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Men's Recruiting Aug 08, 2023

Reigning NCAA men’s soccer champion Syracuse loads up 2023 roster with 10 signings

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuse men’s soccer head coach Ian McIntyre and his coaching staff finalized the 2023 roster with 10 student-athletes. These new additions join January transfers Mateo LevequeStephen HasseAndre Cutler-DeJesus and Nate Edwards to round out the 2023 recruiting class.

“We are excited to welcome this talented group of young men to Syracuse University”, McIntyre said. “We feel that this class will complement our returning players and provide us excellent depth and balance to our roster.”

See below for a rundown of the newcomers joining the reigning NCAA men’s soccer national champions in 2023.

Rodrigo Almeida – Lisbon, Portugal – Niagara

Rodrigo Almeida transfers from Niagara University where he played 62 games and scored 21 goals with seven assists. Almeida was selected to the 2022 All-MAAC Second Team during a campaign when he was the second-leading goal scorer in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Almeida is a graduate student here at Syracuse with one year of eligibility remaining.

“Rodrigo is a talented player who will add something a little different to our attack,” McIntyre said. “He is a physical, direct player who possesses the ability to score goals in a variety of different ways. Rodrigo was a real handful to play against and he always made life uncomfortable for our Syracuse defenders. He has the terrific knack of getting onto the end of service in the penalty area and he is a fantastic addition to our squad.”

Josh Belluz – Toronto, Ontario – Villanova

Josh Belluz joins Syracuse as a graduate student after playing in 51 games during his career at Villanova. He is a physical, athletic player who recently competed for Vaughn Azzurri in League One alongside fellow Orange Trevor Carabin and Nate Edwards.

“Josh is a very good player who will fit in well to the style of play of our team,” McIntyre said. “I have watched Josh continue to grow as a player through the years, and he has the attributes to play in either a central midfield or center back position in our system. Josh follows some excellent Canadian defensive players out of the Vaughn Azzurri program such as Christian Curti, Kamal Miller and Nyal Higgins. I believe that Josh has both the physical and technical tools to make a similarly successful transition to the ACC.”

Felipe D’Agostini – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Oral Roberts

Felipe D’Agostini played in 31 games for Oral Robert and scored 11 goals while registering 11 assists, leading the team to the 2022 Summit League regular season championship. D’Agostini was honored as the 2022 Summit League Offensive Player of the Year and was selected to the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region First Team. Prior to Oral Roberts, he was a NJCAA All-American at Barton Community College.

“Felipe has the technical ability, creativity, imagination and college experience to make an immediate impact here at Syracuse University,” McIntyre said. “He is an intelligent, dynamic player who provides us an unpredictability in the final third and he possesses both the ability to score goals and deliver the all-important final pass.”

Daniel Diaz-Bonilla – Vienna, Va. – Princeton

Daniel Diaz-Bonilla played in 51 games during his career at Princeton and scored 11 goals and registered 11 assists.  Diaz-Bonilla was an honorable mention All-Ivy performer in 2022 and he was selected second team All-Ivy in 2021.

“Daniel is a talented, experienced player who has continued to develop within an excellent Princeton program,” McIntyre said.” I have been very impressed every time that I have watched Daniel play. He is positive, aggressive and is always trying to impose himself on each game. I am very excited to see Daniel in our Syracuse jersey this fall and he is a tremendous addition to our locker room.”

Tomas Hut – Nutley, N.J. – Army

Hut played in 17 games in goal for a strong Army team in the Patriot League. A Seton Hall Prep graduate, Hut played club soccer for MatchFit Academy and has most recently competed for Reading United AC in the USL 2.

“Tomas is a confident goalkeeper with NCAA Division I and USL 2 experience,” McIntyre said. “Tomas has the technical tools, the work ethic and the mentality required to make an impact at Syracuse.”

Nicholas Kaloukian – Wayne, N.J. – Michigan

Nicholas Kaloukian was a unanimous 2022 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection. He appeared in 16 matches with 12 starts in his first season as a Wolverine, recording a team-best four goals and nine points. Prior to enrolling at Michigan, Kaloukian was a proven goal scorer at the youth level for Cedar Stars Academy and he recorded 23 goals and 10 assists in the 2021-22 MLS Next season.

“Nick is a very exciting young player,” McIntyre said. “He brings us another terrific attacking option while providing us a dangerous focal point and an outlet through which to play. Nick complements our existing players and has the ability to score goals and create opportunities for his teammates. I am looking forward to seeing Nick in a Syracuse shirt this fall and he is very excited to prove himself within the ACC.”

Gabriel Mikina – Toronto, Ontario – Niagara

Gabriel Mikina transfers from Niagara University where he started 42 games, scored 12 goals and registered four assists during the past three years. Mikina is a versatile player who has played as both a defensive midfielder and a central defender during his time as a Purple Eagle.

“Gabby is a wonderful player that we have enjoyed competing against over the past three years,” McIntyre said. He is coming from a strong, well coached Niagara program and he has the physical tools to excel here in the ACC. He has a fantastic work ethic to complement his natural talent. I am looking forward to watching Gabby continue to grow as a player here at Syracuse.”

Pablo Pedregosa – Villareal, Spain – NC State

Pablo Pedregosa is an experienced defender who played 66 games for NC State. He was recognized as an All-ACC Academic Team honoree and scored five goals and registered three assists.

“We are delighted to have Pablo join us and we always enjoyed competing against his NC State teams,” McIntyre said. “It is a real advantage to add such a talented, experienced defender to our group who has familiarity with the ACC. He is an intelligent, composed player who will also add size and physicality to our team. Pablo is a good communicator and solid organizer of his defense. He possesses the drive and commitment to excel here at Syracuse during his final collegiate year.”

Jason Smith – Fresno, Calif. – Utah Valley University

Jason Smith has started 21 times in his career at Utah Valley and secured seven clean sheets. Previously, he spent two years in the Barca Residency Academy and this summer he led Park City Red Wolves into the USL League 2 playoffs.

“It was important for us to add an experienced keeper to our team who we feel can challenge for the starting position from day one,” McIntyre said. “Jason is a technical goalkeeper and an excellent shot stopper. He possesses a calmness and a confidence that transfers to the defense playing in front of him.”

Ezra Widman – New York, N.Y. – Brooklyn Tech & American HS

Ezra Widman is a member of the New England Revolution U19 team who recently won the 2023 MLS Next National Championship. He is a versatile player who made his MLS Next Pro debut for New England Revolution II earlier this year.

“Ezra is a very composed, technical player that always seems to have a lot of time on the ball. He makes the game look very simple and is an intelligent player who brings other players into the game,” McIntyre said. “He has the personality and confidence to impose himself onto any game and he has a very bright future ahead of him here at Syracuse.”

The newcomers join a Syracuse roster that won its first NCAA Championship in program history in 2022.

“This is a very important recruiting class after we lost 15 players at the end of our remarkable 2022 season,” coach McIntyre said. “We have had to replace nine players who played in the National Championship game against Indiana. This new group will need time to grow and evolve, but we will have exciting competition at every position as we look to build upon the successes of last year. Once again, we will have one of the toughest schedules in the country and we will learn a great deal about our group very early in the season.”

The Orange open the 2023 campaign against Providence at the SU Soccer Stadium on Thursday, August 24 at 7 p.m. before hosting Binghamton at home on Monday, August 28 at 7 p.m. Admission and parking are free.