Chris Smith
Chris Smith
Title: Head Coach
Phone: 914-674-7165
Email: csmith@mercy.edu
Year: Fourth Season
Previous College: Southern Connecticut '95

Chris Smith was named the head coach of the men’s soccer program on April 1, 2010.

This past season, the 2013 campaign culminated with an 11-4-4 record and the best season during Smith’s tenure.  For the second straight year the Mavericks made the conference tournament and finished ranked in the East Region top ten (among 38 teams).  In the first three weeks of the season, the program was nationally ranked, reaching as high as No. 18 among the 202 teams in Division II. 

The program has been ranked in the top ten of the East Region for every week of the past two seasons.  Additionally, 2013 marks the best year under Smith in the goals against category, thanks in large part to NSCAA All-East Region selection and the ECC Goalkeeper of the Year, Nick Papas.  The Mavericks finished seventh in the final NCAA regional poll, just missing out on making the NCAA Championship.

“We had a tremendous year in all statistical categories and were very close to advancing in the ECC playoffs and making the NCAA’s," Smith said.  "It was disappointing for a day or two - losing with 2.8 seconds left at LIU Post - but when you look at the body of work over the course of the year, it truly was an incredible season.  We have most of the group returning in 2014, so it looks promising, especially with many seniors and strong leaders. I expect us to have a legitimate shot at the ECC crown and a bid to the NCAA’s and look forward to chasing it in our off season."

The Mavericks earneda berth in the ECC Championship in 2012 as well, finishing with a 10-5-3 record and ranking in the top ten of the East Region for every week of the season. In week two of the season, after starting 5-0, the program received a national ranking at No. 24.  Three players were named All Conference and William Koki, after finishing second in scoring in the ECC, was named to the NSCAA Second Team All-East Region.

"This season's success was the end result of three years of building the program with student-athletes who embraced our mission to become a legitimate contender in the ECC and Division II," Smith said.  "I am very proud of our guys and appreciative of the seniors and their dedication in the offseason.  2013 will be exciting as we have improved our schedule, our returners have great experience and recruiting is going well so far."

The 2011 Mavericks jumped out to an impressive 5-1-1 record which earned them a Top 10 regional ranking for three consecutive weeks.  Over that span, Mercy defeated the heavily favored University of Bridgeport, 2-1, in overtime for the team's first ECC contest of the season.  Unfortunately, injuries piled up quickly and contributed to the Mavericks dropping eight straight to end the season 6-10-1.

In his first season in 2010, Smith led the program to an improved record of 6-7-4.  Prior to his arrival in Dobbs Ferry, the Mavericks were a combined 4-26-1 over the past two seasons. Defensively, the goals against were lowered from 42 in 2009 to 24 in 2010. The team was more competitive going to overtime in nine of the 17 matches with five out of seven conference games heading into extra time. "2010 was about changing the culture, creating a competitive environment and recruiting quality student-athletes with character, ambition and desire," says Smith.  "I think we've improved every aspect of our program."

Prior to his arrival in Dobbs Ferry, Smith held the same position at Division I Saint Peter’s College from 2004-2006.  While at SPC, he posted a 26-23-11 overall record.  He went to the MAAC Tournament two out of three times and had an overall conference record of 15-8-4.  He coached two offensive players of the year, fourteen all conference players and had the number one offense and number two defense in the MAAC in his last year at Saint Peter’s.  Smith’s head coaching tenure began at Division III Manhattanville College where he posted a mark of 32-26-3 from 2001-2003.  During his time with the Valiants, he earned Skyline Conference Coach of the Year in 2001 while guiding the team to two out of three conference tournaments.

Before his head coaching posts, Smith was an assistant at The College of New Jersey from 1996 to 1999.  TCNJ won the National Championship in 1996 and finished as the runner-up in 1997.  In 2000, Smith did one season as an assistant at Southern Connecticut State University before moving on to Manhattanville in 2001. 

While an undergraduate at Southern Connecticut State, he started on three Final Four teams winning a National Championship in 1992.  After graduation from SCSU in 1995, Smith played professional soccer with the Tampa Bay Terror of the National Professional Soccer League.

Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Athletic Administration and holds a United States Soccer Federation “A” license.  He resides in Long Island, New York with his wife, Maureen, and their three daughters, Alana (13), Emily (10) and Delia (5).

Pedro Velazquez
Pedro Velazquez
Title: First Assistant Coach
Phone: 845-863-9393
Email: pvelazquez@mercy.edu
Year: Third Season
Previous College: Mercy '12

Pedro Velazquez returns to the Mavericks after volunteering as an assistant coach two years ago and serving as the graduate assistant last season.  This season he will assist with daily operations of the men's soccer program, including conducting invidual training of goalkeepers, scouting, recruiting, ordering and cataloguing inventory, supervising film sessions and game taping and monitoring academic progress and study hall assignments.

A former standout at goalkeeper for the Mavericks during the 2010 season, Velazquez ranked in the Top 50 in Division II in saves per game and save percentage, as well as earning ECC Defensive Player of the Week recognition. 

Velazquez transferred to Mercy from Ulster County Community College. In 2007, Velazquez posted a goals-against average of 0.42 in 19 games. Member of the national finalist team, and was selected to the National Tournament Team. In 2008, he recorded a goals-against average of 1.3 in 19 contests. In addition, Velazquez was tabbed to the All-Region Second Team.

He currently resides in Queens, N.Y.

Juan Peralta
Juan Peralta
Title: Second Assistant Coach
Phone: 646-249-2470
Email: jperalta18@mercy.edu
Year: Second Season
Previous College: Vermont '12

Juan Peralta was named to the staff as a graduate assistant for the 2012 fall season. In May 2013, he was named the Second Assistant Coach on the staff.

Peralta most recently served as a physical education intern at Champlain Elementary in Burlington, Vt. where he managed and taught physical education classes to first-fifth graders. He has also served as a coach at the Catamount Soccer Club, camp counselor at the Vermont Futbol Academy and summer camp director and counselor at Vermont Voltage Summer Camps in St. Albans, Vt.

Peralta started his collegiate soccer career at Ulster County Community College in 2007 where he was part of the team that was a National Tournament Finalist, while he himself was named to the All-American Second Team. Peralta played another season at Ulster before transferring to the University of Vermont.

In 2009, he redshirted due to medical reasons, but in 2010, he came back strong, playing in 19 games. He started in eight of them and had two goals and two assists. In 2011, Peralta had a breakout year. He was selected to the All-America East Conference Second Team as he scored four goals and dished out 11 assists. Those 11 assists gave him the school record for most in a single season. Peralta started in 13 of the 19 games he appeared in that year.

He currently resides in Woodhaven, N.Y.

Salma Tarik
Salma Tarik
Title: Third Assistant Coach