Men's Soccer Adds More International Flavour with Wangai Theuri
The CMU Men's Soccer program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Wangai Theuri for the 2022-23 MCAC season. The Fort Richmond Collegiate graduate and BoniVital Soccer Club product will add some more international spice to the Blazers lineup this season.
Having graduated from Fort Richmond Collegiate in 2020, Theuri will bring a mature game to the Blazers squad, joining new signing Noah Schindel as the second 2020 graduate to be added to the roster this year. Theuri arrived in Canada in 2017 for his grade ten academic year, and although he never suited up for the Centurions owing in part to the pandemic cutting short his opportunity to participate, he found himself a spot in the Winnipeg club soccer scene with BoniVital shortly after his arrival.
Theuri featured on the BoniVital 17U squad in 2019, and now trains with the BoniVital senior men's team BoniVital United, which plays in the premier division of the Manitoba Major Soccer League. Back in 2020, Theuri represented his home country Kenya at the inaugural Manitoba African Cup of Nations, and helped them to a fourth place finish. The tournament, which is organized by current Blazer and Trailblazer award winner Gode Katembo, is a soccer showcase for the black community in Manitoba, featuring teams of Winnipegers representing their heritage countries in Africa. The organization also runs free-to-play programs for new Canadians to unite the community through sport. After some time away last year, Theuri is back on the Kenyan squad and are currently in the quarter-final round of this year's edition of the championship.
The 5'10" versatile player is comfortable defending as a fullback, but also has experience on the wing. Theuri also has plenty of experience to draw on away from the local soccer scene here in Winnipeg, as he spent time playing with FC Angou in Montreal during his period since graduating for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Even further afield, Theuri recently returned from a one week training camp this July in Portugal with SL Benfica's youth program. Benfica is a soccer club based in Lisbon, Portugal, and plays in the top Portuguese professional league and hosts training academies on their campus to allow young aspiring soccer players to receive top-level coaching in a professional environment.
Theuri got connected to CMU through his African Cup of Nations coach, who suggested the Blazers as a good landing spot for the bright talent, and all signs show that the school should be a good fit on the academic side as well with the newest Blazer set to study accounting at the Redekop School of Business on campus. He is excited about being able to play in Manitoba at the university level, and especially at the prospect of being able to represent Manitoba at the CCAA Nationals. Blazers head coach Anderson Pereira recognizes that drive to succeed, and noted "Wangai brings another level of enthusiasm and energy to the team. He has a great spirit and will fit well with the CMU family from the start." He continued praising his newest signing, stating "he also brings some experience to the team even though he looks young he played for some of the best soccer programs in the city and also participated in camps outside the province and country. We are looking forward to having him join us for this year and to help him to grow his game. I'm sure he will feel at home and will be able to help the team from his first season, and will be able to help us towards our goals and bring the team to the next level."
The 2021-22 outdoor season marked the first time that the MCAC Champion moved on to represent Manitoba at the CCAA National Championships. The Blazers narrowly missed out on that opportunity this past season, but will look to continue to build and grow their program to contend once again when they kickoff their season next September. This year's CCAA National Championship will be hosted by the PACWEST conference in British Columbia from November 9-12.