FORT MYERS, Fla. – Following a year-long rise that started with a run at the USSDA U-17/18 National Championship with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, followed by an A-Sun regular season and tournament crown with the Eagles and completed with a tryout for Canada’s U-20 National Team, FGCU freshman center back Daniel Stanese (Pitt Meadows, British Columbia/Pitt Meadows Secondary) has signed a professional contract to play in Germany’s top tier Bundesliga for FC Nuremberg.
Stanese, who had three years of eligibility left with the Eagles, is the second FGCU player to sign a pro contract in the last two seasons. Program all-time leading scorer Cristian Raudales signed with BSV Rehden in Germany following his senior campaign in 2012.
“I am extremely pleased for Daniel,” said head coach Bob Butehorn, who was named the NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year. “It is a fantastic opportunity in one of the top leagues in the world. We wish him all the best.”
The 6-foot-5 back was a major reason for the quick maturation of FGCU’s youthful defensive unit that featured three freshmen and a pair of sophomore. An NSCAA All-South Region second team choice and A-Sun All-Freshmen team selection, Stanese was part of a backline that posted a shutout in eight of the team’s last nine games, allowing just one goal in the final 592 minutes of the season.
As if helping guide the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to the USSDA U-17/18 championship game in their first year in the league and helping FGCU take home its third straight A-Sun regular season crown and second straight postseason title wasn’t enough, Stanese continued to gain exposure following the collegiate campaign. Born in Queens, N.Y., but a dual citizen Canadian, he was invited to participate in the U-20 Canadian National Team camp in Sunrise, Fla.