THUNDER BAY – Soccer – Following a disappointing loss in the PDL Championship game to host Austin Aztex last August, the Thunder Chill are looking forward to opening their 15th PDL season with a couple of wins this weekend in Winnipeg. Games are on Saturday night at 8:00 pm EDT and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 pm EDT.
WSA Winnipeg (1-1-1) has already played 3 games and sits third in the Heartland division with 4 points all picked up on the road. The Chill’s record against WSA Winnipeg who entered the league in 2011 is 10-1-1 but “we can’t take them lightly” said Chill head coach Tony Colistro. “They picked up 4 points in 3 games on the road last week without their full roster, so we can expect 2 hard fought matches from them ” he continued.
In addition to the new jerseys the Chill are sporting to mark the 15th anniversary, the team also has 12 different players from the 2013 squad. The team has only been together since mid May with only two exhibition games under their belt. Going into two full PDL games this weekend will create some challenges. The Chill are looking for great goaltending from returning keeper Daniel Alvaro who is looking to fill the huge shoes left from 10 year veteran Stephen Paterson who is no longer with the Chill after 10 seasons. Also the back four won’t look the same with 6’6” Axel Sjoberg currently overseas. The Chill will be looking to the new names on the team to grab the reigns and gel quickly as a team if they expect to make any kind of a run towards the playoffs.
Both games will be played outdoors at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex on a turf field. Expect to see a young eager WSA Winnipeg team that would like nothing more than to start adding to their wins and try and balance out the lopsided advantage that the Chill has had during the past three years. “This is a great rivalry between WSA Winnipeg and us, and we have been fortunate to have dominated in most of the games thus far”, said Colistro. “We hope to continue that trend this weekend.
WSA Winnipeg and the Chill play each other four times this year. WSA will return the favour when they travel to Thunder Bay for two matches on June 20th and 21st.
The Thunder Bay Chill plays in the 64 team Premier Development League (PDL) which is the top developmental men’s league in North America.