Seton Hill University’s (SHU) soccer team has seen its third former Griffin soccer player join the professional soccer circuit. Recent graduate Jon DeLuca signed a contract with the Niagara United SC of the Canadian Soccer League (CSL).
“Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to play professionally. After playing all four years in high school, my dream was to play in college, and Seton Hill gave me that opportunity. Then after another four years of playing, I wanted to continue playing the sport I love, and now I have that opportunity thanks to Niagara United,” said DeLuca, who was a starter keeper for the Griffins all four of his years at SHU.
DeLuca earned All WVIAC and All Region honors in 2009. For two years, he served as a captain to the Griffins and was named MVP. In his last season at SHU, he recorded 3 shutouts in net.
“Each and everyday was certainly a different experience while at SHU and I wish the boys nothing but the best in their future seasons,” said DeLuca.
DeLuca said his experiences as a Griffin were always challenging.
“While playing at Seton Hill, I was made aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a player, and I learned how to train accordingly. The experience alone of playing at the Division II level has certainly impacted my own abilities as well,” he said.
DeLuca plans to play soccer as long as he can. After almost 4 weeks in Canada, he said he is learning a lot and enjoying the experience.
“I feel the club is a great fit for me and I am hoping to renew my contract after this season is over. If Niagara United feels the same then I may move to the Buffalo or Niagara Falls area for a more permanent residency,” said DeLuca.
DeLuca’s new team, The Niagara United SC is in the First Division of the CSL, Canada’s only professional soccer league.
“While playing at the professional level, I will be exposed to some of the best talent in the area,” said DeLuca. “Whatever is ahead of me, I am just so blessed and thankful for this opportunity the club has given me and am looking forward to working as hard as I can to continue pursuing my dream as a professional player.”