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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – First year head coach Jeff Cook inked two in his first signing class as the leader of the Penn State men’s soccer team.
Cook signed left back Anthony Harding (Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) and forward Jeremy Rafanello (Delran, N.J./YSC Academy).
“We are delighted to welcome Jeremy and Anthony to our Penn State men’s soccer program and we look forward to their future contributions,” stated head coach Jeff Cook. “Early in our tenure as a coaching staff we wanted to emphasize our commitment to recruiting student-athletes from our state and our region, and feel confident that we have added two outstanding individuals to our team. Jeremy is an excellent striker who has the potential to be a goal scoring threat, while Anthony is a tenacious left-sided player who can play in multiple positions.”
Harding makes the short trip to Penn State from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania where he played high school soccer for Norwin and club soccer for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The 5-10 left back was named WPIAL Section “Finest 15 Players” as well as Pennsylvania BIG 56 Team and Tribune Review All-Star First Team honors for being one of the best 11 players in the state. In his junior season at Norwin, Harding led the team in goals and assists. As a member of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and playing in the USL Super Y League, Harding was named Region 1 USL Super Y All-Star and Region 1 TopDrawerSoccer.com Combine Best XI in 2015. Harding went on to be a member of the USL Super Y National Team for the top 18 players, who represent less than one percent of the league and also participated in the USL Experience inaugural event at FC Cincinnati in April of 2016.
Why Harding Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because from my first visit there, it felt like the perfect fit for me from an academic and athletic standpoint and I loved the passion and culture I felt when I was there.”
Rafanello comes to Happy Valley after playing MLS Academy soccer for the Philadelphia Union, where he was the number No. 4 goal scorer in the country for the USSDA this past season. Rafanello helped the Philadelphia Union to a 10-2-2 record in the 2017-18 season, while being the No. 6 goal scorer with 20 goals in the USSDA for Continental FC Delco in the 2016-17 campaign. The 6-0 forward also spent time playing for Match Fit Academy. Finally, he was a member of the U19 US National Team Youth Summit.
Why Rafanello Chose Penn State: “I chose Penn State because the campus is beautiful and I felt at home. I cannot wait to be a part of Jeff Cook’s new program.”