Five Transfer Soccer Players Sign
Letters of Intent
Posted May 30, 2007
Five men’s soccer players, all transfers from Virginia Intermont College, have signed NAIA Letters of Intent to play for the Scorpions this fall.
The new recruits played for Scorpion head coach Dan Balaguero when he coached at VIC. They include Mark McCormick of Scotland, Brian Hardie, James McCarron and Dave Purser of England, and Fernando Mendoza of Spain. They were among the first group of players Balaguero wanted to bring to South Texas. All but Hardie participated in the 2005 NAIA National Tournament.
"When I first took the job, I knew we needed to bring in players with experience and players who knew the NAIA," Balaguero said. "The five student-athletes we are bringing are all winners, they all love the game and will bring passion and commitment to the table. I could not be happier that they have chosen to continue their education and collegiate playing careers here at UTB/TSC."
Balaguero has named McCormick captain of the 2007 Scorpion team.
"Because of their playing experience and abilities, they will be players that our younger members of the squad will look up to," Balaguero said. "I know all of the guys will be tremendous ambassadors for the university and the Brownsville community."
The players will report for the start of Scorpion men's soccer practice in early August. The Scorpions begin play Thursday, August 23, against Instituto Technologico Superiores de Poza Rica.
Mark McCormick (Midfielder/Striker)
"Mark will be the leader of the team very experienced player who can operate with equal effectiveness both in the midfield and as a striker," Balaguero said. "He has superb technique and the rare ability to win a game with a moment of magic that only Mark can produce. In my opinion he is one of the best players in the college game."
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, McCormick was captain of the VIC team which advanced to the 2005 NAIA National tournament. He scored 25 goals and had 20 assists during his years at VIC and was named to All-Appalachian Conference and All-Region XII teams.
“I am very excited to be playing for UTB/TSC,” McCormick said. “The coaching staff is great and we have some good guys on the team. We just want to promote the name Scorpion Soccer, the university, and the community in the soccer world.”
Brian Hardie (forward)
"Brian is a top quality striker, with a lethal left foot," Balaguero said. "He is very experienced and smart player, can hold the ball up and bring others into the game. Has tremendous passion for the game. Look for Brian to be an instant hit with our fans."
Hardie scored a team-high 14 goals at VIC in 2006. He is a native of Kattering, England.
"I am looking forward to my move to South Texas and can not wait for the season to start," Hardie said. "I am very excited to meet my new teammates, because our team will have a mix of experience and youthfulness. I'm hopeful that we can hit the ground running and be very successful in our first season."
James McCarron (midfielder)
"James has a great soccer brain, and always gives 100%," Balaguero said. "He has fantastic passing range and wonderful technique. Look for James to be controlling the midfield for us. Due to his superb knowledge of the game he is equally comfortable playing as a sweeper.
A native of Segness, England, McCarron started 27 games at VIC and was vital member of the team which went to the NAIA National Tourney in 2005. He is currently completing his second season with the Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League.
"I am extremely excited to be joining up with Coach Balaguero again," McCarron said. "I'm looking forward to playing under him at UTB/TSC. I want to win and be successful, and I truly believe we will be in Brownsville."
Dave Purser (defender)
"Dave is a big strong defender who is very comfortable with both feet," Balaguero said. "He has the ability to play anywhere in the back, and strikes the ball equally well with both feet. He is very strong in the air, so look for Dave to me a major threat on restarts."
Purser scored 10 goals as a defender during his two years at VIC. He is currently completing his second season with the Vermont Voltage of the Premier Development League. He is a native of Boston, England.
"I am very anxious to join the program at UTB/TSC, and I can't wait to get started," Purser said. "When I received the offer from Coach Balaguero my mind was made up about where i wanted to play my soccer and continue my education. I am looking forward to working with coach Balaguero again, and working towards our goal of a national championship."
Fernando Mendoza (striker)
"Fernando is blessed with brilliant technique, because he is a tall striker who can be a handful for defenders," Balaguero said. "He is a student of the game, his play reflects his intelligence for the game."
A native of Granada, Spain, Mendoza scored 11 goals as a freshman at VIC in 2005. He is also a scholar athlete with a 3.8 grade point average.
"I am very glad to be going to UTB/TSC," Mendoza said. "I expect great things in both academics and soccer. It is going to be a good experience and I believe that the atmosphere is going to be perfect. We will conduct ourselves professionally and I am glad to be part of a great group of guys."