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News from USL

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  • 03/20/13--17:39: USL PRO 2013: The Champions
  • USL PRO Season Preview

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    For Charleston Battery midfielder Nicki Paterson, one game in particular stands out from his club’s championship season in 2012.

    “It just seemed to come to us on a road trip at the end of the season where we went to play Rochester,” Paterson said recently. “We beat them 4-0 on the road, and that just changed the whole mentality. The whole team just seemed to pull together, we found a starting 11 that was working and everybody was playing well and healthy, and we went on a four-, five-game winning streak at the end. It was just that relief that you could do it, and then as soon as Wilmington beat Orlando in the semifinal, and we knew we were hosting the final, I don’t think anybody on our team thought we were going to lose that game.”

    The Battery’s run to the title was an impressive one, with the side finding the consistency it needed at just the right moment to make their run through the USL PRO Playoffs. Now, six months later, many familiar faces are back at Blackbaud Stadium as Charleston not only prepares to defend its title, but also aims to find greater consistency throughout the season.

    While the club has lost some important pieces from last year, Tony Donatelli and Kyle Hoffer joining expansion club VSI Tampa Bay FC and Ryan Richter currently on trial with Toronto FC, when Paterson looks around the locker room, he sees a more experienced group than the Battery have had in recent seasons.

    “Coach [Mike Anhaeuser] has picked up a few guys who will definitely fill the void of those guys leaving,” Paterson said, “and then guys like Jose Cuevas, going into his second year, John Wilson and Colin Falvey have been at the club for several years, I’m now in my third year here, Zach Prince is in his third year, there’s a lot of guys who aren’t rookies anymore.”

    Cuevas in particular could be set for an even more successful campaign than 2012, which saw him claim Rookie of the Year honors. Paterson believes Cuevas has matured this offseason, now having a better understanding of what it takes to reach the next level thanks to a spell with the Seattle Sounders FC this preseason.

    “The one thing anyone will know about Jose when you see him play is the boy’s got talent,” Paterson said. “He’s quicker than a lot of people give him credit for, his feet are really good, a lot of quality, but the most important thing for Jose is that he knows where the goal is, and whether it be a practice game in training, whether it be a league game, or whatever, we know that if he gets a chance, more often than not he’s going to score.

    “He’s had a little taste of what training’s like in MLS with Seattle for a week, he knows the work those guys put in, and then the little things like his diet and the way he lives off the field, he’s only going to get better and better and better. If he keeps improving there, his output on the field is only going to get better, so I’m expecting the same, if not more from him this year.”

    As for Paterson, he has some impressive performances to live up to himself. After scoring 18 goals in USL PRO’s regular season the past two years, taking All-League First Team honors in the process last fall, Paterson’s eye for goal has been a big key to the Battery’s success.

    While Paterson certainly would like to match his goal-scoring performances of the past two seasons, however, his principle focus is on doing what he can to make sure the Battery’s title defense is a successful one.

    “It’s funny, I remember the year before I scored eight goals and I thought to myself, ‘well, I’m up against it this year, I’m going to have to score eight goals just to keep the coach happy and the fans happy’,” Paterson said. “I didn’t know where those eight goals had come from, because I had been playing defensive midfield the year prior to that, so having scored eight, I was like, ‘if I can score eight again, I’ll be quite happy’, and then last year it was 12.”

    “I wouldn’t say I surprised myself, because I always feel like I’m capable of scoring, but I’m excited to see how it goes again this year. If I don’t score 12 goals, if I score five and we win a championship again, that’s success for me. As everybody knows, I’m a team guy first and foremost, and if they need me to come up and score goals then I’ll do everything I can, wherever coach wants to play me.”

    That attitude, and ability, was what caused the New York Red Bulls to take a long look at Paterson this offseason, with the 28-year-old being one of the last players released at the end of the preseason. The extended spell with New York has seen Paterson get some extra rest of late in the Battery’s preseason, with Anhaeuser making sure one of his key players is fresh to start the season. With the Battery now focused on their April 13th opener against Richmond, Paterson is eager for the new season, and the league’s new era, to arrive.

    “These affiliations with MLS teams, the games between the MLS [reserve] teams [and USL PRO teams], just the overall level of things like the USL Combine, and guys who don’t catch on with MLS teams coming down, I think the relationship is huge,” Paterson said. “I would love to be 21 again and have the USL be at this stage. I think it’s exciting, and I think it’s only going to get better over the next few years.” 


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with Loveland Distributing. For the first time in club history, Loveland Distributing will be the exclusive distributor of adult beverages at all Kickers home games. The partnership will kick off with the Kickers 21st Birthday Party on Saturday, April 6 when the Kickers host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. The reinvigorated game day experience begins when the gates open at 6 p.m. with live music, food trucks, corporate entertainment and hospitality tents, giveaways, new and improved Family Zone and fun for families and soccer fans alike.

    “We truly believe in supporting events in the community that bring value to Richmond and its residents,” said Amanda Marable, Loveland Distributing Brand Activation Manager. “We are happy to partner with the Richmond Kickers and help them improve the fan experience at City Stadium. We believe that these games will be a great place for families and friends to gather to support their hometown team.”

    Loveland Distributing will be the official sponsor of the new bar area, located on the south side of the main concourse at Richmond City Stadium. The expansive area will serve as a unique, new gathering place for fans before and during games, offering a variety of food and beverage options and a distinctive vantage point. The Loveland Distributing beer on tap will include Miller Lite, Blue Moon and other seasonal beers at City Stadium.

    RVA Street Foodies, representing Richmond’s iconic Food Trucks, will headline the event with local favorites such as Boka Truck, Curbside Creations, Estes BarB’Que, Habanero’s, Thai Cabin, Soul Ice and King of Pops, among others, scheduled to attend throughout the season, serving delicious sandwiches, Thai curry, legendary tacos and all-natural frozen desserts.

    On the north side of the concourse, the Kickers are pleased to introduce a specially designated Family Zone, presented by Dr. Babik from Crossridge Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, featuring an exclusive seating section, inflatable games, face painting and fun for kids of all ages. Delicious and affordable concessions will be available including Papa John’s pizza, fresh-squeezed lemonade, ice cream and Nesquik low-fat chocolate milk.

    “We are thrilled to work closely with community-minded partners Loveland Distributing, RVA Street Foodies and Dr. Babik to enhance our game day experience,” said Hunter Leemon, Richmond Kickers Director of Sales. “With the addition of a bar area and a new and improved family zone, combined with the excitement of our affiliation with D.C. United and Major League Soccer, 2013 is sure to be our most exciting and entertaining season yet.”

    Don't miss a minute of exciting Kickers Pro action as they kick off their 21st season on Saturday, April 6. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see at least 14 USL PRO games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!


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    Southern West Virginia King's Warriors News Release -- www.wvkingswarriors.org

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    BECKLEY, W.Va. --  Southern West Virginia King's Warriors' Head Coach Scott Reitnour is pleased to report that nine players from the club's 2012 inaugural season will be returning as team members in 2013.

    Among the key players returning are defenders Harry Sherwood and Carter Robbins, along with goalkeeper Erik Mozzo. Other returnees include forward Jorge Martinez, midfielders Stephen Millage, Mark Mitchell and Bennie Bardales, and defenders Byron Ramirez Knowles and Jordan Devlin.

    Sherwood finished the 2012 season tied as the King's Warriors' second-leading scorer with three goals and six points. A tenacious defender, Sherwood also displayed the knack to go forward and jump into the final third when the opportunity presented itself. Sherwood's play last season with Southern West Virginia also earned him a tryout with the King's Warriors affiliate in USL PRO, the Charlotte Eagles.

    "I'm really looking forward to sharing another summer with the King's Warriors, to carry on from where we left off last season off the field, and to improve from the foundation we laid on the field," said Sherwood. "It's going to be a great summer for everyone involved."

    Another returning defender who showed a flair for offense last season is Robbins. The 19-year old will always be known for scoring the first goal in Southern West Virginia's home opener last May against the Nashville Metros. Robbins had three goals and six points for the King's Warriors, tying three teammates for second place in the team's scoring parade.

     

    Mozzo started 14 of the King's Warriors' 16 games last season, posting an excellent 1.40 goals against average while earning four shutouts. The former two-season Clemson Tigers goalkeeper transferred to Lubbock Christian University this past fall. Mozzo played in 11 games for the Golden Eagles going 5-3-1 and sporting a 1.58 goals against average.

    "I'm very excited to be coming back to join the King's Warriors for the club's second season," said Mozzo. "We have laid the foundation and now it's time to build on that foundation. I feel that everything is up to speed and we can progress quicker as a collective group of men and soccer players."


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  • 03/21/13--14:58: Tampa Bay Signs Noone
  • VSI Tampa Bay FC News Release -- www.vsi-fc.com

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – VSI Tampa Bay FC is proud to announce the addition of championship winning midfielder Joseph “J.T.” Noone, for the 2013 roster.

    Noone comes to Tampa days after winning the MISL Championship with the Baltimore Blast. Noone joins his Blast teammate Tony Donatelli in Tampa for VSI Tampa Bay FC’s 2013 inaugural season in USL PRO.  In his indoor career, Noone has recorded 50 appearances and 21 goals with the Blast.

    "J.T. is a player we’ve known about for a while and saw blossom into an outstanding box-to-box midfielder," Head Coach Matt Weston said. "Getting him is a big coup for the club as he is highly regarded in the league and will bring leadership qualities, high energy and quality to our midfield.”

    Noone’s career started in college with the Temple Owls where he was named to the ESPN Magazine Men's Soccer Academic All-District 2 University Division Second Team as a sophomore. Noone became the first Owl in 22 years to earn All-America honors with his selection to the NSCAA Second Team All-America squad in 2008. As a junior he was also an NSCAA First Team All-Atlantic Region selection.

    Prior to his senior year at Temple, Noone played with the Ocean City Barons of the USL Premier Development League. Noone played in 16 regular season games for Ocean City in 2009 season, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He also played in three Lamar Hunt US Open Cup matches. Noone scored a goal in a 3-0 first round upset of Crystal Palace Baltimore of the USL Second Division and scored the game-winning penalty kick in overtime in a 1-0 upset of another USL Second Division side, the Real Maryland Monarchs.

    Noone started and played 90 minutes in the club's 2-0 loss against D.C. United of Major League Soccer in Round Three. He also helped the Barons reach the quarterfinals of the PDL playoffs, and scored the tying goal in a 2-1 second round win over the previously unbeaten Ottawa Fury.

    After his time at Temple, Noone signed professionally with the Harrisburg City Islanders and appeared 15 times in his debut season. On July 30, 2010, Noone signed with the Philadelphia Union of the MLS. With no action in the first team, he was waived in March and returned to the City Islanders where he went on to play pivotal roles in 43 appearances, scoring two goals.

    “We are delighted to add J.T. into the squad," said Clay Roberts, VSI Director of Soccer. "He is a tremendous player and will provide an immediate impact into the team. J.T. is a strong, athletic, and extremely technical player who matches his work-rate with his technical ability. His addition continues to solidify the depth of the roster.”

    Noone and the rest of the VSI Tampa Bay FC team will be playing at the University of Tampa on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and the University of South Florida on Saturday night at 7 p.m. as they conclude their preseason preparations.

    To catch more action with check out our website at www.vsi-fc.com. Tickets are available for the 2013 USL PRO inaugural season, including the MLS Reserves match against the Portland Timbers, on our website at www.vsi-fc.com.


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  • 03/21/13--17:04: Crossfire Add UW Standouts
  • Washington Crossfire News Release -- www.crossfiresoccer.org

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    KIRKLAND, Wash. – The Washington Crossfire are pleased to announce the addition of five players from the University of Washington for the club's 2013 season in the PDL. Goalkeeper Spencer Richey, defenders Andy Thoma, Justin Schmidt and David Gebert and midfielder James Moberg will all join the Crossfire for the upcoming summer.

    "We are very excited to be able to have these five players join this year’s team," said Crossfire General Manager Gary Whitehouse. “This year’s group from UW will help build the nucleus of our team for 2013.”

    Richey arrives with the Crossfire after a standout 2012 PDL season with the Portland Timbers U-23s. Richey appeared in 14 games, posting a 0.970 goals against-average, and three shutouts. He then went on to play every minute for the Huskies in the fall, recording a 0.85 goals against-average and 10 shutouts as the Huskies went 13-5-3.

    “Having Spencer return to the Crossfire organization where he played youth soccer was a big deal for us for this year,” said Whitehouse.

    Moberg also had a good fall for the Huskies in 2012, finishing second on the team with 14 points on four goals and a team-high six assists. Thoma, meanwhile, recorded a pair of assists while starting in all 21 contests for the Huskies.

    “Andy Thoma, who started every game for us at left back or midfield is a tremendous talent,” Whitehouse said. “James Moberg is a freshman who started for UW in his first season and is expected to fill an important role."

    Schmidt and Gebert did not appear for the Huskies this past fall, and will look to continue their development before they return to campus later this year to compete for a spot in the UW line-up.  


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  • 03/21/13--16:34: Battery Re-Sign Klasila
  • Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery have added goalkeeper Kevin Klasila and midfielder Jarad van Schaik to their roster for the upcoming USL PRO season. Klasila returns to the Battery for a second season while van Schaik joins for a first season after spending two years with the Puerto Rico Islanders.

    “Signing Kevin and Jared is an important piece of our squad," said Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser. "Kevin is back in goal for his second season and Jared brings quality and depth in our midfield from the Puerto Rico Islanders. We are looking forward to both of them contributing this season.”

    Klasila returns to the Battery for a second season after missing much of his first year through injury. Klasila started the Battery’s first game of the 2012 campaign, a 2-1 win against the Richmond Kickers, but following the injury he did not return to competitive action until late in the season.

    Klasila was a four-year starter at Santa Clara University. A native of Los Angeles, the 23-year-old Klasila, 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, attended Loyola High School.

    Van Schaik arrives at the Charleston Battery after spending the past two years with the Puerto Rico Islanders. Van Schaik played 40 games for Puerto Rico, scoring three goals.

    A native of Portland, Ore., the 24-year-old van Schaik, 6-1, 185 pounds, played collegiately at the University of Portland, scoring 13 goals and adding 14 assists in more than 70 games.

    Charleston Battery vs Wilmington Hammerheads

    The Charleston Battery preseason continues this Saturday with a 6 p.m. game against the Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium, Daniel Island. The game is a rematch of the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game that the Battery won 1-0, earning Charleston its fourth USL championship. Saturday’s game is presented by Piggly Wiggly; tickets start at just $7 with discounts available for groups of ten or more (843) 971-GOAL (4625) / www.charlestonbattery.com.


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  • 03/21/13--16:44: Sounders Women Add Woeller
  • Seattle Sounders Women News Release -- www.sounderswomen.com

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Women have signed Shannon Woeller, a defender with Canadian National Team experience, for the 2013 W-League season. The 23 year old has made 16 appearances for Team Canada including starts in 2012 Olympic Qualifiers.

    “I had the privilege of coaching Shannon for two W-League seasons in Vancouver," Sounders head coach, Hubert Busby Jr., said. "She has a great attitude towards the game and is very coachable. More importantly, she is always willing to do what is best for the team.”

    “The Sounders have always had some of the best fans in the league, and they make Seattle a really intimidating place to play for opponents," Woeller said. "I am very excited to now have the opportunity to have these fans on my side and to get a chance to play for them. It should be a lot of fun.”

    Before appearing in every Olympic Qualifier in 2011-12, Woeller was a part of the 2008 U-20 CONCACAF Championship winning team for Canada.

    “Shannon brings a wealth of international experience,” Busby Jr. said. “This experience will prove valuable in the most competitive conference in league. She knows what it's like to play in meaningful games.”

    Woeller will graduate from Rutgers University this summer. In her final season there, she captained Rutgers to a 2nd round run in the NCAA tournament and was named BIG East Scholar Athlete of the Year.

    “I am very excited to be signing with the Sounders,” Woeller said. “This is a new experience in a new city for me, and I think it is a great place to begin my post college career. I can’t wait to get to Seattle and get started.”

    With Woeller’s International, W-League, and NCAA experience, she will be looked upon to help lead the Sounders Women from the back line. It’s a role she’s familiar with and eager to fill.

    “I am hoping that I can bring a lot of experience and leadership on and off the field for the younger players,” Woeller said. “My first few years in the W league I had some great older players to look up to and learn from and that helped me with my development. I would like to be able to set a positive example and help these younger players learn in a competitive environment.”

    Following last weekend’s Open Tryouts, the Sounders Women have invited local players to continue to train with the club for an extended trial during the Sounders preseason. The Sounders Women will continue to announce signings for the 2013 W-League season on the club’s website. Single match and season tickets are currently on sale on SoundersWomen.com.


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  • 03/21/13--17:14: USL PRO 2013: The Newcomers
  • USL PRO 2013 Preview

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    As they entered their first seasons in USL PRO, Phoenix FC and VSI Tampa Bay FC had their own approaches in mind as to how they would build a squad from scratch.

    For Tampa Bay, led by a pair of men in Coach Matt Weston and Director of Soccer Clay Roberts who had coached and played in the league, the search began with a list.

    “One of the initial conversations that we had was, ‘OK, let’s put down some target players throughout the league that we know are veteran players, established players, maybe even successful players in this league’,” Roberts said. “Is there any connection to these players where we could see the ability to strike up a conversation about interest in coming to VSI Tampa Bay.”

    For Phoenix coach David Robertson, the process was going to be different, with the former Aberdeen and Rangers player looking to use his contacts from Scotland and in the Arizona soccer community to good effect.

    “I wanted some experienced players,” Robertson said. “Some local players, some young, enthusiastic players, some guys out of college, some existing guys that play in the league and PDL players. The mix of players we’ve got certainly is that.”

    For expansion clubs, getting out of the gates strongly can often be tricky to accomplish. Both Phoenix and Tampa Bay, however, could be ready to contend for a place in the playoffs immediately, with a group of experienced veterans with vast USL PRO experience ready to suit up for VSI. Among their key acquisitions this winter was former Charleston Battery midfielder Tony Donatelli, whom Roberts had played alongside in the MISL, and the former Wilmington Hammerheads duo of goalkeeper Alex Horwath and forward Andriy Budnyy.

    For Roberts, once certain players had been signed, things began to line up as he had hoped they would. The former Charlotte Eagles player also points to Mauricio Salles, J.T. Noone and Josh Rife as players he believes will help Tampa Bay be immediately competitive.

    “We felt that if we could win them, we would have an attraction to others,” Roberts said.

    Weston’s experience in the PDL last summer, leading the Ocala Stampede to a Southeast Division title in its inaugural season, opened up the other main channel VSI looked to while adding players, with players such as Christian Silva and Karambah Janneh (Ocala), Jarod Stigall (IMG Bradenton) and Jamie McGuinness (VSI Tampa Bay) making the jump into the professional ranks.

    “We really reached out and hit our local PDL teams,” Roberts said. “Between IMG, Orlando City, us and Ocala, we had a pretty strong division, so we really targeted our [PDL] division for players that we felt were right on the brim of coming in as a professional, or who we really think could develop into a good pro.”

    The PDL also proved a good source of players for Robertson, with FC Tucson’s Donny Toia and Reid Schmitt coming aboard for the club’s inaugural season. With MLS veteran Andrew Weber, a local product, set to captain the team, and former Aberdeen standout Darren Mackie appearing in good form since arriving for preseason, a good balance of experience and youth appears to be coming together in the desert.

    “We have a lot of young guys who aspire to play in MLS, we have local guys who want to go and play in MLS, and there are some pitfalls and things you need to do,” Robertson said. “Andrew’s certainly going to point people in the right direction and tell people what they need, but I think Andrew himself obviously wants to at some point get to step back up. The whole roster, they are very ambitious, and first and foremost you want to make sure that Phoenix FC have a successful season, and if we can move some players on to higher levels, or somewhere else, then that’s going to make us look good.”

    Both teams will get the find out how they match up with one another early in the season, with Tampa Bay visiting Phoenix for the Wolves’ home opener at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Saturday, March 30. Robertson believes, however, that the true litmus test for his side will come a week later, when Orlando City visits Arizona to open its season.

    For both teams, though, the playoffs are a clear, and they believe attainable, goal. Whether that happens will be at least partly due to the personnel decisions both organizations have made in the past six months.

    “Obviously it’s our first season, it’s an exciting time,” Robertson said. “I think because it’s new a lot of people want to come here, but the squad itself is pretty much the make-up of what I wanted, so as I say, when you start something fresh, the coach gets who he wants and when things go good or things go bad, it’s the coach that made these decisions.” 


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    Mississippi Brilla FC News Release -- www.brillasoccer.org

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    CLINTON, Miss. -- Ahead of their only open tryout this weekend, Mississippi Brilla FC announces the return of four veteran players, Felipe Silva, Phillip Buffington, Anteneh Lemma and Jakes Files. The players will be integral in providing some continuity between previous seasons and 2013, where Brilla has experienced many changes, including a new head coach and a roster that will be full of new players.

    The Brilla returns their leading scorer from last season, Felipe Silva. A native of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Silva returns to Brilla upon being named an NAIA All-American at Hannibal-LaGrange University after scoring 18 goals and adding 15 assists for the Trojans. These numbers earned him the single-season school record for assists and points. In addition to All-American honors, Silva was named the American Mid West Conference Player of the Year. These incredible numbers make his impressive 2012 Brilla contributions of nine goals and two assists look paltry. The Brilla coaching staff is optimistic that he will continue to perform at this level.

    "We are happy that Felipe will be joining us again this summer," Brilla Head Coach Drew Courtney said. "He has had a great collegiate season and we look forward to his experience on the field for us."

    Another threat to put goals into the net is Buffington, who has scored 20 goals and added 11 assists in his five previous seasons with Brilla. Buffington was hobbled with injuries last year that limited his goal-scoring, but he was able to contribute six assists in limited playing time.

    "We are pleased that Buff will be joining us again for another season," said Courtney. "His experience and ability to score are proven at many levels of the game. Finding the net is natural for him and we look forward to his presence this summer.”

    Another long-time Brilla staple, midfielder Anteneh Lemma, returns to Brilla for a 5th season. Lemma, from Sweden, has contributed six goals and six assists in his previous four seasons. Lemma will hope to pull the strings from midfield, where he covers a lot of ground and seeks to get the ball to Brilla’s dangerous attacking players.

    "Because we always have so many young players, the experience of Lemma will again be invaluable to our team," Brilla Executive Director Rusty Bryant said. "He has been a part of Brilla for a number of years, and I know that the fans will be glad to see him back on the field."

    Goalkeeper Jake Files, a Clinton, Miss. native, returns home after a stellar freshman season at Spring Hill College where he earned the starting ’keeper job and played in all 19 games for the Badgers. While he did not crack the lineup last season for Brilla, Files will count on the valuable experience of training with the club last year and his strong showing for his college squad to propel him to contribute minutes in the goal for Brilla this season.

    "We are so pleased with Jake’s progress during his first year at Spring Hill," Bryant said. "His experience in the PDL last year will make him someone to keep an eye on this year."

    All four players hope to be in the starting lineup when Brilla kicks off on May 23 in Fort Lauderdale against Schulz Academy. Brilla’s first home match will be on May 31 when they host the Ocala Stampede at Clinton High School.

    For more information, visit www.brillasoccer.org.


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    Sounders FC U-23 News Release -- www.soundersu23.com

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – Following last season’s run to the PDL National Semifinals, the Sounders FC U-23 have reloaded for 2013. The club has officially signed defenders Mark Lee, Chris Brundage, and Steve Mohn for the 2013 campaign. Lee and Brundage return for their second season with the Sounders U-23, while Mohn transfers from the Kitsap Pumas.

    “We are excited to build on the success the players had last year,” said Coach Darren Sawatzky. “The U23 squad represents the next step to the first team for our academy products and it gives the top college players in the country a place to showcase as they look to the next level.”

    Each of these defenders will bring experience and composure to a group of young talents. Lee is a multiple-year All-Western Conference defender who can play centrally or as an outside back. He played all but one match last year and ranked second on the squad in minutes played, behind DeAndre Yedlin.

    “It’s going to be an exciting year,” Lee said. “Fans will see a bunch of young guys and some new faces coming in again this summer. Making it as far as we did last year and having the open cup this year really makes me excited to get back at it.”

    Mohn and Lee were teammates with the Tacoma Tide in 2009 and again in 2011 with the Kitsap Pumas. That season the Pumas competed in the U.S. Open Cup and were knocked out by Sounders FC. This year, Mohn and Lee will team up again in the Open Cup, this time for Sounders FC U-23.

    Mohn played every minute of last year’s PDL season for the Kitsap Pumas, including their 2012 U.S. Open Cup match.

    “Having a seasoned player like Steve Mohn helps the young players grow and develop,” Sawatzky said. “We are very happy to have someone onboard with his experience.”

    Brundage finished his college career in the fall with a second-round run in the NCAA Tournament with the Washington Huskies. The central defender fought back from an early season injury to help the Dawgs to a 13-4-3 record, good enough for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. After a win against Air Force, UW fell to the eventual College Cup runner-up, Creighton.

    Brundage, who spent most of his senior season riddled with injuries, showed his quality during his junior year with 13 starts on the Washington season.

    “Chris was a stalwart for us last year on the backline and we expect the same level out of him this spring," Sawatzky said. "His leadership as he comes out of college will also help with the young players in our development structure.”

    Signings for Sounders FC U-23 will continue to be announced throughout the months of March and April. The Sounders U-23 kick off the season with two exhibitions on the road before the first home match on May 24. For more info on roster, schedules, and the U.S. Open Cup draw, see SoundersU23.com.


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    Long Island Rough Riders News Release - www.liroughriders.com

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    PLAINVIEW, N.Y. - The Long Island Rough Riders are excited to announce the signing of two-time W-League Defender of the Year Sue Weber. Weber took maternity leave during the 2012 season to welcome a new addition to the Alber-Weber family and looks forward to returning to play in 2013.

    “Being away from the game was the hardest and most exciting thing in my life," Weber said. "I was pregnant and had a baby girl, so that was exciting, but it was hard to be away from the game for so long, I had never done that before. I’m thrilled to be coming back to soccer and having those late-night practices and then coming home to my six-month-old.”

    Weber made her return to the Rough Riders in 2010 after a standout campaign in 2008 in which she led them to the W-League Eastern Conference Semifinals. Shortly after being named the W-League Defender of the Year, Weber was drafted by the Boston Breakers of the WPS in the third round (18th overall).

    Prior to beginning her professional career, Weber was a member of the U-17 U.S. National Team and a National Pool player from 2000-03. During her freshmen year of college at Georgia, she played in every game and was named to the SEC All-Rookie team. After transferring to Hofstra, Weber was a two-time All-American (2005, 2007).

    “I’m very excited to build upon the past seasons and am looking to make it to the playoffs and even go past the first round," she said. "The competition will be good, which I love, and a lot of players are coming back so I think we will have a solid base.”

    Rough Riders Vice President Flavio Ferri shared his excitement about Weber’s return.

    “Sue is an extraordinary player and a natural leader," he said. "Her presence on and off the field will be invaluable to our women’s team this year.”

    The Rough Riders are excited to add all-star talent such as Weber to build upon their 2012 record of 9-3-0, Northeast Division title and Eastern Conference Semifinal appearance.

    The Rough Riders kick off the 2013 season with their home opener against the Fredericksburg Impact Saturday, May 18 at 5 p.m. at Cy Donnelly Stadium, South Huntington, N.Y.


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  • 03/22/13--17:26: Aztex Add Seven To Squad
  • Austin Aztex News Release -- www.austinaztex.com

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Aztex have signed seven players to join the 2013 roster, including returning Premier Development League veterans Zachary Garcia, Jacob Powell, Andres Cuero and 2012 All-League defender Max Gunderson. In addition, Michael King, John Lujano, and Jose “Sito” Seoane have joined the Aztex. The signings bring the team roster up to 22 players.

    “We walked away impressed with the talent that we saw at the Collegiate Trial,” Aztex Head Coach Paul Dalglish said. “These players represent the quality that we are looking for and will be a good fit for the Aztex.”

    Garcia, a 22-year-old from San Antonio, played eight games for the Aztex in 2012, establishing a starting role in the midfield as the team made their push to the playoffs. Upon completion of the season, Garcia signed a professional contract with the San Antonio Scorpions of the North American Soccer League.

    Powell, a 20-year-old from Austin, played three games for the Aztex in 2012, adding speed to the Aztex attack. Powell brings experience from his time with the Austin Gunners, an indoor soccer team which plays in the Premier Arena Soccer League.

    Cuero, a 23-year-old from Austin, played two seasons with the Wilmington Hammerheads of USL Pro before joining the Aztex. Prior to playing for the Hammerheads, Cuero played for the Austin Aztex U23 squad in 2008 and 2009, scoring nine goals.

    Gunderson, a 23-year-old from Henderson, Nev., brings recognition as a 2012 PDL All-League player and finalist for the Defender of the Year award. Gunderson played three seasons for the Laredo Heat, and will offer leadership among the back line.

    King, an 18-year-old from Spring, Tex., and Lujano, an 18-year-old from McPherson, Kan., both join the Aztex after successful freshman campaigns at SMU, with both having earned a spot on the 2012 Conference USA All-Freshman Team. King, a center back, joined SMU ranked 23rd in the nation by College Soccer News and was named a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Lujano, a midfielder, joined SMU ranked 56th in the nation and was also recognized as a four-star recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

    Seoane, a 24-year-old from Miami, previously played for Laracha CF, an amateur club in Spain. Seoane, now a freshman midfielder at San Jacinto College, was named NJCAA All-American Second Team and finished the 2012 collegiate season with eight goals and seven assists.

    The Austin Aztex kick off the 2013 United Soccer League’s PDL season with an away match on Saturday, May 11 in the Mid South division versus Oklahoma City FC. The Aztex will open the club’s PDL home schedule on Saturday, May 18 at House Park versus the Houston Dutch Lions. 


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  • 03/22/13--10:07: Ownby Joins Kickers On Loan
  • Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce that former Richmond Strikers Academy and University of Virginia midfielder Brian Ownby returns to Richmond on loan from Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo, pending USSF approval.

    “When we discovered Brian was available on loan we knew we had to bring him back to Richmond,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “We were encouraged to find that Brian was just as excited to return to his hometown pro team and know that with his strong ties to the Strikers and Deep Run High School, he is a player the entire community can rally behind."

    Selected by the Houston Dynamo in the first round of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, Ownby made seven appearances, recording a pair of assists off the bench in his rookie season. A native of Richmond, Va., Ownby signed with Houston after a standout collegiate career at UVA where he made 72 appearances over four seasons, finishing with 21 goals and 10 assists for 52 points. He was named Second Team All-ACC in 2011 after earning first-team honors in 2010 and was a member of the NCAA Championship-winning team in 2009. The 5-foot-11 midfielder represented the United States at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, scoring a goal in the group stage match against Cameroon.

    The former Richmond Strikers Academy player is a graduate of Deep Run High School, taking Colonial District and Central Region Player of the Year honors in 2008. While at Virginia, Ownby also competed for Reading United in the PDL, scoring four goals and adding three assists in four games for the side in 2011.

    Don’t miss a minute of exciting Kickers Pro action as they kick off their 21st season on Saturday, April 6. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see at least 14 USL PRO games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!


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  • 03/23/13--20:23: Battery Defeat Hammerheads
  • Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery defeated the Wilmington Hammerheads 2-0 in a preseason scrimmage on Saturday evening at Blackbaud Stadium. Midfielder Ben Fisk and forward Jose Cuevas supplied the goals in a match that featured the two teams from the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game.

    The Battery created the first chance of the game in the 29th minute after defender Micheal Azira slipped a pass through to midfielder Quinton Griffith on the right side of the box. Griffith took the pass in stride but his shot missed wide right. Five minutes later Charleston threatened again as forward Dane Kelly picked up a loose ball just outside the box on the left side. Kelly tried an early shot but curling effort sailed just wide.

    Wilmington’s best chance of the half came in the 41st minute after William Heaney whipped a corner-kick in from the near side. Forward Cody Arnoux met the cross but his headed attempt spun wide of the mark.

    The Battery finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute with some neat midfield interplay. Griffith picked out Cuevas, who played a ball in behind the Hammerheads' defense to Fisk, who took the ball in stride and tucked a shot past Wilmington goalkeeper Joel Helmrick.

    Charleston doubled its advantage within five minutes as Fisk returned the favor, playing in Cuevas on the left side of the penalty area. Cuevas lifted the ball over the last defender and drilled a finish into the bottom right corner.

    The Battery continue their preseason schedule on Tuesday with a match against Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, S.C.


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  • 03/23/13--12:16: Blues Set To Host Phoenix
  • Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Blues open the 2013 campaign against USL PRO newcomers Phoenix FC on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton.

    The Blues have gone through a transformation this preseason, adding Warren Barton to the front office as the team’s general manager. And Barton’s first order of business was to name Jesus Rico-Sanz as head coach.

    The Blues had a busy preseason which saw a loss to Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA, but wins against Cal State Fullerton and the San Diego Flash. Forward George Davis IV is back with the Blues after his loan to Orlando City last season, while midfielder Allan Russell and defenders Cory Miller and Matt Hall will provide stability and leadership to the young team. Two Blues players to look out for this game will be former MLS players forward Chris Cortez and midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, who was recently added to the club's roster.

    The Blues defensive unit will have its hands full with Phoenix’s Aaron King, who is expected to lead the Wolves' attack in the absence of Darren Mackie, who suffered an injury in training and is unavailable for the newcomers. King had 21 goals in two seasons for FC Tampa Bay before a knee injury kept him sidelined in the 2012 season.

    Tickets for Saturday night's contest are available through ticketfly.com, and the game will also be available to view via USLNation.com.


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    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues opened the 2013 USL PRO season with a 2-0 victory against Phoenix FC on Saturday night at Titan Stadium. George Davis IV opened the scoring for the Blues, while Chris Cortez scored in the second half to seal the first victory in a home opener in club history.

    “It’s a great start. You can’t ask for anything better. The players played with great disciple. They were defensively strong,” said Blues head coach Jesus Rico-Sanz. “When we had the ball, they moved it well. The midfield played very well, first and second half. We missed the finishing in the last third. I’m very pleased.”

    The Blues started off the game strongly, with their first scoring opportunity coming in the fifth minute as Cortez's shot went just over the crossbar. The Blues would have two more shots on goal before Davis finally found the back of the net off a cross from the right by defender Matt Hall.

    “I definitely wanted to get on the board," said Davis. "I know I’m going to have to score some goals this year. Matt got down the side and put a great ball into the box, and I was able to get at the end of it.”

    The first half closed on back-to-back fouls by the Wolves’ with Travis Bowen receiving a yellow card and Anthony Obodai being sent off for a reckless tackle on the Blues’ Juan Perez. Starting the second half a man up, the Blues were able to control the tempo and pace of the game, and quickly doubled their lead as Cortez found himself on the end of a Rodrigo Lopez free kick, heading home from close range.

    Blues goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski wasn’t busy for much of the game, but was called into action to make a big save near the end of the game to maintain a clean sheet.

    The Blues next match is at home against VSI Tampa Bay FC on Tuesday, April 2 at 4 p.m. PT. Tickets can be purchased at www.LABluesProSoccer.com. Phoenix returns home for its home opener, also against Tampa Bay, next Saturday night at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium at 7:30 p.m. PT.


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    Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery have transferred Ryan Richter to Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC. Per team and MLS policy terms of the deal were not disclosed. Richter played 29 games for the Battery in 2012 and was a member of the USL PRO Championship-winning team.

    Richter logged 1,792 minutes with the Battery in 2012 and finished the season with two goals and four assists. Richter started all three of the Battery’s postseason games, including the Championship match.

    Ryan Richter was originally drafted as the fifth overall pick in the first round of the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft by Philadelphia Union but was subsequently loaned to the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL PRO and made his debut against the Charleston Battery on June 4 in a game Harrisburg won 1-0.

    Richter is the second player from the 2012 Battery squad to move up to Major League Soccer this spring, joining goalkeeper Alec Kann who was signed by the Chicago Fire.

    Battery preseason continues Tuesday with match vs. Coastal

    The Charleston Battery continues its pre-season schedule Tuesday evening with a 6 p.m. road match against Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach. The Battery defeated Coastal 2-1 in the reverse fixture played on March 7 at Blackbaud Stadium.


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  • 03/25/13--12:21: Rhinos Add Local Products
  • Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester Rhinos have agreed to terms with local products Mike Reidy, pictured right, and Josh Faga for the 2013 USL PRO season. Rochester Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers was aware of both players reputations locally, but did not have an opportunity to evaluate them until they attended the Rochester Rhinos trials during the off-season. After having the chance to watch both play, he decided to offer them contracts.

    “Josh came to our trial at Total Sports Experience in November, and we had a chance to see Reidy play earlier this month,” Myers said. “Both players were among the top players in their respective combine, so I started to talk to them about joining the club. I had a second chance to see Josh play at InfoSport Soccer Combine and left equally impressed with him. Both guys are getting their first opportunity to play professional soccer with their home town club, and we're happy to have them here.”

    Reidy is a graduate of Webster Thomas High School and Colgate University. Reidy won three consecutive Section V titles with Thomas (Class of 2009) where he was a high school All-American and two time Rochester Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester Player of the Year. Last fall Reidy was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year after he scored seven goals and added two assists. He had 19 goals and nine assists in 77 collegiate games played.

    Faga is a graduate of McQuaid Jesuit High School and Marist College. Faga was a four-year letter winner at McQuaid (Class of 2008) where he was a three-time Rochester Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester First Team selection, a two-time All-State selection, and an NSCAA/Adidas High School All-American his senior season. He began his collegiate career with St. John's and then transferred to Marist College where he started 45 games and was twice named to the All-MAAC team.

    The Rhinos next preseason game is on Friday at 5 p.m. against Syracuse University. The Rhinos open their 18th season on Saturday, April 13th at 7:30 p.m. against Tampa Bay. The Rhinos home opener is on Saturday, May 4th at 7 p.m. against the Harrisburg City Islanders at Sahlen's Stadium. Season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available, and they can be purchased by calling (585) 454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.


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  • 03/25/13--15:11: Salles Signs With Tampa Bay
  • VSI Tampa Bay FC News Release -- www.vsi-fc.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. - VSI Tampa Bay FC is pleased to announce the addition of forward Mauricio Salles to its squad for the 2013 USL PRO season. Salles is expected to deliver energy and experience to VSI’s growing roster for the club's inaugural season in USL PRO.

    Ranked 25th in the USL First Division Top 25 of the Decade, Salles is immediately making an impact at VSI Tampa Bay FC as an experienced leader. Already leaving his mark on the pitch with goals in multiple preseason matches, Salles has shown the impact he will be able to have as part of the club's group of forwards.

    “Salles is a great signing for VSI Tampa Bay FC," said Head Coach Matt Weston. "His experience and qualities on and off the field will be invaluable to the club in its debut season. Mauricio can play as a target man up top but also has the ability to rotate with the 10, which is why we brought him to the club. He is technical, has a great left foot and will provide us with another attacking threat.” 

    Born in Salvador, Brazil, Salles began his professional career in 1997 in his home country with Brazilian football team Vitoria. After time with Atletico Paranaense, Botafogo and Ecuadorian team Omeldo soccer club he began his professional career in the United States.

    In the United States, Salles signed with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2004 where he received numerous accolades from Goal of the Week Honors to All-League honors. Salles was the leading scorer both years he played with the Islanders, recording 25 goals in 51 appearances in the USL First Division.

    Salles later played for the Montreal Impact in 2006, scoring nine goals in 26 appearances. In 2007 Salles went to the Atlanta Silverbacks before travelling to Japan where he appeared in eight game,s scoring one goal for Omiya Ardija.

    After his time in Japan he returned to the United States and played for the Rochester Rhinos of the USL First Division in 2008. In 34 appearances, Salles scored five goals and earned 12 points.

    “Mauricio is an exciting player to bring to VSI Tampa Bay FC," said Director of Soccer Clay Roberts. "He is one of the most experience players on the roster and helps to solidify a very strong list of forwards. Between any of the pairings of Salles, [Andriy] Budnyy, [Sallieu] Bundu and [Karamba] Janneh, we have many options up top. Mauricio has already scored a few goals in preseason friendlies and I anticipate more to come. He is a top professional and will be one our leaders throughout the course of the year.”

    Salles also played in the MISL for the Rochester Lancers, scoring 64 goals in 50 appearances in the past two seasons. This past winter, Salles finished second in the MISL with 97 points on 34 goals and 20 assists as he claimed All-League First Team honors.

    Salles most recently played in USL PRO for the Charlotte Eagles, for whom he scored three goals in 22 appearances before making the decision to move to Tampa Bay and become a part of the VSI family for the 2013 USL PRO season.

    To catch all the action with Salles and the rest of VSI Tampa Bay FC check out our website at www.vsi-fc.com. Tickets are available for the 2013 USL PRO inaugural season, including the contest against the Portland Timbers Reserves, on our website at www.vsi-fc.com.


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    Victoria Highlanders News Release -- www.victoriahighlandersfc.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    VICTORIA, B.C. – The Victoria Highlanders Football Club are pleased to announce a partnership with Fortis BC. The partnership allows the Highlanders to work with the province’s largest utilities company with the desire to provide a spark for the upcoming season.

    “Fortis BC is proud and happy to support the Highlanders,” said Bob Anderson Senior Manager, Residential & Commercial Energy Solutions. “Soccer is a high energy game and we’re in the business of providing energy. We can appreciate how important this kind of activity is to the community and are proud to be a part of it.”

    Fortis BC provides energy to over a million people in several communities throughout British Columbia. They supply approximately 22% in the province. The partnership with the Highlanders shows Fortis BC’s belief in the importance of community growth.

    “We are excited to be associated with such a well-established organization,” stated Highlanders FC General Manager Mark deFrias. “Fortis are fast becoming a community leader within Victoria, and we know they will be able to provide our fans a unique and innovative game day experience matched by no other.”


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