Author: WSAWinnipeg

Ivan Borka joins national champion Golden Bears

WSA Winnipeg’s Ivan Borka will play his university soccer north of the border in 2017.

The veteran midfielder is transferring to the University of Alberta, joining the 2016 national champion Golden Bears program.

“This is another opportunity to improve and grow as a player, which I will take full advantage of,” Borka said.

The 23-year-old made 13 appearances for the Wolfpack in 2017, tallying one assist while playing in the midfield.

Borka joins Alberta after 4 years at Drury University of the NCAA. He sat out the 2015 season due to a back injury, giving him 2 years of eligibility to play for Alberta.

“With the time I have left, I will work my hardest to make my mark on this team hoping to achieve the same results as last year, if not better.”

The move would also allow Borka to continue playing for WSA Winnipeg in 2018.

“Ivan’s return from injury this year added much-needed experience to our always young team,” WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “We wish him the best in Alberta and it is always exciting to see so many local players playing at a high level and then return to continue their development in the PDL.”

Winnipeg’s Massimo Pansini invited to train with Barcelona

At just ten-years-old, WSA Winnipeg academy member Massimo Pansini has caught the attention of one of the world’s largest football clubs.

FC Barcelona is inviting the youngter to train at their academy in Spain after impresssing at a camp in Saskatoon.

Pansini is one of only two players to earn the honour.

“To put it simply Massimo lives for this game,” said WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu. “Since the age of six he has not missed a WSA camp on top of his club soccer while also coming to our PDL practises and games.”

Pansini’s talent is well known among the World Soccer Academy as a standout at his own age while enjoying the experience of working with the PDL team full of the best players in Winnipeg.

“He not only loves to watch our best players, but to learn from them and more importantly kick the ball around with them,” Badescu said. “He’s probably taught them a thing or two!”

Panisini will leave for Barcelona with his father in September and train at the same facitilies used by Lionel Messi, Neymar and a long list of world class players.

“And they think he may have the talent to stay there,” Badescu said. “He’s the kind of player they look for with his technique, skills and more importantly his attitude.”

WSA Winnipeg wishes Massimo the best of luck as he works to achieve his dream of one day being a professional footballer.

Winnipeg takes season finale over St. Louis

WSA Winnipeg closed out the 2017 PDL season with an exciting 5-2 win over the St. Louis Lions Friday night.

After a scoreless first half, the Lions and Wolfpack traded 4 goals in a span of just ten minutes in the second. Raphael Ohin and Daniel Sagno had the goals for Winnipeg.

From there it was all WSA with Ohin adding a second goal which turned out to be the game winner. Moses Danto and Luis Melendez put the game out of reach in the dying minutes. Danto would also add 3 assists to finish the season with 4 goals and 4 assists in just 6 games.

“When everyone is on the same page and thinking the same, we can play like this every game,” head coach Eduardo Badescu said.

Danto came into the game as St. Louis took a 1-0 lead in the second half, he made an immediate impact setting up the first of Ohin’s two goals.

“Moses changed the game when he came on and the rest of the team raised their play to that level.”

Ohin’s two-goal performance comes after scoring twice in his last game, which earned him PDL team of the week honors.

“Raphael is a difference maker when he is on the field with his technique and physical traits,” Badescu said. “He is a complete pro and I wouldn’t be surprised if teams start calling me asking about him.”

Josh Dielmann picked up the win in his first start, making 6 saves. Along with goalie Evan Barker, the Winnipeg defense allowed 20 fewer goals than the 2016 season.

“Josh made a couple of big saves that allowed us to push up and add to our score,” Badescu said. “He was great today.”

The victory gives Winnipeg its second win of the season and a record of 2-1-11, the best finish since the 2014 PDL season

“More importantly we watched out team grow and made improvements every week…if only the season were longer!”


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
St.Louis Lions022Loss
WSA Winnipeg055Win

WSA Winnipeg

# Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Red Cards
31Joshua DielmannGoalkeeper0000
41Belmin MackicDefender0000
2Kevin GaricDefender0000
6Kyle HiebertDefender0000
14Tom PrazakDefender0000
16Caelan BudhooDefender0000
12Ivan BorkaMidfielder0000
3Raphael OhinMidfielder2000
4Braden SilvaMidfielder0000
19Daniel SagnoForward1100
17William BrownForward0000
5Stephan MeloMidfielder0000
11Moses DantoForward1300
15Ermin MackicMidfielder0000
20Luis MelendezForward1000
23Jash SanghaMidfielder0000
24Evan Van DaleDefender0000
27Tobias Hyrich-KruegerForward0000

Winnipeg closes out weekend with a win

Everything was clicking in the WSA Winnipeg offense as the Wolfpack beat Saint Louis FC U-23 4-1 Sunday afternoon.

Raphael Ohin led the way scoring a pair as Winnipeg gets its first win of the 2017 PDL season.

“This win confirms what we have been saying all season, we are good enough to win against any team in the PDL,” said head coach Eduardo Badescu. “We have been competitive in every game so far and today the finish matched the amount of chances we created.”

The visitors opened the scoring early in the first half before striker William Brown evened things up in the 17th minute. Ohin would add his first of the game just before halftime.

Winnipeg continued to pressure the Saint Louis goal in the second half and the finish matched the strong play on the ball. Ohin potted the insurance marker in the 88th minute and Luis Melendez put it out of reach in stoppage time.

“Raphael was outstanding and so was the rest of the midfield,” Badescu said. “You get what you work for and today we showed how bad we wanted the win.”

The Wolfpack have a chance to add another win to the tally before the season is over. WSA Winnipeg will host the St. Louis Lions on Friday, July 14.

WSA Winnipeg

# Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Red Cards
1Evan BarkerGoalkeeper0000
24Evan Van Dale 41Defender0100
2Kevin GaricDefender0000
6Kyle HiebertDefender0000
14Tom Prazak 27Defender0000
16Caelan BudhooDefender0000
3Raphael OhinMidfielder2000
4Braden SilvaMidfielder0000
12Ivan BorkaMidfielder0100
17William Brown 15Forward1000
19Daniel Sagno 20Forward0000
15Ermin Mackic 17Midfielder0000
20Luis Melendez 19Forward1000
27Tobias Hyrich-Krueger 14Forward0100
41Belmin Mackic 24Defender0000


New month, new opportunity for WSA Winnipeg

Only three matches remain in WSA Winnipeg’s 2017 PDL campaign and with it a chance to end off on a high note.

The Wolfpack host Chicago FC United Friday night to kick off a season ending homestand.

Winnipeg closed out June with a pair of home losses to Des Moines (3-1, 3-0) and two defeats in Thunder Bay (5-0, 4-1). Moses Danto scored both goals for WSA.

“That is all in the past,” Head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “Every game we have been within a goal at halftime and if we get some bounces there’s no reason we can’t win all three games.”

After the Friday night game with Chicago, Winnipeg welcomes Saint Louis FC U-23 on Sunday, July 9 and St. Louis Lions Friday, July 17.

There will be some positive momentum for the group to take into the weekend after winning matches against a pair of local sides, including a friendly win against Team Manitoba, who is preparing for the Canada games.

“It’s a different game,” Badescu said. “The important thing is giving our players a chance to compete at the highest level and develop, if we win that’s a bonus.”


All-time leading scorer Moses Danto’s play since returning to the PDL has seen the star forward break into the league’s Top Prospects list.

Danto, who is back with WSA Winnipeg after visa issues kept him from joining Phoenix Rising FC, has two goals in 5 games in 2017.

“Moses will get another shot once everything is worked out, he deserves it,” Badescu said. “Teams are always asking about him and Phoenix still wants to keep him so I am optomistic.”

Winnipeg native and former WSA standout Ali Musse is also on the top prospects list. The midfielder joined fellow Canadian PDL side the Calgary Foothills in the spring.

Chill take close home opening weekend in Winnipeg

Every week WSA Winnipeg appears to improve and despite back to back losses to Thunder Bay, the positives were still there.

Infront of over 500 people, the Chill took the Wolfpack’s home opener 1-0 despite a strong showing of possession from the home side Saturday night.

Had a first half Moses Danto bicycle-kick fell an inch lower, the story may have been a PDL goal of the year giving Winnipeg its first win of the season.

Instead, an early marker from Thunder Bay’s Abraham Villon would be enough for the visitors to take the three points. WSA added pressure late but were unable to find an equalizer.

“We came so close on several opportunities and outshot them today, we feel we should have won,” said head coach Eduardo Badescu.

On Sunday it was a similar story, though the Chill emerged 3-0 winners. A free kick in the first 15 minutes opened the scoring and as Winnipeg was beginning to put pressure on the other way, Thunder Bay were awarded a penalty, which they converted for a 2-0 advantage.

Winnipeg got numbers forward and had several solid chances, but instead would concede on the counter attack. Abraham Villon Guillame Kremer and German Alfaro scored for Thunder Bay.

“Another post today, had a couple of these close shots gone in, it’s a different story in the late minutes,” Badescu said.

WSA Winnipeg will have some time to rest up and prepare for their next set of games. They face the Des Moines Menace at home in a back to back on June 13 and 14.


WSA Winnipeg close road trip with draw in Chicago

WSA Winnipeg returns home with a point after taking a 1-1 draw against Chicago FC United. The draw closes out a five-game road trip with stops in Des Moines and St.Louis.

Daniel Sagno scored Winnipeg’s first goal of the 2017 season in the first half. Tobias Hyrich-Krueger slipped the ball across goal to the speedy forward on the end of a counter attack not long before half-time.

Chicago would press late but struggle to break down the Wolfpack defence. But an unlucky opportunity led to the eventual tying goal as a United corner kick found the net in stoppage time.

“That was the best game we have played so far this season,” said WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu. “We changed our tactics a bit and played a more counter attacking style which led to some great chances.”

WSA Winnipeg will host the Thunder Bay Chill on Saturday, June 3rd in the home opener.


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
WSA Winnipeg101Draw
Chicago FC United011Draw

WSA Winnipeg

# Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Red Cards
1Evan BarkerGoalkeeper0000
41Belmin MackicDefender0000
2Kevin GaricDefender0000
6Kyle HiebertDefender0000
23Evan Van DaleDefender0000
16Caelan BudhooDefender0000
23Jash SanghaMidfielder0000
4Braden SilvaMidfielder0000
12Ivan BorkaMidfielder0000
8Daniel SagnoForward1000
27Tobias Hyrich-KruegerForward0100

WSA Winnipeg leave St.Louis winless, but improved

In a three-game in four-day swing, WSA Winnipeg did everything but find the net in a road trip to St. Louis.

The Wolfpack lost 3-0 Sunday to the St. Louis Lions while dropping a back to back against Saint Louis FC U-23 1-0 and 2-0 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We had our chances but are still looking for that one moment that can get the momentum going,” head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “It feels like once we get one the floodgates will open up.”

Winnipeg is also looking at all the defeats as more of a 1-0 result, with all other goals coming late in the game, when they were pressing trying to equalize.

“We got beat on a couple of counter-attacks but we had to go for it, all the games were close.”

There are some positives to take away from the opening games of the 2017 PDL season. Winnipeg is averaging only two goals against per game, led by the work of goalkeeper Evan Barker, who ranks 4th in the 72 team PDL in saves with 18.

While they would prefer to win, the start to the campaign is a noticeable improvement from 2016. By this point last season they had been outscored 18-1. The current tally is 8-0 through four games.

But like last season, the group is dealing with the toll that a lengthy road trip brings. Players are shuffled in and out to prevent injury and leaves some starters off the pitch on certain nights. Raphael Ohin, one of the top players in 2016, was unable to make the trip.

“We always come on late in the season because that is when we have more time to prepare for games and keep the same players together.”

“But this year we have almost everyone on the trip and it shows based on the results.”

WSA Winnipeg closes out the five-game season opening road trip on Friday, May 26 against Chicago FC United.

Keeper Barker shines in close season opening loss

While it goes down as a loss, WSA Winnipeg leaves Des Moines with their pride after a tough 2-0 result to the Menace in their 2017 PDL season opener.

Evan Barker was the star of the night, beginning in the 10th minute when he stopped the Menace’s Isaiah Madrid from the penalty spot. Barker would go on to make several key saves to keep his side in the game.

Hayden Partain and Devyn Jambga scored for the hosts. Partain’s strike coming off a well-executed free kick in the first half while Jambga added an insurance marker late in the second half.

Winnipeg had some chances, the best coming in the second half, a Daniel Sagno cross found the head of William Brown, but was headed just wide of the goal.

“We always want to win but against a defending division champion we knew it would be tough,” WSA Winnipeg Head Coach Eduardo Badescu said.

Des Moines had their way with Winnipeg at home in 2016, outscoring them 16-0 at the Valley Stadium.

“On those occasions, we were missing most of our team but tonight we showed we can compete when everyone is healthy and ready to go.”

Two starters made their PDL debuts in the match.  Daniel Sagno was lively in the attack, connecting with teammates and using his speed to break through the Des Moines midfield. Defender Evan Van Dale slotted into a centre-back role with Tom Prazak, on a night where Winnipeg’s defense held shape and frustrated Menace forwards for much of the night.

It’s a quick turnaround for WSA Winnipeg as they continue a lengthy season-opening road trip. The Wolfpack go right back at it Sunday, visiting the St. Louis Lions in their season opener.


Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsOutcome
WSA Winnipeg000Loss
Des Moines Menace112Win

WSA Winnipeg

# Player Position Goals Assists Yellow Cards Red Cards
31Evan BarkerGoalkeeper0000
41Belmin MackicDefender0000
23Evan Van DaleDefender0000
14Tom Prazak 2Defender0010
16Caelan BudhooDefender0000
4Braden SilvaMidfielder0000
12Ivan Borka 15Midfielder0000
23Jash SanghaMidfielder0000
8Daniel Sagno 5Midfielder0010
27Tobias Hyrich-KruegerMidfielder0000
17William BrownForward0000
5Stephan Melo 8Midfielder0000
2Kevin Garic 14Defender0000
15Ermin Mackic 12Midfielder0000

Coach: Eduardo Badescu
Assistant Coach: William Rosales

WSA Winnipeg gears up for season opener

WSA Winnipeg kicks off the 2017 PDL season on the road Saturday night against the Des Moines Menace, looking to improve on a rough 2016 season.

The Wolfpack finished 1-11-2 in 2016, as a young roster battled injuries and showed late in the season they could compete with any team in the Heartland Division, tying their final two games.

“Last year we were missing key players early in the season and this year everyone was able to make the trip,” Head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “We also had several players that had not played university soccer and come back to us with a year of experience.”

A clean bill of health from 2016 Manitoba player of the year Kyle Hiebert means the team’s on-field leader will man the backline. Injuries limited Hiebert to just 8 appearances in 2016.

Hiebert (Missouri State University),  is one of three players on the team with NCAA experience — joined by veteran midfielder Ivan Borka (Drury University) and rookie forward Daniel Sagno (San Diego State University).

Defender Tom Prazak(University of Winnipeg), midfielder Raphael Ohin and forward Tobias Hyrich-Krueger (University of  Winnipeg) are all looking to build off strong showings in 2016.

“We have some great options in our team heading into the season and everyone will get an opportunity as we play several games in a short span,” Badescu said.

Winnipeg opens the season with five road matches over the next week with games against the St. Louis Lions on May 21, St. Louis FC U23 on May 23 and May 24 and Chicago FC United on May 26.

The WSA – Des Moines game will be broadcast live on the Central Iowa Sports Network starting at 7:30 p.m.

Final cuts made: 

The roster was rounded out heading into the season-opening road trip with some familiar faces and new blood joining the team.

Defender Belmin Mackic returns after an impressive rookie campaign where he made 9 appearances and scored a goal. The 18-year-old defender held his own playing against much more experienced opposition.

Midfielder Ermin Mackic, twin brother of Belmin, joins the team after injuries kept him out in 2016.

Midfielder Stephan Melo returns to WSA Winnipeg after playing for Woodbridge Strikers in League One Ontario for the 2016 season. He last played for Winnipeg in 2015 and brings added PDL experience to the squad.

Forwards Oluwasegun Akinshipe and Louis Melendez will help bolster the Wolfpack attack. Akinshipe played for the University of Winnipeg last fall while Melendez hails from El Salvador.

Goalkeeper Joshua Dielmann will complete the goaltending duo with University of New Brunswick standout Evan Barker. Dielmann plays for the University of Winnipeg and at 6’5 brings an imposing presence between the posts.