April 16, 2013, Ottawa (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Tuesday the 20 student-athletes who will represent Canada in men’s soccer at the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia (July 6-17).
The Canadian roster is comprised of 18 CIS standouts and a pair of NCAA all-stars. The team was selected following three open camps held this winter in Toronto (Feb. 22-24), Vancouver (March 1-3) and Edmonton (March 4-5). A total of 58 players attended the tryouts.
Summer Universiade website: http://kazan2013.ru/en
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013
As announced last June, Pat Raimondo from the University of Montreal will be Team Canada’s head coach at the 27th world university games, while Western’s Rock Basacco and Concordia’s Vladimir Pavlicik, will act as assistant coach and team manager, respectively. Randy Bardock from Lethbridge has since been added to the staff and will also assist Raimondo on the sidelines.
Emmanuelle Pilon, a physiotherapist from Montreal, rounds out the support personnel.
“I’m proud to get another opportunity to coach this team. I’m really happy with the quality of the staff and very excited to work with this special group of 20 student-athletes,” said Raimondo, who will make his fourth trip to the Universiade and his second as head coach.
In 2007, the two-time CIS coach of the year led Canada to its best-ever result at the FISU Games, a fourth-place finish in Bangkok, Thailand, following a heartbreaking penalty kicks loss to the host country in the bronze-medal match. It remains the highest finish in history for any men’s Canadian team at a FIFA-ran event.
Three players return from the 2011 squad that finished ninth out of 16 teams at the Universiade tournament in Shenzhen, China. They are Guelph striker Robbie Murphy, York goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas and Niagara midfielder Carl Haworth.
Buffalo keeper Jonathan Viscosi will also protect the Canadian net in Kazan, with help from defenders Dominic Bell of Western, Paul Clerc of UBC, Nafi Dicko-Raynauld of Laval, Niko Saler of Alberta, as well as Montreal teammates Alexandre Haddad and Eduardo Herrera.
Joining Haworth at midfield are Western’s Eric Amato, Toronto’s Dylan Bams, Carleton’s Joey Kewin, Lethbridge’s Matt Medoruma, Montreal’s Colin Parenteau-Michon, UBC’s Marco Visintin, as well as the Alberta duo of Andrew Hood and Marcus Johnstone.
Strikers Mario Kovacevic of Toronto and Mark Reilly of McMaster join Murphy up front.
Murphy was the CIS player of the year in 2011 and the country’s top freshman back in 2009. Johnstone (2010), Haddad (2011) and Saler (2012) are also former CIS rookies of the year.
Johnstone and Dicko-Raynauld were voted first-team all-Canadians last fall, while Clerc and Visintin helped UBC capture the CIS national title.
In Russia, the Canadians will compete in the preliminary round in Pool D against France (July 5), Peru (July 8) and the reigning Universiade bronze medallists from Brazil (July 10). The gold-medal final of the 16-team competition is scheduled for July 16.
Canada’s ninth-place finish in 2011 was the second best result in program history behind the historic fourth position from 2007.
The Canucks placed fourth in their group in China after dropping their first two matches against Great Britain and Japan, the two countries which ended up meeting in the tournament final, with Japan prevailing 2-0. Canada rebounded with three wins and a draw in its final four contests to end the tourney with a 3-2-1 overall record.