Expansion 2020

The Center of Attention: Two Center Backs Lead Their Teams into the Members Cup

Milwaukee Torrent center back and captain Sebastian Capozucchi is a player with a world of
experience, spending time with Deportivo Merlo (Argentina), Club Atlético Platense
(Argentina), New York Cosmos (U.S.), Troina (Italy), Paterno Calcio (Italy), and Marina Di
Ragusa (Italy).

He has done just about everything, including winning promotion into Serie C for Marina Di
Ragusa and claiming a NPSL national championship with New York Cosmos B.

Capozucchi is part of a diverse Torrent roster that includes players from New York, New Jersey,
and Miami, but also Argentina, Germany, Colombia, and Chile.

“For me and for my teammates, it is a great opportunity to be able to play in America, especially
for guys at the amateur level who are looking to make contact with the next level, USL, MLS,”
Capozucchi said. “The Members Cup is good for us.”

Even though the Torrent didn’t participate in the 2019 NPSL regular season, they have still been
diligently preparing for the Members Cup.

“We started preseason July 1st,” Capozucchi said. “It has been a very tough month. We took it
very serious, preparing like a professional preseason. We had three scrimmages. It went well
and we won all three. A lot of running through the week, a lot of strength and conditioning, a lot
of stuff with the ball to get to know the guys.”

The Torrent have no returning players so chemistry and building a strong foundation have been
key. Capozucchi has embraced the opportunity to play with new teammates in a new city.

“When I got the call to come to Milwaukee, I was excited,” Capozucchi said. “Once I got to
know the city, I could tell that people were excited to have the Milwaukee Torrent. People are
very, very excited for the season. They see a lot of potential. People are always welcoming and
very nice to us so we are excited to return something to the city.”

That something comes in the form of a marquee matchup with Napa Valley 1839 FC this
weekend. The Torrent have never played the Golden Gate Conference side before so it will be
new for players, coaches, fans, and supporters. The excitement surrounding the Torrent is real
and this weekend will bring about months of preparation in the form of the competition’s first
games.

Center back Mike Muñiz is the veteran leader for Napa Valley, having spent time at the highest
levels of game. He’s been in MLS. He’s played in Mexico’s First and Second Divisions. He’s
represented Mexico at the U-20 and U-21 levels. And he has emerged as the team’s talisman
after two successful seasons in Napa.

Muñiz is looking forward to a new challenge, the start of the Members Cup this weekend.

“I think it is a great opportunity,” Muñiz said. “I have heard great things about the Torrent. They
have a great team, a great system.”

While some players would grumble about the 2,100+ mile cross country journey to Wisconsin,
Muñiz has been there and done that and actually sees the travel as a positive.

“I think it is a great opportunity for all of us to travel together and to build that bond again,
especially for the younger players,” Muñiz said. “Traveling far, staying in a hotel together, eating
together, riding the bus together.”

Competing against new teams and in a new tournament has raised the expectations of the team
and the players. It’s a chance to play against teams in other conferences and regions and at the
same time, extend the season for their fans and supporters. Muñiz has high hopes for the
competition.

“We have very high expectations,” Muñiz said. “Working hard at training, being committed,
buying in, trying to be positive for the team. I want to be very demanding, but also have positive
vibes and make it fun. We want to win as much as possible, we want to compete and we want to
win.”

Muñiz is no ordinary defender; he was actually named to the league’s National XI as one of the
NPSL’s top players. The honor meant a lot to everyone in the Napa Valley 1839 FC
organization.

“It was a surprise,” Muñiz said. “I never thought that could happen. I’m one of the older players
on the team. I was very excited to be chosen. All of the success was because of my team, my
coaches. It gave me more confidence and a leadership role.”

Muñiz is joined on a talented Napa Valley 1839 FC roster by two players from FC Davis,
midfielder Onah Power and goalkeeper Zachary Price. Power will play alongside Osvaldo
“Balon” Velazquez, a local player who has been with Napa Valley since day one, while Price
will make his debut in goal against Milwaukee.

It’s quite clear that both teams have incredibly strong leaders in Capozucchi and Muñiz. They
will be leaned upon as their teams face off in an entirely new competition. Expectations are high
and this pair of dynamic center backs will certainly deliver on gameday. They have proven
themselves in the past and are definitely up for the challenge this time around.

Photo Credit: Don Lex and Milwaukee Torrent

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