KELOWNA, BC – UBC Okanagan men’s soccer coach Dante Zanatta adds another technically-sound player to his recruiting haul for the 2013 season, as Giovanni Carida--two-time AAA high school provincial champion--has elected to join the Heat when he graduates from Dr. Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam this spring.
Dante, who has known Gio for numerous years, indicates that Carida “is the type of player that I’m looking for in the fact that he is skillful and understands the game, and possession, and is technically very good."
“Bringing in these skilled players lets us spend more time on tactics and how to win,” says Zanatta, expanding on the benefits of netting a player with Gio’s fundamental abilities, and how this type of recruit will help him build the soccer culture on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Giovanni, at 5’10”, has split time on his club and high school teams as a midfielder, and as a striker; with a knack for scoring. He was the leading goal scorer in the 2012 Puma Pacific Tournament and has been the leading goal getter as captain of his high school soccer team.
Currently featured as a both a centre attacking midfielder and a forward, Giovanni expects to play the same role for the Heat, and Zanatta points out that with his fundamentals, Gio should excel in a number of spots on the pitch.
“Because of his technical ability, he could play numerous positions,” added Zanatta. “Where he will end up finishing his five years at UBC Okanagan, whether in the midfield or in the attacking striking role, will still be determined, but he is the type of player that when he has the opportunity…he can finish.”
Along with his skills and strengths on the field, the incoming freshman “hopes to bring leadership, [a] positive attitude, and contribute to the team’s success.”
Carida has put together quite an impressive soccer resume. Along with winning high school championships in 2012 and 2010, he has won two national bronze medals and competes in the Coquitlam Metro Ford league that coach Zanatta indicates “produces a lot of good soccer players”, and is a “very good system.”
“Qualifying for Nationals in 2009 and 2011 were the highlights of my soccer career,” indicates Gio, and if he was to pinpoint a biggest moment of his young career, he will quickly tell you that “scoring the game winner in 2009 versus Quebec to send our team to the national semi-finals was definitely a significant highlight for me.”
Scoring big time goals for UBC Okanagan in the future is something one can never count on; you have to be in that position to score that big goal. However, Dante has confidence that, when given the chance, Giovanni will succeed for his Heat team.
“Because of his technical ability it allows him to be that confident in what he does,” remarked the Heat bench boss.
Entering the general arts program in September, Gio has plans to finish with a BA in Education and hopes to eventually work his way to a Master's in Education. He chose to come here after “hearing very positive feedback from past and current students at this university.”
Looking to become an educator himself, Gio credits a long-time coach Les Krivak with his knowledge and base of soccer skills, or as he puts it: “[Les Krivak] taught me everything I know as a soccer player.”
Giovanni is the third recruit already inked by Zanatta, who has really jumped on the recruiting path in preparation for his third season with the Heat. Dante has signed two skilled midfielders and one athletic keeper and the snow is still on the turf here on campus.
“With Alex [Alex Lazazzera] and now Gio we are looking at skilled players who are coming in to continue to build the program and the type of soccer we want to play, a maintain position and manipulate the ball in proper areas and score,” explains Zanatta.
Michael Sexton from OKM, another provincial championship team has also been brought onboard.
Interesting fact on Giovanni: He earned his first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do at 13 years old.