UCF Men’s Soccer uses summer to hone skills for upcoming season

Seven UCF Men’s Soccer players are participating in either the National Premiere Soccer League (NPSL) or the Premiere Development League (PDL) this summer, giving players the chance to hone their skills before the 2017 season arrives. Below is an update on the participating players and their progress.

Senior forward and standout player Matias Pyysalo is playing for the Florida Kraze United in the NPSL, locally in the Orlando area. Through Jun. 29, the team is 4-4-0 this season and Pyssalo has seen every minute on the field in four of those games. The senior star led the Knights last season in goals and assists, and is expected to come up big again this year for the Black and Gold.

Junior goalkeeper Alex Shields, as well as sophomore forward Jesus Colombo, joined an NPSL squad this summer as well. Both Knights are playing for the Jacksonville Armada.

Shields has tallied one start this summer season, while Colombo has started in four matches and appeared in six total. The sophomore striker has two goals for the Armada so far with the squad holding a 4-2-2 record through Jun. 29.

Senior defender Neico Regent took his offseason to Reading, Pennsylvania to play with Reading United AC as a part of the PDL. The senior standout has appeared in six matches, and the team is 8-1 overall and 5-1 when Regent makes an appearance.

Junior defender Zachary Waitman is staying close to home with his participation in the PDL with SIMA Aquilas in Montverde, Florida. In high school, Waitman attended the prominent Montverde Academy and returns to his elite training center, but this time at an even higher level.

The junior defender has appeared in seven matches and tallied an assist in a 2-1 victory earlier this season. SIMA is 8-0-1 overall and 5-0-1 when Waitman has seen minutes on the field.

Senior midfielder Walker Dawkins and sophomore goalkeeper Matt Rosenberg took their talents to Georgia this summer to play with South Georgia Tormenta FC in the PDL. Dawkins has appeared in five matches and tallied one shot so far this summer.

Rosenberg has appeared in three games and is undefeated in goal as of Jun. 29. The youngster stood out for UCF his freshman year and his success at the next level continues as he earned honorable mention on the PDL Team of the Week on Jun. 22. The team is 4-2-4 overall.

About Sarah Kelliher 58 Articles
Sarah Kelliher is a photographer and staff writer covering UCF Football for Knight Sports Now. You can follow her on Twitter at @sarahkelliher4.