The Niagara Falls Titans U16 Boys are the youngest soccer team in Niagara Falls Soccer Club (NFSC) history to play in the Ontario Youth Soccer League (OYSL). They were promoted into the OYSL after winning the Elite division of the South Region Soccer League in 2014.
This season, the U16 Titans have reached the semifinals of the Ontario Cup Championships and face the Mississauga Falcons on August 30. In the initial round robin tournament of the Ontario Cup, the Titans defeated Kitchener 1 – 0, Barrie 3 – 1, Woodbridge ‘B’ 3 – 0 and tied Malton 0 – 0 to advance to the quarterfinals against the Whitby Iroquois – a game they won 3 -1 on August 8.
The team, coached by Dan Pereira, Rick Baldin, John Theal and Mark Egan, hopes to repeat what the 2008 and 2009 U17 and U18 boys accomplished by winning back-to-back Ontario Cup Championships. That team went on to win the silver medal at the Canadian National Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. Those U17 and U18 Titans were also coached by Dan Pereira and assisted by Ron Van Velzen, Nick Palumbo and John Portonova.
Pereira said, “It’s hard not to compare the U16 Titans team to the previous 2008 and 2009 Titans. The back-to-back Ontario Cup Champions had speed offensively and defended with tenacity. This year’s U16 Titans are technically gifted and play an excellent brand of Arsenal style one and two touch.”
According to Head Coach Pereira, the team plays either a 4-1-4-1 formation or a 4-4-2 depending on its opponent and game situations.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have quality players with strong character traits. I’ve always stressed unselfish behaviour of all players on and off the soccer pitch”, Pereira added.
The U16 Titans team has always been one step ahead of the previous 2008/09 teams. The U16 team won gold at the Mississauga International, won the top division at the Umbro College Showcase in Mississauga and, previously, the Cleveland A/C Milan Continental