Mustang men's soccer
team ready to kick ass, er balls
By Jordan Bell
The Mustangs' offense will take a huge hit with the loss of
forward Glen Duerr, who led Ontario University Athletics with
11 goals last year.
However, the Mustangs still return "strikers
who are able to score," according to new head coach Steve
Langley, who replaced the legendary Rock Basacco. Langley added
the Mustangs will operate a very quick-striking offense.
The burden of this offensive philosophy will
rest with returning forwards Ciaran McCarthey and Nathan Ivanovich
and mid fielder Jason Carrelas, along with newcomers Jason de
Thomasis and Genti Dervishi.
Western led the OUA West with 22 goals last
season (along with Laurier who also had 22). If they can survive
the loss of Duerr's presence and his 50 per cent of the offense
and various rookies can step up and fill the scoring role, the
Mustangs should once again be able to light up the board.
Given the strength of the Mustangs offense, it pales in comparison
to their defense. Langley describes the D as "a smothering
defense with a lot of experienced, fit and quick players."
The Mustangs only surrendered seven goals
last season, the least among all OUA teams. Defender Gareth
Wheeler is a linchpin in the backfield, while Paco Barnett is
fierce and aggressive coming to the ball. Add defender Chris
Stefanazzi and mid fielder Paul Speakman and the Mustangs should
rival the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall or whatever the
hell kind of wall they wanna build.
The Mustangs net should be tough as nails with the return of
one of Canada's strongest goal tenders, Roberto Caballero Jr..
Caballero Jr., in his third year of eligibility, was tied for
second in the OUA with four shutouts.
The loss of Duerr, mid fielder Ryan Leigh and forward Joe Jesseau
will have a profound effect during the early part of the Mustangs
season. All three were veteran players and with a new crop of
youngsters, the Mustangs success is still up in the air.
However, Langley believes the Mustangs should
be OK. "We're fairly solid with our veterans and rookies.
I'm extremely pleased with the players thus far. We definitely
have the potential to be better than last season."
Clearly, Langley will have a very large role
to play in the squad's early preparation. Signs look good early
as the Mustangs won the Old Four Tournament and an exhibition
game against Rochester College. out of Michigan.
The lasting impression of the Mustangs from
last season was of a collection of distraught players lying
on the ground after the Toronto Varsity Blues defeated them
2-1 in their OUA quarter-final. The Mustangs will look to turn
those tears of peril into tears of joy.