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Nelson Youth Soccer grad joins prestigious UBC Thunderbirds Men's Soccer program

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
August 8th, 2013

In some sports, the rich just keep getting richer.

And part of those riches for University of B.C. Men’s Soccer head coach Mike Mosher includes a 5’10” midfielder from Nelson Youth Soccer.

Mosher has landed an impressive recruiting class that promises to make the defending national champions even strong when the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Men’s Soccer season kicks off in a few weeks time.

Part of the recruiting class is midfielder Mitch Popadynetz.

“We’re really excited about the players coming into our program,” said Mosher. “It’s not an easy team or program to come into and make so we’ve been pretty selective.”

Popadynetz started soccer in NYS, where the young midfielder shined during his early years in the Heritage City as part of a silver-medal winning U13 Boy’s Squad at the B.C. Soccer Provincial B Cup in Richmond in 2008.

After helping the U14 Boys to a fourth-place showing the next year when Nelson hosted the tournament, Popadynetz decided to move to the Lower Mainland in search of high-calibre competition. He landed a spot to play with to the Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club on the U14 squad.

The move proved to be a blessing as the diminutive midfielder exceled at the coast, winning the Golden Boot (five goals) and was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2011 Y-League North American finals in Brandon, Florida.

“I’m excited to go to one of the best schools in the country in UBC and join Canada’s best university soccer team,” said Popadynetz.

Joining Popadynetzis Adriano Clemente (Burnaby), Niall Cousens (Vancouver), Andrew Grange (Surrey), Luigi Polisi (Coquitlam) and Otis Sandhu (Surrey).

Popadynetz, Clemente, Polisi and Sandhu will all be featured next week as members of Team BC at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que.

Team BC opens the tournament Tuesday against Team Manitoba.

The final game of the three-team round robin goes Wednesday against Team Quebec.

The top teams advance to the medal round.

After the Canada Games, Popadynetz returns to the Point Grey campus to prepare for the CIAU season.

UBC, finishing the 2013 season with a 16-0-3 record and a CIAU title after edging Cape Breton 1-0 in the final, begins the 2013 Canada West regular season on Sept. 6 with a road game at Victoria.

The team’s first home match will take place two days later on David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium against Fraser Valley.

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