Seven midfielders all play for NCAA Division I programs and hail from six different countries
The Ocean City Nor’easters have another strong group of midfielders coming to the Beach House for the club’s 25th season in 2022.
The seven midfielders all play for NCAA Division I programs and hail from six different countries: Two U.S.-based players, and a player each from Australia, Chile, France, Jamaica, and Spain).
|2022 Ocean City Nor'easters
Six of those seven players have experience playing in the NCAA tournament, and despite being a young position for the Nor’easters, they bring a lot of talent and experience.
No matter where the players come from, they are all coming together with a common goal of bringing a championship to Ocean City, N.J., America’s Greatest Family Resort.
Here are the 2022 midfielders (in alphabetical order):
After the 2020 Ivy League season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Daniel Diaz-Bonilla picked up right where he left off in 2021 in his second year with the Princeton Tigers. The Vienna, Va. native was Princeton’s second-leading scorer (4 goals, 6 assists) and led the team with three game-winning goals and also had two game-winning assists. The Tigers finished with a 12-6 record, and won the Ivy League championship with an undefeated record. The first undefeated Ivy League title since 2010 earned the Tigers a spot in the NCAA tournament. The run was short-lived unfortunately, as Princeton dropped a narrow 1-0 decision to St. John’s in the opening round. After the season, Diaz-Bollina was named to the All-Northeast Region team.
Prior to enrolling at Princeton, Diaz-Bonilla had a decorated youth soccer career playing for clubs like Bethesda Soccer Club, McLean Youth Soccer (2016 USYS national champions), while also playing high school ball for The Heights School. There he won numerous awards, including being a finalist for the state of Maryland’s Gatorade Player of the Year award.
Kevin Nuss on Daniel Diaz-Bonilla: “The use of the word special can be over used when you talk about players but Daniel is a special kid. He is a great player but he has shown himself to be an even better person. We are excited to have him a part of the club.”
Philadelphia native Nicholas Pariano is returning to the area after an exceptional first two years at Duke. In his freshman year, he had two goals and a team-leading four assists in 16 appearances (7 starts) and was named to the ACC All-Freshman team. This past year, lost in the ACC championship game but the Blue Devils still had a good enough season (14-5-1) to get an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament. Pariano scored three goals and tied for the team lead in assists with seven.
Pariano played a big role in Duke’s NCAA tournament run. He assisted on the game-winning goal in Duke’s opening round win over UCLA, and then scored a goal added an assist in the Devils’ next game against Saint Louis. Down 3-1 in the second half Pariano scored a goal in the 74th minute to cut the lead to one and then assisted on the game-tying goal about three minutes later before Saint Louis answered with a late game-winner of their own.
Before enrolling at Duke, Pariano was a member of the Philadelphia Union Academy, and Crew SC Academy Wolves. He also got an opportunity to train with the Philadelphia Union senior team, in addition to numerous national tournaments and camps.
Kevin Nuss on Nick Pariano: “Nicky is big time. He is a great player in both the attacking and defending phase. He always has a smile on his face and his work ethic is infectious.”
Miranda de Ebro, Spain
Previous school: West Virginia University
Rodrigo Robles comes to the Beach House after a strong second season at James Madison University. This past season, he scored a goal (vs. George Mason) and had a team-leading eight assists. His eight assists was the most assists for a JMU player in a decade. The team finished with an 11-5-1 record.
In the previous season, JMU finished with a 5-1-3 record in a COVID-shortened campaign. They finished the regular season undefeated (5-0-1) and then beat the No. 2 seed Drexel and the No. 1 seed Hofstra in the conference tournament to win a third straight CAA title and return to the NCAA tournament where they fell to No. 18 Central Florida (led by goalkeeper and Ocean City alum Yannik Oettl) in the opening game.
Prior to coming to JMU, Robles played his freshman year at West Virginia where he led the conference in goals (9), and ranked fifth in the nation among all freshmen. Robles made some history by scoring a goal for WVU in the first three minutes of their opening round NCAA tournament game against Butler. At the 2:11 mark, it was the fastest NCAA tournament goal in school history.
Before coming to the United States for college, Robles played for Deportivo Alaves (2014-16) and Euskadi State (2014-16) at the youth level in his home country of Spain.
Kevin Nuss on Rodrigo Robles: “Rodrigo is a great signing for us. He has experience winning games in USL League Two, in addition to his success in college. He is just another quality player that adds to our culture and I’m certain you’ll be hearing his name often this season.”
Wilmington University (DE)
Tyrese Small travels just about 90 minutes east from Wilmington University (Del.) to Ocean City to play for the Nor’easters this summer. The Kingston, Jamaica native stepped in as a regular starter in this first college season last year, playing in 18 games (starting 14) for the Wildcats, picking up one assist.
Wilmington had an impressive season with a 16-4-1 record, and while they fell short in the Semifinals of the conference tournament, they still received an at-large bid into the NCAA Division II tournament.
Prior to coming to Wilmington, Small attended Jamaica College, a secondary school in his home country. He helped lead the team to the 2017 and 2019 Manning Cup championship, while also winning the 2019 tournament’s MVP award.
Kevin Nuss on Tyrese Small: “Tyrese is an all-around excellent addition to this club. We have had a number of great Jamaican players in Ocean City over the years but he may end up being our best. We hope he has a long career with us.”
Palm Beach Atlantic
Previous schools: Missouri State, Iowa Western CC, Barton CC
Nicolas Torres has been well-traveled since arriving to play college soccer from his home in Linares, Chile. He began his college career at the junior college level, playing for head coach Mike Brown at Barton Community College in Kansas. When Brown left to take the head coaching job at Iowa Western Community College, Torres followed him to Council Bluffs, Iowa. He had a breakout year with Iowa Western, scoring 10 goals and dishing out 14 assists while leading the team to a 16-1-1 record.
Next, he transferred to Missouri State, an NCAA Division I program in the Missouri Valley Conference. Torres played in 10 games in an abbreviated season, but the Bears made headlines by winning both the MVC regular season and tournament championship and earning a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. They made headlines in the NCAA tournament by stunning national power Maryland in their opening game to earn a spot in the Third Round for the first time in program history. The run would end in Round 3 with a 2-0 loss to No. 7 seed Washington.
Last season, the team added another NCAA tournament berth, winning the MVC regular season and tournament titles again. They entered the NCAA tournament as the hottest team in the country, boasting a 16-game unbeaten streak, and the country’s highest winning percentage (0.944) and the only school to earn 17 wins. Torres was a big part of it, playing in 18 of the team’s 19 games (starting 10), picking up three assists. The tournament run would be short-lived as they suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Creighton University on a late goal.
With one more year of eligibility remaining, Torres will transfer to Florida to play for Palm Beach Atlantic where he will be coached by former Nor’easters head coach Alan McCann (who is an assistant coach at PBA).
Kevin Nuss on Nicolas Torres: “Nico is a top player in his own right but he adds an element of toughness that you need in the midfield. He is a guy we expect to have a huge impact on and off the ball.”
Previous school: Oakland University (Michigan)
The Nor’easters lone Frenchman comes to Ocean City from Oakland University in Metro Detroit.
Last year, the Golden Grizzlies finished with a 12-7-2 record, winning the Horizon League’s regular season and tournament championship in the same season for the first time in seven years. Widiez played in 12 games, starting four. Oakland would fall in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, losing a narrow 2-1 decision on the road against Northern Illinois.
Oakland had an impressive COVID-shortened season during Widiez’s freshman season in 2020/2021, finishing with a 6-1-2 record. He played in 7 of the team’s 9 games as the Grizzlies earned a No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Unfortunately, the tournament and rest of the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving Oakland to wonder what might have been.
Prior to arriving at Oakland, the Eze, France played for AS Monaco’s youth academy for seven years where he had the opportunity to place against some of the biggest clubs in the world, like Paris Saint-Germain and PSV Eidhoven.
Widiez recently confirmed that he will be transferring. In the fall, he will be playing for Florida Atlantic University down in Boca Raton, Fla.
Kevin Nuss on Arthur Widiez: “Arthur is a unique talent. He can play in a number of positions with great technical ability. We look forward to seeing him at his best.”