Saint Mary’s men’s soccer adds Charlie Lyon and Shawn Nicklaw to coaching staff
MORAGA, Calif. — Saint Mary’s men’s soccer head coach Adam Cooper announced the hire of two new assistant coaches in preparation for the 2021 fall season. The new staff members include Charlie Lyon, a former Major League Soccer goalkeeper, and Shawn Nicklaw, a veteran defender and member of the Guam national team.
“I am thrilled to welcome Charlie and Shawn to the Saint Mary’s family,” said Cooper. “Both coaches will bring great experience and knowledge to our program and will be incredible assets for our players.”
Lyon will assume the Gaels’ goalkeeper coaching duties following a lengthy professional career between the MLS and USL. Lyon was drafted in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the Seattle Sounders and would go on to appear with the Sounders USL affiliate 41 times across the next two years. After spending one season with another USL club, Orange County SC, Lyon hooked on to Los Angeles FC of the MLS for a year. He then was hired as an MLS pool goalkeeper between 2019-20 and served at the “MLS is Back Tournament” that took place in a bubble over the past summer at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.
The St. Charles, Ill. native played collegiately at Marquette between 2010-2014 and was a starter for three seasons. As a redshirt junior, Lyon was named the BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year and landed on the all-conference First Team. As a senior, he posted eight straight clean sheets and set a school-record with over 804 minutes between conceding goals. Lyon was also an excellent student at Marquette while studying biomedical sciences and received a plethora of academic recognition including BIG EAST Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Capital One Academic All-American First Team, and BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
“I am deeply grateful to Coop for the opportunity to join his staff as well as Vice President Mike Matoso for the opportunity to represent Saint Mary’s,” said Lyon. “It is an honor to be joining such a successful athletic and academic institution. The culture that Coop has built, both on and off the field, speaks for itself. It is clear that I am joining an incredibly talented group of players and I’m looking forward to supporting their pursuits in any way that I can.”
Nicklaw also comes to Moraga with an impressive professional career on his resume. The San Diego native played collegiately at UConn where he appeared in 80 games across his four seasons on the team’s backline. After graduating, Nicklaw went on to play professionally both abroad and in the US for eight years. He signed with HB Køge in Denmark out of college and later appeared for Thór in the Icelandic Premier League, the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL PRO, and two NASL clubs, Jacksonville Armada FC and FC Edmonton.
Nicklaw has also held the honor of playing for the Guamanian men’s national team since 2012 and has served as captain for the club. In 2015, Nicklaw helped Guam win their first two FIFA World Cup qualifying matches ever by taking down Turkmenistan and India in the Group D qualifying round. In total, Nicklaw has captained 35 matches for Guam in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) and scored twice while donning his country’s colors.
Saint Mary’s will be the first collegiate coaching stint for Nicklaw who has previously coached youth players at the COPA Soccer Training Center in Walnut Creek as well as the Guam National Youth Academy.
“I’m really excited to join Coach Cooper and Coach Lyon at Saint Mary’s and help grow the program in any way possible,” said Nicklaw. “I hope I can bring my experiences and knowledge to the team and help our student-athletes develop into even better players.”
Saint Mary’s returns to the pitch this fall with hopes of playing a complete, regular schedule. The Gaels finished second in the West Coast Conference this spring and were 6-2-1 overall.