POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Matt Viggiano, who recently completed his fifth season as the head coach of the Marist men's soccer team, announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent on Thursday. The members of this class all hail from the New York and New Jersey area and come from highly regarded high school and club programs. The four players are Steven Arraiano, Cesar Ceja, Connor Flatley and Connor Preece. The Red Foxes also announced the addition of a Division 1 transfer from Providence College, Greg Davis.
"All four incoming freshmen, as well as Greg come to us from strong programs and have winning pedigrees" said Viggiano. "We expect instant contributions from all five of them on varying levels. They should do a good job in helping us replace our deep seven man graduating class from this past fall."
Cesar Ceja - 5'11/182 - Forward/Midfield - Port Chester, N.Y./Iona Prep - FC Westchester
Ceja joins his brother Gerry in Poughkeepsie after starting all four season on the Iona Prep varsity team. With exceptional production from the start, he earned All-League nods in every year. His recognition grew following his sophomore season as he was named First Team All-State three years in a row. ESPN Rise took notice, as well, as Ceja earned honors on the ESPN Rise All-State teams after his junior and senior seasons. On the club level, he was a member of FC Westchester.
Viggiano on Ceja: "We're very excited to get a player of Cesar's caliber to join the Red Foxes. His on-ball ability is Division 1 ready. We feel he'll definitely make an impact as a freshman on our attack."
Connor Preece - 6'1/180 - Midfield/Forward - Ballston Spa, N.Y./Ballston Spa - FC Westchester
Preece comes to Marist following a successful, four-year career as a starter on the varsity soccer team at Ballston Spa High School. He was named to the Class AA First Team All-Stars three seasons in a row, including being the only sophomore selected in 2009. He was also named Section II Player of the Year for two seasons. Preece led his high school team in scoring and assists for three seasons and led the Suburban Council in scoring during his senior season. He was a three-year member of the Blackwatch Premiere from 2007-09 before joining FC Westchester in 2009.
Viggiano on Preece: "Connor is big, hard-nosed and athletic. We look forward to his prospects on the field for us, especially on the defensive side of the ball. He's an excellent student, who'll excel in the student-athlete model set forth at Marist."
Steven Arraiano - 5'9/160 - Midfield/Defender - Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley - FC Westchester
Captain of his high school team at Putnam Valley High School, Arraiano capped his interscholastic career with a senior season, in which he led the squad in goals, assists and total points. An All-League and All-Section honoree, he was named by Top Drawer Soccer as a Top 20 Player to Watch in New York. Outside of his school team, Arraiano participated on the ENYYSA ODP State team and with FC Westchester. In 2010, he and his FC Westchester teammates qualified for the National Playoffs.
Viggiano on Arraiano: "Steve is a versatile left footed athlete, who plays with good pace and is strong in the two-way game. He adds depth to our defense and midfield ranks. We look forward to see how he'll transition into the collegiate game."
Connor Flatley - 5'10/150 - Midfield/Defender - Kearny, N.J./Seton Hall Prep - Ironbound SC
A Top Drawer Soccer Player to Watch in 2011, Flatley brings a winning pedigree to the Marist program. While playing interscholastically at Seton Hall Prep, Flatley helped his squad to a #1 ranking amongst U.S. High School programs in 2010 and capped his career with a 37-3-3 record over his junior and senior seasons. Individually, he was named to All-County and All-Conference teams in 2011. With Ironbound SC, he was a part of two USL Super Y-League North American Championship teams, as well as a US Club Soccer National Cup Champion.
Viggiano on Flatley: "Connor is a smart, skillful player with good soccer IQ. He comes from a club and high school program with a rich, winning tradition. He'll add depth to our defensive midfield."
Greg Davis - 5'9/165 - Forward/Midfielder - Jamaica, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy - BW Gottschee
Davis joins the Red Foxes following two years at Providence College. The leading scorer for the Friars in 2011, the rising junior completed his career with the Friars with 10 goals, 3 assists and 23 points. Prior to competing in the Big East, Davis played four years of high school soccer at Archbishop Molloy. He earned CHSAA League Most Valuable Player honors and was named City Player of the Year as a junior and was an Honorable Mention All-American as a senior. Davis played club soccer for BW Gottschee, the same club as teammates Stephan Brossard, Tony Carreras, Nicolas Fedus and Joe Ruocco.
Viggiano on Davis: "We're very excited to get an impact player, who's been battle tested through two years of Big East and NCAA Tournament play. Greg's been scoring goals on the Division 1 level for two years and can play anywhere. We expect him to step in from Day One and be a mainstay on our attack."