2016 Men's Soccer Preview
A new era of Men's Soccer is about to be unveiled to the MCAC this weekend as a new core of young leaders prepare to done their green CMU shirts.
It isn't a fully new squad for the Blazers. Two fifth years enter their final campaign this weekend; fullback Nick Czehryn (pictured left) and three time All-Conference selection Cole Johnson. The two started together and hope to finish together, lifting the team's first soccer banner since 2005.
Czehryn is joined by fourth year front-man Ben Wride to form the 2016 team captaincy. Wride has scored some critical goals for the Blazers during his tenure and he hopes to open his new season account this weekend when CMU tackles Providence tomorrow afternoon in Otterburne at 3:00 PM and returns to Winnipeg on Sunday to challenge the Red River Rebels. It will be the Blazers home debut at the newly named Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex (formerly called the Winnipeg Soccer Complex) at 3:30 PM.
A new strength for the Blazers is at the back. Between the posts, Robbie Friesen looks more than ready to wear the match gloves on a regular basis, but the second year backstop is being challenged by rookie Chris Giesbrecht who has proven that he is also very capable of being selected as the team's number one.
Flying in on corner-kicks and bringing fear to strikers, center half Michael Veremu continues to make strides consistent with his six-foot-four frame. The Zimbabwean is amongst the MCAC's best at the back and rubbing shoulders with the third-year is rookie Daniel McIntyre-Ridd who recently helped his Bonivital u18 boys to the 2016 MSA Cup Championship. McIntyre-Ridd is a calm distributor who makes good decision on both sides of the ball.
Nine years into the job, Russell Willms would like nothing more than to see his team lift their first Martin Ward Trophy after seeing the team to the Championship final in 2015, and he believes that the squad lacing up the boots this weekend has enough quality and character to get that job done.