Gatti takes pass on Wolves

Midfielder focuses on play for University of Rhode Island Rams

By Jim Wallace
St Catherines Standard
Saturday, May 24, 2003 - 02:00

Local Sports - Simon Gatti will be an unhappy observer on the sidelines as the St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves kick off the Canadian Professional Soccer League season on the road against the Durham Flames tonight. The Welland native, one of the teams fine young stars and a major piece of the rebuilding puzzle, will sit out this year for fear of jeopardizing his full NCAA scholarship at the University of Rhode Island. It was OK last year because I had already played for Club Roma, said Gatti, who left in August to start training in Rhode Island and work on his environmental science and management degree. And I had played with them two years ago I was 18 at the time but I had the opportunity to go to France (to play) and left in mid-August. The graduate of Centennial Secondary School had three goals and two assists in his freshmen year with the Rams, made the Atlantic 10 Conference all-rookie team, and will play a bigger role with his collegiate team next season. Ill be the captain next year, which is a surprise because Im only a sophomore. The 5-foot-10 midfielder earned his scholarship at Rhode Island without coach Ed Bradley seeing Gatti in person. I sent a letter and actually got the coachs e-mail address and ended up sending him a tape. Its funny because the tape was of a Roma game. He really liked the tape; he had never seen me play (live), so thats kind of ironic. Even though he wont be on the field, Gatti plans to attend most of the home games and will try to train with the Wolves whenever he can. Its disappointing because I am allowed to train with them. I could probably play on the second team (in the Ontario Soccer League), but I think Ill just pass for this year. Ill probably not play at all because Im only here for two months anyway.

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