October 23, 2015 League 1 Ontario--2015 Review: Men's Senior Talent Pool (from League 1 Ontario press release)
2015 Review: Men's Senior Talent Pool . Fri Oct 23 Written By: Kelly, Tim As part of the League1 review of the 2015 season, we checked in with the coaches of each of the teams and asked them to highlight the accomplishments of two or three of their top senior players (ie. players that left midway through season for university and higher levels, and/ or represent the senior end of a team's respective roster). All comments are from the coach or technical director of the team they played for. ANB Futbol (Head coach: Bassam Naim) The top ANB Futbol players that went back to university to play include Jackson Tooke, a midfielder with us for over six years, who returned to Ryerson University; goalkeepers Ali Ghazanfari, a five-year veteran that earned a roster spot at Ryerson, and fellow Ryerson keeper Praveen Ahilan. Also returning to university at Calgary to play was Haydon Armstrong, a goalkeeper who has played with ANB for over five years. Durham United FC (Head coach: Sanford Carabin) Joe Zupo was our biggest leader on the team. He played every minute of every game, and was consistent in training and matches all season. I can't remember him dropping form much all year. Joe is a player I expect to move on to another level. He's a Scarborough player that I've known since he was a youth player at Wexford. He went to Kingston and played with Queen's University, and the old CSL team out of Kingston - Kingston FC. It was great to see him back this year, a massive addition to the squad. We picked up Kristian Lee-Him from Sigma FC. Once he got into the squad, he pretty much never left the rotation. Always worked 150% every practice and game, and brought a lot of quality to the attacking mid position. He is actually in Italy right now training ahead of the transfer window opening. Verona Stars is the team he's with. It's an academy that was set up in Italy for players between 18-24 and out of contract. He's looking to take the next step. Kingston Clippers (Technical director: Chris Eveleigh) We had the following players all go on to play for the Queen's University varsity team here in Kingston: Conor Hannigan; Andrew Martin; Kristian Zanette; Chris Wellsman; Greg Simmons; Oliver Coren; and Kyle Lanzinger. Our head coach Cristian Hoefler is also the head coach at Queen's, and all of the players there are helping Christian achieve some top results! They have beaten both Ryerson and U of T - in Toronto. Jeremy Arnold is often forgotten, but grew up in Kingston and played with Clippers and is a role model to the future local players. He is currently playing at NCAA Division I Colgate University. Master's FA Saints (Technical director: Junior Groves) Tyrell Rayne is one of the quickest football players I have seen. Tyrell did very well for us this year as one of the only senior players that played the entire season. He is a two-way player that is deadly in the wing-back position because he can defend and then his speed in attack on the overlap is above the norm. His is a national level player and just needs the opportunity to show his worth. When we lost some players this year, although still a youth Alex Dimitriu proved to be one of the durable players for us. He is now a freshman at NCAA Division I Niagara University. Very talented, Messi-type player who grew up in MFA working hard on his technical skills and knowledge of the game. Alexander put in the work outside of his technical training sessions with his private strengthening and conditioning regiment. Shane Dida Lopez started with me early in his career and went off to NCAA Division I Florida International University on scholarship and became their all conference goalkeeper. Dida kept us in a lot of games this year especially when we had seven defenders go down with major injuries. Isaiah Page is a very talented forward who is a sophomore at NCAA Division I Campbell University. Isaiah came from Brampton to us this year and formerly from Bobby Graham at Winstars. Isaiah did very well for us this year and is a very disciplined two-way player that is most dangerous when given the opportunity to create. Oakville Blue Devils (Head coach: Duncan Wilde) For the Oavkille Blue Devils, a big loss this past season was old-fashioned centre back Eric Crawford, a League1 all-star, who went to university in Oklahoma. The big, tall player, called a "cornerstone," by his coach, played just half the season for the Blue Devils. Another key player for the Devils that also went back to school in Buffalo was Braden Culver. Pro Stars FC (Technical director: Josef Komlodi) Our Gk Philip Borowski had a special year as he demonstrated a super performance game after game. Our young team relied on him to make exceptional saves, and he turned into a great leader of the team. Our 18 year old right defender Rachaun Palmer had an exceptional season. Played every game and had a great performance in every game he played. Our center forward Leaford Allen had many great performances this season, and was a constant danger to opposing defences. He is now back at his university program in Windsor. Our right forward Dylan Micallef left to Malta for an international try out and is in process of getting signed by a professional club. Details will be published soon. Sanjaxx Lions (Head coach: Laza Lowe) Shaquore Rouse played for Sanjaxx at both the under-21 and League1 levels and was one of the most improved players for the team this past season. Rouse headed off to Robert Wesleyan College in Rochester NY for his first year. He has displayed tremendous ability as a young, multi-purpose player that can play in defence or midfield. Rouse showed very good technical ability, determination, enthusiasm, and is always a team player. Sigma FC (Head coach: Bobby Smyrniotis) Richmond Laryea, who had six goals and 12 assists in just 12 League1 games, headed off to the University of Akron in Ohio. The central midfielder has been with Sigma for 10 years and is great example of the academy system developing players over time. He is technically gifted and can dominate a game on his own. He is being monitored by many MLS clubs and was, in his coach’s opinion, the best player in League1 this past season. Alex Halis, who had nine goals and six assists in just 15 League1 games, went to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Alex has a low centre of gravity that allows him to lose defenders on the dribble with ease, and an ability to change direction with the ball at his feet that is special. He is a driven individual that has clear goals for the future, and knows what he needs to do to get to the next level. Kwame Awuah, a left back/ midfielder, scored five goals and had 10 assists in just 12 League1 games. He went off to the University of Connecticut. A versatile player who can play anywhere on the left side or centre of the pitch, Awuah is always a threat due to his 1 v 1 skills, his crossing, playmaking, and eagerness to get to the opposition's goal. Off the field he is already pro-ready in his mentality of hard work, focus and development. Toronto FC Academy (Head coach: Stuart Neely) Tristan Borges is a crafty and creative #10, as well as having a nose for timely goals. A strong left footed marvel with a tenacious appetite for football. His worth ethic in training is superb. Liam Fraser is a tall holding midfielder with a variety of accurate passing ranges. He controls the midfield and is a leader.? Good aerial presence, but ultimately his passing abilities are second to none. Andrew Dias is a speedy left back with a tremendous engine. His distribution is excellent from a variety of areas on the field. In particular, his final pass in the attacking third is excellent. Vaughan Azzurri (Head coach: Carmine Isacco) Kamal Miller, a strong, solid centre back, headed off to Syracuse University. Kamal, 18, is good going forward and helped us by getting assists, in addition to playing very solidly at the back and dealing with balls in the air. He plays the game at a level well beyond his years. Dane Sinclair, a goalkeeper, went to the University of Maryland and, like Kamal, was another important leader for our team. He also performed well beyond his years. Like any keeper, he was good for us when we needed him to be good. Windsor Stars (Technical director: Vancho Cirovski) We had several standout senior players, but Mike Pio and Steve Ademolu are mainstays of the program. Mike provides offensive consistency while Steve provides exceptional on field leadership with his tireless work ethic, skills and stamina. Woodbridge Strikers (Head coach: Peter Pinizzotto) Nazi Muccilli, who was born in 1997, was the youngest player on the team this past year. He has been playing in Woodbridge for the past 13-14 years. He was told at the start of the season he would have to earn his spot on the League1 team and he did just that. He also earned a scholarship and went off to play at the University of Jacksonville. It has been a pleasure coaching Nazi, a very dedicated player that every coach would love to have on his team. Nazi has always been a very smart player, very creative with good vision, and also very good skills, but perhaps most important – he loves to train and play.
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