Fall Preview: Start of Something New for Carlo Acquista and Fordham Men’s Soccer


With a new head coach and key departures, Fordham Men's Soccer sets its sights on 2019 as a chance to rebound. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Andrew Posadas

Newly hired Fordham Men’s Soccer head coach Carlo Acquista has massive shoes to fill following the resignation of former head coach Jim McElderry last December.

When McElderry initially resigned, it came as a complete shock to everyone on campus considering the success he attained in the previous five years. In that five-year period, McElderry led the men’s soccer program to two Atlantic 10 Championships and three NCAA Championship appearances. In particular, Fordham soccer fans will never forget the team’s magical Cinderella run to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2017. McElderry finishes with 127 wins at Fordham, second only to his predecessor, Frank Schnur.

Now, McElderry takes his coaching prowess to the University of Rutgers.

Enter Carlo Acquista. He may not be the new head coach you were expecting, but make no mistake, he has the qualifications to succeed at Rose Hill. For starters, Acquista played four years at St. John’s University, where he helped the Red Storm win two Big East Championships and the Division 1 national title in 1996. Six years later, he would become one of the youngest Division 1 coaches at the age of 23 when he took the head coaching job at St. Francis College (NY).

He then moved on to Adelphi University, where he spent 11 seasons and totaled a record of 120-69-19. In 2016 and 2017, Acquista led the Panthers to consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championships, earning ECAC Coach of the year both times. He was serving as a scout for the New York Red Bulls since February 2018 before ultimately taking over at Fordham.

Acquista believes he’s more than ready for this challenge at Fordham, saying, “as a native New Yorker, I understand the history of Fordham University’s men’s soccer program and I will continue with the men’s soccer traditions already established.”

Moving on to the team, Acquista inherits a team that lost two all-time great players in Janos Loebe and Rashid Nuhu to graduation. Fortunately, the team returns a majority of its starters from last season, including senior captain Joergen Oland.

Oland is now the unquestioned sole leader of this squad and he’s not backing away from it. When asked about the pressure, Oland responded, “With Janos and Rashid gone, I do not feel any pressure having to take over responsibility. I take it as a challenge to lead by example on and off the field.”
No matter who the head coach is, Oland says the Rams main goal is still the same: to win the Atlantic 10.

That goal will be emphasized even more this season, as Fordham University plays host to the 2019 Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. Oland would love nothing more than to end his career with a second A-10 title, saying, “To end my college career by winning the conference on our home field would be a dream come through. We are going to do what we can to prepare ourselves for this season and accomplish that dream!”
Get ready, folks. Fordham’s finest is back in action!