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Player Spotlight: Anthony Colaizzi

 
 
During the 2011 season, we’ll feature a Menace player each week, with a story and video. Here’s your chance to get to know the 2011 Menace, starting with Anthony Colaizzi.
  

A positive first impression helped Anthony Colaizzi switch to the Des Moines Menace.
 
After helping the Thunder Bay Chill – the Menace’s arch-rival – reach the 2010 Premier Development League final, the Marquette grad looks to be a fixture in Des Moines’ defense as the team opens the season on Saturday.

Colaizzi recalls his first taste of Menace soccer, as Thunder Bay’s newest addition for a July 3 game at Valley Stadium last year. One day after flying into Des Moines, Colaizzi watched in the stands, as his new teammates defeated the Menace, 3-1.
 
“I was definitely impressed by the atmosphere,” Colaizzi said. “Just a really cool experience, to have such great fan support…and fireworks (after the game, for Independence Day). I’d never been in this type of a setting for a soccer game.
 
“When I got the call from (Menace head coach) Laurie (Calloway), I kind of knew what to expect. This is a professionally run program. As much as I loved the Thunder Bay program, I just felt I needed to do something new. I thought Laurie and the Menace gave me the best opportunity to play at the next level. This is what’s best for me.”
 
The Illinois native’s role on this year’s team? In his words, “a very attacking left back.” Colaizzi roamed central midfield for the Chill last season, playing with a hernia the last three weeks, as he was part of the team’s Heartland Division crown and a run to the league final – a 4-1 loss to Portland last August.
 
“I’m excited to get the season rolling,” Colaizzi said. “The goals we want to accomplish are do-able. I think the talent and the willingness to work that I’ve seen so far, show that this team can go as far as we want it to go.”

Colaizzi and the Menace get things rolling on Saturday, hosting the St. Louis Lions. All home matches are played at Valley Stadium and start at 7:30 p.m.

 
A Chicagoland native, Anthony pays homage to Bulls great Michael Jordan.

Hometown:
Gurnee, Ill.
College: Marquette University
Position: Left back
Pre-game rituals: Clean my boots and pray for a win.
Favorite thing about Des Moines: How nice the people are.
Favorite Coach Calloway quote: “Don’t stand around like spare pieces.”
 


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