Team Profile

Sigma D1 (1997)
Established: 2008

Background: The Sigma D1 squad, made up of players born in 1997 was assembled out of a training group that came together in September of 2008 and had the opportunity to travel to Holland in 2009. Built from the scouting efforts of SIGMA staff from all across the GTA, the Sigma D1 squad had considerable success on their European tour and according to Sigma FC Technical Director Bobby Smyrniotis, it was on that trip that the core of the team came together.

"The boys were very successful there [in Holland], and at that point we decided that they were ready to be assembled as a team this fall," said Smyrniotis.

The goal with all new teams playing for Sigma FC is to achieve a greater understanding of the Sigma way, which means playing an attractive brand of soccer based heavily on the Dutch training methods. According to Smyrniotis, the D1 squad has a pretty good head start towards these objectives.

"The most important thing with this group, and it is a good thing, is the core knows the way we want to play and the structure we want on the field."

Outlook: According to Smyrniotis, the Sigma coaches will work on developing these qualities in the team's first year together. In addition, they will focus on increasing the group's tactical knowledge on the field.

"We are not talking about complex tactics, but rather things like playing out of our system," he said.

The Sigma training plan for this age group will also tackle some important technical development that the players will need to acquire.

"We still have two years left to instill motor development," explained Smyrniotis. "We try to provide them as much skill as possible."

But he quickly added, the D1 squad is already a skillful group. Their early success as a team bodes well for them this season and in the future.

"Coming together as a team at such a young age will only benefit them going forward, they will be able to advance in their tactics as a group, and as individuals, much greater than some of our older teams," said Smyrniotis.

Competition: The D1 squad will play in the SAAC Academy league this season. Like all Sigma teams, the boys will play against older competition. In formulating a team at this stage of development, Smyrniotis explained that he looks for a set number of games, modeling his approach to that of the established youth development programs run by some of Europe's top teams.

"Basically when we look at their age group, we want to look at a set amount of games a year. We are looking, at this age to play, about 40-45 games in a season," he said.

"Of that we want to make sure a certain amount of those games are at a challenging level. We are not looking to play 40 games at the top level, what we are looking to do is mix that amount of games in with their training to get a ratio that gives us proper development. If you are looking at the best youth clubs in the world, they are not playing every game against the strongest competition [especially at the youngest ages]. We've put them in an age group, one year older in order to challenge them physically, which is important."

Quote: "Coming together as a team at such a young age will only benefit them going forward, they will be able to advance in their tactics as a group, and as individuals, much greater than some of our older teams."

SIGMA D1 (1997)

  • Corey Marques
  • Steven Mai
  • Aaron D'Souza
  • Calvin Kurup
  • Nico Correa
  • Kyle Hanley
  • Ethan Rudd
  • Sebastian Amaya
  • Jesse Samaniego
  • Noah Mehta
  • Lautaro Morano
  • Marcel Zajac
  • Mike Matic
  • Jonathan VanDrine
  • Daniel Deluca
  • Andrew Faiola