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NCAA Jul 09, 2024

Columbia men’s soccer team introduces 2024 signing class, featuring 11 new Lions

NEW YORK — Columbia men’s soccer head coach Michael Casper officially introduced 11 newcomers to the 2024 roster. The incoming class consists of eight first-years and three sophomores.

“I am really excited to welcome these eleven new players to our team this fall,” said Casper, who enters his second season as head coach. “I would like to thank Tobias EscheKevin Valdovinos and Jason Orban for all their help in securing these talented players from all over the world as part of our first recruiting class. I believe they have the attitude, talent, mentality and academic prowess to be very successful at Columbia and represent our program, university and community in the right way. I am excited to work with each of them and can’t wait for preseason to begin.”

Details on this season’s incoming class are below. Fans can access the complete 2024 Columbia men’s soccer roster by clicking this link.

Will Carnoy – Fr. – M/D – 6-0 – 165 – CC – New York, N.Y. / Riverdale Country School / Manhattan Soccer Club

Coming to Columbia with experience in the midfield and as an outside back is New York product Will Carnoy. He has spent the past 10 years developing at Manhattan Soccer Club while also playing in high school at Riverdale Country School. Carnoy was All-Ivy Prep First Team and tied for the top scorer in the league as a senior, netting seven goals and tallying six assists. His father, David, competed in both soccer and track at Wesleyan, while his mother, Lisa, competed in track at Columbia. Carnoy has been on community service trips to Ghana and Morocco, and serves as head of operations at his school club, Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Will Case – Fr. – M – 6-0 – 155 – CC – Yarrow Point, Wash. / The Overlake School / Crossfire Premier

Will Case joins the Lions as a midfielder from the Seattle suburb of Yarrow Point, Washington. He played for The Overlake School, where he was an Emerald Sound All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2021-22, followed by the league MVP as a senior this past season. He scored 25 goals on his way to MVP honors and led Overlake to the state championship. At the club level, Case developed for 10 years with Crossfire Premier. He is an AP Scholar and graduated with the highest cumulative GPA of any student-athlete at his school. His grandfather, Steve McFarland, was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1967-72.

Peter Chang – Fr. – M – 5-10 – 150 – CC – Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. / Palos Verdes / Slammers FC ECNL

A midfielder from the Los Angeles suburbs, Peter Chang will look to make an impact in the Lions’ midfield. Chang played varsity soccer for three years at Palos Verdes High School, where he was a two-time Southern California Division 1 All-Area First Team selection. He was also named team MVP as a senior. At the club level, Chang has experience with Surf Select National Team, Laguna FC Academy and Slammers FC ECNL. He has also trained internationally with Bundesliga U17’s Rot-Weiss Essen. Academically, he is a lifetime member of the National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation. He was also recognized as the 2023 “Face of the Future” by South Bay magazine for his athletic, academic and philanthropic achievements.

Andres Garcia – Fr. – F – 6-0 – 170 – CC – Concord, Mass. / Concord Carlisle / IFA New England

A 6-foot forward out of New England, Andres Garcia brings a hefty goal-scoring background to Columbia’s attack. Having played strictly for club teams, Garcia spent two years with New England Revolution Academy, five years with FC Bolts of MLS Next and his most recent season with IFA New England of MLS Next. This past season, he scored a whopping 33 goals and tacked on 17 assists in 27 games. Garcia has also participated and been invited back to youth professional trials at Dinamo Zagreb and Allianza Lima. He holds citizenship in the United States, Peru and England, having been born in London.

Andrew Hilton II – Fr. – D – 5-11 – 180 – SEAS – Ashburn, Va. / Riverside / Bethesda SC

A product of Riverside High School and Bethesda Soccer Club, Andrew Hilton II hopes to bolster Columbia’s back line. Having experience primarily at left back, Hilton developed for 10 years at Loudoun Soccer Club and another year at Virginia Development Academy, both of which are part of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. He then made the move to Bethesda SC of MLS Next, where he has spent the last four years (2021-24). His parents, Laurie and Andrew, both competed in collegiate sports. Hilton is a four-time recipient of Riverside’s Academic Letter (4.3 GPA or higher) and volunteers at his local middle school to help students who struggle with writing.

Jack McDaid – So. – M – 6-3 – 175 – CC – Havertown, Pa. / The Shipley School / FC Delco / Maryland

A transfer from the University of Maryland, Jack McDaid is an incoming sophomore midfielder. Last season at Maryland, he played in 10 matches, earning two starts, and combined for 277 minutes of playing time. In high school, he studied and played for The Shipley School, where he was a two-time league champion and two-time state semifinalist. McDaid combined for 32 goals and 24 assists in high school competition and was named a High School All-American and All-State as a senior in 2022. At the club level, he played for FC Delco, where he was a U19 MLS Next Cup Finalist and U17 MLS Next Cup Semifinalist. McDaid has trained on the professional side with Finn Harps in Ireland for three months. His international trials include Velez CF in Spain, Watford FC (U18), Derry City and St. Pats.

Joe McDaid – So. – D – 6-3 – 185 – CC – Havertown, Pa. / The Shipley School / FC Delco / Maryland

Also transferring in from the University of Maryland, Joe McDaid, is an incoming sophomore defender. Like his brother, Jack, he also played in 10 matches for the Terps last season and earned two starts, combining for 295 minutes of game time. McDaid was also part of The Shipley School’s two league titles and two state semifinalist appearances. While he did not compile many stats as a defender, McDaid was a 2022 High School All-American and was named the All-American Game East Team MVP. The All-State selection was a 2022 MLS Next Cup Best XI selection and has helped FC Delco to the U19 MLS Next Cup finals, as well as a U17 MLS Next Cup semifinal. Additionally, he was a 2022 Friends League First Team pick and named Southeastern PA Honors. His international trials are much like his brother’s, training and trialing with Watford FC (U18), Finn Harps and Velez CF.

Alexander O’Brien – Fr. – GK – 6-2 – 165 – CC – Toronto, Canada / Crescent School / Toronto FC Academy

The lone incoming goalkeeper in this year’s class, Alexander O’Brien hails from north of the border in Toronto. He developed and trained at Toronto FC Academy for the past three seasons and also has experience with the Canadian National Team. O’Brien has five caps for Canada U17, competing twice against the United States and once each against Mexico, Guatemala and Brazil. He was part of four training camps for the national team, and participated in the U17 CONCACAF Championship in Guatemala and U17 World Cup in Indonesia. Academically, he carried a 4.0 GPA at Crescent School.

Luka Perić – Fr. – F – 6-3 – 195 – CC – Belgrade, Serbia / Western Reserve Academy / Black Rock FC

A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Luka Perić came to the United States on full scholarship in high school and most recently attended Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. The 6-3 striker has been the top scorer at WRA and won the 2023-24 Ohio Young Entrepreneur Pitch Challenge. Growing up in Serbia, his vast club experience includes time with Fk Brodarac (2017-19), Fk Bask (2019-21) and Fk Sindjelic (2021-22). He then played for FC FISA Elite (2022-23) in Florida and Black Rock FC in Ohio. Perić has posted a 4.0 GPA every year since arriving from Serbia.

Rafa Romo – So. – D – 6-1 – 185 – SEAS – Gilroy, Calif. / Bellarmine College Prep / Santa Clara Sporting

Already a rising sophomore at Columbia, Rafa Romo tried out and made the Columbia roster over the spring. Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area city of Gilroy, California, Romo trained and developed through the club ranks at De Anza Force (2016-23) before moving to Santa Clara Sporting as a senior in 2023. Also competing for Bellarmine College Prep, he helped his team win the CCS Division II Championship multiple times, as well as a NorCal Championship. Academically, he is a National Questbridge Scholarship recipient. In addition to competing in soccer, Romo also spent a year on the Bellarmine wrestling team.

Luke Zielinski – Fr. – M – 5-8 – 140 – CC – Weston, Conn. / YSC Academy / Barca Residency Academy

Luke Zielinski is an incoming midfielder from nearby Weston, Connecticut. He competed in high school for YSC Academy and developed with several different clubs, including Beachside Soccer Club (2015-17), NYCFC Academy (2017-20), Philadelphia Union Academy (2020-23) and most recently Barca Residency Academy (2023-24). This past season, he scored 28 goals and had 24 assists across all competitions with Barca U19. Over his youth career, Zielinski was selected to four U.S. Youth National Team Camps, was a 2021 MLS Next Cup U15 National Runner-Up, 2022 MLS Next Cup U17 National Champion and was also a Generation Adidas Cup U17 Champion in 2023. Zielinski has been ranked as high as No. 60 nationally by Top Drawer Soccer in their recruiting rankings. He has played in U17 USYNT friendlies against both Argentina and Uruguay, tallying an assist against Uruguay.

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