CLINTON - Belhaven University captured the 2012 NAIA National Championship in December, and in April, Mississippi Brilla captured three of Belhaven's players for their 2013 roster. Eduardo Cruz, Victor France, and Tom Gavin have all committed to play for Mississippi this season, and Brilla hopes their winning ways translate to the Premier Development League.
Cruz, a junior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was a major force for the Blazers this year, notching six goals and six assists in 23 starts. He is a creative attacker and Brilla will look to him to connect with other impact players to create goal scoring opportunities.
Brilla head coach Drew Courtney said of Cruz, "Eduardo is a special player with great vision and control of the ball. We are excited to see him bring his experience from a national championship to our squad."
Also joining Brilla this season is Cruz's compatriot, Victor France. France, a sophomore from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, had five goals and two assists for Belhaven this season. Brilla hopes to see him using his blazing speed and quick feet as he runs at defenders.
Brilla Vice-President Scott Taylor was impressed by France early on. "I heard about Victor from Coach Courtney, but had not seen him yet. After signing, he came out to our tryout to meet some of the other potential players and help bring the level of play up in the tryout. It was immediately clear that Coach Courtney had made a shrewd move by signing Victor early."
Rounding out the Belhaven signings is defender Tom Gavin. Gavin, a freshman from Hartlepool, England was a key player for the Blazers this season, playing in all 24 games while starting 22 of them. Gavin will almost certainly figure into the Brilla back line from the beginning.
Brilla Executive Director Rusty Bryant noted Gavin's ability at our recent tryout: "Despite being a relatively young player, Tom demonstrated a willingness to take control and give direction to other players. He is an intelligent young man and should make everyone around him a better player.
Brilla kicks off their season on May 23 on the road in Ft. Lauderdale. The Home opener will be Friday, May 31 at Clinton High School at 7PM. For a complete schedule, or to purchase season tickets, visit brillasoccer.org
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