GCU Men Add Three More; Two Phoenix Players & One RSL Academy Player
Grand Canyon University men's soccer has announced the addition of thee athletes to the team. These players will join two other as the newest members of GCU's program, which will be going Division I this year playing in the Western Athletic Conference in the fall.
Kian Johnson and Daniel Wall are local based players, while Jose “Bean” Vasquez will be coming up from the Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy. This is GCU's second signing from RSL Academy. FW Amer Sasivarevic signed in February.
“I am very excited to make the announcement of three true freshmen joining our program,” said head coach Petar Draksin. “It is a positive thing for the future of our program having these young men for four years.”
Johnson, a goalkeeper out of Chaparral High School, was voted the school’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior. His 2012 Sereno 95 team won the Region IV Championship, earning a spot in the final four that season.
“Kian is one of the top goalkeepers in Arizona, so we are very excited to have him,” added Draksin. “His future is bright. Kian comes from a club team that went to the national championships last season and just recently qualified to go represent the state of Arizona in Hawai’i for the far-west regional. Kian’s team won that regional last year and went on to the final four and represented Arizona and the 14-state region in Massachusetts. He is another local kid that we are excited to have in our program.”
Wall (front picture), a midfielder from Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, was a 2012-13 All-Division First Team selection. He captained the squad this past season and garnered Offensive Player of the Year honors at Pinnacle for the second time in his high school career, having also done so during his sophomore campaign. His Pinnacle also squad won the 2009 state championships. Wall also contributed to a state championship with the Sereno 95 Boys club team.
“Daniel played his prep soccer in a strong high school program at Pinnacle,” said Draksin. “He also played club soccer at a very high level. Presently, he plays with Tuzos/Cisco FC Phoenix Academy, which is one of the top teams in the 96 age group in the state of Arizona and is regionally highly-ranked. Daniel is coming in as an attacking midfielder/forward. His athletic ability and soccer knowledge is outstanding. He is very technical and is a kid that was recruited by other Division I schools across the country. We are very fortunate to keep him at home and are looking forward to his contributions into our program.”'
Vasquez, a center midfielder, played for Strikers in New Mexico before moving over to Real Salt Lake Academy. In New Mexico he was a member of the state Olympic Development Program team from 2008-10 and the Region 4 team in 2009-10. He participated in the Real Salt Lake Residential Academy from 2010-13, earning Player of the Week honors in February of 2011. At Vista Grande, Vasquez garnered academic awards in 2010, 2011, and 2013.
“Jose comes from Las Cruces, N.M., and a very-well known club in Strikers,” added Draksin. “He spent the last three years at the prestigious Real Salt Lake Academy in Casa Grande, and his experience there has helped him tremendously in terms of learning how to compete at the highest level. I am looking for him to contribute as a holding midfielder. We are excited to get our second commitment from the RSL Academy, and we are hoping every year to sign two or three athletes from that prestigious academy. Jose is also highly committed and focused on his education.”