Two former Grand Canyon University men's soccer players have recently signed with teams in the North American Soccer League (NASL), which is sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation as the Division II league under Major League Soccer (MSL).
Matthew Hall will play for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers after having spent two years with the LA Blues in the USL Pro league. Hall, who will be a defender for the Strikers, also played for the Hampton Roads Piranhas in the PDL and with the Arizona Sahuaro of the NPSL. Before turning pro with the Blues, he also played for the Thunder Bay Chill, Vermont Voltage, and the Las Vegas Knights.
He made 33 league appearances in two seasons with the Blues and recently participated in a training stint with the L.A. Galaxy.
Hall played in 33 games, including 30 starts, over his two seasons with GCU. He was named Honorable Mention All-PacWest in 2008 and primarily served as a defender. At Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, he was a two-time All-State and All-Region selection and was named All-Beach District. Hall also played for the Olympic Development Program and represented the United States in the Mediterranean International Tournament in Spain.
"It was a great honor competing with the L.A. Galaxy for two and a half months, and they passed my name over to the Strikers," said Hall. "I signed with Fort Lauderdale within about two days, which was exciting because liked what they saw and what I brought to the table. This is a great area to play in and a team with a lot of history. They have a rich history of good players that have played here. Their coaching staff is great, and it is fun to be back on the east coast. We actually just got back from Haiti on Monday. We went over there to play a friendly match. I am having a good time with this organization."
Mitchell Garcia signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks after most recently playing with the Vermont Voltage of the PDL. The defender also spent nearly two months training with Polish side Puszcza Niepolomice and one month with Serbian side FK Cukaricki.
Following his collegiate career, he played for the Arizona Storm, a professional indoor team that was part of the PASL.
Garcia played for GCU from 2010-11, during which time he was named First Team All-PacWest Conference twice after starting 36 games. He was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Performance Subaru Men's NCAA Division II All-West Region Third Team and All-PacWest Second Team during his junior campaign.
Prior to playing for the Antelopes, Garcia was a First-Team All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference selection at Phoenix College in 2009, while his Agua Fria High School squad won two state championships.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.