RYERSON MEN'S SOCCER OPENS SEASON AGAINST U OF T

TORONTO, Ont. - The Ryerson Rams men's soccer team will host its home opener on Wednesday against the Toronto Varsity Blues at the team's new home field, Lamport Stadium (1151 King St. W.).

The Rams will look to continue the momentum from a strong second half of last season, which saw the team go 2-2-2 in its final six games to qualify for the final playoff spot in the OUA East Division.

Head coach Tony La Ferrara welcomes back nine returning players from last year's team. Highlighting the list of returnees is 2007 First-Team OUA All-Star Goran Vlaski. As a rookie, Vlaski was consistently one of Ryerson's best players last season. The Toronto product and co-captain was a versatile player for the Rams, playing at midfield and defence.

Also returning are 2006 All-Stars Anthony Volpe and Kwame Amaoteng. Volpe, a keeper and co-captain, is back for his third season and will compete for the starting job with veteran Robert Paolozzi. A third-year defender, Amaoteng will anchor the defence with Vlaski and Dimitri Karopoulos, last year's team MVP. Moses Kgasa, who has finished second in team scoring the past two seasons, will provide leadership up front.

Joining the returnees is an impressive group of 12 newcomers.

"This year's recruiting class is tremendous," said La Ferrara, who enters his eighth season with the Rams. "This could be the best recruiting class we've ever had. It is possible that we may start six to eight first-years."

New forwards to watch include Vince D'Elia, Markus Molder, Adrian Mancini and Nyema Cheljahn. D'Elia was a member of the Glen Shields Soccer club that captured the Ontario Cup championship this summer, while Molder is one of the top under-18 players in the province. Mancini and Cheljahn both showed in pre-season that they can provide a spark at the offensive end.

Daniel Cameira, a transfer from St. Thomas University in Florida, is a strong addition to the midfield, while Alan Lewis and Jeffrey Pereira provide solid depth on defence.

Game time Wednesday is 8:15 p.m. Pre-game activities will include a ceremony featuring Ivan Joseph, Ryerson Athletic Director. The Rams will also play on Saturday (Sep. 6, 12 p.m.) against the Nipissing Lakers and Sunday (Sep. 7, 11 a.m.) against the Laurentian Voyageurs. Both games are at Lamport Stadium.

Source: Rams Athletics
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