Cavalry FC signings – Calgary’s Canadian Premier League soccer club building roster for inaugural season


Updated January 16, 2019 – Cavalry FC, Calgary’s new professional soccer team, has started signing players for its first roster in preparation for the inaugural season of the Canadian Premier League. The new soccer league’s first season is set to kickoff April 2019.

Check out the growing list of Cavalry FC players and their stories below:

January 2019

Oliver Minatel – Forward

Oliver Minatel, 26, is a Brazilian forward who has played in Portugal, Canada, USA and Australia. Originally from Campinas, Brazil, Minatel played for Nacional, of the Portuguese LigaPro, from 2011-2013. Since then he has played for such clubs as Ottawa Fury in Canada and South Melbourne in Australia. He spent some of his youth career with PSV Eindhoven, of the dutch Eredivisie, and Nacional.

Minatel is Cavalry FC’s first international signing.

Cavalry FC, Oliver Minatel, Canadain Premier League

Cavalry FC’s first international signing, Brazilian forward Oliver Minatel. Photo courtesy Cavalry FC

“We wanted to bring Oliver to the Cavalry as he is a fantastic professional with great personality and the type of pedigree we were looking for in our first international import that could add instant value to our team,” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr., Head Coach & General Manager, Cavalry FC. “Oliver has had a fantastic football education in Brazil before going to the Netherlands with PSV and then onto Portugal with Nacional. He has also played in Canada and across North America so understands the landscape very well, which will make him adapt and make an impact very quickly.”

December 2018

Cavalry FC, Tommy Wheeldon Jr. Chris Serban, Marco Carducci, Dominick Zator, Elijah Adekugbe, Canadian Premier League
Cavalry FC head coach and general manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. (centre) with Cavalry FC signings (from left) Chris Serban, Marco Carducci, Dominick Zator and Elijah Adekugbe. Photo courtesy Cavalry FC

Marco Carducci – Goalkeeper

Marco Carducci, 22, is a Calgary native who began his youth career with MacKenzie FC and Calgary Villains FC before moving on to the Whitecaps FC Residency in 2011. The six foot one tall goalkeeper signed a professional contract with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in 2014, playing for the club’s U23 and reserve teams. He played a single match for the Whitecaps first team in the Canadian Championship in 2014.

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Carducci then spent a season with the United Soccer League’s Rio Grande Valley FC Toros in 2017 before winning the Premier Development League championship with Tommy Wheeldon Jr.’s Calgary Foothills FC in 2018 as the club’s first-choice keeper.

“Marco is a highly talented goalkeeper and one who is perfect for the style of play we are looking to develop with the Cavalry,” says Cavalry head coach and general manager Wheeldon Jr. “His future is still waiting to be written and we want to be a part of his journey, as he has made his intentions clear that he wants to complete his journey and play for the full Canada National team, having represented them at U17, U20 and U23 levels. Aside from his talent, Marco is a great ambassador for our club and this community.”

Chris Serban – Full back

Chris Serban, 23, began his youth career in Calgary with Calgary Villains FC before attending Whitecaps FC Residency in 2013. From 2014 to 2017 he made appearances for Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 and Whitecaps FC 2.

The defender then joined Calgary Foothills FC in 2018, winning the Premier Development League championship. Serban has represented the Canadian national team at the U20 and U23 levels.

(Chris) is honest, hard-working and humble off the pitch but packs a tenacious punch and plays on the front foot when on the pitch,” says Cavalry FC head coach and general manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “He suits how we want to play as a team, along with the type of character we want representing the Cavalry crest.”

Elijah Adekugbe – Midfielder

Born in England, Elijah Adekugbe moved to Calgary at the age of 8. The central midfielder began his development with Calgary Foothills Soccer Club. He attended Trinity Western University on a soccer scholarship, while returning to Calgary during the summer months to play for Calgary Foothills FC in the Premier Development League.

“Elijah is what this league is all about, giving young Canadians a chance,” says Cavalry FC head coach and general manager Tommy Wheeldon Jr. “He is someone I have had the pleasure of working with for over 10 years now and I’ve watched him grow as a player and a person. He is a highly technical midfielder that likes to keep his team in possession, almost like a Point Guard would in basketball. He’s a hard-working person and a studious player that just needs this platform to grow.”

Dominick Zator – Centre back

Dominick Zator, 24, played five seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos from 2012 to 2016, while playing in the Premier Development League for Calgary Foothills FC in the summers of 2015 and 2016.

The central defender signed for Whitecaps FC of the United Soccer league 2017, before joining back up with Calgary Foothills FC to win the Premier Development League in 2018.

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“Dominick is a modern centre back that is quick and athletic on the ground, good in 1v1 duals and very comfortable with bringing the ball out of the back,” said Cavalry FC head coach and general manager Wheeldon Jr. “He is also a great example of staying the course and playing the long game, in that he was a late bloomer that was never selected for any Provincial or National youth team programs, but concentrated on his club soccer and school. It’s his intelligence that makes him the player we want in our club as he is very cerebral and calculated in his decision making.”

November 2018

Nik Ledgerwood – Midfielder

Nik Ledgerwood, 33, is a central midfielder with 50 international caps for the Canadian national team. The Lethbridge, Alberta born veteran played professionally in Germany from 2003 to 2015 with such clubs as 1860 Munich, MSV Duisburg and Energie Cottbus.

Nik Ledgerwood, right, in action for Calgary Foothills FC May 2018. Photo: ©Stuart Gradon/Total Soccer Project

Ledgerwood returned to Canada in 2015 to play for FC Edmonton, while the club still participated in the North American Soccer League. Recently he was a member of the Calgary Foothills FC squad that won the 2018 Premier Development League championship.

“As a player that started his professional career here in Calgary (with Calgary Storm), it seems poetic that he returns for the next chapter of his career,” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr., Cavalry FC head coach and general manager. “Nik adds immediate quality and international pedigree not only to our team, but to the league itself. He is a very clever player with a wealth of experience, whose leadership qualities will be the cornerstone of the culture we are building.”

Sergio Camargo – Midfielder

Sergio Camargo, 24, began his career with TFC Academy in 2009 before spending his college years with Coastal Carolina University and Syracuse University.

Cavalry FC, FC Edmonton, Canadian Premier League, Spruce Meadows
Sergio Camargo, right, in action for Cavalry FC prospects September 2018. Photo: ©Stuart Gradon/Total Soccer Project

The Colombia born attacking midfielder then joined Toronto FC II, Toronto FC’s reserve team, before joining Calgary Foothills FC in 2018, where he helped the club win the Premier Development League championship.

“Sergio is an exciting attacking midfielder and the type of player we don’t have too many of here in Canada,” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr., Cavalry FC head coach and general manager. “We are delighted to have Sergio join us as one of the first ever Cavalry FC players, as not only is he a player of huge potential but also of outstanding character. I am confident that he is a player that will excite the fans and make his team mates happy he is on their side.”

– some files courtesy Cavalry FC


About Author

Stuart Gradon

Editor of Total Soccer Project | Photographer and Writer | Twitter: @StuartGradon | Stuart Gradon is a multimedia professional, having worked at 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.

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