By Matt Collins
Only a few weeks into the 2017 soccer season, Ryerson’s Abdallah El-Chanti is already racking up accolades as part of the men’s soccer team.
Following stellar performances against the Trent Excalibur and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) Ridgebacks, El-Chanti was named player of the week for U Sports, Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and among Ryerson athletes. In two games against Trent and UOIT over the weekend, El-Chanti recorded five points.
“For me, it was redemption,” said El-Chanti on his week. “I had a bad week before against Carleton, so I wanted to improve. That’s what helped me play well this week.”
El-Chanti did register an assist against Carleton, but the Rams finished without a win for the first time in the 2017 season, ending in a 3-3 draw with the Ravens.
Against UOIT, El-Chanti scored his second game-winning goal of the year to give Ryerson a 3-2 win, and he followed that performance up with two goals and an assist to lead the squad to a 4-0 win over Trent.
“[My teammates] kept my head up the whole week,” said El-Chanti. “My two goals, both were assisted.”
In the span of two games, El-Chanti nearly tripled his season scoring output. His four assists are tied for the most in the nation, and he’s fifth in goals with four so far.
El-Chanti rejoined the Rams at the start of this season after spending the previous season with the Swedish club Tenhults TF. In his first season with the Rams in 2015, he suited up for 14 games, starting nine while posting two goals and no assists.
El-Chanti will now try to help Ryerson get over the hump after the team lost in the OUA bronze medal match to the University of Toronto in consecutive postseason appearances.
The Rams have gone undefeated through their first six games of the season, with five wins and a lone tie thus far.
“We’ve won the division, topped the division, but we haven’t done anything in the playoffs. And that’s what we’re really looking forward to, we don’t care about the season’s record, we want to make nationals, win the OUA and bring a title home this year. That’s what the main goal is.”
On Sept. 16, Ryerson and El-Chanti will have another chance at redemption when they hope to stay unbeaten against the Carleton Ravens at Downsview Park.