VReds Returning From Taipei

Kalen Park(right), a member of the Varsity Reds men's soccer team, snaps a selfie with Team Canada teammates during the closing ceremonies of the 2017 Summer Universiade, in Taipei. (Photo: U SPORTS)
Kalen Park(right), a member of the Varsity Reds men's soccer team, snaps a selfie with Team Canada teammates during the closing ceremonies of the 2017 Summer Universiade, in Taipei. (Photo: U SPORTS)

(TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan) The 2017 FISU Summer Universiade has come to a close in Taipei, and a strong contingent of Varsity Reds is now returning to Fredericton.

Canada won 13 medals in Taipei, four gold, five silver and four bronze.

Japan finished atop the medal standings with 101, including 37 gold.

The Varsity Reds were represented on Canada’s men’s soccer and basketball teams, as well as Australia’s men’s volleyball team.

The men’s soccer team finished 10th overall, with a 3-3 record.

Team Canada, coached by Varsity Reds head coach Miles Pinsent, went 1-2 in pool play before scoring some impressive wins in the classification round. Pinsent’s side beat the United States and South Africa before falling to Brazil in the 9th place game.

Barry Morrison and George Lucas joined Pinsent on the Canadian coaching staff, while Marcus Lees, Kalen Park, Evan Barker and incoming recruit Tristian Nkoghe were selected as players.

Unfortunately, Nkoghe suffered an injury in Team Canada’s training camp and did not play in Taipei.

Lees was among Canada’s most reliable midfielders, while Barker split time in the Canadian net with Matt Zaikos, from Brock University.

Fullback Kalen Park saw plenty of minutes and was the only Varsity Red to score during the Taipei tournament. Park scored Canada’s second goal in their 4-3 loss to Brazil, in the 9th place game. Park also played 10 minutes as keeper after Zaikos was red-carded during Canada’s opening game, a 2-0 loss to Uruguay.

“Our team definitely displayed first-game jitters,” said Pinsent, of Canada’s 2-0 loss to Uruguay. “But we out possessed and out chanced our opponents in the second half.”

“Japan was a very good national U23 team with a number of professional players.  They were superior to us in every way,” he said. Japan beat Canada 5-0.

Javon Masters helped Canada’s men’s basketball to a 10th place finish, and a 5-3 record.

Masters came off the bench mostly as Canada beat Norway, Hong Kong, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the Czech Republic. They lost to Finland and Germany in pool play, and fell to Australia in the classification round.

Former Varsity Red Sam Alves was a key member of Australia’s men’s volleyball team.

He saw action in every match as the Uniroos finished 19th, with a 3-5 record.

Australia scored wins over Chile, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus. They dropped matches to the United States, Romania, Hong Kong, Russia and the Czech Republic.