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Blazers Men's Soccer Bring Finesse to its Back Line for 2024

Blazers Men's Soccer Bring Finesse to its Back Line for 2024

The CMU Men's Soccer program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Aiden Edwards for the 2024/25 MCAC season. The Garden City Collegiate product has the opportunity to make a big impact on the Blazers' back line with a mature game sense and touch not often seen in a rookie.

Edwards comes to CMU from Garden City, where he featured as captain of the Gophers soccer squad in both of his varsity seasons with his school team. Most recently, his Garden City boys indoor team were champions of the first half of the WYSA high school division II league, a win which promoted them up to the top division for the just completed second half. A multi-sport athlete, Edwards also stars as the Gophers' goalkeeper on the varsity handball team, which gives him a different perspective on shutting down the opposition's scoring chances. In addition, as an athlete on the school's track and field team competing in the sprint disciplines, he is able to hone his skills for the pitch making recovery runs and closing out to defend his opposition's attacks. With so many impact roles on his high school teams, it's no wonder Edwards was named the school's Athlete of the Month this past December.

Most recently Edwards has trained and competed with 1V1 Academy during the club season, a team which won the 2023 league title. A friendly with the Blazers is where he first learned of CMU's soccer program last summer, and is where the newest Blazer first got connected with Blazers co-head coach Anderson Pereira. Drawn in by the recently named MCAC Men's Futsal Coach of the Year's coaching philosophy, Edwards is excited to bring his game to the collegiate level, and the feeling is mutual for Pereira, who is now entering his sixth season at the helm of the Blazers. "Aiden is a player with exceptional skill and finesse on the ball, executing precise passes and displaying remarkable agility and speed," notes the Blazers skipper. "He has the potential to be a game-changer for the team even in his first year. His technical abilities and understanding of the game's nuances seem to align seamlessly with the team's needs. We couldn't be more excited to be adding such a great kid and talented player to our 2024 roster."

Prior to his time with 1V1, Edwards played his club ball with FC Manitoba Jr for his U15-U17 seasons, and before that FC Northwest. He has played in many big-game situations including a showcase tournament in Vancouver with FC Manitoba, and also at tournaments in Regina and Calgary with FC Junior's indoor soccer program. Clearly no stranger to playing under pressure, the Blazers hope his pedigree playing under the bright lights will help the team in clutch situations in the 2024/25 outdoor and futsal seasons. As a left back or central defender at the club level, Edwards is most familiar with new Blazers teammate and newly minted Men's Soccer Rookie of the Year Ilyas Umar, who he had to defend coming down the right-side wing when Edwards' club teams matched up with Umar's BoniVital SC clubs in years past. The two will look to have a connection of their own this coming year, with Edwards feeding balls from CMU's back line, as the team looks to chase another MCAC title.

The winner of the Manitoba Collegiate Athletics Conference earns the right to represent the province at the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) National Championships at the conclusion of the outdoor season, which the Blazers look to accomplish now entering the fourth year that the MCAC has been fully included in the Canada-wide conference. Blazers Men's Soccer last hoisted the provincial trophy in the fall of 2018 in Pereira's first season at the helm, while their most recent Men's Futsal championship was in the spring of 2020.

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