FLORENCE, S.C. – First-year Francis Marion University men's soccer head coach Luis Rincon has announced the addition of five players during the recent signing period: forward and midfielder Matthew Alvarado of El Paso, Texas; midfielder Jafet de Santiago of Durango, Mexico; defender and midfielder Juan Fernandez of Madrid, Spain; midfielder David Galic of Boras, Sweden; and goalkeeper Maximiliano Rocco of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Alvarado, 5-8 and 155 pounds, is a transfer from Western Texas College, where he played two seasons. Each of the past two years, he scored five goals each season on 18 and 19 shots respectively. This past year, he accounted for three match-winning scores as the Westerners posted a 7-6-0 mark.
He is a graduate of Andress High School in El Paso, where he played for coach John Hoban. He earned first-team All-District honors and was his squad's offensive MVP after posting eight goals and 10 assists.
"Matthew is a very technical player, who is coming off a successful season last year. He knows how to score as well as distribute the ball."
De Santiago, 5-6 and 156 pounds, is a transfer from NCAA Division I Liberty University, where he played his freshman season. He appeared in seven matches and tallied two assists and three shots for a 7-7-1 Flames squad.
He is a product of CEC y TEC La Concha. He previously played with the Club Santas LaGuna U20 team.
"Jafet is a very technical player, who will easily adjust to our style of play. He possesses good attacking skills, and with his Division I experience should make an impact right away."
Fernandez, 5-9 and 165 pounds, already possesses an undergraduate degree from the University of Madrid and will have two years to play here at FMU.
"Juan is a slightly older player who has experience playing in Spain. He is fast and will give us speed on the wing position."
Galic, 6-0 and 165 pounds, is a transfer from Illinois Central College, where he played two seasons. In 2017, he garnered NJCAA third-team All-American honors after registering nine goals and seven assists. He converted seven of eight penalty kicks during the campaign for a 10-10-2 Cougars squad that won the Region 24 title. He was also named All-Conference and Region Player of the Year.
As a freshman, he recorded seven goals and six assists for a 13-4-1 ICC team.
"As evidenced by his All-American accolades, David will add a lot of experience to our roster. He is a very mature and composed midfielder with good vision of the field who can distribute the ball well. He was also captain of his squad at ICC as a sophomore."
Rocco, 6-1 and 178 pounds, is a transfer from ASA College in Miami, Fla., and will have two years to play for the Patriots. He posted a 1.67 goals against average this past fall and averaged 4.25 saves per match. He recorded a 2.41 GAA as a freshman for the Silver Storm with one shutout and 54 saves in 11 matches.
He is a product of Escuela Agrotécnica Pergamino Lorenzo R. Parodi school.
"Maximiliano is a very mature player and a good leader. His distribution out of the back is excellent and he has a very strong leg. In addition to his junior college play, he has experience playing with the KSA Storm FC of the NPSL in 2018 so he has faced good competition.
"Overall, we feel we have filled some needs and added some missing pieces, while also adding more experience to a good core of players returning."
Francis Marion finished last season with a 9-7-0 record, tied for third during the Peach Belt Conference regular season, and reached the semifinals of the PBC Tournament. That squad included only four seniors on the roster.