Caya and Bailey to Play Collegiate Soccer

On March 3, 2011, Pennridge seniors Dan Caya and Ryan Bailey were recognized at a special news conference for signing letters of intent to play soccer at the collegiate level.

Dan Caya – Rutgers University (Soccer)
Major: Undecided
Final list of colleges: Rutgers, Temple, Villanova, William & Mary
Reasons for choosing Rutgers: “It’s close to home - I have two younger sisters, and I want to see them grow up as well. Rutgers is a Big East university, and it has a great coach, Dan Donigan, who is in his second year. I feel as though it’s going to be an up and coming program that’s going to have success, so I’m looking forward to it. It has nice facilities overall and great sports programs as well.”
What was the progression that led you to playing collegiate soccer? “I made decision in my early teenage years – if I really wanted to go after the next level - to be able to reach it, I would have to start taking soccer more seriously and go to (different) teams. By doing that and having success, I was able to reach the level where I talked to coaches from various schools and universities.
“I made a seven-minute highlight DVD and sent it to 32 schools. I started talking to the (Rutgers) coach. He sent me a flier for his camp. I signed up for the camp - it was a 10-week training camp. On Jan. 17, at eight o’clock – I’m not going to forget that day – (the coach) said, ‘I’m going to give you a chance. You show some potential.’ He’s going to give me a shot, and coach Donigan being a professional player himself – telling me I had the potential to play is a great honor.
 “It does not matter what position I play. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’ll do whatever (the coach) asks.”
Coach Pete Valimont says: “Dan Caya is one of those rare players – when you have a player like that, as a coach, you should be pretty thankful. There’s not much coaching going on with Dan. He’s such a good player that can read the game. He’s so technically gifted. In college, he will be an outside defender, and for us, he was our starting forward for the last couple of years, so he’s very adaptable.
“He plays on a high level club team. His Penn Fusion team was at the national tournament, so when you have a kid like that, there’s not much coaching going on. It’s more or less putting him in the right spot so he can succeed, putting him in certain areas of the field where he can overpower with his skills.
“I look back at our home game against CB West. He had a number of scouts watching him. We moved him around to different spots, so the coaches could see his ability. We were tied 1-1, and he came out with 10-15 minutes left and takes a ball of the chest and volleys it outside the box and scores the game-winning goal. It couldn’t have ended any better that night. He was first team all-conference and was an All-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection from our conference. For him to earn that in such a talented league - that was pretty remarkable.”
Ryan Bailey – University of Vermont (Soccer)
Major: Environmental Engineering
Final list of colleges: Vermont, Syracuse, Penn State
Reasons for choosing Vermont: “I chose my schools based on my major. UVM was my top choice academically, and they had a chance to see me play. They thought with my size I had a good chance to play there. ”
What was the progression that led you to playing collegiate soccer? “Ever since I started playing at a high club level (with Penn Fusion) in middle school, I have had it in the back of my mind. That’s what the club process is all about – getting seen at college showcases and getting recruited.”
Coach Pete Valimont says: “The thing that stood out about Ryan, especially his senior year, was his leadership. He was one of our captains, and (as goalie), he really was the key to our defense by making sure guys were in the right spots. He stayed really positive with everybody. Having 10 out of 11 starters seniors, you could have a lot of people voicing their opinions and stepping on each other’s toes, but Ryan did a job of containing that for the most part throughout the season.
“His technical ability – his ability to read shots in the air and react, his ability to defend in tight spaces off set pieces and corner kicks was very helpful and one of the best we have had. He was a second team all-conference goalie behind CB East’s Shane Donovan who went to the state final, which is pretty good company. It will be a learning experience his freshman year in college, but I think if he gets some time and has the patience – he’s really bright, and he will fit in really well with the college game.”