FCB adds many to roster ahead of season

[ MORE: FCB heads to Germany! ]

We’ve been periodically rolling out players to the tune of 10 members of our 2019 NPSL club, but with plenty of news on the horizon we wanted to make sure each one of our next batch gets a day in the sun.

Let’s start with the guys you know! FCB returns several names you’re no doubt very familiar with, beginning with perhaps a bit of a surprise.

Kieran Toland will return to the club (and our country) a year after graduating from St. Bonaventure. Kieran scored three goals in 10 matches for the club during the 2016 season, but missed most of the 2017 campaign with a shoulder injury. He’s returning to the club after spending this season with English side Mousehole AFC.

It’s going to be three seasons in blue-and-gold for Akean Shackleford, the Jamaican back in the fold after scoring a team-high six goals for SMU in just 877 minutes as a junior. Akean’s 13 FCB goals are five fewer than career leader Kendell McFayden (who is also back for 2019).

Also returning is utility knife Austin Stout, who has played nearly every position in scoring 1 goal with 4 assists in 20 matches for manager Frank Butcher over two seasons with FCB. He scored three goals and four assists through four years of college at West Virginia and then Duquesne.

Let’s not forget about goalkeeper Jeremy Figler, who combined with Steve Casey, Bryce Tramuta, and Noah Smith to give your Wolves steady goalkeeping last season. Noah’s back, too, following his junior year at SUNY Cortland.

Niagara midfielder Matt Lopoyda was known as Belmont midfielder Matt Lopoyda the last time he was with FCB, and Matt returns for the short trip south of the border after making 66 appearances over four years between the Nashville- and Lewiston-based schools.

Buffalo State duo Ali Shawish and Colin O’Keefe bring their locally-produced talents back to the team, and FCB fans will doubtless remember Ali’s terrific free kick against North Mississauga SC last season.

Onto the new faces!

Join us in welcoming a number of faces, local and from outside Buffalo, for the 2019 campaign.

We’ll begin in the back, where defensive midfielder/center back Niklas Breunung joins us following an All-East Region First Team season at Le Moyne College. A true destroyer, Breunung was also an Academic All-American and scored two goals in 18 matches as a graduate student this season.

Full back Filip Johansson is headed to FCB from Sweden via Evansville, where he plays for coach Marshall Ray. “Fille” has started at right back, right mid, right wing, and left back for the Aces over two seasons.

Let’s look up north to a trio of Canadian college players from St. Francis Xavier University who matched wits with former FCB defenders Lewis White and Euan Bauld last season.

  • Joshua Read joins FCB after an incredible pair of seasons at StFX. The 6-foot-5 center back was on the books at English League Two side Exeter City before heading West for school, where he was second team All-Canadian this season.
  • Lewis Dye was his center back mate, the 19-year-old from Nova Scotia pitching in a pair of goals from the back in 12 matches.
  • William Warren brings a different dimension to our attack, coming off an all-conference second team performance with five goals for StFX.

We’ll have a pair of players, one local and one far from it, from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. Versatile Martin Minuzzi heads to Buffalo after an 11-goal, all-conference season, while freshman Cesar Carlin spent a few seasons with coach Ian Martin’s FC Buffalo Academy team prior to college.

Local freshman full backs Todd Smith (University of Vermont) and Zach Drayer (Rhode Island) return home from school to the city where they were developed as Empire United Academy players.

Lackawanna native Ali Mohamed is set to make his FCB debut after several years abroad in the Netherlands and the UAE, including time with Dutch lower tier club KFC.

Niagara University’s influential pair of Borna Juracic and Jordan Acevedo will give us a big boost in the center of the defense and midfield, respectively, while SUNYAC Rookie of the Year and D-3 All-Region forward Theo Pencic arrives from Francesco Cardillo’s outstanding Buff State.

Carl Kennedy is a new member of our midfield corps and has a sparkling resume which began with his captaining the U-18 team at English Championship side Bolton Wanderers. He was then All-Conference at D-2 Chowan in North Carolina before transfering to Shaw University, where he captains the side under former FC Buffalo goalkeeping coach Matt Brown.

Adding to our depth in goal is Ross Dalton from Eastern New Mexico University. The Liverpool native has exceptional distribution and will give us tremendous depth between the sticks. He’s already linked up with a certain Jamaican forward as a Juco All-American at Indian Hills Community College.