Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Two more MacEwan Griffins women's soccer products have signed with the St. Albert Impact ahead of their inaugural UWS (United Women's Soccer Leagues) season this summer.
Former star goalkeeper Emily Burns and current star forward Salma Kamel join six current and former Griffins on the team in preparing for the Impact's home opener on July 2 (7 p.m., Riel Rec Park Stadium).
They join current Griffins Samantha Gouveia, Meagan Lemoine and Kaylin Hermanutz and former Griffins Erika Vecchio, Sheena Tracey and Kayla Evans on the Impact. Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro is also the Impact's associate head coach, alongside head coach and general manager Troye Flannery.
"I think we've set a standard here at MacEwan about our players achieving greatness and opening up opportunities at the next level," said Cordeiro, who also notes former Griffins centre-back Jamie Erickson is playing in the UWS for the San Antonio Athenians.
"We're still relatively new to U SPORTS, only being in the league seven years. What we've been able to achieve in our program as individuals has been impressive. We're excited about the future, the growth of these players and the growth of the female game at this level."
After graduating from MacEwan in 2020, Burns turned pro and played last season in Europe for Real Racing in the Spanish second division. The Sherwood Park native comes to the Impact with three years of previous UWS experience with Calgary Foothills – all under Flannery – and a five-year U SPORTS career (2015-19) that sits unparalleled amongst goalkeepers in MacEwan program history.
"It's very exciting for our team and the growth of the UWS to have Emily playing close to home," said Cordeiro. "She already has proven success at this level, winning a bunch of accolades and helping her previous UWS franchise Calgary make it to nationals and win a division title. So, her experience alone will be a huge asset to our group.
"Seeing Emily reunited with several varsity teammates at MacEwan present and past, is awesome. We're lucky to have her."
Salma Kamel holds MacEwan's record for most goals in a Canada West game with four (Chris Piggott photo).
Kamel, who plans to return to the Griffins in the fall for her fifth and final season of university eligibility, will definitely increase the Impact's offensive production. Among 18 career regular season goals for MacEwan is the time she scored four in one game against Mount Royal in 2019 to break the program's Canada West record.
"Salma is a dynamic attacking player," said Cordeiro. "She's a treat to watch. When Sal's clicking on all cylinders, there's no other forward you'd want on the field. One opportunity is all she needs to change the game.
"She'll definitely add scoring prowess to our group. We're excited to have Salma be a part of it and reunite with some of her varsity and club teammates. She's going to do some great things at this level."
For more information on the Impact, check out their website here.