'm really excited for the opportunity."
Clarke is also looking forward to sharing the field with other great players across the nation.
"I think it will be a big test for me as a player," continued Clarke. "It's sort of the being thrown into the deep end theory and seeing how you come out. It will be absolutely be a challenge, but definitely one that I'm ready for."
At the conclusion of his junior season, where he finished with three goals and three assists for nine points, Garbhan Grant received an invitation to Orange Beach, Alabama to participate in the 2012 Tourbeau College Soccer Showcase. After an impressive showing at the showcase, Grant received an invitation to try out for the St. Louis Lions. For his career, Grant has appeared in 51 games and totaled seven goals and eleven assists for twenty points.
"I'm really looking forward to the experience of playing in a professional type of setting," said Grant. "It's another opportunity to develop as a player and work with other top tier coaches."
"Not to mention the passionate fans that follow the club all around the country," both players stated.
Both Clarke and Grant will enjoy this extra off-season working on refining their games and return to the Saints next season.
On behalf of Holy Cross College Athletics, we'd like to congratulate both players on their accomplishment of making the St. Louis Lions. Stay tuned this summer for updates on all three players who will be participating in the Premiere Development League!