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Nor'easters' 2022 defense features variety of international talent

Ocean City's 25th season will include 11 defenders from seven different countries

Nor'easters' 2022 defense features variety of international talent

The Ocean City Nor’easters have another strong group of defenders coming to the Beach House for the upcoming 2022 USL League Two season. The talented group of goalkeepers (announced last week) will have a lot of help in front of them this year.

The defensive unit includes 10 players from NCAA Division 1 schools, including one of them that won a national championship last season, and an 11th player who won an NAIA national title in 2020. The defense, like many past Ocean City teams, will feature variety of international talent, with eight of the 11 players born in other countries, with seven different nations represented (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, Serbia).

"We have a great balance of outstanding defenders who will also be a huge part in how we build and play in the attacking phase," said Nor'easters head coach Kevin Nuss.

Here are the 2022 defenders (in alphabetical order):

Gianluca Arlotti (Boston Univ. / San Remo, Italy)

Gianluca Arlotti comes to Ocean City along with his younger brother Alessandro, who plays as a forward. The two of them are one of two sets of brothers playing for the Nor’easters in 2022. Prior to this season, Ocean City had only had one set of brothers ever play for the senior team in the same season (Current D.C. United defender Brendan Hines-Ike and his brother Ian in 2014).

Arlotti, a native of San Remo, Italy, comes to the Beach House from Boston University where, despite a tough season for the Terriers, his individual talent was recognized as he was named to the All-Patriot League team. Arlotti led the team in minutes played (1,338) as a junior, started 14 of the 15 games he played in and picked up an assist on Sept. 10 in a narrow extra time loss to St. John’s. He also helped the Terriers finish the season strong, finishing with a 3-1-2 record over the last six, allowing one goal or fewer in five of those six games, including two shutouts.

Arlotti started his college career at Merrimack University, where he played two seasons and helped the school win a conference title. Prior to that, he played for AS Monaco’s youth academy at the Under-15 level before heading stateside for college. 

Kevin Nuss on Gianluca Arlotti: “We are excited to have Gianluca joining us this summer, he brings a lot experience to the roster.”

Galen Flynn (Fordham / West Hartford, CT)

Galen Flynn has enjoyed some success at the college level in his first two seasons at Fordham. The West Hartford, Conn. native, who played his youth soccer for Oakwood Soccer Club (same club as Nor’easters’ 2021 Offensive Player of the Year Simon Becher), played in nine of the team’s 10 games his freshman year, scoring a game-winning goal and leading the team in assists (4). Flynn helped the team finish with a 7-1-2 record and winning the Atlantic-10 championship, which included a 2-1 win over Simon Becher and Saint Louis University where Flynn assisted on the game-winning goal. Flynn was named to the All-Tournament Team. He would assist on another goal in the opening round of the NCAA tournament where the Rams nearly pulled off an upset of Marshall, falling 2-1 to the eventual national champions.

This past season, the Rams didn’t have the same success in the regular season (7-9-3) but Flynn scored three goals and added an assist while playing every game. Flynn’s goals came against Rider, Davidson and VCU. He finished fifth on the team in minutes played while leading the team to the semifinals of the Atlantic-10 tournament. Their tournament run would come to an end as Simon Becher and Saint Louis got their revenge with a 4-2 penalty kick win after a scoreless draw.

Kevin Nuss on Galen Flynn: ”Galen played last season for Long Island Rough Riders last year and had a lot of success, we expect him to play a big part in our success this season.”

Valtteri Hiilloskorpi (Drexel / Tampere, Finland)

Valtteri Hiilloskorpi arrives in Ocean City from the Philadelphia area where he has played for Drexel University for the last three seasons. Originally from Tampere, Finland, Hiilloskorpi had a strong resume at the club level. Hiilloskorpi represented Finland at the youth international level, playing for his home country’s Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 teams. He also played for Ilves and FC Haka (where #OCN alum Anthony Herbert currently plays) at the youth academy level, leading Ilves to a third place finish in the Finnish Under-18 National League.

In addition to his on the field accomplishments, Hiilloskorpi also excels in the classroom. This past year, he earned the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award for the third straight year.

Kevin Nuss on Valtteri Hiilloskorpi: "Valtteri is a versatile player with a big youth background, one of several guys on the roster with national team experience.”

Luca Hollenstein (South Florida / Lustenau, Austria)

After two seasons at Lubbock Christian University, Luca Hollenstein is on the move. After spending this summer playing for the Ocean City Nor’easters, Hollenstein will head south to play at the University of South Florida (the alma mater of #OCN alum, and current D.C. United defender Brendan Hines-Ike.

In his second season at Lubbock, he helped the Chaps earn a 10-6-2 record. Hollenstein was part of a defense that helped spark a late season run that saw them make a deep postseason run in the Lone Star Conference tournament. The Chaps won five of the last seven games of the season by way of shutout to earn a spot in the conference championship game where they earned another clean sheet, but unfortunately, fell short in the penalty kick shootout against No. 8-ranked Midwestern State University (TX). 

Hollenstein started 15 of the 16 games he played in, scoring two goals (one of them a game-winner) and added an assist.

Kevin Nuss on Luca Hollenstein: “Luca is a diamond in the rough. Huge credit to my staff for identifying him and putting him on my radar. He not only impressed us but we are happy that we could play a small part in his move to South Florida as well.”

Ty Hutchinson (Clemson / Cliffside Park, NJ)

Ty Hutchinson is returning to his home state to play at the Beach House for a second straight season after winning a national title with Clemson last fall. It was the Tigers’ third national title and first since 1987. They beat No. 2 seed Washington 2-0 in the championship game in Cary, N.C. Clemson defeated the No. 1, No. 2, No. 4 and No. 9 overall seeds en route to the national title. (beating Oregon State, Denver, Kentucky, respectively). While Hutchinson got to lift the trophy with his teammates, unfortunately, the Cliffside Park, N.J. native, only played in four games as an injury limited his playing time.

Prior to enrolling at Clemson, Hutchinson played at the Barca (FC Barcelona) Residency Academy in Casa Grande, Ariz. He also played club ball for Washington United and Next Gen USA.

Kevin Nuss on Ty Hutchinson: ”Tyler is another versatile player and he adds great depth and talent at several positions. We look forward to him showcasing his abilities this summer.”

Frederik Jorgensen (West Virginia / Aarhus, Denmark)

After arriving at West Virginia University from Aarhus, Denmark, Frederik Jorgensen adapted quickly to college soccer. In his first season with the Mountaineers, he scored three goals and added three assists while starting 19 of the team’s 21 games. Every time Jorgensen was involved in a goal, the team won. He scored goals against Penn State, St. Bonaventure, and Bowling Green, while also dishing out assists in wins over Ohio State and Georgia State.

The Mountaineers finished with a 12-3-6 record and despite getting eliminated in the conference tournament, they received an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament where they made a deep run. West Virginia went to extra time in three straight games, beating ACC power Virginia Tech in penalty kicks, beating No. 6 Tulsa 1-0 in double overtime before falling to No. 3 seed Georgetown in penalty kicks. It was the first time WVU had reached the national quarterfinals since 1981, and it was the first time the team was seeded (No. 6) since 2007. It was also the first time that West Virginia had played three NCAA tournament games in a single season.

Before arriving in the United States, Jorgensen played for the AGF Aarhus youth academy, one of the premier professional clubs in Denmark. (A club that former Ocean City player Jeremiah White played for)

Kevin Nuss on Frederik Jorgensen: "Frederik is an exciting young player that will get involved the attacking phase. He’s a great fit for how we will look to play.”

Taha Kina (Brown Univ. / Maynard, MA)

After the Ivy League took a year off in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taha Kina had to delay his first season of college soccer with Brown University until 2021. This past season, Kina started all 16 of the games he played in, finishing fifth on the team in minutes played. He also scored his first collegiate goal against Bryant, and added two more assists (vs. Penn, vs. Siena).

Prior to enrolling at Brown, Kina had a decorated youth soccer career, playing at GPS Massachusetts and the New England Revolution Academy. In high school, he was the 2019 New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) and Eastern Independent League (EIL) Player of the Year, in addition to plenty of trophies at the club level, highlighted by a US Club Soccer national cup championship.

Kevin Nuss on Taha Kina: “Taha is a great signing for us. A versatile defender that gives a number of options in how we want to play.”

Marco Milanese (UNC Greensboro / Isernia, Italy)

The majority of players who play for USL League Two teams like the Nor’easters arrive with experience at the college level. Very few of them come with experience playing for an Italian Serie A clubs. Marco Milanese, a native of Isernia, Italy, came to the United States after a tremendous amount of high-level experience at the youth level with Italian clubs like Parma and Torino. He played for Napoli at the Under-19 level and was able to train with the senior team during the 2017 season, and even made the gameday roster six times for the two-time Serie A champions. (He even got to meet soccer legend and former Napoli player Diego Maradona). Milanese also played for Italy at the youth national team at the Under-15 and Under-17 levels.

Milanese came to the U.S. to play at Akron University where he played three seasons for the Mid-American Conference powerhouse. His freshman season, he stepped in as a regular starter and helped the Zips reach the 2018 national championship game and win the 2019 MAC regular season title the following year.

Milanese transferred to UNC Greensboro ahead of the 2021 season and he picked a good season to join the Spartans. Along with Ocean City alums Theo Quartey (2021 Nor’easters Creative Player of the Year) and Olle Kaissidis, the Spartans had a great season. UNC Greensboro featured one of the most potent offenses in the country as they led the nation in goals per game (2.89) and goal differential (+38). Despite UNCG winning the Southern Conference regular season title for the second time in the last three years and winning 13 games, the Spartans did not hear their name called for the NCAA tournament.

Milanese started all 17 games he played in and scored two goals and one assist. He was a First Team All-Conference selection as part of a defense that earned 10 clean sheets

Kevin Nuss on Marco Milanese: ”Marco is the most experienced player we have on the roster, with a great resume of success. He will play a big part for us this summer.”

Stevan Milosevic (Missouri Valley College / Belgrade, Serbia)

Stevan Milosevic is one of the more well-traveled Nor’easters on the 2022 roster. Milosevic came to the United States from Belgrade, Serbia and enrolled at NAIA power Missouri Valley College. He has enjoyed plenty of success at MVC, highlighted by winning the NAIA national championship in 2020.

This past season, the Vikings finished with a 17-6 overall record and reached the quarterfinals of the national tournament for the sixth time since 2015. Milosevic was one of five players on the roster to start 22 games for the Vikings, scoring three goals (two of them game-winners) and adding one assist. One of his goals came in the team’s opening round win over Hastings in the NAIA tournament.

Prior to arriving at MVC, Milosevic played for a number of top level youth teams at FC Red Star, FC Vozdovac, FC IMT (where he also played for the senior team). He also represented Serbia at the youth international level.

Kevin Nuss on Stevan Milosevic: “We have a roster full of talented players but Stevan bring something extra. He has impressed with me with his professionalism and focus. Obviously, he brings experience of winning national championship, which we will look to this summer.”

Daniel Pereira (College of Charleston / Praia da Vitória, Portugal)

(Pending league approval)

Daniel Pereira made an immediate impact in his first season of college soccer at the College of Charleston. After arriving from Portugal, Pereira started 14 of the 15 games he played in, scoring a goal against Coastal Carolina in the season finale. He finished fifth on the team in minutes played. His performance in his freshman season with the Cougars earned him a spot on the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team.

Prior to arriving at the College of Charleston, Pereira played for a number of clubs at the youth level in Portugal, including Sport Clube Praiense, Clube Desportivo das Aves, and Sporting Clube de Braga.

Kevin Nuss on Daniel Pereira: “Daniel is an exciting young player that we look forward to growing with us this summer. He has the talent to do some great things and we happy to have him with us.”

Abdi Salim (Syracuse / Buffalo, NY)

Salim spent his freshman season close to home (Buffalo, NY) at Buffalo State University (NCAA Div. 3) and made a huge impact, being named the conference rookie of the year, defensive player of the year and a first-team all-conference selection.

That got the attention of nearby Syracuse University who brought him in and he continued to have an impact, despite an injury-shortened sophomore season. Even though he only played in eight games, the Kenya-born defender scored a goal in a win over Hofstra and was named the Team MVP. 

Kevin Nuss on Abdi Salim: “Abdi is a special kid. We are happy we have him this summer. He joins a list of players from Syracuse that have played for the club and we expect him to continue that success.”

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