Highlanders to face impressive Rangers back line in next month’s friendly
VICTORIA – In anticipation of the July 21, Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, presented by Coast Capital Savings, Victoria Highlanders FC will spotlight the incoming Rangers roster, this time focusing on the defenders. The Rangers are coming off a campaign that saw them go unbeaten in league play and secure the Scottish Professional Football League One title, earning themselves a promotion to Scottish football’s second tier of the league.
The team is led into the 2014-15 season by a solid core of defensive backs that includes Richard Foster, Emilson Cribari, Sebastien Faure, Ross Perry, Lee McCulloch, Bilel Mohsni, Luca Gasparotto, Lee Wallace, and Steven Smith.
The current Rangers FC captain enters his eighth season with the club. The versatile player, who can play any position on the field, has made 18 appearances for the Scotland national team. The 2012-13 campaign, the year he was named captain, saw McCulloch play primarily as a striker and helped carried the offence on his way to the 2013 Rangers Player of the Year Award. His resume includes 224 appearances with Wigan Athletic FC and 124 appearances with Motherwell. He is the most experienced player on the Rangers’ backline with 257 appearances in all competitions for Glasgow.
Richard Foster, Right-Back
The Aberdeen, Scotland native joined Rangers FC last season after spending the previous season with Bristol City of Football League One. Foster is no stranger to the Scottish Premier League as he made 234 appearances for Aberdeen FC between 2003-2012. This is Foster’s second stint with the ‘Gers, he spent the 2010-11 season on loan from Aberdeen and helped the team secure the 2011 Scottish Premier League Title. During his SPL career, the 28-year-old has made 51 appearances for the Rangers.
Emilson Cribari, Centre-Back
The Brazilian national first signed with Rangers FC in 2012. Since then, he has appeared in 38 matches for the Light Blues. Cribari spent 13 years in Italy playing for such clubs as Empoli, with 103 appearances, Udinese, Siena, Lazio, with 109 appearances, and a nine match stint with Napoli. Cribari was a member of the 2009 Lazio squad that won the Italian Supercup over Inter Milan. Before his move to Glasgow, Cribari spent a season in his home country with Cruzeiro Esporte Clube.
Sebastien Faure, Centre-Back
Originally from Lyon, France, Faure has secured himself as a reliable defender for Ali McCoist’s squad. At just 23-years-old, Faure has already made 53 appearances for the ‘Gers in all competitions. Faure has a solid international resume with France as he was a member of the 2009 France U-19 squad that won the 2010 UEFA European U-19 Football Championship. He was one of only three members of that team that played every minute of every game at the finals. He also took part in the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup where his France squad finished fourth.
Ross Perry, Centre-Back
The Falkirk, Scotland native has been a member of the Rangers FC franchise since 2006. He was a member of the U-19 team for three years and won the domestic doubles in 2006-07 and 2007-08. Perry has also suited up for his country with appearances on the Scottish U-19 and U-21 teams. Perry’s previous experience includes a loan to Oxford United and a loan to Falkirk.
The Paris-born defender made 28 league appearances for Rangers FC during their undefeated campaign. Before arriving in Glasgow, the 25-year-old made 80 appearances for Southend United of the Football League. Although French, Mohsni is of Tunisian decent and has suited up for the Tunisia national team on a pair of occasions.
The 19-year-old Canadian made his debut with the ‘Gers in 2013. That year his squad were in Division Three and Gasparotto made four appearances. The youngest of all the defenders, Gasparotto will look to cement himself as solid young defender for years to come.
Lee Wallace, Left-Back
A six-foot-one defender from Edinburgh, Wallace joined Rangers in 2011 after spending seven years with Heart of Midlothian. Wallace was Ally McCoists’ second signing of the summer. Over the course of his career, the 26-year-old has scored 11 goals in league play with Hearts and Rangers. In 2009, Wallace was named Hearts’ Player of the Year and was the Rangers’ Player of the Year for the past two seasons. Since joining the Light Blues, Wallace has become one of the teams undisputed leaders, being named co-captain in the 2010-11 season and posting eight goals through 88 appearances since joining the team.
Steven Smith, Left-Back
The Bellshill native came over to Rangers FC in 2013 after spending 2012 with Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer. This is the 27-year-old’s second stint with the ‘Gers, as he made 64 previous appearances with the Rangers between 2002-2010. Previous clubs include Norwich City, Aberdeen FC, and Preston North End.
Darren McGregor, Centre-Back
This will be the Edinburgh, Scotland native’s first season with the Light Blues. He comes over to Glasgow after making 83 appearances with St. Mirren FC of the Scottish Premiership. McGregor was Ally McCoist’s second signing of the summer, as the Rangers’ manager looked to bolster his back line.
Rangers and Highlanders will face off in the 2014 Glasgow Rangers International Friendly, July 21 at University of Victoria’s Centennial Stadium. Kick-off in the match is set for 6:00 p.m., tickets are on sale and are available through Select Your Tickets at 250-220-7777. Additional information can be found through www.highlandersfc.ca.