MORAGA, Calif .– Saint Mary’s Men’s Soccer Head Coach Adam Cooper has announced the hiring of two new assistant coaches for the fall 2021 season. New staff include Charlie lyon, a former Major League Soccer goalkeeper, and Shawn nicklaw, a veteran defender and member of the Guam national team.
“I am delighted to welcome Charlie and Shawn to the Saint Mary’s family,” said Cooper. “Both coaches will bring great experience and knowledge to our program and will be incredible assets to our players. “
Lyon will assume the role of goalkeeper coach for the Gaels after a long professional career between MLS and USL. Lyon was drafted into the 2015 MLS SuperDraft by the Seattle Sounders and continued to appear with the Sounders affiliate USL 41 times over the next two years. After spending a season with another USL club, Orange County SC, Lyon clings to Los Angeles FC from MLS for a year. He was then hired as an MLS pool goaltender between 2019-20 and served at the “MLS is Back Tournament” which took place in a bubble over the past summer at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Florida.
The native of St. Charles, Ill. played collegially at Marquette between 2010 and 2014 and was a starter for three seasons. As a junior redshirt, Lyon was named BIG EAST co-goalkeeper of the year and landed in the first team of all conferences. As a senior, he posted eight straight clean sheets and set an academic record with over 804 minutes between goals conceded. Lyon has also been an excellent student at Marquette while studying Biomedical Sciences and has received a plethora of academic recognitions including BIG EAST Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Capital One Academic All-American First Team and BIG EAST All-Academic Team. .
“I am deeply grateful to Coop for the opportunity to join their team and to Vice President Mike Matoso for the opportunity to represent Saint Mary’s,” said Lyon. “It is an honor to join such a successful sports and academic institution. The culture Coop has built, both on and off the pitch, speaks for itself. It is clear that I am joining an incredibly talented group of players and I look forward to supporting their activities in any way I can.
Nicklaw also comes to Moraga with an impressive professional career on his CV. The San Diego native played college at UConn where he appeared in 80 games over his four seasons on the team’s baseline. After graduating, Nicklaw continued to perform professionally overseas and in the United States for eight years. He signed with HB Køge in Denmark out of college and later appeared for Thór in the Icelandic Premier League, the Wilmington Hammerheads of USL PRO and two NASL clubs, Jacksonville Armada FC and FC Edmonton.
Nicklaw has also had the honor of playing for the Guaman Men’s National Team since 2012 and has served as the club’s captain. In 2015, Nicklaw helped Guam win their first two FIFA World Cup qualifiers by beating Turkmenistan and India in the Group D qualifying round. In total, Nicklaw captained 35 matches for Guam in the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) and scored twice while donning his country’s colors.
Saint Mary’s will be the first college coaching position for Nicklaw who has previously coached young players at the COPA Soccer Training Center in Walnut Creek as well as the National Youth Academy in Guam.
“I’m really excited to join Coach Cooper and Coach Lyon at Saint Mary’s and help develop the program in any way I can,” said Nicklaw. “I hope I can bring my experiences and knowledge to the team and help our student-athletes become even better players.”
Saint Mary’s returns to the field this fall with hopes of playing a full and consistent schedule. The Gaels were second in the West Coast Conference this spring and were 6-2-1 overall.