Paxton, Mass. – Senior netminder Mike Dandurand (Warwick, RI) and junior midfielder Enco Lika (Billerica, Mass.) have been invited to training camps with semi-professional soccer teams this spring. Dandurand has taken his talent to the Rhode Island Reds (National Premiere Soccer League) while Lika will be lacing them up for the Worcester Hydra (United Soccer League's - Premier Development League).
Dandurand was contacted by the Reds' head coach Kabba D. Joof in early this spring about the upcoming season and was encouraged to try-out in early March for the team. According to Dandurand the Reds' roster will likely be whittled down to 25-30 players, there was as many as 80 at the tryouts. There are currently 4 goalies on the roster.
"The hardest part about the first try-out was that it was inside and geared to just field players and I had a hard time keeping up with their footwork" states Dandurand, "The second try-out was outside and involved more drill that included goalie and I was able to highlight my skills in net."
The Rhode Island Reds' website cites their vision as "To be known as the premier soccer club in the country for its excellence in developing the skills of college-bound players, current college players, and former college players who aspire to compete on a professional level."
Dandurand says "The goal is to be the NPSL Player of the Week from there you will gain national attention from the MLS."
Mike has yet to sign a contract with the Reds' but hopes that it is in the near future. The Reds' open the 2012 season on May 12th versus Brooklyn, NY.
Lika first learned about the Worcester Hydra when he was contacted by their head coach Elvis Comrie and invited to try-out for the team. The Hydra held several try-outs across Massachusetts where as many as 200 players were on the field at once.
Enco, a midfielder, thought "There was a lot of very good talent all around you at the try-outs, and at times it could be very hard to be noticed by the coaches. It made me want to work harder to try and shine at the evaluations process."
The Hydra currently have approximately 30 players on the roster and will cut that down to between 22 and 25 players before opening day. Most players still have collegiate eligibility left, therefore they will turn down contracts to play to maintain their amateur status and be able to return to school for the fall season.
Link has started in both pre-season exhibition games for Worcester, the season opener for the Hydra is Saturday, May 5th at Foley Stadium.
Anna Maria's head coach Zach Rocha is ecstatic for both players, saying "Mike and Enco are hard-working, dedicated young men who have excelled both in the classroom and on the field throughout their careers at Anna Maria College. We are very excited to see them furthering their soccer careers at the professional level. They were tremendous performers and ambassadors as AMCATS and we are sure that they will continue to represent us in a positive manner with their professional teams."
For more information on the Worcester Hydra visit their website at www.hydrafc.com.
For more information about the Reds visit their website at www.rhodeislandfc.com.