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Laurier Presence at Toronto FC Tryouts
TORONTO – Toronto’s new MLS soccer franchise, Toronto FC (Football Club) hosted open tryouts at the Soccer Centre in Vaughan this week and many Golden Hawks were apart of it.

Golden Hawk men’s and women’s soccer head coach BARRY MACLEAN ran the event. As CEO of First Wave Sports Marketing, MacLean worked with Toronto FC to allow over a thousand people an opportunity to come out to the team’s training camp in February of 2007.

Along with MacLean, several other members of the purple-and-gold were at the event – working in areas such as therapy and administration while a couple of Golden Hawk athletes even tried out for the professional team.

Head Coach and Director of Soccer for Toronto FC Mo Johnston recognized the support of the Wilfrid Laurier students and staff in the press conference where they announced the individual invited to the camp. “First I would like to thank First Wave Sports and Wilfrid Laurier University for helping to put this event on”, said Johnston. “We couldn’t have done it without all of them.”

Hawk alumni Joel Abwunza, Miguel Knox and Shawn Simoes as well as current players Matthew Smith, Alex Doma and Damir Hadziavdic all tried out. Four of the athletes – Hadziavdic, Abwunza, Smith and Doma - advanced to the third and final round of the tryouts.

Administratively, men’s basketball head coach Peter Campbell ran the check-in area along with Laurier student Laura Crawford. Sports Information Coordinator Ari Grossman provided communication and media relation support to the event. Members of the women’s soccer team and recreation department were part of the event staff including Monica Domingos, Sara Hopper, Catherine Nutt, Sheri Parker, Laura Botzang, Natalie Mancini and Erin Shewfelt.

Department athletic therapist Jen Childs and football athletic therapist Teresa Hussey worked with student trainers Heather Tugnett, Yvonne Fritzley and Julianne Dainnard throughout the week to keep the athletes playing.

Toronto FC became the 13th Major League Soccer team and the first outside of the United States when the team’s owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced the franchise in May of 2006. Major League Soccer granted Toronto a team in October 2005 after an agreement was reached to build a permanent soccer stadium at Exhibition Place in the downtown area. The team’s season will kickoff in April of 2007.

Laurier Golden Hawk Players and Staff in Attendance and their Roles (In Photo).

Last Row: Peter Campbell (Administrative Coordinator), Ari Grossman (Sports Information Coordinator), Laura Crawford (Event Coordinator), Jen Childs (Head Athletic Trainer), Damir Hadziavdic (Player), BARRY MACLEAN (Event Director/CEO of First Wave Sports Marketing), Alex Doma (Player), Sara Hopper (Event Staff), Catherine Nutt (Event Staff), Julianne Dainard (Trainer)

Front Row: Sheri Parker (Event Staff), Monica Domingos (Event Staff), Heather Tugnett (Trainer), Laura Botzang (Event Staff), Teresa Hussey (Trainer), Kim Edwards (Toronto FC Staff)

Missing: Joel Abwunza (Player), Matthew Smith (Player), Miguel Knox (Player), Shawn Simoes (Player), Natalie Mancini (Event Staff), Erin Shewfelt (Event Staff), Yvonne Fritzley (Trainer), Wojciech Cwik (Coach)
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