Lucania FC - A tradition of excellence

When it comes to soccer in Manitoba, Lucania FC are the gold standard. With 12 provincial championships in the last 22 years, they’ve established themselves as the team to beat in this province. According to president and general manager Mike Nardiello, winning for Lucania is just a way of life.

As a club, Lucania take the pitch with a singular goal for every single season and every single match, they aim to win everything they play in. For them, anything less is just not good enough.

“We want to win nationals every year. That’s our biggest goal every year when we first start training,” said Nardiello, who went on to outline how he wants winning to be an important thing in the lives of every single player he recruits.

The assembly line of players obsessed with winning has lead to Lucania being very successful down the years. That streak continued this season as the club lost just one game all season in league play.

From there, Lucania went to provincials as one of the big favourites. Their solid play through the tournament lead to them reaching the final against archrivals Sons of Italy. The game was one fit to grace any tournament in the world and an instant classic in Manitoba soccer.

Lucania raced out to a dominating 3 nil lead, before allowing Sons of Italy to mount an incredible comeback. They scored three consecutive goals, all from set plays, to tie the game up and send it into extra time. With the crowd in a frenzy, Lucania were able to steady themselves and got a dramatic winner from striker Kenny Sacramento to take the provincial crown yet again.

Nardiello said he was proud of his team, even if it was hard to watch at times.

“We lost three starting players to injuries in that game. Particularly two players that we couldn’t afford to lose in the middle of the park and we kind of stopped playing our game. We didn’t keep the ball and they played desperate. It was great that we could pull it out though,” he said.

Though the win was a sweet cap to a great season, the provincials are not enough for Nardiello or his players. They’ve already started training for nationals, which start in early October.

Although they’ve been given a tough group against top teams from BC, Alberta and Ontario, Nardiello said the goal that has shaped Lucania forever remains in tact.

“The ultimate goal is to win. We feel we’re good enough to beat any team that comes on the pitch against us,” he said.

“When you go to nationals, you need a break here and there though, we hope some go our way,” he added.

While he is happy with his own team, Nardiello said there was room for improvement in terms of soccer in Manitoba. He said the Manitoba Major Soccer League was too watered down, as there are well over 100 teams but only 3 or 4 who legitimately contend for titles.

He said that if the sport wanted to grow here, it had to start with coaching.

“It always starts with coaching, we need better development of coaches at the youth level.”

Nardiello ended with praise for the MSA, but a cautionary word that the work was far from over.

“The MSA have done some great work over the last five or six years. We need more though, it needs to keep growing.”

For more information on Lucania FC, check out this article on the Canadian Soccer Association website:

You can also visit the club website at:

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