Soccer Alumni Success Stories
Former Roughrider Called up to Iraq National Team
The Columbus Crew today announced that midfielder Justin Meram (Yavapai College 2007, 2008) is set to become the first player in Major League Soccer history to earn an international call-up with the Iraq National Team. The Crew winger is set to depart today from New England to Saudi Arabia as Iraq is slated to play in the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations. On Head Coach Hakeem Shaker’s side, Meram and Iraq are scheduled to play group stage matches in the tournament against Kuwait on November 14, against Oman on November 17 and the United Arab Emirates on November 20.
This is the first call-up for the Shelby Township, Michigan-born Meram, who now holds dual citizenship through his parents, both from Iraq. Meram led Yavapai College to back-to-back national championships in 2007 and 2008 while scoring 51 goals with 30 assists for 132 points during his two-year tenure with the Roughriders. He was inducted to the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012.
The 25-year-old had a successful third campaign with the Black & Gold in 2014. In the regular season, Meram made a career-high 32 appearances – including 19 starts – in the midfield and scored eight goals while assisting on four others, career-bests in both categories as well. The University of Michigan graduate – and the Crew’s 15th overall selection in the First Round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft – finished third on the club in regular-season goal-scoring in 2014 behind Ethan Finlay and Federico Higuain (11 goals each). Meram added his first postseason goal in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New England Revolution on November 1 at Crew Stadium.
Former Roughrider Leads NAU Women’s Soccer Team to Big Sky Conference Title
Andre Luciano, former Yavapai College goalkeeper (1989, 1990) and current women’s soccer coach at Northern Arizona University, directed his Lady Lumberjack squad to a 2-1 victory over Idaho State University for the 2014 Big Sky Conference Championship in Missoula, Montana today. Now in his 14th season in Flagstaff, his team will receive the Big sky’s automatic invitation to the NCAA Women’s College Cup.
Luciano was in goal for the Yavapai College soccer team when the Roughriders captured their first of seven national championship in 1990. He was named the ISAA/Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year and the NJCAA Tournament Most Valuable Goalkeeper after leading Yavapai to the NJCAA championship over Passaic Community College (NJ) 2-1 in double overtime at Trenton, New Jersey. In 2011, he was inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame as recognition for his stellar play at Yavapai. Luciano transferred to Indiana University for his final two seasons and became one of the top goalkeepers in the country at the Division I level. He helped the Hoosiers to Big Ten championships in 1991 and 1992, as well as a berth in the NCAA tournament both years. The squad advanced to the Final Four in 1991 and the Elite Eight in 1992. Luciano was selected Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year in 1991 and finished in the top-10 in the nation both seasons in goals against average.
Luciano is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 2014 NJCAA National Tournament Banquet at the Prescott Valley Events Center on Monday, November 17 beginning at 6:00 p.m.