Some of North America's top University programs to be in attendance once again
An unparalleled period of success for Sigma FC's university graduates in the NCAA and CIS, has created a huge buzz for the 4th annual Sigma FC University Showcase this year. As in past years, the event takes place at Mississauga's Hershey SportZone complex over two days, Dec. 19-20 and allows the 10 invited teams from the Greater Toronto Area to perform in front of coaches from Canada and the United States.
Last year more than 60 coaches attended and this year organizers expect upwards of 90 coaches to attend including those from top US Conferences like the ACC, Big 10, AAC and Big East to name a few. Many will be making their way north of the border after attending the USSF Development Academy Winter Showcase event in Florida. Sigma graduates had a stellar year south of the border in 2013 and it built on an already impressive track record, one that produced two first round MLS SuperDraft products in 2013 in TFC's Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman.
Alex Halis - Syracuse
Mark Anthony Gonzalez - Evansville
In addition, the players from Sigma's Class of 2014 and 2015 have already generated a lot of interest from recruiters.
"There's a lot of interest for coaches to get up here," said Sigma FC Technical Director Bobby Smyrniotis. "Part of it is the success of the past and part is what we have in our program right now. Everyone knows there are bigger and better things coming with some of our players."
The 2013 NCAA season was a landmark one for Sigma grads. Mark Anthony Gonzalez was named to the All-Midwest Region second team for Evansville and first team All-Missouri Valley, while Syracuse's Alex Halis was an All-ACC rookie team selection. Chris Nanco, also at Syracuse, proved to be quite a handful for ACC Conference defenders all season. Cyle Larin, at UConn was twice named TopDrawerSoccer.com's national player of the week, to name only a few of the accomplishments of the more than 30 players at the college level.
"All these players have played a big part in what we do," said Smyrniotis. "You see it in the top-ranked programs that we have players at, and you see it at programs that were not winning but have turned it around."
Smyrniotis said that programs like Bryant is a good example. The Bulldogs have Lucas and Matt Guerriero on the roster and narrowly lost in penalties in the conference championship in their third year of NCAA Division I play.
"We have several players at the Divisoin II level that have excelled," noted Smyrniotis, who highlighted the fact that grads Lucas Feritto (SFU) and Dominc Samuel (Southern New Hampshire) reached the NCAA Final Four. Samuel and SNH won the national title.
"And you see it also in the success we had with our boys at Roanoke in Div. III (Oresits Illias and Aidan Nagy). You start getting contacts from schools that play against these teams and they take note and come up."
"They start figuring it out that it might be a good place to come see some players."
As in past years, the showcase will be made up invited squads from SAAC and from club teams. Smyrniotis says the primary goal is to work with programs that SIGMA has a history.
He's most proud of building an event that allows Canadian players to be showcased in Ontario, without having to travel far and wide to be seen.
Chris Nanco - Syracuse
Cyle Larin - UConn
Southern New Hampshire
"At the end of the day, you are playing in a quality showcase in your backyard, don't have to travel hours and hours south of the border. When you can get one close to home, and with the quality of programs that are in attendance here. It's a great event."
The structure of the showcase makes the event particularly beneficial to the players. Coaches have an unobstructed view of the proceedings from the spectator gallery at the Hershey Centre, and only one game is going on at one time. This increases the chance of being noticed.
This showcase event is just one of many, both at home and away that provides players at SIGMA exposure to the game beyond the youth level. SIGMA works with the players prior to and during their graduating season to identify schools that they are interested in and to make contact. Most players have their academics goals identified and have taken steps to ensure that they will be eligible and meet the NCAA and CIS requirements to be a student athlete.
The 4th annual SIGMA FC University Showcase 2013 takes place December 19 & 20, 2013 at the Hershey SportZone complex in Mississauga. Media inquiries can be directed to Sasha Nagy at firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 616-5864
2013 Showcase Schedule
|GROUP A- 2014's||GROUP B- 2015's|
Thursday December 19, 2013
|2||9am||Ajax FC||Bryst FA||B||Main|
|4||11am||SIGMA FC B1||NMSC||B||Main|
|5||12pm||SIGMA FC A1||Bryst FA||A||Main|
|8||2pm||SIGMA FC B1||Bryst FA||B||Main|
|9||3pm||Sigma FC A1||NMSC||A||Main|
Friday December 20, 2013
|12||9am||SIGMA FC B1||Ajax FC||B||Main|
|15||11am||SIGMA FC A1||Mississauga-Vaughan||A||Main|
|18||1pm||SIGMA FC A1||UMSC||A||Main|
|19||2pm||SIGMA FC B1||Vaughan||B||Main|