Fox Chapel’s Wes Carnevale joins elite youth soccer club, commits to Cornell

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Saturday, July 24, 2021 | 8:01 AM


A Carnevale family reunion is set for fall 2022 in New York’s Finger Lakes region.

Wes Carnevale, rising senior at Fox Chapel, has committed to Cornell. The announcement comes on the heels of his older brother, Will, transferring from Lehigh to Cornell.

First things first, however. While Will becomes accustomed to the Ivy League lifestyle, Wes will forego playing soccer for the Foxes and instead has signed with the MLS Next League, based in Manheim in Lancaster County.

But right now, Wes is packing for a trip to Coge, Denmark, to represent the U.S. in a U19 International tournament starting Sunday.

“I’m real excited for this,” Wes said as he prepared to leave his Aspinwall home for the tournament. “Capelli Sport is the sponsor for MLS Next. They take players from all over, and they wanted to give me an invitation.”

The 5-foot-10, 150-pound midfielder expects no language barriers as English is commonly taught in schools among Western European countries.

“They all speak English, so I expect no communication problems,” Carnevale said. “I’m blessed that coach (Steve) Klein got me invited.”

Klein heads MLS Next, which was formerly known as PA Classics in the U.S. Soccer Developmental Association.

Since Carnevale has signed with MLS Next, he won’t be able to play for the Fox Chapel High School soccer team this season. MLS consists of up to 68 teams across the U.S., representing the highest levels up to U19.

So far this summer, Carnevale has worked out with Stefan Lundberg of Legends of Pittsburgh fitness center at the Pittsburgh Mills mall. Lundberg, a former Valley News Dispatch Player of the Year from his record-setting days at Kiski Area, also played at Duquesne from 2007-10 and in the pros with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds for three seasons.

Said Lundberg: “He and his brother, Will, are two of the best players I’ve ever gotten to train. Wes has improved and come a long way, and he hasn’t plateaued. He’s a smart player and extremely tenacious and aggressive and has great vision and speed.”

In the fall, Wes’ parents will drive him to Manheim on Wednesdays for practices and back for games on Saturdays. On Nov. 10, Wes can make his commitment to Cornell official as the national letter of intent early signing period begins. The final signing period begins Feb. 2, 2022.

The last time the Carnevale brothers played together was as sixth and eighth graders in youth soccer. Will Carnevale signed with Lehigh in 2020 but took a gap year last fall. He recommitted to Cornell and will be eligible to play for the Big Red this fall.

Wes said he was considering Cornell even as his brother set in motion his transfer.

“I had some good conversations with coach (John) Smith, and I thought I could best develop under him,” Wes Carnevale said. “There are lots of old buildings there, and they have a practice facility off campus.”

Said Lundberg: “I expect him to excel in college, and he has all the attributes to go to the next level after that.”

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