Talented striker, goalkeeper joining Griffins from Calgary

Striker Everett Orgnero, left, and goalkeeper Simon Dawe are both joining the MacEwan Griffins from Calgary.
Striker Everett Orgnero, left, and goalkeeper Simon Dawe are both joining the MacEwan Griffins from Calgary.

Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – You can't teach size on the soccer field. And you can't teach speed either.

You have it or you don't.

When a prospect is blessed with both of those physical attributes, he's poised to make an impact at the Canada West level.

That's what MacEwan Griffins men's soccer head coach Adam Loga believes he has in Everett Orgnero.

Loga announced Thursday that the 6-foot-5, 195-pound forward is one of two recruits from Calgary – along with goalkeeper Simon Dawe – joining MacEwan for the 2018 Canada West campaign.

"He has the abilities of a slighter, smaller player in that frame," said Loga about Orgnero. "He obviously had to grow into his frame and know how to use it.

"I think at the men's level, he'll be able to lean on his physical strength a little bit more. He was kind of a man amongst kids at the youth level. Sometimes he'd come out on the short end of the stick on some calls because it was a man versus a boy. But I think now he can really use his physicality and use that edge to get stuck in and get the job done."

Loga had Orgnero as a pupil for two years at Calgary's Edge School for Athletes in 2013-14 before the striker made the leap to the Victoria-based Pacific Soccer Institute. Orgnero, who holds dual Canadian and Irish citizenship, has also trained in Germany since 2015 with VFB Stuttgart, FC Augsberg and FC Magdeburg.

The striker won a gold medal with Team Alberta at the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games and was recruited by the University of Portland to play NCAA Div. 1, but ultimately chose to stay in Canada with MacEwan.

"He's good on the ball, he's pacey and he's technically sound," said Loga. "He'll be able to make an impact in this league right away. Being an athletic league with the athletic foundation he has, he'll be able to step in."

Orgnero will join fellow newcomer Tyrell Leslie (6-foot-4, 210 pounds) up front in the Griffins' attack – a combination that has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing defences.

"They could be the bash brothers," chuckled Loga. "They're both pacey, both good on the ball. If we play with a two-striker set, the centre-backs on the opposing team will have their hands full, that's for sure."

Dawe joins the Griffins out of the Calgary Callies – the 2017 Alberta Major Soccer League champions – where he saw action at the national club championships. The 6-foot-2 goalkeeper recently represented Western Canada high school at the 2018 Calgary Selects all-star game. He was also his school's MVP in 2017.

"He's a good shot-stopper with a good presence at 6-2 and has really solid reflexes," said Loga. "He comes in with a little bit of experience and he's been at the men's level, which will transfer well into the Canada West."

With two of three goalkeepers not returning from last season, the Griffins were left searching for quality help in the net. Dawe, an Absolute Keeper Academy product, contacted Loga first, though, and the interest was mutual.

"He sent me a video and I reached out right away, knowing our goalkeeper situation, and the rest is history. He fell in love with the school and came to the open house," said Loga of the future MacEwan Commerce student-athlete.

"We're looking forward to what he can bring to the pitch."