Dillon NinoCASA GRANDE, Ariz., – The Grande Sports Academy home of the Real Salt Lake Arizona Academy is pleased to announce the commitment of Dillon Nino to the University of Dayton. Familiarity between GSA and Dayton was a driving force behind Nino’s decision.

“They play the same style we play at the academy,” he said. “Try to play it out of the back, keep the ball on the ground and focus to be more possession oriented. Similar styles between the two.”

The Dayton Flyers assistant coach Kiki Lara also had a helping hand.

“It made me feel comfortable knowing that my current coach Freddy Juarez spoke highly of him,” he said. “It helped my decision and knowing that I could compete for a starting spot my first year highly motivates me.”

In Nino’s first season at the GSA last year, he started in 34 games and was a key member for the U-16 team, who would go on to win the U.S. Soccer Development U-16 National Championship in July, 2013.

The GSA is one of the few residency programs in the country, which helped Nino ease right into the makeup of the team when he originally joined. It reminded him of his life and was another factor in the decision process.

“I didn’t want to go to a huge school,” he said. “Since I came from a private school back at home I like that community atmosphere and at Dayton you get that community atmosphere.”

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