The newly announced FGCU men’s soccer head coach Jesse Cormier has added two new assistant coaches, Sheldon Cipriani and Ryan Johnson.
“It’s exciting for our program to welcome such a great person and coach. His approach is always in the spirit of the development of the player both as a tactician and technician.” Cormier said. “He always considers the bigger picture of helping mentor young men to become better, stronger people to achieve both collective team success and personal full potential in life.”
“This hire is an excellent one for our program not just because of who Ryan Johnson is and what he has achieved as a player professionally and internationally, but also because of RJ’s drive to be a great young coach. He has an eagerness to give back to the game and impart his life’s work and professional experience into our student-athletes at FGCU,” Cormier said.
Sheldon Cipriani rejoins the Eagles after serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2014 when the team won the ASUN regular season, advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to his time at FGCU, he served as USF’s Director of Satellite Camps from 2010-12, managing the daily operations of the camp and planning all sessions.
Cipriani also held head and assistant coach positions in the Premier Development League – the top men’s amateur soccer organization in the United States.
Cipriani helped guide the Ocala Stampede team to a conference championship in their inaugural season in 2012 and a national semifinal appearance in 2014.
Most recently, Cipriani was a United States Soccer Federation Development Academy Director, coaching Boys U13 through U18 with the Florida Rush Soccer Club in Orlando.
“I’ve very grateful to coach Jesse for giving me the opportunity to work at FGCU,” Cipriani said. “I’m looking forward to carrying on a great tradition with this program which has already been built and also continuing to add to it.”
Ryan Johnson and Cormier will also be reuniting as Cormier was an associate head coach at Oregon State during Johnson’s freshman and sophomore seasons in 2002 and 2003.
After his season with the Beavers in 2005, Johnson was selected 26th overall by Real Salt Lake in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft.
Johnson played professionally from 2006-16, spending seven of those years in Major League Soccer with Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto FC and the Portland Timbers.
At Toronto FC, Johnson led the team to four-straight Voyager’s Cup and was also awarded the George Gross Memorial Trophy as the championship’s best player.
His last MLS stop in Portland was his most successful, leading the club with a team-best 10 goals en route to a first place Western Conference finish in 2013.
Internationally, Johnson has 40 caps with the Jamaica National Team and has participated in nine 2015 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with eight tallied goals.
“I’d like to thank Jesse for allowing me this great opportunity,” Johnson said. “I’m excited for this next step in my soccer career, and I’m looking forward to getting started working with all of our student-athletes.”