Six-pack: Four added from Big 4, two return

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FC Buffalo coach Brendan Murphy ramped up his preparations for the May 16 opener at Erie by announcing the addition of six players to the 2014 roster, including two familiar faces.

Wolves mainstay Chris Walter (Hartwick College / Buffalo, N.Y.) and versatile midfielder Alex Stephan (SUNY Geneseo / Clarence, N.Y.) are joined by four players from Buffalo’s Big 4 colleges: Niagara University’s Kyle Moraldo (Winnipeg, Canada), University at Buffalo forward Kristian Lee-Him (Pickering, Canada) and Canisius College pair Chris Berardi (Clarence, N.Y.) and Mitch Cancilla (Grand Island, N.Y.)

Walter, 21, could finish the season as FC Buffalo’s all-time leader in appearances. He enters the season with 24 and will try to chase down ex-teammate Andy Tiedt, who appeared in 32 games for the club. Chris played 16 games in the midfield for Hartwick this season, scoring twice including a big goal in Hartwick’s upset of Akron.

“It will be great to have Chris Walter back on the team again this year,” Murphy said. “He is a veteran of this club and has a great idea of what the NPSL is all about. After getting a taste of the playoffs last year, I know he will be hungry for another shot at it in 2014.”

Stephan returns for his second stint with FC Buffalo after playing in six matches and picking up an assist last season. He’s a physical player who can work the ball well with both feet.

“Alex is a workhorse of a player who was a steady presence for us in the midfield last year,” Murphy said. “Alex has a great understanding of the club and how we try to play based on his experience last season. I look forward to having Alex back in the fold again his year.”

Lee-Him‘s first year at UB was a success after a pair of strong seasons at Appalachian State saw him lead the team in scoring. His junior year in Buffalo included 17 games played and 21 shots, and he’ll join college teammate Russell Cicerone, Marcus Hanson and Waleed Cassis on the Wolves this summer.

“Kristian is a versatile attacking minded player who had a promising first season at UB,” Murphy said. “He will add a dynamic element to our attack.”

Moraldo has played 45 games for Niagara over three years at Monteagle Ridge, and Murphy said he’s a two-way player with plenty of skill.

“Kyle is a solid defender who will provide another attacking threat going forward from the back,” Murphy said. “I appreciate the help of Coach Eric Barnes to secure Kyle for us. It is great to have at least one player from each of the four Division I schools in our area.”

Berardi (
Berardi (

Over at Canisius, Berardi forced his way into Dermot McGrane’s lineup as a freshman and progressed well into his sophomore season. Now the Clarence resident is ready to break through his college career and FC Buffalo time with Griffs teammate Cancilla.

“Chris will be an interesting new addition to the squad this year,” Murphy said. “He has great pace and can be an attacking weapon. I look forward to seeing how Chris will fit in with the rest of this year’s team.”

“Mitch Cancilla is a great local prospect. Coach McGrane speaks very highly of how he has been developing at Canisius and I am confident that he will be a solid addition to the roster.”

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