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Photo courtesy David Moll

Dinos soccer team bet on the future 

By Rodrigo Verney, June 2 2023—

Summer sports are kicking into gear and although there is still time until their season begins, the Dinos men’s soccer team is already investing in themselves to ensure a winning season from the first kickoff. Will those changes be enough to contain the strong competition in the league? This question is still open, especially with so much time before the first whistle. However, we can take a look around the league and understand if and how these plans will fair against the team that beat them to the number one spot at the Canada West final.

Looking back at the last time they were on the field gives us some clues to pinpoint where the Dinos may find themselves this year. Marked by a new team with many prospects ready to make history, last season was a window into the future and it showed the prosperity that the Dinos were in need of.

The team came close to an incredible Canada West playoff victory. A season that started rather slow with two ties and a loss quickly came around just enough to break the .500 mark. The Dinos finished their season with an 8–5–4 record. Not particularly noteworthy numbers but allowing them to make it to the postseason. There they first faced the Thompson River University Wolfpack (TRU) in British Columbia where they won 2–1. The team advanced to the finals after beating their rivals in the semi, the Mount Royal Cougars (MRU) fell one to nothing against a Dino’s team that was ready to win it all. Unfortunately, the team lost to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds (UBC) by a single penalty after finishing the regular periods in a tie. Truly a great season that resulted in a surprising silver medal for the young squad.

The Dinos prepare themselves to go as deep as they need to this time around. There are some new challenges ahead, however. Many key players from this season have earned CPL Draft spots. Excellent prospects like Eryk Kobza and the newcomer William Omoreniye will be getting their chance at the higher level under a U SPORTS Development Contract which means that they will be back to play in the regular season for the Dinos after spending the Summer playing at the highest level. 

They will be back on the field after getting some professional experience and with the knowledge that they got from the league after the deep playoff run. Couple these factors with the young and loyal roster (made up of five rookies) all while maintaining the coaching staff for the most part and you have a perfect storm. A powerful combination that threatens the reigning West Canada champions even before the preseason. This doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy path, though. The Thunderbirds also have some players at the CPL level and they were USPORTS Champion runner-ups. The road to victory now becomes a matter of keeping the core team solid, betting on the younger stars, and luck.

The Dinos still have a lot of ground to cover before the beginning of the season, but if they play their cards right, this can be a season to remember. The changes and speculations made here can prove fruitful just as much as they can serve as a remembrance of what it could have been. Of course, the team is looking like a good contender. It will be a matter of fine-tuning and welcoming new talent if things don’t quite work out at first. However, the combined effort of the new pieces and the knowledge of the veterans in the coaching staff will be crucial if they want to make it to the desired USports National Championship and beyond.

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