July 8, 2014
2014 Men's Soccer Newcomers Photo Gallery
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Back-to-back Big Ten title winners Penn State men's soccer announced the addition of eight newcomers for its 2014 team on Tuesday. Fifth-year head coach Bob Warming brings in four freshmen and four transfers to Happy Valley.
"It's a basic truth in soccer that good players want to play with other good players and want to go to places where championships are being won," Warming said. "We are thrilled with this incoming class of players and that they came to Penn State to play with other good players and win championships. I believe they are all here to help us win more Championships and get a World Class education."
Included in the recruiting class are transfers Riley Grant (Copley, Ohio), Brett Gravatt (Dunn Loring, Va.), Brian James (Sunrise, Fla.) and Brandon Savino (Glen Ridge, N.J.). Grant and Gravatt will be sophomores this season following their first collegiate seasons at Akron, while James is an incoming junior by way of Virginia. Savino enters his junior season following two years at St. John's.
Four freshmen will feature for Warming and the Nittany Lions this season. Defenders Dani Marks (Ra'anana, Israel), Ryan Gallagher (Pine Bush, N.Y.) and Jake Garrigan (State College, Pa.) bolster Penn State's back line, while Noah Pilato (Oak Hill, Va.) provides midfield depth.
"I especially want to thank our great assistant coaches on helping get this class wrapped up," Warming added. "Chad Duernberger's work with everyone has been essential and Michael Behonick has gotten off to a great start helping us finish this class and plan effectively for future classes. We all feel like we now have one of the best environments in the United States for players to develop. Student-athletes know they can have it all here: an opportunity for an incredible education and an opportunity to play at the highest level of collegiate soccer."
#23 Riley Grant
Sophomore // Forward // 6-1 // 172 // Copley, Ohio // Copley-Fairlawn (Akron)
BEFORE PENN STATE
2013 at Akron (Freshman): Appeared in 11 games ... Fired two shots in a 1-0 win at West Virginia ... Logged 40 minutes in a 2-1 win at Michigan ... Played in both games of the MAC Tournament against West Virginia and Western Michigan as Akron won the title.
Rated 12th-best prospect in the Great Lakes Region and a four-star recruit according to TopDrawerSoccer.com ... Led Copley-Fairlawn High School to district and regional championships, and the state semifinals as a junior ... Scored 16 goals, including seven game-winners, while tallying eight assists in that breakout season, earning All-Ohio Second Team honors ... Played club soccer for the Internationals SC of the US Soccer Development Academy as a senior ... Played on three Ohio Youth Soccer Association North State Cup Champion teams (2010, 2011, 2012) ... Also played club soccer with Everest SC Black (2009-12) and Ohio Select Futbol Club (2005-09).
Riley Neal Grant was born January 27, 1995 in Cleveland, Ohio to Russ and Judy Grant ... Has a younger brother, Austin, and a younger sister, Grace ...Father, Russ, played soccer at Cleveland State ... Intends to major labor of employment relations.
QUOTING GRANT ON PENN STATE
"Penn State offers a great education and has an excellent soccer program."
QUOTING WARMING ON GRANT
"Riley has a lot of impressive characteristics as an attacking player. He has good size, athleticism and technical ability. We will work with him to help him be effective with all those gifts and get our team goals."
#16 Brett Gravatt
Sophomore // Defender // 6-1 // 160 // Dunn Loring, Va. // IMG Academy, Fla. (Akron)
BEFORE PENN STATE
2013 at Akron (Freshman): Appeared in 11 games for the Zips with two starts ... Fired two shots in collegiate debut against Marshall ... Made first start against San Diego State and second start against Ohio State, playing all 90 minutes against the Buckeyes ... Appeared in both MAC Tournament games as the Zips went on to win the title.
Played at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., scoring 10 goals in two seasons ... Spent time training in Barcelona and Holland ... Invited to the Dallas Cup three times ... Rated as a three-star recruit according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Brett Nicholas Gravatt was born April 12, 1995 in Alexandria, Va. To Carlton and Lora Gravatt ... Has an older brother, Christian, and an older sister, Brittany ... Enrolled in the Division of Undergraduate Studies.
QUOTING GRAVATT ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State for the soccer program and its great academics."
QUOTING WARMING ON GRAVATT
"Brett has big upside. He can be a very good outside back with his high level work rate and good technical ability. He is joining a great class in the sophomore class this year."
#17 Brian James
Junior // Midfielder // 5-11 // 150 // Sunrise, Fla. // American Heritage (Virginia)
BEFORE PENN STATE
2013 at Virginia (Sophomore): Made 17 appearances for the Cavaliers including two games in the NCAA Tournament against St. John's in the Round of 32 and Maryland in the NCAA Semifinals ... Made four starts, scoring three goals, tied for sixth on the team ... Scored the game-winning goal over St. John's in the regular season ... Tallied second goal of the year in a win over George Mason ... Notched the golden goal in a win over Boston College in the ACC regular-season finale.
2012 at Virginia (Freshman): Played in 18 games with 14 starts in the midfield ... Tallied a goal and two assists in 1,108 minutes of playing time ... Notched first collegiate goal against Xavier ... Assisted on a pair of goals against Drexel and Wake Forest.
Scored 78 goals and tallied 168 assists at American Heritage's Boca Delray campus ... Named a two-time ESPNRise All-American First Team in 2011 and 2012 ... Named Florida's 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year ... Led nation in assists during high school career in 2009 (44), 2011 (36) and 2012 (55) ... Led American Heritage to 2009 and 2011 FHSAA State Championships ... Named Palm Beach Player of the Year three times (2010-12) ... Named Sun-Sentinel Player of the Year in 2010 and 2012 ... Led the team as captain in 2011 and 2012 ... Earned a call into U.S. U-18 National Team camp in 2010 ... Played club soccer for Weston Academy FC (2010-12) ... Selected to USSF Academy Starting XI South Conference three times.
Brian Patrick James was born October 25, 1993 in Boca Raton, Fla. to Alvin and Karen James ... Has a sister, named Kassidy ... Father, Alvin, played pro soccer for the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers (1989-94) of the American Soccer League and American Professional Soccer League ... Alvin played college soccer at UNC Greensboro (1985-86) FIU (1987-88). At UNCG, the Spartans won two NCAA Division III titles.
QUOTING JAMES ON PENN STATE
"Being a college athlete, I felt attending Penn State University would be a good balance between academics and athletics. I was also impressed with the diversity of the University."
QUOTING WARMING ON JAMES
"Brian was one of my favorite players to watch coming out of high school his senior year as an attacking midfielder. His passing range and vision will be counted on to help us get goals with the front five players."
#14 Brandon Savino
Junior // Midfielder // 5-9 // 145 // Glen Ridge, N.J. // Seton Hall Prep (St. John's)
BEFORE PENN STATE
2013 at St. John's (Sophomore): Appeared in all 20 games with 19 starts, two goals and an assist in 1,536 minutes of action ... Scored the game-winning goal against La Salle and added another late in the season against Seton Hall ... Started in NCAA First Round win at Delaware before falling to NCAA Semifinalists Virginia in NCAA Second Round.
2012 at St. John's (Freshman): Started in all 19 games with a goal and two assists ... Made collegiate debut against Boston University ... Tallied a pair of assists in a 2-0 win at DePaul ... Scored first collegiate goal, a game-winner against Syracuse ... Appeared in NCAA First Round match against Fairleigh Dickinson.
Three-year letterwinner at Seton Hall Prep, served as team captain as a senior ... Earned NSCAA All-Region honors as a senior ... Garnered All-State First Team, All-State First Team Non-Public, All-Essex County First Team and All-Super Essex Conference First Team as a senior ... Named All-State Second Team Non-Public, All-Super Essex Conference First Team and All-Essex Country First Team as a junior ... Helped team win one state title (2009), three-straight county championships (2009-11) and three-straight conference titles (2009-11) ... Played club soccer for TSF Academy (2010), Matchfit (2011) and PDA (2012).
Brandon Loeber Savino was born April 25, 1994 in Manhattan, N.Y. to Michael and Sharon Savino ... Has an older brother, Adrian ... Majoring in economics.
QUOTING SAVINO ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State for the academics, athletics and total college experience that only a school such as itself can provide."
QUOTING WARMING ON SAVINO
"Brandon is a proven player on the collegiate level. He can play as a 6, an 8 or a 5. He has good physical range and is tenacious. Brandon truly leads by example on the field."
#19 Ryan Gallagher
Freshman // Defender // 6-0 // 170 // Pine Bush, N.Y. // Don Bosco Prep (N.J.)
BEFORE PENN STATE
Played five seasons with the New York Soccer Club, which finished fourth in the 2013 EDP ... Lettered three years at Don Bosco Prep, earning All-League First Team, All-County First Team and a spot in the BCBSCA All-Star Game senior year ... Tallied five goals and five assists senior year in leading the team to a county final and a 13-4-2 record ... Tallied six assists junior year as the team went 11-7-1 ... Earned All-League Third Team sophomore year.
Ryan Joseph Gallagher was born July 17, 1996 in Manhattan, N.Y. to John Gallagher, Jr. and Yolanda Forbes-Gallagher ... Has an older brother, John, who played soccer at Penn State (2008-12) and was drafted by the Chicago Fire ... Father, John, played soccer at Rutgers ... Intends to major in economics.
QUOTING GALLAGHER ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State because this institution has an excellent academic reputation, an excellent athletic reputation and an excellent social atmosphere. My brother attended Penn State so I wanted to continue the Penn State tradition in my family."
QUOTING WARMING ON GALLAGHER
"Ryan is another guy who has been in love with Penn State and Penn State soccer for a very long time. He has been coming to matches since 2009 to watch his brother John play and summer camps since 2011. He has always wanted to play at Penn State and we are looking forward to having him on the team."
#22 Jake Garrigan
Freshman // Defender // 6-1 // 180 // State College, Pa. // State College Area
BEFORE PENN STATE
Played four years at State College Area, helping the Little Lions to four PIAA District 6 Championships and three PIAA State Tournament appearances including a semifinal showing in 2011 ... Played club soccer with the PA Classics for four seasons.
Jake Patrick Garrigan was born April 18, 1996 in State College, Pa. to Jill and Jeff Garrigan ... Jill ('87) and Jeff ('90) are Penn State graduates ... Jill works in PSU Athletics' Fitness Program teaching three kinesiology classes and instructing yoga classes including the PSU men's soccer team ... Has three sisters: Jordan (PSU class of 2016), Juliet and Josie ... Intends to major in the college of agriculture sciences.
QUOTING GARRIGAN ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State for a few reasons. Being from State College allowed me to become familiar with campus and what it offers students. Penn State represents an excellent University for my academic and athletic interests. Additionally, both my parents are alumni and I understand the value of being part of the PSU family."
QUOTING WARMING ON GARRIGAN
"It's great to have a local player from State College on the team who loves soccer like Jake. He is going to really have a chance to improve his game playing with our players. A good athlete, Jake can make big strides in his game in our program."
#18 Dani Marks
Freshman // Defender // 6-2 // 185 // Ra'anana, Israel // International School of Berne
BEFORE PENN STATE
Played the 2009-10 season for Hapoel Ra'anana in the Israel Youth League in U-16 ... Named team captain and Player of the Year for Hapoel Ra'anana ... Played soccer for Team Berne, while studying in Switzerland, in the Swiss Youth League for U-17/U-18 from 2010-12 ... Played for Maccabi Netanya F.C. in the Israel National U-19 League for 2012-13 ...
Dani Pele Marks was born March 4, 1994 in London, England to Stephen and Claudia ... Has a younger brother, Yoni, a younger brother, Sami and a younger sister, Zoe ... Served 16 months in the Israeli Defense Forces' National Service, released in February 2014 as a corporal ... Intends to major in journalism.
QUOTING MARKS ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State because I admire Penn State's commitment to excellence in everything."
QUOTING WARMING ON MARKS
"Dani is an excellent personality and player with a lot of upside who is the type of center back that can help us win. He knows what areas he needs to improve in and we look forward to helping him work on those areas in his game. We needed an experienced center back to join the team with the loss of seniors Akil Howard and Martin Seiler."
#21 Noah Pilato
Freshman // Midfielder // 5-8 // 125 // Oak Hill, Va. // Oakton
BEFORE PENN STATE
Played four years for the D.C. United Academy, tallying two goals and six assists in 14 matches last season ... Played senior year at Oakton High School as captain, scoring twice with 14 assists and earning playoff MVP honor and All-Met Second Team ... Led Oakton to a conference title ... Played two years of ODP soccer.
Noah Anthony Pilato was born June 25, 1996 in Reston, Va. to Tracy and Thomas Pilato ... Has an older brother, Tyler, who graduated from Penn State in 2014 ... Plans to major in business with an emphasis in marketing.
QUOTING PILATO ON PENN STATE
"I chose Penn State because of the incredible family-like atmosphere and the amazing coaching staff."
QUOTING WARMING ON PILATO
"Noah is certainly one of the favorite people we have had in camp the last couple years. He is a soccer junkie like many of our guys and has terrific technical ability and makes the right decision to keep the ball moving for his team. I can't wait to coach him for longer than a four-day period like in camp."