Coach K brings back nine in early announcement

LarracuenteAt least nine familiar faces -- including the club's reigning MVP and best offensive players -- are slated to don the FC Buffalo crest in the 2012 season, as head coach Dan Krzyzanowicz announced the returning of some key components to the Blitzer equation.

Nine familiar faces — including the team’s MVP and co-captains — are back in the fold for 2012 as FC Buffalo head coach Dan Krzyzanowicz (Medaille) announced his early signings for the NPSL season.

Five of the nine players were in attendance at the first open try-out, while four were unable to attend. The second open trial is Monday, January 9, 2012 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Sahlen’s Sports Park in Elma, N.Y.

2011 co-captains Matt Stedman (Niagara University) and Andrew Larracuente (Medaille College, right) are slated to return to the pitch in 2012 and provide senior strength in the midfield and defense. Also lending a veteran hand is now three-year sparkplug John Grabowski (Fredonia State), one of very few players to notch points in both seasons of FC Buffalo soccer.

Despite suffering a major leg injury at the end of Marist’s season, FC Buffalo’s big silverware winner is back for 2012. The reigning MVP, Unsung Hero Award (voted by teammates) and Supporters Choice Award winner is Josh Faga. Coach K hinted that the stalwart back’s skill set may find him getting midfield time.

The team’s 2011 Best Offensive Player is back as well, as Colgate’s Mike Reidy returns to the squad. Reidy’s five goals and 11 points were among the best on the team in 2011, and it was apparent any time the speedy winger/forward was absent from the line-up. Reidy is joined by pitbull of a back Jake Rinow, who missed much of 2011 with a leg injury. Rinow plays his college ball at Cornell, where he’s garnered a reputation as one of the fiercest backs in the Northeast.

Speaking of speed, shifty outside player Pat Zelko (Medaille) is back, as is  hard-tackling youngster Chris Walter; He just finished his freshman campaign at Hartwick College. Last and not least is 2011’s biggest surprise, goalkeeper Jordan Dilapo (Orchard Park High School). Dilapo emerged as a 17-year-old when injuries threatened depth in net, providing a win, draw and clean sheet despite not even finishing high school.

Krzyzanowicz said that fans should expect to learn of more additions after the second try-out and not to read anything into any familiar names missing from this list; He simply had these nine as confirmed names as of press time.