GW Men's Soccer Welcomes 10 Newcomers for Fall 2012 Season

Head coach Craig Jones has signed 10 newcomers as part of his first recruiting class.

June 21, 2012

WASHINGTON - George Washington men's soccer has signed 10 student-athletes to compete for the defending Atlantic 10 regular-season champion Colonials and first-year head coach Craig Jones.

"I am very excited about our incoming class," Coach Jones said. "Creating a competitive environment is key to being successful, and I believe our incoming class will be pushing for starting spots and contributing on the field immediately."

The 10 newcomers will join 14 letterwinners and six starters from last season's team, which posted a 10-6-3 overall record and 7-2-0 conference mark, claiming a share of the A-10 regular-season crown before falling to Xavier on penalty kicks in the title game.

The new recruits include:

Andri Alexandersson
Arkanes, Iceland
Florida International University
6-foot-2 - 185 lbs.

A transfer from Florida International University, Alexandersson started four games for the Panthers in 2011 and scored two goals. In his hometown of Arkanes, Iceland, he was a member of the First Division champion IA Arkanes club team and was named the squad's Most Promising Player in 2010.

Coach Jones' Take: "Andri played at a very high level in Iceland and will offer leadership and experience to the field. He is a great late addition to the class, giving us options on both defense and in the midfield.

Spencer Bezirdjian
Ellicott City, Md.
Mount Saint Joseph High School - Soccer Association of Columbia United Premier
5-foot-7 - 137 lbs.

Bezirdjian was a three-year varsity letterwinner at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore, leading the Gaels to the MIAA `A' Conference title in 2009, when they were ranked as high as No. 15 by ESPNRise. He totaled 11 goals and 21 assists in his three-year career, including six goals and seven helpers as a senior. Bezirdjian's club team, Soccer Association of Columbia (SAC) United Premier U18 won back-to-back Maryland State Cups in 2011 and 2012 and was a Region I finalist in 2011. In addition, SAC was ranked third in the nation on this month.



Coach Jones' Take: "What impressed me about Spencer was his desire to always be available to get on the ball and play. He reads the game well, which could see him play outside of his normal central midfield role."

Jonny Forrest
North Shields, England
Monkseaton High School - Wallsend Boys Club
5-foot-11 - 160 lbs.

A native of North Shields, England, Forrest was named Monkseaton High School's Young Player of the Year and earned the Golden Boot as a member of England's Four Nations Clubs for Young People tournament. He is a former high school teammate of GW rising sophomore Matthew Scott.

Coach Jones' Take: "Jonny is a versatile forward who gives our offense several options in the fall. Any player who has played for their national youth team is going to bring quality and experience to the group."

Dominic Gallelli
Herndon, Va.
Herndon High School - RFC `93
5-foot-11 - 155 lbs.

Gallelli was a four-year letterwinner at Herndon High School in nearby Herndon, Va., leading the Hornets to the 2012 AAA Concorde District title after finishing as runners-up in 2011. He is an all-district honoree and a four-time Athletic Academic Honor Roll student. Gallelli's club team, RFC '93, was the 2012 State Cup champion, while his former squad, Herndon FC '93, won the State Cup in 2008 and 2009. He is also a four-year member of the Virginia state ODP.

Coach Jones' Take: "Dominic can play in numerous positions, but he's certainly more attack-minded than defensive. He loves to get forward, even from a defensive position, which he has played more recently, and he has put himself in position to start in a number of spots."

Ross Higgins
Seaford, Del.
Episcopal High School - Annandale United FC
5-foot-9 - 165 lbs.

Higgins led Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., to back-to-back state finals appearances as a sophomore and junior. A two-time all-conference selection, he also earned all-state and All-Met honors as a senior. Episcopal was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country during his junior season. In addition, Higgins helped his club team, Annandale United, to two Virginia state titles in U16 and U17 competition, as well as a U18 National League championship, and the team earned a No. 1 ranking during his U17 year.

Coach Jones' Take: "Ross has a phenomenal work rate and can play either left- or right-side midfield or possibly forward. One thing I love about Ross is that you are going to get 100 percent no matter where he plays on the field."

Jack Lopez
Miami, Fla.
Ransom Everglades High School - Kendall SC
6-foot - 155 lbs.

Lopez earned All-Dade Honorable Mention from the Miami Herald in 2010 and 2012. In addition, he is the vice president of the Soccer Clinic of Ransom Everglades, where he plays soccer with children who have been diagnosed with autism. Lopez plays club soccer for Kendall SC of the United States Soccer Developmental Academy League.

Coach Jones' Take: "Coming from an academy team, you know he has played at a high level in youth soccer. Jack has a great attitude and desire to learn, and he will push our other keepers for the starting spot."

Philip McQuitty
South Riding, Va.
Freedom High School - Annandale United FC
6-foot-5 - 185 lbs.

McQuitty is a highly decorated midfielder from Freedom High School in South Riding, Va. He was named the Cedar Run District Player of the Year as a senior by the coaches and by the Loudoun Times after recording 11 goals and two assists, adding First-Team Northwest Region, First-Team All-Group AAA and First-Team All-Cedar Run District to his list of accolades that year. McQuitty led Freedom to the best season in school history in 2012, as the Eagles won both the district regular-season and tournament titles and came within one win of the AAA state tournament. A Second-Team All-District honoree and the Coaches Award recipient as a junior in 2011, he finished his four-year varsity career with 14 goals and 14 assists. McQuitty also plays club soccer for Annandale United FC, along with fellow GW recruits Ross Higgins and Glen Sousa.

Coach Jones' Take: "I have watched Philip develop over the years from a small kid with the ODP program to a very good technical player with great size and presence on the field. He could play numerous positions for us in the fall."

Eddie Painter
Center Valley, Pa.
Moravian Academy - PA Classics Academy
5-foot-6 - 150 lbs.

Painter played his final two high school seasons in the United States after beginning his scholastic career at Taipei American School and International Soccer Club Taipei in Taiwan. He totaled 25 goals in two seasons with the Taipei American School, then amassed 34 goals and 28 assists in two seasons at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa. As a senior, Painter helped lead the Lions to Colonial League and Pennsylvania District 11 titles with 19 goals and 13 assists. The four-time all-league and all-area first-team selection and three-time team MVP also plays for the Pennsylvania Classics U-18 club team that competes in the prestigious U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Coach Jones' Take: "Eddie is an attack-minded player who is tenacious and quick with the ball and always delivers an end product. He will cause problems for defenders and be an offensive threat for us."

Glen Sousa
Arlington, Va.
Yorktown High School - Annandale United FC
6-foot - 160 lbs.

A four-year varsity player at Yorktown High School, the left-footed Sousa earned Honorable Mention All-Met honors from the Washington Post in 2011. He helped the Patriots to National District championships in 2009 and 2010. Sousa has also played for highly ranked club team Annandale United FC for four years, which he helped to a Disney Showcase championship in 2010 and back-to-back Virginia State titles in 2010 and 2011.

Coach Jones' Take: "Glen is normally a left-side player who is extremely comfortable on the ball and provides great service from wide positions. He will look to start or play substantial minutes in the fall."

Jean-Pierre van der Merwe
Mogale City, South Africa
University of Akron
6-foot-4 - 186 lbs.

A South African native, Van der Merwe transfers to GW after receiving a redshirt as a true freshman at the University of Akron, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2011.

Coach Jones' Take: "Jean-Pierre is a highly motivated goalkeeper who will be pushing for the starting position this fall. He is a technically solid keeper with great size and command of his area to lead our defense."

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