Don’t look now, but the trend in college soccer is to go European. Look at a lot of the rosters around the country and you will see more and more Europeans on the team. Colleges are looking to get older as winning has become more important.
It is more important to have a 20 year freshman, with experience, then it is to have an 18-year-old who may have to get used to the college game. Coaches are looking for a quick fix, and that root is going overseas.
Because of the emphasis on the European player, more recruiting showcases are popping up. Once of the most popular one is YesWeCollege. YesWeCollege was started by then Canisius College student Ncolò Baudo. Baudo came over from Italy to play for the Griffs while earning his degree.
He saw a need for the Italian soccer player to get noticed by coaches in the United States. Not every Italian player is going to be able to play in Serie A or B. Some players are looking for a way to continue to play at the highest level while getting a fantastic education.
This is where Baudo comes in.
“I started the business because the United States offers a unique opportunity to student-athletes,” he said. “In Italy it’s not possible to combine a sport at a high level and study in University. I wanted to give the same opportunity I was lucky to have thanks to my dad to everybody here in Italy.”
Even with the showcases in Italy, it’s still hard to convince U.S. coaches to come over and take a look at what Italy has to offer. Recruiting is hard enough already, now college coaches are being asked to recruit at the international level.
Getting a player through the NCAA clearing house is no easy task. European players have to make sure they aren’t considered professionals.
“The biggest challenge is to be able to convince the U.S. coaches that we deliver very talented soccer players and good students,” stated Baudo. “We are surely convincing them. A big factor is going to be all the players that will be joining mens soccer program this coming fall 2018.”
Canisius College has been a big benefactor of YesWeCollege. During the fall season, the Griffs started three Italians in their starting 11. A fourth sat out this year and will be playing next season.
What is like by many college coaches when it comes to Italian soccer players is how they go about the game. In Italy, the game is very technical. There is a lot of thinking out on the pitch, instead of just running up and down the field.
This has helped the Griffs reach new heights over the last couple of seasons.
“The american coaches that went to our first showcase were very impressed by the quality of our players. They left Italy saying it was probably the best showcase that I have ever seen,” stated Baudo. “I was lucky to be recruited by Dermot McGrane who has been coaching DI soccer for years. He helped to explore the DI coaching network. In fact we are the only one who work so closely with DI coaches. Also and probably most important the players that we bring to the states aren't clients but friends. We want to delivery quality not quantity.”
One of those quality players was Marco Trivellato. All Trivellato has done since coming to Canisius is set records. He was a stable force for the Griffs between the pipes the last three seasons.
He has also been a mentor to the other keepers on the team. It was always team first attitude with Trivellato. Even if he didn’t play, he was always cheering on his team. But, it just wasn’t on the field where Trivellato made his mark.
The young man from Padua also made his mark in the classroom, where he is now pursing his master’s degree in business.
“Marco and Paolo Termine (Notre Dame College of Ohio) are our first two players whose made it to the US,” stated Baudo. “We surely use their incredible performances on and off the field to show coaches how professional we are, and how good the kids that we are bringing to the states are.”
Having showcases in Italy isn’t such a bad thing. After all, coaches are able to take a little vacation while doing their homework. The showcases are professionally run, and coaches have come away very impressed.
Also, seeing the sights in and around Italy isn’t always a bad thing.
“At the showcase coaches have the possibility to combine a vacation with work. We run the showcase in Venice so the coaches can enjoy one of the best city in the world,” stated Baudo. “At our showcase we try to satisfy coaches wishes. For example if they are looking for a goalkeeper we run more goalkeeper session. We mostly play 11 vs 11 games which is the most important thing that coaches want to see. I tell them to enjoy every single moment of an incredible experience. I tell them the they are lucky to be there and that they should be thankful for it.”