Humber men’s soccer team selected to represent Canada at FISU America
Humber College’s men’s soccer team has been selected to represent Canada at the FISU (International University Sports Federation) America Games this year.
The Games will be held in Mérida, Mexico, and will take place between May 31 through to June 10.
“It’s an exciting opportunity the institution,” said Humber Head Coach Michael Aquino. “The coaches, the program and the individual players are all very honoured to have this opportunity to represent Canada at the competition.”
The FISU America Games are a multi-sport event that has provided university students a platform to interact through sports since its founding in 2007.
The FISU America Games are similar to the Pan-American Games, with Summer and Winter events, which attracts countries from all over the world for the biennial games.
“The competition should definitely be challenging and so we’re looking forward to that,” said Aquino. “With respect to our program and the success that we’ve had, I think we’re going to bring a competitive team that will be prepared and will be competing for a top spot.”
This year’s competition will showcase 3000 student athletes of 200 universities, from 17 countries.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be selected to play at such a high level,” said Humber College first-year midfielder, Damion Kaye. “When we found out that we were selected everyone was really excited because it’s truly an honour to represent the country and the school.”
The 2019 outdoor season came to an end for Humber men’s soccer program in Nov. after defeating Red Deer College in the CCAA fifth/sixth placement match.
The program is currently in the middle of their indoor season where they are working towards the OCAA provincial indoor soccer championships taking place in March.
“We’re working ten times harder on every aspect of the game so that we are in tip top shape going into the tournament,” said Kaye.
Although the team’s immediate focus is the indoor season, the coaches are also pre-planning by wrapping their heads around player eligibility, and figuring out who will be able to travel for the event.
“As we get closer we will be reaching out to our players and bringing them in to get the training in to prepare ourselves so that we’re ready to go once we arrive,” said Aquino.
The most recent Canadian team to see success at an event of this caliber was the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees women’s soccer team in Nov. 2019.
The Gee-Gees are international champions after securing a FISU University World Cup title with a 1-NIL victory over Brazil’s Paulista University in Jinjiang, China.
“It’s not like you’re necessarily competing against their national team per se, I think this is a different level. A level that will be competitive, but I think one that we’re very capable of competing at,” said Aquino. “We’re hoping to be right up there with the best of them.”
In this edition of the FISU America Games, the sports that will be featured are: soccer, volleyball, badminton, basketball, swimming, futsal, tae kwon do, weightlifting, tennis, table tennis, judo, archery and chess.
More details will be released once all participating teams have confirmed and the draw is released.
Top program of the decade
Last week, Humber announced the men’s soccer program as the ‘program of the decade’.
The Humber men’s soccer program has seen unprecedented success over the last ten years, going on the most dominant run in Humber team sports history.
Humber’s dominance included 17 straight CCAA victories, a 46 game winning streak that included 29 clean sheets, and an overall decade record of 121-13-10 (.875).
“Representing Canada is a tremendous opportunity for Humber Athletics,” said sports information and marketing coordinator, Brian Lepp. “Our soccer program has been the premier program in the country over the last eight years and it’s a great opportunity to showcase their talent internationally. This tournament will increase the scope on our athletics department, which will help us continue to recruit the top student-athletes in the country.”
They are widely recognized as the premier collegiate program in the country, having captured five CCAA national titles and six OCAA provincial gold medals over their last eight years at the top of the rankings.