RICHMOND, Va. – Competition can bring out the best in athletes. That's exactly what VCU Soccer Head Coach Dave Giffard will be looking for this fall as he adds to his 2014 roster with three additional players.

Pierre Gardan (Lorient, France), Jorge Herranz (Madrid, Spain), and Rafael Andrade Santos (Rio de Janiero, Brazil) will all suit up for the Black & Gold this fall. The three internationals join the 12 recruits Giffard and company announced earlier in the year.

"In addition to the players that we have already announced, this group fills needs that we will have with seven seniors leaving in December, and should make this 2014 group, one of the deepest and most talented in the country," Giffard said.

Pierre Gardan  – Lorient, France/Angers FC – Goalkeeper – 6'1'' – 175

  • 2008-10 CEP Lorient
  • 2010-12 Stade Rennais U17 team
  • 2012-13 Stade Rennais U19 team
  • 2013-14 Training member of Ligue 2's Angers Sco
Coach Giffard on Pierre: "Pierre is a top notch goalkeeper who could provide competition in that role as early as this fall. Over the last several years, there have been several strong French goalkeepers who have made their way to college soccer and Pierre is from a very similar background.  I would expect Pierre to do well over the course of his career at VCU"  

Jorge Herranz – Madrid, Spain/A.D. Alcorcón B– Forward/Midfield – 6'0'' – 175
  • Scored 12 goals for the Atlético de Madrid U16 team in 2009.
  • Spent four years with Las Rozas C.F. where the attacker totaled 40 goals for the U18 and the third tier side.
  • Herranz wrapped up the 2014 year with A.D. Alcorcón's B team tallying seven goals.

Coach Giffard on Jorge: "Jorge is an attacker who can play in several roles.  Not unlike Manel Bel, who is entering his final fall with us, Jorge can play as a 9 or a 10 or even as a 7 or 11.  He has a knack for scoring goals, but could be suited best as a second forward or as a 7, 10 or 11. I would expect Jorge could impact the team as early as this fall, but time will tell."

Rafael Andrade Santos  – Rio de Janiero, Brazil/Montverde, Academy – Midfield – 5'7'' – 140 

  • 2003-11 Flamengo Futbol Club
  • 2011-12 Boa Vista FC
  • 2012-14 Montverde Academy
  • Two-time high school national champion

Coach Giffard on Rafael: "Rafa comes to us from our friends at Montverde Academy, he is the epitome of a VCU player.  He's an ultra technical ball mover who can eliminate players in the final third.  Long term, I see him as a guy who's best role is on the left side of midfield where Mario plays now, but early on he could also compete to play on the right or as a 10."