Undefeated in their last five games, the SC Waterloo Region Pro team now finds itself in 3rd place in the standings. They are still 3 points back from the league leaders, but have a game in hand on all the teams above them in the league table. With the full squad having only just been completed this past week, earning such great results has not been an easy task, but the experience of the veteran players has proven to be enough to do the job thus far.
Amongst the seasoned professionals who have led the effort are, of course, Captain and goal scorer Drazen Vukovic, and 40 year old former winger Ranko Golijanin who has been filling in at centre back. The arrivals of Adis Hasecic from the Bosnian Premier League, and Vladimir Zelenbaba from the Thai First Division (both returning players who ply their trade overseas in the offseasons) have been a big boost as well.
The 2nd Division team has been a different story. They have consistently out possessed and out chanced opponents, but failed to win any of their first four games. While the team was hoping to pick up where they left off from last season–an unprecedented top 4 finish in the regular season, and a return to the playoff finals–it just wasn’t happening for them. They finally turned that around on Saturday Jun 13 when they hosted the Burlington 2nd Division team, and recorded their first win and clean sheet of the season.
A bright light for the 2nd Division team has been Thomas Sackor, a former player for Eastwood Collegiate Institute (a secondary school here in Kitchener), who has been successfully filling in for the Pro team. This has been a wonderful example of the success of the two division system of the Canadian Soccer League: seasoned professionals brought in from overseas entertain the fans while also providing young local hopefuls opportunities to gain experience in a real professional environment.
Some of SC Waterloo’s former 2nd Division players have gone on to land professional contracts. Mo Ali Heydarpour, a University of Guelph varsity player, who came up through the SC Waterloo academy has been playing for the Pro team for a few seasons now. Dale Cudmore, who captained the 2nd Division championship team of 2013 now plays for the Brampton City United Pro team. Mo Aborig, former CIS all-Canadian player for the University of Waterloo and captain of the SC Waterloo 2nd Division team of 2014, has just flown off to join preseason training at first division club in Slovakia that has awarded him a contract.
This weekend both teams play at home against Brampton. The Pro game is on Sunday June 28, 7 PM at the University of Waterloo’s Warrior Field. The 2nd Division game is Saturday Jun 27, 6:15 PM, also at Warrior Field.