BLOOMFIELD, NJ – The Bloomfield High School varsity boys’ soccer team returns a large group from last year’s team.
Among the returning starters include senior center back John Fabiano, senior midfielder Jason Ricca, senior defender Antonio D’Andrea, senior forward Mesmin Dembassa, senior forward Jean Pereya, senior goalkeeper Matthew Vitella, senior midfielder/forward Sahil Doshi, junior midfielder Anthony Rizzi, and junior midfielder Marco Colasurdo.
Nicholas Rizzi is a sophomore newcomer who has impressed during preseason.
This year’s team has five senior captains: Ricca and Fabiano, who were captains last year; D’Andrea, Dembassa and Anthony Rizzi.
Ricca is entering his fourth year on the varsity and third year as captain. Fabiano also is a great leader, said head coach Mike Aiello.
D’Andrea is entering his third year on varsity. “He’s an extremely intelligent and hard-working player,” Aiello said. Dembassa also is a third-year varsity player and has grown tremendously as a player over the past couple of years, said the coach.
Rizzi was the leading goal scorer for the team in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Aiello cited the team’s speed as one of its biggest strengths. Depth is another key strength.
“We have a nice rotation of players who will see time up top and out wide who can be very dangerous,” Aiello said. “Defensively, we have a tough and intelligent back four led by John Fabiano and Antonio D’Andrea.”
The Bengals’ goals are to compete for the Super Essex Conference-Liberty Division title and quality for the state tournament.
“Two years ago, we were definitely one of the youngest and most inexperienced teams in the county,” said Aiello. “This year, I would say we are definitely one of the most experienced. We have a handful of players who are entering their third year as a starter on varsity. The team’s attitude and work ethic has been tremendous throughout the preseason and we are very excited for the season.”
The Bengals open the season Sept. 7 at Verona in a divisional game.
The other teams in the SEC-Liberty Division are Montclair Kimberley Academy, West Essex, Belleville, Central,Glen Ridge, and Science Park.