Lancer Men’s Soccer Announces 2020 Recruit Class to Take Program to Next Level
Lancer men’s soccer head coach Ryan Mendonca is pleased to announce his 2020 recruiting class of twelve standout athletes he sees as the future of Lancer men’s soccer.
Donning the blue and gold in the fall will be local athletes Evan Vacratsis, Otis Vacratsis, Domenic Campana, Arman Aujla, and Robert Alionte, Mississauga native Anthony Oma-Djebah, Oakville’s Christian Lebeuf, Giovanni Magliaro from Chatham, Wazwama (Wazi) Kazhila from Lindsay, ON, and Kishon Cornwall from Scarborough, ON. Mendonca has also added Michigan natives Kai Thach and Robert Oates.
“This year’s recruiting class is our first full cycle recruit class that we were able to build from scratch. We believe that these 12 student-athletes are part of the next step for Lancer Soccer,” said Mendonca. “There are some talented in players in this class and there is a lot of potential, but most importantly, each one of these individuals possesses the top-class character required to be a Lancer.”
Evan Vacratsis – Windsor, Ontario
Evan joins the Lancers from Vardar Soccer Club where he has been an anchor in the midfield, leading his team in US Development Academy competition across North America. Evan also is a stand-out student athlete at Kennedy High School in the classroom and is a driving force on the field for one of Windsor’s most successful soccer programs.
Coach Mendonca on Evan: “Evan has the poise, passion and next level soccer brain that we need in our Lancer midfield. His ability to support the ball in all moments of the game makes him essential in both team build up and transition. He plays the game with a patience in possession that is not often seen at his age. We believe, with time, he will develop into a future leader of this program.”
Otis Vacratsis – Windsor, Ontario
Otis also joins the Lancers from Vardar Soccer Club where he has developed of reputation as a “big game” player, setting up and scoring goals in key moments against some of the best competition across North America. He is a top-class student at Kennedy High School and leads the on field dominance alongside his cousin (and fellow Lancer) Evan.
Coach Mendonca on Otis: “Otis is one of the most versatile recruits we have been able to bring in to our program in quite some time. His ability to exploit and cover space effectively is a nod to both his athleticism and soccer intelligence. He loves the ball being at his feet in big moments and that kind of confidence and competitiveness will raise the level across the board.”
Kai Thach – Chesterfield, Michigan
Kai is one of two Americans making the jump across the border to become a Lancer. He has showcased his skills while developing at Nationals Soccer Club. His coaches refer to him as a tireless, consistent and versatile team player who can slot in anywhere out wide or in the middle. Kai has also had reputable 4 years as student-athlete in the classroom and on the field at L’Anse Creuse High School North.
Coach Mendonca on Kai: “We are very excited Kai chose Windsor for his future as a student-athlete. He is the kind of character individual and team player that we expect in our program and look forward to working with him on and off the field.”
Anthony Oma-Djebah – Mississauga, Ontario
Anthony joins the Lancers as a graduate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel S.S. He is a force to be reckoned with anywhere on the pitch. Anthony has played in all roles in the midfield and defensively during his time developing at Erin Mills Soccer Club, as well as the occasional stint at striker when his team needed additional goalscoring up front.
Coach Mendonca on Anthony: “Anthony stood out to us immediately at the FTF (First Touch Football) and TOPP Soccer Combines in 2019. He is an explosive athlete which stands out immediately when you see him. What surprised me is his ability to play with poise and technique when needed. Anthony doesn’t rely on his athleticism, but puts it to use when needed. We believe this will help him develop into an impactful OUA soccer player.”
Robert Oates – Chelsea, Michigan
Robbie is the second recruit joining us from Michigan and the third student-athlete from Vardar Soccer Club in this 2020 recruit class. He has developed into a strong presence in the backline at Vardar and brings a wealth of on-field experience, leadership and technical ability to the Lancers. Robert is also a top student athlete at Washtenaw International High School and will be studying Kinesiology at the University of Windsor.
Coach Mendonca on Robert “We believe that Robert is someone who immediately will add to our program on and off the field. He is an outstanding teammate with his current club and we believe he has the potential to mature into a leader as a Lancer. Robbie has the technical ability to play pretty and the intelligence to start our build out in possession, but isn’t afraid to get physical and in your face as a shutdown defender.”
Giovanni Magliaro – Chatham, Ontario
Giovanni joins Lancer Soccer from the famed Windsor FC Nationals program and strong 2002 squad. He helped lead his team to the Ontario Cup Semi-finals in 2019 as an explosive and skillful attacking threat. Gio is a student-athlete at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and will be studying Business Administration while at Windsor.
Coach Mendonca on Giovanni “Gio is exactly the kind of attacking player we look to recruit in Windsor. He has pace, he is brave on the ball, he has the skill to solve problems in tight spaces and finds his way to goal. However, what we like most about Gio is his versatility and willingness to adapt to any role the team needs. He is always ready to do the work required to help his team to succeed. That is what we believe will make Gio an impactful Lancer.”
Christian Lebeuf – Oakville, Ontario
Christian is the lone rookie goalkeeper joining the Lancers in 2020. He brings with him substantial experience as the youngest keeper to play in League1 Ontario (called up for 6 matches in 2019) with Prostars FC Academy. Christian is currently a student-athlete at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School and will be studying Criminology.
Coach Mendonca on Christian “When it comes to goalkeeping, we have very high standards. Windsor has a tremendous history of goalkeepers and we want to continue that tradition. We believe Christian adds to our depth at the position and will begin to push our current keepers immediately upon arrival. His experience and ability give us 100% confidence that if called upon, he can be ready on day one.”
Wazwama (Wazi) Kazhila – Lindsay, Ontario
Wazi comes to Windsor recently returning from his time with Marbella United FC in Spain. He brings international experience along with the homegrown hard work developed at FC Durham Academy. Wazi is currently a student at Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute (LCVI).
Coach Mendonca on Wazwama “Wazi” “Wow, where do I begin with Wazi, he just loves to play. Watching film on him gave us insight to his skill and speed, but it could not capture his passion and joy for the game. He came down to Windsor and was one of the hardest working guys on the field. That combination of hard work and hunger in such a skillful attacking player is sometimes hard to find. We are very excited to be a part of Wazi’s growth here in Windsor.”
Kishon Cornwall – Scarborough, Ontario
Kishon is set to become a Lancer, joining Men’s Soccer from League1 Champions, Masters FA. He is a versatile player who is looking to use his skill and speed in wide areas for Windsor, but also has tremendous instincts to add depth at center back. Kishon is currently a student-athlete studying at Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School.
Coach Mendonca on Kishon “Kishon is full of personality and stood our for me at the TOPP Soccer showcase and combine. There were several occasions where his character as a teammate stood out on the field and in training sessions. Combining this with his skill, soccer IQ and work rate developed in the Masters FA program made him a clear choice for our program.”
Domenic Campana – Windsor, ON
Domenic is the second recruit from Nationals Soccer Club and their 2020 Union Black team. Dom is an intelligent and consistent defender bringing his skills and experience to Windsor. He is a leader in the classroom and on the field at local soccer powerhouse Holy Names High School.
Coach Mendonca on Domenic “Dom is the complete package as a defender. He can play in a back 3 or a back 4. He can play central, he can play out wide, he can shutdown opponents and has the skill to start attacks. I have watched been fortunate enough to watch Dom develop throughout his youth and we are happy that he will continue that development here with the Lancer Soccer Program.”
Armaan Aujla – Tecumseh, Ontario
Armaan is the second player coming to Windsor from the Windsor FC Nationals 2002 team. His role in the midfield and defensively was crucial to their Ontario Cup success in 2019. Armaan is a top student-athlete at Tecumseh Vista Academy where he plays for Lancer Assistant Coach Kyle Vizirakis.
Coach Mendonca on Armaan “Armaan is another one of those top character people you have to have in your program. Not only is he willing to do anything and play anywhere on the field, his mix of technical ability and intelligence allow him to do so. We are excited to see his growth as a Lancer and look forward to his future potential.”
Robert Alionte – Windsor, Ontario
Robbie rounds out our recruiting class as the second Tecumseh Vista Academy student-athlete joining the Lancers in Fall 2020. He leads the Vista attack for Lancer Coach Kyle Vizirakis during the high school season, having developed his skills as part of Liverpool FC International Academy Michigan.
Coach Mendonca on Robert “This will be my second time coaching Robbie, having worked with him a few years ago in club soccer. He is a player who motivated doing more for his teammates and is willing to do whatever it takes to create a chance when needed. It will be a joy to work with him and watch his development as a Lancer on and off the field.”
Mendonca feels this group will take the men’s soccer program back to one of the top programs in the OUA. “We have been competitive in the regular season and playoffs the last two years but being competitive isn’t enough. We want to return to the years of where Windsor was regularly a threat for top three in the table every single year,” he said. “We want to make our alumni, our community and our University proud. We want to see Windsor back in the OUA final four and this is a step in the right direction. We recruit championship people first and then we work to develop the player second. The 2020 recruit class is reflective of our direction going forward and are people we are proud to have chosen Windsor.”
“Our staff worked tirelessly and traveled countless kilometres to put this group together and I cannot thank them enough for the long hours it took to make this possible.”