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FC Buffalo settles on majority of roster, new faces abound

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

FC Buffalo announced Thursday night that 17 more players have committed for this summer’s NPSL season, and 13 of them are new to the Blitzers.

Burly forward Cory Cwiklinski, pesky midfielder Chris Walter, sturdy defender Mbwana Johnson and blossoming keeper Jordan DiLapo return to the FC Buffalo club that finished 6-7-1 in all competitions. Two months ago, the Blitzers had announced the return of nine key contributors.

For the newcomers, leading the way is Sam Guibert, a lanky central midfielder who’s played for top tier youth clubs in France and spent a preseason with the USL’s Rochester Rhinos. Guibert suited up for Canisius College in fall 2010 after plying his trade with the youth teams of FC Nantes.

In fact, Griffins past and present are well-represented on the Blitzers’ summer roster, as 2012 graduate J.J. Hughes, a versatile defender/midfielder, and soon-to-be sophomores Ryan Schroen and Derek Maier—high school teammates at Clarence, too—flow through the Dermot McGrane pipeline to FC Buffalo. Matthew Waddington, a fiery defender who played with Canisius in ‘03-‘04, has been called in by “Coach K” as well.

Ryan Walter, brother of Blitzers’ ferocious center midfielder Chris Walter, joins the amateur club after four seasons with the Binghamton University Bearcats. Both siblings attended Nichols School while growing up in Buffalo.

Former University at Buffalo and Cheektowaga High School star Marco Stencel, Medaille standout Josh Hall and Erie Community College striker Pablo Ordonez are other locals slated for the roster. Incumbent goalie DiLapo, who recently signed with Loyola University in Maryland for college ball, will fight for time with Houghton College’s Eric DeHond and Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Brian Wagstaff.

A very, very early prediction for the Starting XI:

Goalie: Jordan DiLapo
Defenders: Jake Rinow, Mbwana Johnson, Andrew Larracuente, Josh Hall/Ryan Schroen/Josiah Snelgrove
Midfielders: John Grabowski, Sam Guibert, Josh Faga, Chris Walter/Ryan Walter
Forwards: Mike Reidy/Cory Cwiklinski, Matt Stedman

As for notable former players:

Mike Unwin will play with the Des Moines Menace of the PDL.
Kendell McFayden, who appeared at the first FC Buffalo tryout, is currently training with the Rochester Rhinos alongside former Medaille star Gary Boughton.
Krystian Witkowski is listed on the roster of the Philadelphia Union after being selected in the second round of the MLS Supplemental Draft.

(Featured photo by Nate Benson from after the Bedlington Cup match.)

TAGGED: buffalo blitzers, chris walter, dan krzyzanowicz, fc buffalo, nick mendola, npsl, ryan walter, sam guibert, soccer

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