Now in his fourth year with S.C. Italia, Guerino (woody) Cimino acknowledges that the 2004 may not be quite as strong as the past couple of years. "But we are really coming around and I wthink we'll finish quite strong" noted Cimino, just prior to his team's participation in the Caruso Club International Tournament. Italia would advance to the consolation final after a tough loss to Peterborough, before falling in extra time to Sudbury Italia Flyers.
The SRCSL Premier Division regular season champions for the past four years running, S.C. Italia took to the field this year minus a couple of veterans. But after dropping a 2-1 decision to Sudbury Panhellenic R & A Consulting and being eliminated from the Dieder Alisat Tournament, the team rebounded to capture the Milan Vrab Memorial Tournament in convincing fashion, blasting the Italia Flyers 5-2 in the finals. Giuseppe Politi netted the hat-trick for the winners with Matt Boulton adding a pair of goals, giving the St Mary's Huskies star nine goals on the weekend.
With the team not having lost a single regular season game one year ago, Cimino expected things to be tougher going this time around. But the team continues to benefit from a close working relationship with the Laurentian Voyageurs Mens team, with Voyageur alumni Vince Dagostino, P.J. Rocca and Ryan Baker on the roster as well as Politi who returns for a full season with Laurentian this fall.
Joining S.C. Italia for the Caruso Club event were Eelco Bolhuis, Wellesley RobertsonColin Maracuso. As for the aspirations for his team this year, Cimino noted that "the Caruso Club tournament and Charity Cup are two of the biggest events we try and gear up for." But he acknowledges an overall drop in the general level of competition in men's soccer on the local scene.
"I think the men's competitive is downhill a bit right now - we seem to lose so many good young players who head out of town for school or work. Losing the ethnic clubs like the Polish White Eagles or the Serbian crew hasn't helped either. And the commitment for players is tougher to come by - at one time, players managed their work schedule around the soccer schedule. That just doesn't happen as much anymore" said Cimino.
As for the outlook in general for the soccer community in the Sudbury-area, Cimino remains upbeat but hopes the discussions in many areas continues. "Right now, I would say that women's soccer is progressing more quickly than the men. And I really hope that we eventually work towards a one club system. We really seem to have a tough time keeping our knowledgeable people involved in the sport as coaches" said Cimino. Thankfully, there remains a devoted core group of soccer fanatics, like Cimino, who hope to return the sport to the prominence it once held on the local sporting scene.
SC Italia roster includes the following: Michael Asunmaa, Ryan Baker, Paola Berardelli, Robert Caputo, Vince Dagostino, Dan Falcioni, Peter Falvo, Roberto Falvo, Will Lucia, Dan Palladino, Giuseppe Politi, Gervase Robinson, Peter Rocca, Americo Tantalo, Robert Zulich, Brian Coufal and Pino Vocaturo.