Category: News

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.

Daniel Sagno joins WSA Winnipeg for 2017 season

WSA Winnipeg is bolstering its attack with the addition of Daniel Sagno, a local product from San Diego State University.

“I hope to play an important role and maybe score some goals,” said Sagno, a Canadian youth international and product of the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency.

The speedy forward is coming off his freshman season in the NCAA at San Diego State.  Sagno made 13 appearances in 2016, starting 6 times and tallying an assist.

“Daniel was one of three players from Winnipeg to move from the Whitecaps to NCAA last year and while he will be a late addition, he comes to us with glowing recommendations, ” said WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu.

Sagno will join the team just in time for the beginning of the 2017 PDL season on May 20th, when Winnipeg visits the Des Moines Menace.

“Many of us have played with each other at some point in our careers so the chemistry will definitely be there,” Sagno said. “Everyone is filled with confidence and I know we will compete every game.”

can Canada
Last Team
San Diego State University


Veteran midfielders Silva and Ohin return for 2017

WSA Winnipeg’s midfield retains some leadership from 2016 with the returns of Braden Silva and Raphael Ohin.

Ohin, a native of Ghana, is coming off a rookie PDL season that led to a trial with Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC.

“Moving to WSA Winnipeg has been a huge step forward in my life,” Ohin said, now calling Winnipeg home. “My goal is to play professional so I’m working hard and trying to improve more on my skills.”

Ohin was an integral part of the midfield in 2016, scoring one goal in nine games.

“We were very lucky that Raphael came to us last season,” WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “He has the physical and technical abilities of a pro and sets an example for the rest of the team.”

Ohin was one of several players making their PDL debuts in 2016. With all of them a year older with the experience under their belt, he expects big things.

“This year is different and I have confidence in the guys and I believe we gonna have a pretty good season.”

gha Ghana

For Silva, the longtime WSA Winnipeg member is hoping to turn pro at the end of the 2017 season.

“I will be training with teams in Portugal and after that some combines and tryouts,” he said.

A former Canadian youth player and graduate of the University of Winnipeg, Silva made 12 appearances in 2016 and adds a veteran presence to the midfield line.

“Braden is a player I always trust on the field,” head Coach Eduardo Badescu said. “His game intelligence makes up for his size and allows him to take on players much bigger with success.”

Like Ohin, Silva represents a core group of players returning from last season, and early in pre-season is seeing signs of better things to come in 2017.

“I expect more results this year,” he said. ” The rookies last year now have more experience and come back more prepared.”

WSA Winnipeg opens the season May 20 on the road against the Des Moines Menace.

can Canada
Last Team
University of Winnipeg

Caelan Budhoo ready for 2017 PDL Season

Fresh off a national tournament run with Cape Breton University, Caelan Budhoo will return to WSA Winnipeg for the PDL season.

“Our team found success winning the Atlantic Division and placed 4th overall in Canada, I hope I can bring that winning experience over to the PDL,” Budhoo said.

The 20-year-old midfielder is coming off his first university season after trials with professional teams in Spain. In 11 games with the Capers he scored twice and added an assist as his team went on to win the Atlantic University Conference title.

“Caelan’s technical ability makes him a versatile player that can be effective anywhere on the field,” Head coach Eduardo Badescu said.

So far in pre-season, Budhoo has been working on transitioning into a fullback. Typically used as a central midfielder, he is looking to add another tool to his game.

“It’s similar to winger, which I grew up playing so I have the physical and technical abilities,” Budhoo said. “It’s a matter of getting the defensive tactical stuff figured out.”

Injuries limited Budhoo’s use in 2016, playing in 4 games during the PDL season. With the 2017 roster full of returnees and players with top tier university experience, Budhoo thinks the team will dramatically improve on the 1-11-2 campaign.

“Almost all of our players have at least a year in the PDL so we know the standard.”

WSA Winnipeg opens the season May 20 in Des Moines. The home opener is June 3 against Thunder Bay.

can Canada
Last Team
Cape Breton University

AUS Rookie of the Year Evan Barker Returns to WSA Winnipeg

After a phenomenal first season at the University of New Brunswick, Evan Barker will return to WSA Winnipeg for the 2017 PDL season.

The freshman goalkeeper was named Atlantic University Sport’s Rookie of the Year while also being named 1st Team All-Conference and 2nd Team All-Canadian.

“This past year has had a major impact on my confidence,” Barker said. “I am hoping this trend will carry over into the upcoming PDL season.”

Barker led all AUS keepers in wins with six on the season and allowed just three goals against. With 40 saves, he recorded a save percentage of .930 and a conference-best nine shutouts.

It will be his second season with WSA Winnipeg. Barker split the goaltending duties with Josh Pataker in 2016 and led the team with 42 saves in 7 starts.

“Evan had a great year out east and we will be putting a lot of trust in him this season,” head coach Eduardo Badescu said. “He is a strong shot stopper who possesses a combination of size and agility in the net.”

WSA Winnipeg has begun training camp for the 2017 season and more player signings will be announced in the lead-up to the season opener on May 20th in Des Moines.

“I don’t think that pushing for a playoff spot is too far out of our sights this season,” Barker said. “As long as we push each other every day I can see is good results coming our way.” 

can Canada
Last Team
University of New Brunswick


USL Scouting Network Raises Standards, Reach

Ahead of the 23rd season of the Premier Development League, the USL Scouting Network has improved and expanded its talent evaluation reach across North America heading into the new season.

A total of 22 scouts, including coaching directors, technical directors, and head coaches, will provide the PDL with exclusive insight on top performers in the league this summer. This will serve as a valuable resource for professional clubs as they look to add high-caliber players to their rosters.

“Outside of the strategic growth of the network in targeted markets across the divisions, the PDL has aligned its scouting terminology, player profile and overall identification process with the U.S. Soccer Federation’s,” USL Vice President of Competition & Technical Development Gordon Bengtson said. “This was done in an effort to standardize our method and ensure that our talent evaluators are on the same page throughout the season.”

Read more here.

Ivan Borka returns to WSA Winnipeg

After sitting out the 2016 PDL season, Ivan Borka is returning to WSA Winnipeg in 2017.

“I am buzzing to make a comeback and make up what I missed last year due to injury,” said Borka. “As one of the youngest teams in the league, I think our first objective is to recognize our strengths and use them to our advantage.”

The 23-year-old adds a veteran presence to what will be a young team. The 6’1 Drury University product adds size and experience from both the NCAA and the PDL, a league made up of teams loaded with top university talent.

“Ivan possesses a combination of size, speed and technical ability,” said WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu. “He was missed last season and we are happy to have him back.”

Able to play both midfield and forward, Borka enters the summer after a senior year at Drury University. In 17 games he scored one goal and added an assist.

“After being sidelined for a year due to a stress fracture in my lower back, I was more eager than ever to come back as a better player and make an impact on the team,” said Borka.

This will be Borka’s 3rd season with WSA Winnipeg, and he is hoping his strong showing in the States can carry over into the PDL.

“There is a lot of potential across the board and I want to help them reach their best level of play too.”

Borka’s signing follows commitments from Missouri State University product Kyle Hiebert and six players from the University of Winnipeg.

can Canada
Last Team
Drury University