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Vaughan Azzurri: 2016 Technical Profile

By League1 Ontario staff, 04/17/16, 3:15PM EDT


A perennial contender for the League1 title, Vaughan Azzurri's ranks are often stocked with some of the most exciting prospects in the region.

Vaughan head coach and League1 Ontario 2015 Coach-Of-The-year Carmine Isacco also runs the esteemed York men's program. York University won the CIS national title for the second year in a row. This partnership is clearly paying dividends. 

In 2015, under the guidance of Isacco and assistant Patrice Gheisar, Vaughan's U21 side won the Ontario Soccer League U21 provincial elite division, and the renowned Disney showcase in Florida. The club then graduated ten League1 players to NCAA D1 schools, so there is ample talent coming through the club's high performance ranks.

The Vaughan League1 program serves as a finishing school for the best of the U21, university prospects, and senior players with high-level experience.

League1 caught up with Isacco to see what talent the club had coming through for the 2016 League1 season.

Daniel Gogarty

So with the number of players involved in your senior elite pathway at Vaughan, there are always new players coming through, as well as players moving on to higher level opportunities. What are the big challenges and goals for the team in 2016?

Well, we are staying pretty consistent. We use our L1 program primarily as a development tool. We'll be younger than before and the older players we have will be there primarily as mentors and developing as future coaches etc.

We'll feature a lot of  players from the '98 birth-year, and continue to have some older players. In short, we'll mix youth with experience, and stay true to the mandate of this program.

You've always had some very talented senior and ex-professional players in the team. Who will be returning this season?

"We're waiting to see if Joey Cicchillo will be fit to start the season, he's currently being assessed by the physios.

We'll have centre-back [Matt] Arnone in the back partnered by [Daniel] Gogarty. Forward Mario Kovacevic is back, as well as our 98s that made an impact last year such as Massimo Ferrin, Alistair Johnson, Munir Saleh.

GKs Jared [Brown], Liam [McQueenie] and Andrew [DeSouza] will return, as well as stalwarts Jonathan Lao, Matt Stinson and Casey D'Mello.

Dena Iezady is also back and we're looking for him to make an impact, Maurizo Ragone as well."   

The club had a fantastic 2015 at the U21, U18 levels, and graduated a number of high level players to NCAA schools. Who are some of the new prospects that you'll bring through to the League1 group this year? 

"Well, we have a number of new additions. We have added the Mills brothers, formerly of ANB Futbol in League1 - Brandon, Josh and Jason. They have great experience in the league and are a talented attacking trio.

From our U21 group from last year we will have Lucas Puntillo, Jake Cooper and Kai Olguin - all playing NCAA at Robert Morris University as well.

Massimo Ferrin, Munir Saleh and Nyall Higgins all showed well in the CMU20 camp they were selected to, so we expect them to make an impact.

We're solid through the back with GKs Jared Brown and Liam McQueenie as well."

As with any successful program, there is the ongoing movement of players out of the team. Who have you lost from 2015?

"Kamal Miller, Austin Ricci, Dayonn Harris and Mathieu Laurent  will be moving to the PDL. We also had Duwayne Ewart get picked up by Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the USL Pro."