Men's soccer players sharpen skills in summer

Sean Moyo '15 (bottom left) and Peabo Knoth '17 (bottom right) pose for a photo of the Portland Phoenix's Starting XI against the Real Boston Rams at Gillette Stadium on June 28, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

LEWISTON, Maine – A number of Bates College men's soccer players have used the summer months to improve their skills, playing in some of the nation's top amateur leagues in environments which allow for both development and competition.

At least 13 Bobcats have laced up their cleats for their respective teams this summer with players representing Bates in a variety of leagues, including the PDL (Premier Development League), the highest level of amateur soccer in the U.S., which features current Division I players and former professionals, and the NPSL (National Premier Soccer League), a league which sits a tier below the PDL but also contains a number of Division I players on its rosters.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE (PDL)

  • Peabo Knoth, Portland Phoenix: Rising sophomore Peabo Knoth (Portland, Maine) played in seven games with six starts as a winger for a Phoenix side which has produced 20 professionals in the last four years. Knoth earned McDonald's Man of the Match honors in his debut against the reserve team of MLS franchise Montreal Impact and assisted on the opening goal in a 2-1 league win over the Western Mass Pioneers on July 5.
  • Sean Moyo, Portland Phoenix: Rising senior Sean Moyo (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) competed in eight games and made four starts for Portland. Moyo saw time at left back, right wing, and central midfield for the Phoenix and started, along with Knoth, in the team's game at the Real Boston Rams, an affiliate of the New England Revolution, in Gillette Stadium.
  • Nick Sorice, Westchester Flames: Rising senior Nick Sorice (Pelham, N.Y.) competed in five games, with four starts, as a right back in his third season of summer action with the Westchester Flames. Sorice started both games for the Flames against the Phoenix and Bates teammates Knoth and Moyo.
  • Paul Runyambo, Portland Phoenix U20/Reserve Team: Rising sophomore Paul Runyambo (Portland, Maine) slotted in as a center back for the Phoenix's reserve team which plays four exhibition games annually against other reserve teams in the PDL.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE (NPSL)

  • Luis Pereira, Seacoast Mariners: Rising junior Luis Pereira (Curitiba, Brazil) started eight games and tallied two goals and two assists for the Mariners on the season. Pereira served as an attacking player for the club, competing as a left wing, right wing, and forward.
  • Jonathan Lin, Seacoast Mariners: Rising senior Jonathan Lin (Natick, Mass.) appeared in eight games with six starts for Seacoast, playing as either a center back or right back. Lin played the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss to the reserve side of MLS franchise New York Red Bulls, a team which went 12-0 and outscored its opponents 54-4 on the season.
  • Jack Martell, Seacoast Mariners: Rising sophomore Jack Martell (Gray, Maine) played in and started four games as a center back for the Mariners, a side which also featured former Bobcat assistant coach and former Boston University standout, Ben Havey.
  • Sam Predham, Seacoast Mariners: Rising junior Sam Predham (Camden, Maine) brought life to the club off the bench, playing in five games as a substitute right winger and providing two assists on the season.
Matt DiVite '17 helped his PDA Harkes U19 team finish in second-place at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. DiVite assisted on his side's second goal in this 3-2 win over Raytown SC on July 22, 2014. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. YOUTH SOCCER

  • Matt DiVite, PDA (Players Development Academy) Harkes U19: Rising sophomore Matt DiVite (Murray Hill, N.J.) led his PDA Harkes team to a second-place finish at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships. DiVite, alongside several Division I players, acted as a midfielder and forward for the club helping the team win the New Jersey State Cup for the sixth time and the U.S. Region I Finals for a third time.
  • Justin Yacovino, SDFC (Soccer Domain Football Club) Gauchos U18: Incoming first-year Justin Yacovino (North Bergen, N.J.) helped the SDFC Gauchos win their fifth straight New Jersey State Cup for their age group. Yacovino played as a central midfielder for the team, aiding the squad to a 1-1-1 record at the U.S. Region I Finals.
  • Zack LaCava, GPS (Global Premier Soccer) Knights U18: Incoming first-year Zack LaCava (Wayland, Mass.) won the Massachusetts State Cup with the GPS Knights and helped the team to a 1-0-2 record at regionals, including a 1-0 win over Yacovino and the SDFC Gauchos. LaCava also earned NSCAA Scholar All-America honors over the summer.
  • Max Watson and Sam Rickerich, Portland Phoenix U18: Incoming first-years Max Watson (Yarmouth, Maine) and Sam Rickerich (York, Maine) helped lead the Phoenix to their fourth straight Maine State Cup for their age group. At regionals, the team earned a 1-1 draw against LaCava and the GPS Knights.

MAINE ODP (Olympic Development Program)

  • Stewart Flaherty, 97 Boys ODP: Bates men's soccer head coach Stewart Flaherty continued his professional development over the summer as well, guiding Maine ODP's 97 Boys team to the ODP Region I Finals where the side registered a 2-1 record after finishing 0-3 the year before. Flaherty, who also coached in camps at Dartmouth College and Boston University, helped his ODP team earn the only winning record of any team from Maine at the tournament.