Men's Soccer Announces Final Roster Additions for 2013
July 23, 2013
Duquesne University first-year men's soccer coach Chase Brooks announced today his final additions to the 2013 roster. Joining the Dukes will be sophomore transfers Arnaud Cesarini (Ollioules, France/Universite d'Aix-Marseille), Thomas de Villardi (Vincennes, France/Universite Catholique de l'Ouest) and Ryan Merrifield (St. Louis, Missouri/Niagara University) as well as freshman Bendik Hellstroem (Fannrem, Norway/Kristen videregaende skole Trondelag).
"Since we have arrived here at Duquesne, our staff has worked hard to find players that are winners and can help us compete for championships. We believe the four players today, along with the three we released earlier this year, fit the characteristics we were looking for. These guys will elevate the competition within in our squad, which ultimately, will help drive us towards the A-10 crown."
Cesarini joins the Dukes with a wealth of experience abroad. The central midfielder captained Olympique de Marseille's youth team at The NextGen Series, a prestigious competition which features the top youth academies across Europe. He currently plays at the highest amateur level in France.
"Cesarini is a hardworking, technical midfielder," said Brooks. "He can be a ball winner and a provider through his passing. His experience playing against some of Europe's best youth players will serve our team well as we push to win championships."
de Villardi, another French addition, brings versatility to the Dukes team. de Villardi was featured in a variety of roles while a youth team player at En Avant de Guingamp. He can patrol either flank as winger/fullback or stabilize the center of the defense. He currently plays at the highest amateur level in France.
"de Villardi is a player with tremendous potential," said Brooks. "His technical ability, athleticism, size, and versatility will be big positives for us as we move forward this year. His experiences with his club team will help us greatly as we look to build a championship squad.
Merrifield follows Coach Brooks to the Bluff from Niagara University where he made 9 appearances in the Purple Eagles 2012 MAAC winning campaign. The 6'0" forward will fit well into the Dukes squad, adding experience to the current strike force. Merrifield played his club soccer for St. Louis Scott Gallagher Academy.
"Ryan is a guy I know well," said Brooks. "He puts in an honest effort every time he steps on the field. He is strong, technical, and passionate about the game. He understands what I will be looking for out of training and games. Also, having won a championship with me at NU, he has an added experience that will help our transition here at Duquesne."
Hellstroem is another versatile player who has also featured for his club, Tiller IL, at a variety of roles in the 4th Division of his native Norway. The Scandinavian was also a youth team player at Rosenborg BK, a club which plays in the Norwegian Tippeligaen.
"Bendik can play in the midfield and on the back line," said Brooks. "He has a great combination of technique and athleticism. He is another player that brings with him to Duquesne, a wealth of playing experience. Bendik will compete for time in numerous positions right away."