Hey guys, it is Jack here, your CPL ballboy with the “new” news.
So the Wanderers just made their last signings ending with Brazilian pair of Joao Morelli and Eriks Santos. Both I think will help Stephen Hart's Halifax Wanderers in the upcoming spring season and I'm excited to see them play!
So I thought that because the Wanderers have just finished all of their signings for the 2020 spring season, I thought it would be FUN, if I would write a blog post on my Ultimate XI for the Halifax Wanderers..but before we get started, you all have to understand one thing…
I think all of the players on the Halifax Wanderers are top quality and I wish I could use all of the players but sadly, I can only use 11.
I will be using a 4-2 -3 -1 formation. It is one of the formations that Stephen Hart has used in the past.
So now that we have got that out of the way, let's get into my Ultimate XI.
So starting from the back, in goal, I have the one and only “the Ox,” Christian Oxner.
Why I choose Christian Oxner is because he was amazing for the Halifax Wanderers in the inaugural season, and he made some incredible saves. He commanded the box very well.
Oxner is also the best penalty saver in the league. I still remember the crowd at Wanderers Ground going absolutely crazy when he saved a penalty (that should not have been a penalty in the first place 🤦🏻♂️)
Although I gave the start to Oxner, I want to mention that I'm also excited to see Jason Beaulieu play for the Wanderers. He is a really tall keeper at 6'4″ playing 4 seasons with his college appearing in 69 games with a record of 34 wins and 22 clean sheets.
Now on to left back.
For left back I choose someone who did really well in the inaugural season, Alex De Carolis.
He showed his class and when playing, he showed everyone why he deserved to be there. He was professional and showed up to training early. I always felt comfortable knowing he was at left back as he is very responsible. Very glad we signed him in the first place.
I also had the opportunity to meet his parents who came in from Ontario for one of the games. They are very, very nice people.
For left center back I have chosen someone that I think will really help the Wanderers, Eriks Santos. I have heard that he is great in the air, and he has honed his defensive qualities playing in some difficult leagues. I think he will be a great addition to Stephen Hart's Halifax Wanderers.
For right center back I choose Peter Schaale, the German defender, I'm very happy he came back, he was a real leader. I'm really excited to see Peter in action again. He was great in the air. I know how much the Wanderers fans missed him but they will get to see him back in action again soon.
Moving on to right back I choose someone new this season. I chose Mateo Restrepo. He was born in La CeJa, Columbia.
When he moved to Canada he played for the Toronto FC academy and made his pro debut at the Toronto FC 11. His last season was in Germany (FUN fact – fullbacks in Germany are almost like midfielders according to Restrepo!) He has also represented Canada u-17 and u-18, Overall, I think he is a good player.
My left center mid will be the local boy, Scott Firth. He is a great soccer player and he has an amazing juggling record, of 5200 that is amazing. He has a great touch. He's also a really good center mid/ center defensive mid.
He is also a super nice guy and I can't wait to see him get more starts this year – I think he deserves it and is a crowd favorite! He also has one of the highest passing completion rate of anybody on the Wanderers! Yay, Scotty!
For right center mid I have chosen Louis Beland Goyette. I'm excited about this signing. He is a former Valour FC center mid.
He has a reputation for being a playmaker. He seemed to be the core, center, engine, of Valour, so I'm surprised he was even available.
Stephen Hart has rated him one of the best midfielders in the Canadian Premier League, which is a big compliment from someone who has coached the Canadian national team, as well as the Trinidad and Tobago National Team. I'm sure that Stephen Hart is really happy about this signing.
For left winger I have chosen Alex Marshall, who played on the Jamaican National Team. I saw his highlight reel and WOW, he is good!
I think he will help the Wanderers a lot. He is very good at moves, and has great pace which will make him exciting to watch. I think he's a great addition!
Check out some moves from Alex Marshall here:
For my CAM, my attacking center-mid I have chosen Joao Morelli.
For me, Joao Morelli was one of the signings I was stoked about. I'm incredibly happy that he signed with the Halifax Wanderers. I can't wait to see him play in person. You find Brazilians in every league in the world, and I'm excited to see how he performs in the CPL and at Wanderers Grounds.
Morelli has a reputation for either picking out the right pass, but he can score too and the Halifax Wanderers need someone who can score goals, as well as someone who can pick the right pass.
Morelli is a great signing by Stephen Hart. He has scored 27 and assisted 15 times in 54 appearances in two seasons for FC Levadia. He has also played in England for Middlesbrough and Fleetwood Town.
He can score from outside the box which I think can be a good quality for CAM.
I also think that this guy, coming into the box late on the play could be a real gamechanger for the Wanderers.
Joao Morelli has been singled out as a future star, by World Cup Brazilian Champion Juninho. I think he's going to be a key player going into the 2020 season for Stephen Hart.
On right wing I have chosen Alessandro Riggi.
Riggi is a really tricky player. He can score goals. He was last playing at Phoenix Rising and was part of the team that won the western conference championship, even though his season was cut short by injury.
At 5'6″ he is one of the shorter players on the team but with a low center of gravity, he is fast and good at body feints.
Check out some of his moves here:
On a sidenote: He and Alex Marshall play similar so I'm really excited to see both of them play.
Finally, for striker I choose, Akeem Garcia.
Akeem “The Dream” was our leading goalscorer and a fan favourite, and he had some amazing goals.
This is my favorite one at 21 seconds into 37 seconds.
I'm very pleased he came back for another season. I'm looking forward to a great 2020 season with him.
Like I said, it was very hard for me to only choose 11 players because all of the Wanderers players are top quality.
For honourable mentions, I've got the rest of the Wanderers. Even though I didn't put them in my ultimate XI, I really like all the players and it was really hard to choose.
I'm excited that to see all of these Wanderers: Daniel Kinumbe, Omar Kreim, Abocaur Sissoko, Ibrahima Sanoh, Jason Beaulieu, Andre Rampersad, Chrisnovic N'sa, Cory Bent, Jake Ruby and Jems Gerfrad. I'm sure we'll have lots of opportunities to see all these different players perform, in the upcoming season.
Daniel Kinumbe is a really good defender who I think has a lot of potential, and someone I think will help the Wanderers.
Omar Kriem, it is SO hard for me not to include him in the Ultimate XI. Omar Kiem he is such a good passer and a mobile midfielder who I think will be able to set up plays.
Abocaur Sissoko is a really good midfielder with energy. He can cover lots of ground. He and Omar Kriem have been playing together for 3 years, they know each other. They went to 3 U-Sports Championships in a row.
Ibrahima Sanoh has a track record for scoring goals, he is the all-time record goalscorer for the Holland Hurricanes College team, where he got 101 goals in 70 games.
Andre Rampersad was really good in the inaugural season. He was really good in the center of the park, he was a great center mid. His skills were silky and I'm very happy he signed again. I really do not know how Stephen Hart will choose his midfield, the midfield is just so stacked!!
It was really hard for me to not include him in the starting lineup. Chrisnovic N'sa is someone who played left back and center back – Chrisnovic N'sa He is a great solid and spirited defender, so I'm super pleased he came back for another season. He reminds me a little of TFC star, Chris Mavinga when he recovers and does a slide tackle to save the day.
Now Cory Bent, I'm really excited to see him play I have heard good things about him. Check out some highlights here:
He seems like another small but fast player. It looks like Stephen Hart is building a highly skilled team here for the second season! I personally think it is a good idea.
I'm really excited to see Jake Ruby in action for the first time!!! Jake Ruby I'm sure will help the team a lot. He is energetic so I'm excited to see him in action.
Jems Geffrad is 25 years old so he brings experience to the Wanderers. He is a tall center back measuring 6”3″. He has played for his country, the most memorable time was probably when Haiti went to the semi finals Gold Cup run in 2019. He has played in The United Soccer League and Finlands top flight division.
So that's it!
Thank you guys for listening to my Ultimate XI for the Wanderers.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and leave, down below in the comments if you agreed with me, or put your Ultimate XI for the Wanderers in the comments.
If you are like me I bet you are counting the days until the season starts!!!