WSA Winnipeg Pre-Season Primer 2 – 2017 Preview

The 2017 season is less than 2 weeks away for WSA Winnipeg. The good news is that the majority of the 2016 players are returning this year. That makes them a year older, wiser, and more experienced. That experience will be important to keep up with their Heartland Divisions competitors.

The Heartland Division has 3 of the top 5 Central Conference teams according to the PDL’s Power Rankings. That will make for a difficult season but WSA Winnipeg is looking sharp already.

I spoke with Head Coach Eduardo Badescu and he’s very optimistic about the season. Some of the players he said will make a difference include goalkeeper Evan Barker, who is fresh off a U Sports Atlantic Rookie of the Year campaign at University of New Brunswick, and defender Caelan Budhoo, who played in the U Sports bronze medal game for Cape Breton University. Other key players include strikers Will Brown and Tobias Hyrich-Krueger, and midfielder Jash Sangha.

Image - Christopher Raposo
WSA Training – Image by Christopher Raposo

There are some new additions and Badescu called them “young but capable” with important experience at the University of Winnipeg. It is the deepest team WSA Winnipeg has fielded in recent years and the new players will push the experienced players for minutes.

WSA Winnipeg has a long tradition of fielding a local team, with talent from the academy, and other premiere soccer clubs in Manitoba. Development for Manitoba players is the priority and  Badescu said, “Of course our goal is to develop players, but we want 1 player to receive a scholarship, and 1 player to move up to USL.”

He expects a tough test from the other teams in the division. Des Moines is a perennial powerhouse, Thunder Bay has won the PDL championship in the past, and St. Louis FC is the U23 team for a USL squad.

The team starts the season on a 5 game road trip to Des Moines, St. Louis, and Chicago. The opener is May 20 at Des Moines Menace. The home opener is June 3 at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex against Thunder Bay Chill. For all the Manitoba readers, make sure to come out the the Soccer Complex to support the home team. The PDL is after all the #Path2Pro.

2017 PDL Schedule
Date Match Time Location
May 20, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Des Moines Menace 7:30 pm Valley Stadium
May 21, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs St.Louis Lions 5:00 pm Tony Glavin Soccer Complex
May 23, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Saint Louis FC U-23 6:00 pm SLSG Collinsville
May 24, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Saint Louis FC U-23 5:00 pm SLSG Collinsville
May 26, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Chicago FC United 7:00 am Northwestern University
June 3, 2017 Thunder Bay Chill vs WSA Winnipeg 7:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
June 4, 2017 Thunder Bay Chill vs WSA Winnipeg 1:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
June 13, 2017 Des Moines Menace vs WSA Winnipeg 7:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
June 14, 2017 Des Moines Menace vs WSA Winnipeg 7:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
June 23, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 pm Fort William Stadium
June 24, 2017 WSA Winnipeg vs Thunder Bay Chill 6:30 pm Fort William Stadium
July 7, 2017 Chicago FC United vs WSA Winnipeg 7:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
July 9, 2017 Saint Louis FC U-23 vs WSA Winnipeg 1:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
July 14, 2017 St.Louis Lions vs WSA Winnipeg 7:00 pm Winnipeg Soccer Complex
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Christopher Raposo

Christopher Raposo

Christopher caught the soccer bug as soon as he could walk. He went to Winnipeg for university and has been there ever since. He plays as much as he can and coaches at one of the premiere youth clubs in the city. He's traveled across the country to watch the national teams, recently standing and singing with the Voyageurs, and hopes to get to a professional game in each of the Canadian cities that has a team before his time is up. So far 2 and counting!

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