University of Houston-Victoria men's soccer coach Adrian Rigby today announced the signing of five transfers for the 2017 season.
The signees include Samuel Lopez and Palemon Plancarte of Houston, Rodney D. Smith II of Converse, Gian Marco Zancanaro of Italy, and Weladji Steve of Birmingham, England.
Here is a look at the 2017 signees:
SAMUEL LOPEZ, senior goalkeeper, Houston
Lopez transfers to UHV from Texas A&M-International University where he played one season after a two-year career at Ancilla College.
Lopez played in two games for the Dustdevils last season recording a 1-1 record with two goals allowed and seven saves.
At Ancilla, he played in 30 games where he allowed 29 goals while recording 99 saves. He compiled a 22-5-1 record and had nine shutouts in his two seasons with the Chargers.
He selected MCCAA all-conference first team and earned NJCAA Division I goalkeeper of the week honors.
"Victoria feels like home and to be able to play the sport I love where my family can see me play is like a dream come true," said Lopez in making his commitment.
Lopez plans to major in Business Administration while at UHV.
Rigby on Lopez: "Samuel is an athletic goalkeeper with a tremendous drive to compete and improve daily. He is very experienced as he has played at the junior college level as well as the NCAA Division 2 level. We are looking forward to adding Samuel's energy, and competitive drive to our goalkeeping corps next season."
PALEMON PLANCARTE, junior, goalkeeper, Houston
A graduate of Lee High School, Plancarte has played collegiately at Wayland Baptist University and Daytona State College. Earning first team all-district honors three years in a row at Lee, he was twice named the Sooner Athletic Conference defensive player of the week while at Wayland Baptist. He was also named to the Dean's List while at WBU.
This past season he was named second team all-conference at Daytona State where he compiled a 9-2-1 record in goal. In 17 games, he allowed 16 goals while recording 74 saves with one shutout.
"The reason that I chose to attend UHV is that I will be able to play close to my family and I really like the soccer staff and program," Plancarte said in making his commitment to UHV. "I also believe we will be able to achieve something special and because the business program at UHV is top notch, I am certain that it will help me start a successful career once I graduate."
Plancarte plans to major in Business Administration while attending UHV.
Rigby on Plancarte: "Palemon is another transfer goalkeeper that has very good experience. He comes to UHV from Daytona State College, where he helped lead his team to the NJCAA National Tournament. He also has experience playing in the NAIA. Palemon is a very good shot stopper and has the ability to read the game in front of him. He has very good distribution, both with his feet and from his hands. We are thrilled to be adding someone with Palemon's experience to our goalkeeping corps."
RODNEY SMITH II, junior forward, Converse
Smith transfers in from the University of Saint Mary in Kansas where he was all-conference honorable mention as a freshman. He lead the team in assists his freshman season with four and was named the team's newcomer of the year.
In 26 games with the Spires, he tallied five goals and five assists, while taking 51 shots, including 26 on goal.
During career at East Central High School, he was a two-time first team all-district selection and two-time all-conference in the NESID tournament. He tallied 20 goals and 14 assists.
He also is a member of the SA United Soccer Club where he made the England travel team in 2014/2015, was newcomer of the year and won state in 2015.
He graduated Cum Laude at East Central and was on the Dean's List at Saint Mary his freshman year.
"I chose UHV as a transfer student because I'm ready to really settle down and work on my communication major all while playing for a great soccer team," said Smith on committing to UHV. "UHV is close to home but not too close. I'm able to drive home to watch my sister play basketball her final year, which is a huge reason why I also wanted to attend UHV. Coming from a cold school, I also chose UHV because I'm ready to get back in the heat and enjoy the beautiful sun."
Smith plans to study communications/mass media while attending UHV.
Rigby on Smith: "Rodney is a transfer student who has experience playing at the NAIA level. He has tremendous pace and is very good technically. He has the ability to beat people on the dribble and is dangerous anywhere around the goal making him a handful for our opponents. We expect Rodney to make an impact in the attacking third this year."
GIAN MARCO ZANCANARO, junior forward, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
Zancanaro joins the UHV soccer program after two years at City College of San Francisco where he was named first team all-conference this past season. He also helped lead the Rams to the 2016 North Coast Conference championship.
During his two seasons with the Rams, he tallied 17 goals with six assists in 36 games. He also had three game-winning goals.
"I chose to attend UHV for its well-recognized business program, which will give me a wide range of career opportunities after graduation," said Zancanaro in making his commitment to UHV. "I also chose UHV for its great soccer program and winning tradition."
Zancanaro plans to major in Business Administration while attending UHV.
Rigby on Zancanaro: "Gian is a junior college transfer from the City College of San Francisco where he scored 17 goals in his two years. He has the ability to not only create goal scoring opportunities, but finish team as well as he has demonstrated throughout his collegiate career. Gian will add more talent and experience to our attacking arsenal this year."
WELADJI STEVE, junior, midfielder, Birmingham, England
Steve joins the Jaguars after two seasons with Lassen Community College where he helped the Cougars compile a 28-10-5 record. Last season in 15 games he tallied one goal for the Cougars.
"UHV is close to my family and I also get the privilege to be able to play the sport I love the most," said Steve on making his commitment to UHV.
He plans to study forensic science while attending UHV.
Rigby on Steve: "Weladji is a junior college transfer coming from Lassen College in California. Weladji is a tough and physical central midfielder that has some great collegiate experience. We will be looking for Weladji to strengthen our midfield unit this year and add a different dynamic to the team."
The signings bring to nine the number of recruits the Jaguars have added to next year's team at this time.