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Gores, Graczyk Added to Men's Soccer Staff

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Chris Gores, a defender and former captain of the Puerto Rico Men’s National Team, has joined the Harvard men’s soccer staff as an assistant coach, while former Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Mike Graczyk has been named a coaching assistant, according to Carl Junot, the Virginia B. and James O. Welch ’52 Head Coach for Harvard Men’s Soccer.

Gores brings more than a decade of professional, international and collegiate experience with him to Cambridge and will handle all recruiting aspects of the Harvard program.  An eight-year professional soccer player in the United Soccer League, Gores was a defender and captain of the Charleston Battery, Puerto Rico Islanders, Minnesota Thunder, Team Wellington (New Zealand) and Carolina Giants (Puerto Rico).  Gores has also been a member of the Puerto Rico Men’s National Team since 2004, earning eight caps and competing in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers, as well as the 2005 Digicel Cup. 

“Chris is an ideal candidate as his collegiate background positively represents the student-athlete experience,” Junot said.  “His professional and international playing experience exemplifies what can be accomplished through dedication to sport and his qualities as a person and a leader balance my own well.
“Through the hiring process, I have been utterly impressed with Chris’s professionalism and attention to detail,” Junot continued.  “I am confident Chris will emerge as one of the top assistants in the country.”

A former three-year starter at center back at Stanford, Gores helped the Cardinal finish second in the 1998 NCAA tournament and lead the nation in scoring defense. 

In addition to his playing career, Gores has worked as an assistant varsity women’s coach at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, Calif., since 2009 and was an assistant coach with the Carolina Giants in 2008.  While with the Giants, Gores conducted training and fitness sessions and handled video analysis for the club.  He also served as the head varsity women’s coach at St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, Calif., from 2004-05. 

A 2000 Stanford graduate with a degree in international relations, Gores received the FIFA recognized United States Soccer Federation National “B” License in 2009.

Graczyk, a fifth round draft pick by the Colorado Rapids on 2008, played in Major League Soccer from 2008-10.  Prior to his professional career, he was a two-time captain at New Mexico, playing under Junot, then an assistant coach for the Lobos.  A three-time Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selection, Graczyk, who also earned ESPN Academic All-District honors, helped New Mexico win four conference titles and was a key member of the 2005 squad that reached the national final.
 
“Having worked with Mike previously, I am most impressed by his professionalism at all times,” Junot said.  “He was a talented goalkeeper that maximized his potential on and off the field.  Mike will immediately impact our program through his interaction with our goalkeepers and his composed approach to coaching.”
 
Graczyk, who had been a volunteer assistant coach at Stanford since February 2010, led the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in goals against average and shutouts for three consecutive seasons for the Lobos.  He also has experience coaching at the youth and collegiate level for soccer camps and clubs.

In 2008, Graczyk graduated from New Mexico with a degree in mass communication with an emphasis in mass media.