Summer Universiade: CIS champions dominate Canada’s men’s soccer roster
May 19, 2011
OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Thursday the 20 student-athletes who will represent Canada in men's soccer at the 26th Summer Universiade in August in Shenzhen, China.
The Canadian roster is comprised of 18 standouts from CIS and a pair from the NCAA. The reigning CIS champion York University Lions dominate the selection with five players.
Four players return from the team that finished a 12th - out of 16 – at the last world university games in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia. Returnees include UBC defender Jason Gill of Abbotsford, B.C., York defender Jamaal Smith of Mississauga, Ont., as well as Saskatchewan teammates Josh Northey, a midfielder from Saskatoon, and Jerson Barandica Hamilton, a Mexican-born forward from Saskatoon.
"The challenge to select the squad started last November at the CIS national championship in Toronto and then took us coast to coast to look at over 100 players," says University of Windsor sideline boss Steve Hart, who was announced as Team Canada's head coach in April of 2010. "To create a successful, well-rounded squad, we broke the team down and thoroughly examined each individual position and set out to find the best players to fill the role. The coaching staff strongly believes that our selection has those top 20 university athletes necessary to get the job done."
Goalkeepers JP Crescenzi, a Calgary native and U of C student, and Sotiri Varlokostas, a York student from Toronto, will be in charge of protecting the Canadian net in Shenzhen.
Joining Gill and Smith in the backfield are Alberta teammates Harman Braich and Cameron Schmidt, both of Edmonton, Saint Mary's Shawn Kodejs of Halifax, York's Dominic Antonini of Winnipeg, Niagara's Anthony DiBiase of Richmond Hill, Ont., and St. Francis Xavier's Stephen Lumley of Mississauga.
Northey is joined at midfield by McGill's Olivier Babineau of Montreal, StFX's AJ Gray of Brampton, Ont., Niagara's Carl Haworth of Barrie, Ont., Windsor's Massimo Megna of Calgary, and York's Ilya Orlov of Woodbridge, Ont.
In addition to Barandica Hamilton, the forwards who hope to put Canada on the scoreboard are UBC's Gagandeep Dosanjh of Abbotsford, Guelph's Robbie Murphy of Ottawa, as well as York's Adrian Pena of Woodbridge.
A first-team all-Canadian in 2010, Pena was named CIS championship MVP last fall after he scored all four York goals at the tournament to lead the Lions to their second national title in three years.
Gill, Smith, Braich and Northey were also CIS all-Canadians last season.
In China, Canada will compete in the preliminary round in Pool D against Great Britain, Ghana and reigning Universiade bronze medalist Japan. A total of 16 countries are entered in the tournament.
The defending Universiade champion is the Ukraine, which edged the Canadians 2-1 in pool play in 2009. The Ukrainians beat Italy in the gold-medal final.
In six previous world university games appearances, Canada's best result is a fourth-place finish in 2007 in Bangkok, Thailand, which marked the first time the Red and White advanced to the medal round.
"Our expectations are high but realistic," says Hart. "Our first team goal is to advance from the group stages. Great Britain and Ghana will provide strong opposition, as will Japan, who has a rich history in this tournament. After that, we will take each game as it comes and do our best to represent Canada on the world soccer stage. Everyone is excited and honoured to be a part of the FISU Games."
Rounding out the team's support staff are assistant coach Keith Mason and team leader Brandon Rees, both from the University of Guelph, and athletic therapist Kelly Scott.
Mason is the only staff member with previous Universiade experience. He was Canada's men's soccer team leader in 2003 in Daegu, South Korea.
TEAM CANADA ROSTER
Position - Name - University - Hometown
Goalkeeper JP Crescenzi Calgary Calgary, Alta.
Goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas York Toronto, Ont.
Defender Dominic Antonini York Winnipeg, Man.
Defender Harman Braich Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Defender Anthony DiBiase Niagara Richmond Hill, Ont.
Defender Jason Gill UBC Abbotsford, B.C.
Defender Shawn Kodejs Saint Mary’s Halifax, N.S.
Defender Stephen Lumley StFX Mississauga, Ont.
Defender Cameron Schmidt Alberta Edmonton, Alta.
Defender Jamaal Smith York Mississauga, Ont.
Midfielder Olivier Babineau McGill Montreal, Que.
Midfielder AJ Gray StFX Brampton, Ont.
Midfielder Carl Haworth Niagara Barrie, Ont.
Midfielder Massimo Megna Windsor Calgary, Alta.
Midfielder Josh Northey Saskatchewan Saskatoon, Sask.
Midfielder Ilya Orlov York Woodbridge, Ont.
Forward Jerson Barandica Hamilton Saskatchewan Saskatoon, Sask.
Forward Gagandeep Dosanjh UBC Abbotsford, B.C.
Forward Robbie Murphy Guelph Ottawa, Ont.
Forward Adrian Pena York Woodbridge, Ont.
Originally selected but out with an injury:
Midfielder Navid Mashinchi UBC Port Moody, B.C.
Position -Name - University - Hometown
Head coach Steve Hart Windsor Liverpool, England
Assistant coach Keith Mason Guelph West Bromwich, England
Team leader Brandon Rees Guelph Brantford, Ont.
Athletic therapist Kelly Scott - -
The Universiade men’s soccer tournament will run from August 11-22. The detailed schedule will be announced at a later date.
Pool A: China, South Korea, Colombia, South Africa
Pool B: Ukraine, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia
Pool C: Italy, Czech Republic, Uruguay, Thailand
Pool D: Japan, Great Britain, CANADA, Ghana
CANADA’S RESULTS IN MEN’S SOCCER AT THE UNIVERSIADE:
2009 (Belgrade, Serbia): 12th / 16 teams
2007 (Bangkok, Thailand): 4th / 16
2003 (Daegu, South Korea): 15th / 16
1995 (Fukuoka, Japan): 16th / 16
1993 (Buffalo, USA): 16th / 16
1979 (Mexico City, Mexico): 12th / 24