POPLARVILLE, Miss — Pearl River's men's soccer team has added a new international to its 2020 squad.
Wildcat coach Drew Gallant announced Wednesday the addition of Brazilian Julio Cezar Gruba Filho.
Gruba is listed as 5-foot-7, 167 pounds and hails from Coritiba, Parana, Brazil. He joins four other members of PRCC's 2020 signing class: Hancock's Dustin Cuevas, St. Stanislaus' Brandon Elkins, West Harrison's Alex Emery and St. Martin's Rafa Jakubowicz.
"He's a very creative midfielder who will fill the shoes of Shande (James) and Ethan (Hodby) no problem," Gallant said. "That's no slight to our former players who were All-Region selections; it just speaks to the physical gifts Julio possesses on the pitch."
Gallant projects Gruba to be a box-to-box midfielder, who impacts the Wildcats' attack while is also defensively sound.
"He's not as athletic as Shande, but he has better vision and is more technical," Gallant said. "He does a good job of finding the other side of the field. What I mean by that is getting out of pressure on one side and seamlessly finding options on the other.
"That's incredibly important to us so we can keep our wingers wide."