Dynamite explode on U.S. scene

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

It pays to be part of a successful, high-profile soccer program. At least if you're looking for an education.

Six former London City Dynamite players who have gone on to play for various club sides, have come up with full athletic scholarships to attend NCAA Division 1 schools this fall.

These players all played for Martin Painter, player/coach of London AEK but who also has coached and been successful at minor levels, winning several Ontario Cups.

"These schools are all top schools with exceptional soccer programs," Painter said. "For so many players to get scholarships at these schools, it's terrific, especially since the competition for these scholarships is strong."

Painter believes this area produces many skilled players but the key is getting them the right kind of exposure so those skills are recognized.

"I took about 16 kids to a tournament in North Carolina. It was a tournament that had all the university scouts," Painter said. "A lot of schools had a chance to see the players and that made a big difference,"

Haris Cekic and Dane Roberts, a guest player from Ajax SC, will attend Furman University in South Carolina. Michael Pereira is headed to Providence College in Rhode lsland with Todd Rutledge going to Fairfield University in Connecticut. Eric Asanin-Miroux and Adam Augruso will play at Gardner-Webb in North Carolina.

Painter also expects Jovan Ivanovich to earn a scholarship in 2008.

All these players have been members of Team Ontario. Rutledge, Pereira and Roberts are members of the under-18 national team.

Gryphons resting up

The London Gryphons will have some time to prepare for their next W-league game.

They lost their home opener 4-1 to the Chicago Gaels, running their record to 1-2.

The Gryphons were trailing 4-0 after the first half, hitting two posts and a crossbar.

Their only goal came when Kimberly Dimitroff sent a cross into the area which was headed into the back of the net by Italian import Fabiana Costi.

London pressured in the second half and had the chance to draw closer when Dimitroff was fouled in the penalty area in the 70th minute.

Veronica Brutti, the Gryphons' other Italian import, shot wide on the penalty.

The Gryphons' next game is June 15th at North London Stadium against the Cleveland Internationals at 7 pm.


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