Men's Soccer Inks Five for 2012 Season
Feb. 3, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - Fordham University Men's Soccer Coach Jim McElderry announced the signing of five soccer players to play at Fordham for the upcoming 2012 season.
McElderry will enter his tenth season at the helm of the Fordham men's soccer program in 2012, coming off a memorable 2011 season, a year that had the Rams share the Atlantic 10 regular season title, defeat two top 25 opponents (#23 Xavier and #10 Charlotte) and have seven players earn All Conference accolades. Additionally, senior goalkeeper Ryan Meara was drafted by the Red Bulls in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2012 team returns three All-Conference players including First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection, Nathaniel Bekoe. The five incoming players will add depth to a team that will look to get to the next level in 2012.
The new class is composed of Kyle Bitterman (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield), Patrick Casey (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit), Ryan Cupolo (Astoria, N.Y./The Beacon School), Tommy Granot (Beachwood, Ohio/Hawken) and Matt Murphy (Southbury, Conn./Pomperaug). By position, Casey, Murphy and Cupolo are backs, Granot is a midfielder and Bitterman can play in the midfield or upfront. The five newcomers hail from four different states, from Ohio to Connecticut. Two of the players, Bitterman and Granot, are ranked in the top 100 by ESPN Rise. Here is a closer look at the individual recruits:
Bitterman, who can play up front or in the midfield, comes to Fordham from Hempfield High School where he played varsity soccer and left the school as its all-time leading scorer. At Hempfield, he was a member of the PIAA AAA State Champions in 2010 and earned NSCAA ALL-American, All State and LL-League Player of Year accolades in 2011. Bitterman was a two-year member of the US U-14 National Pool, facing competition in Italy and Mexico. As a club player, he was part of the USA PA Classics U15/16 squad that played in the national finals. Additionally, Bitterman participated with the Generation Adidas Philly Union U-17 Sum Cup Team and is ranked 79th on the ESPN Rise top 150 players list.
Coach McElderry on Bitterman: "Kyle will be an excellent addition to our team next year. He is an important player on his PA Classics team that went to the national final under Coach Steve Klein. He can take people on, create scoring chances for his teammates and score himself. He will be exciting to watch."
The McQuaid Jesuit product was the starting defender for Empire United's under-17/18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy team from 2008-2010, helping the team to be a East Region Finalist in 2008. At McQuaid, Casey was a three-year starter, a 2010 team captain, and a 2010 CC League All Star First Team selection.
Coach McElderry on Casey: "Pat is a tough kid who can defend well and also play out of the back. He comes from a quality high school program in McQuaid Jesuit and a top academy team in Empire United. I know he will be someone we can rely on to bring a top effort everyday in training and in matches."
The New York City product is staying close to home following a standout career at The Beacon School where he earned First Team All-Manhattan honors as a junior and senior, was lauded as an Honorable Mention All-City pick as a junior, and was named Second Team All-City as a senior. Cupolo captained his club team, the Albertson Academy, for the past two seasons. He was a member of the U15 Pre-Academy in 2008-09, saw international competition in Barcelona, Spain, as a participant in the Mediterranean International Cup in 2009, and was named the OWNCS Athlete of the Year for 2008-09.
Coach McElderry on Cupolo: "Ryan is one of the best center backs in the academy playing under Adrian Gaitan with Albertson SC. He was injured for much of the second half of the academy season, so I think some people have under estimated how good of a college player he will be. He is big, can head a ball when defending and on attacking set pieces, and is very good technically. I expect Ryan to transition to the college game quickly."
Granot comes to Fordham after a standout high school career at the Hawken School where he was named First Team All-Ohio in consecutive years (2010 & 2011). He was part of the US Olympic Development Program for four years and was a player with the Denmark National Team (U-15, U-16, U-18). Additionally, the Ohio native participated in both the Brad Friedel Soccer Academy and the Columbus Crew Soccer Academy, where he was the top scorer. Granot was named All-American in 2007 and 2008 by US Youth Soccer and was ranked 68th in the nation by ESPN Rise.
Coach McElderry on Granot: "Tommy is a technically gifted players. He was the leading goalscorer last season with the talented Columbus Crew Academy from the midfield. He can link with players and has a knack for putting himself in good spots to score goals. He is also deadly on set pieces. I am confident Tommy will be able to bring a different dimension to our team."
Murphy was a four year varsity letterman with Pomperaug High School where he played both center midfield and center back. He was named second Team All-Conference as a junior and was chosen All-State and All-New England following his senior season in 2011. Murphy played his club soccer with FSU United where he started along the back line. Currently, he is a member of the US Academy Club-South Central Premier.
Coach McElderry on Murphy: "Matt is a versatile, tough and competitive player. He can play anywhere at the back or as a defensive midfielder. He has excellent leadership qualities that he has shown by leading his high school team to a historic state championship season and being one of the most consistent players on his South Central Premier Academy Team under Coach Brian Quinn."
Coach McElderry will look to add to the incoming class as the spring semester continues. The Rams open their 2012 campaign in August.