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News from USL

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    Philadelphia Union News Release -- www.philadelphiaunion.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. – Philadelphia Union announced today that the club has loaned three players to the team’s official USL PRO affiliate, Harrisburg City Islanders, for the 2013 USL PRO season. Forward Cristhian Hernandez and midfielders Greg Jordan and Jimmy McLaughlin will join the City Islanders today ahead of their USL PRO season-opener on April 27. Philadelphia Union will have the option to recall any of the three players during the loan period.

    “Cristhian, Greg and Jimmy are young players with a lot of potential, but the reality is that they need game experience at this point in their careers,” Team Manager John Hackworth said. “This opportunity allows them to develop that game experience at a professional level while contributing to the success of our USL PRO affiliate, Harrisburg City Islanders.”

    The Harrisburg City Islanders, led by former USL Second Division Coach of the Year Bill Becher, are one of 13 USL PRO teams competing in a 26-game regular season from April through August. Winners of the 2011 USL PRO National Division, the Islanders start their quest for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 21 in the second round of the tournament.

    "We are excited to have Cristhian, Greg, and Jimmy join our team for the 2013 season," said Becher. "They are all young talented players who should fit in great with the team we are putting together."  

    The Philadelphia Union and Harrisburg City Islanders announced on March 6 that the clubs expanded their partnership, allowing players to stay, practice and play vital games with their USL counterparts for an extended period of time. The Union will no longer field a Reserve League team, instead incorporating reserve players into the City Islanders to help the team compete for a USL PRO championship.

    Hernandez, 19, signed with the Union on March 5, 2012 as the club’s third-ever Homegrown Player. In 2011, he was named the U-17/18 Development Academy Player of the Year by U.S. Soccer and honored as a NJ Star-Ledger First Team All-Prep player, scoring 16 goals for St. Benedicts Prep and leading the school to its seventh national championship. As a Union Academy player in 2011, Hernandez scored the game winner in a 1-0 friendly victory over Everton during his first unofficial appearance for the team. The Mexico native made his MLS debut last year, appearing in two games for a total of 26 minutes.

    Jordan, 22, was selected 32nd overall by the Union last year in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. The former NSCAA All-American starred at Creighton University from 2008 to 2011, helping the Blue Jays to a NCAA semifinal appearance in his last year with the team. After suffering a torn ACL in his sophomore season, the 6-foot Illinois native started in 42 matches over the following two seasons. Since joining the Union, Jordan has played in multiple Reserve League matches as well as a friendly against Aston Villa last July. Last year, he also spent time with Harrisburg on loan.

    McLaughlin, 19, was signed by the Union on December 11, 2011 as the club’s second Homegrown Player. In his first and only season with Colgate University, he started all 22 games, a school record for a first-year player. A Union Academy graduate, McLaughlin has seen action in various Reserve League matches and with the First Team in exhibition matches against Reading United, Everton, Real Madrid, Schalke 04 and Aston Villa. He made his professional debut last May during a 3-0 victory over the Rochester Rhinos in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and his MLS debut last October, coming on as a 73rd-minute sub against Sporting KC. McLaughlin also spent a portion of the 2012 season on loan with Harrisburg.

    Officially signed in March of 2010, the original partnership with Harrisburg provided the Union with an option to loan players to the Islanders for increased playing time, as well as scout up and coming talent, such as Union starting right back Sheanon Williams, who suited up for the City Islanders in 2010.

    Training camp continues this week and the fourth of six preseason matches occurs on the road, Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. against the University Of Maryland Baltimore City (UMBC). The Islanders 10th Anniversary season kicks off at Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 13 and the home opener is scheduled for Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m. against the Rochester Rhinos. For more information about the Harrisburg City Islanders visit the website at cityislanders.com or phone 717-441-4625.


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  • 10/11/10--15:14: Getting Back To His Roots
  • USL Feature

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    By NICHOLAS MURRAY

    TAMPA, Fla. – Before the Rochester Rhinos and Carolina RailHawks, for Chris Economides, there was the Kansas City Attack.

    “I actually got my start in professional soccer in the indoor game,” Economides said, speaking at the USL offices. “I was one of the owners of the old Kansas City Attack in the NPSL in the early nineties. One of my early claims to fame was winning an indoor championship in my second season in Kansas City with the Attack beating some of my soon-to-be Rhino players that were members of the Cleveland Crunch.”

    Now the Senior Director of USL PRO is getting back to his indoor roots as the leader of the USL’s I-League, scheduled to begin play in November, 2011. With just over a year until the league’s launch, Economides is confident of finding success both on and off the field for the franchises that make up the league’s inaugural season.

    “I think just as you’ve seen with USL PRO, we’re trying to have a business model that makes sense,” Economides said. “The days of operating with multi-million dollar operating budgets, it just doesn’t make any sense from a financial perspective, from an operational perspective, so I think just as we’ve done with USL PRO, we’re trying to create a business model with the I-League that makes sense, which preaches financial prudence, which preaches income versus expenses.

    “It’s a pretty simple, common sense aspect where your expenses shouldn’t outweigh your income. We’re preaching financial prudence when it comes to the I-League, it will be a very structured budget, not with a lot of high costs.”

    The Rochester Lancers are, as yet, the only confirmed member of the I-League, but Economides expects to have at least eight, and even as many as 12, teams playing in regional competition. The main focus of the league in terms of franchises is currently the Northeast, Mid Atlantic and Midwest regions, but Economides believes that in the long-term, the league could grow across the country.

    “The sky is the limit. If the business model makes sense, if the franchises are profitable, as we grow this it will grow regionally,” Economides said. “As this thing grows, as we build the entire indoor pyramid structure of the USL, we hope to be in over 100 markets in the PDL, W-League and USL PRO perspective.”

    While building a pyramid similar to the one USL currently uses for the outdoor game, incorporating indoor youth leagues and potentially divisions that mirror the PDL and W-League, is part of the long-term strategy, Economides is also aiming to have I-League and USL PRO franchises develop partnerships that would offer the ability to build the brand with year-round exposure from the indoor and outdoor game.

    “As we looked at the overall model of the I-League, I think that’s one of the common synergies that needs to take place,” Economides said. “As we talk to potential I-League markets, we’re hoping that an I-League market will either have a relationship with a USL PRO team or even take it one step further, if a USL PRO market wants to take on and have what I call year-round exposure and year-round opportunity, that’s an ideal scenario to have both the indoor and outdoor operators own the franchises themselves.”

    It would also have a benefit for the players, who would have the ability to move between the two franchises and play year-round.

    Live game video player

    “I think it allows players to make soccer more of a year-round opportunity,” Economides said, “a year-round job to let them focus on their playing career, to let them focus on honing their skills, indoor and outdoor. As we look to build the sport in this country, I think it could be a key aspect that will provide players with year-round employment opportunities.”

    What Economides hopes most of all, though, is that the I-League can bring back the type of entertainment and excitement the sport saw in its heyday.

    “We’re in the entertainment business,” Economides said. “We’re competing with high school sports, we’re competing with movies, we’re competing with a whole host of things, so I think it has to be something that’s family-oriented, that’s family-affordable fun. I envision our ticket prices being very affordable for a family of four to go to a match and then make it an experience for the kids, for mom and dad to have a good time.”

    All this week, look for video conversations with USL Senior Director of USL PRO Chris Economides on the I-League on USLSoccer.com.
     


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  • 03/26/13--09:43: Four Return To Dutch Lions
  • Dayton Dutch Lions FC News Release -- www.daytondutchlionsfc.com

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC are pleased to announce the return of four players to their roster for the 2013 USL PRO season. Joel DeLass, Matt Williams, Eddie Hertsenberg and Jeremy Cheeseman are included among a strong core of players who will again take to the field for Dayton.

    “We want to build on the success of the second half of last year and have a better start than the previous two season in USL PRO," said Dutch Lions coach Patrick Bal. "To maintain continuity, we are bringing a lot of players back. Last year we lost a lot of points in the last minutes of games due to a lack of maturity and experience. The players we are bringing back carry the experience of last season with them.

    “Last year’s captain, Joel DeLass is a great leader and example for the team. I expect that his leadership role will be expanded this year, leading to positive results for the team. Matt Williams is a great personality who brings a good atmosphere to the team. He kept us in games and won points for us last year. Jeremy Cheeseman has a great mentality and his offensive approach to playing an outside defensive position can bring an extra element of attack from the back.”

    DeLass returns for his third season with the Dutch Lions. The midfielder was on the field for every minute of the 2012 campaign, tallying a goal and an assist. In recognition of his leadership and play last season, he was named to the USL PRO All-League Second Team.

    Williams will be back in the net for a second year with the Dutch Lions after beginning his USL PRO career with the Wilmington Hammerheads. 2012 was a breakout season for the goalkeeper who led the league with 115 saves. Williams also posted five shutouts and logged a goals-against average of 1.215.

    Both Williams and DeLass echoed Patrick Bal’s desire to eliminate mistakes late in games and return to the form that the team exhibited late last season.

    “Last year was about gaining some credibility for the club," DeLass said. "I think we accomplished that last season by finishing three spots higher in the table than anyone expected and reaching the quarterfinal of the U.S. Open Cup. Though we gained some credibility, I think our youth and immaturity showed quite a bit last season in the closing stages of games resulting in an absurd amount of draws. Hopefully, a solid group of returning players with a year of experience under their belt and some key offseason signings, we can turn those draws into wins, and find ourselves in contention for a playoff spot come the last couple weeks of the season.”

    "I couldn’t be more excited to pick up where we left off last year," Williams added. "We have some unfinished business with a lot of teams that stole points late on us last year. Our goal should be to finish inside the top eight and make the playoffs. Judging from the returning players and new additions, that is a very attainable goal.”

    Hertsenberg made seven appearances for the Dutch Lions in 2011 after recovering from an injury. He spent a large portion of 2012 training with FC Ismaning and FC Desenhofen in Germany, as well as other European clubs. Hertsenberg also recently completed a professional season of indoor soccer with a club in Cincinnati. The Dutch Lions FC is anxious to see how his experience with other teams translates into USL PRO play.

    Cheeseman returns to the squad after missing the majority of last season due to injury. The defender hopes to make a big contribution to the Dutch Lions’ on-field success and help the team make its first playoff appearance.

    “I believe the Dutch style suits me well because I am an attack-minded back who likes to get up the field to provide width and services into the box," Cheeseman said. "I also like to keep possession of the ball and not force anything, and I think being on the team last year really helped my understanding and I am looking to have a great season this year.”

    The Dayton Dutch Lions FC kick off their season at home against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Beavercreek High School Stadium. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Dayton Dutch Lions FC, please visit www.daytondutchlionsfc.com.


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

    Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    PLAINVIEW, N.Y. -- The Long Island Rough Riders are excited to be welcoming back two star players to the 2013 PDL Team, with Captain Danny Kramer and former MLS player Gary Flood both set to compete for the club this summer. This will be Kramer’s sixth full season with the club. In 2009, Kramer helped lead the team to the Conference playoffs and in 2011, he led the Rough Riders to the title of Mid Atlantic Division Champions and Eastern Conference Champions.

    Prior to playing for the Rough Riders, Kramer played a key role on the roster at Duke University. He was a fifth round pick in the 2006 United Soccer Leagues Collegiate Entry Draft, being selected by the Rochester Rhinos. After playing with the Rhinos for two seasons, Kramer returned to his hometown in Plainview and became a member of the Long Island Rough Riders.

    "I am looking forward to another successful season with the Rough Riders," said Kramer. "With most of our team returning and a few new members, I believe we have a great chance to get back to the PDL Championships and hopefully win it all."

    Flood will be returning for his fifth season with the Rough Riders. During his four year soccer career with the Hofstra Pride, Flood started every game and was acknowledged for this by being named to the All-Tournament team at the Clemson Invitational and LIU Classic. After college, he was drafted by the New England Revolution in the second round draft of the 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft and was signed to a developmental contract. Two years later, Flood signed with the Rough Riders, and has played a major role as the anchor of the midfield.

    "I am excited to once again be a part of the winning tradition of the Long Island Rough Riders," Flood said.

    Vice President of the Rough Riders Flavio Ferri added his excitement about the returners.

    “Danny and Gary have been the foundation of our success the last several years," Ferri said. "They bring talent and veteran leadership to our squad.”

    The Rough Riders Men’s team will kick off their season on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. against the Baltimore Bohemians at Cy Donnelly Stadium, South Huntington, N.Y. 


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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Women have signed Allie Beahan and Annie Sittauer for the 2013 W-League campaign. Midfielder/forward Beahan and defender Sittauer return to the Sounders after helping lead the University of Washington to the NCAA Tournament this past fall.

    Sounders Women Technical Director, Lesle Gallimore, knows the two Puget Sound natives well as she coaches them at U.W.

    “I’m excited to see both Annie Sittauer and Allie Beahan join the Sounders Women again this season," Gallimore said. "It was clear last fall that their summer with the Sounders helped up the level of their play.”

    Beahan, 21, is from Sammamish, Washington. Last summer with the Sounders she played mostly forward, scoring two goals against the L.A. Strikers in California. With the University of Washington, she’s played multiple roles, scoring three times. She will be a senior next season.

    “It is such a privilege to be selected to return to the Sounders Women again this year," Beahan said. "The Sounders program promotes high-quality competition and being surrounded by talented players provides a great opportunity to continue to develop my skills.”

    “Allie is a skillful, intelligent and competitive player who will also provide the squad with versatility,” Gallimore said.

    Sittauer, 21, will also be a senior next season at U.W. As a Sounder last summer, she emerged as an excellent left or right back. Her attacking qualities showed as she notched three assists during the W-League campaign.

    “Annie proved to be one of the best attacking outside backs in the league last season and her defending was of high end quality as well,” Gallimore said. “They are both excited to wear the rave green again and look forward to playing with and against a lot of talent in this year’s W-League season.”

    “The thriving soccer community in Seattle provides a unique opportunity to play for such tremendous and passionate fans,” Beahan said.

    Following Sounders Women open tryouts, select players have been invited back on an extended trial with the club during the preseason. Official training begins on March 25, with the initial preseason match of 2013 on April 14 against Oregon State University. Single match and season tickets are currently on sale on SoundersWomen.com.


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    Dayton Dutch Lions News Release -- www.daytondutchlionsfc.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC are glad to announce the addition of five new players for the upcoming USL PRO season. Midfielders Nago Mbengue, Ryan Grothaus and Joey Madigan will be joined by forward Joe Broekhuizen, pictured right, and goalkeeper Wichert de Wit on the Dutch Lions roster. The quintet of new additions will look to have an immediate impact on the team’s success in 2013.

    Broekhuizen is a product of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The center forward tallied 13 goals and eight assists for the Knights in 2012, leading the team to a league title. Broekhuizen was signed after attending an open tryout held by the Dutch Lions in March.

    “Joe will contribute in several ways," said Dutch Lions head coach Patrick Bal. "He has the ability to hold the ball under pressure to allow the team to regain shape. He can serve as a target in combination and in front of the goal. He provides the ability to allow the team to change tactics, if necessary, in the last few minutes of a game.”

    Mbengue played for three years at Bluefield College, earning all-conference honors each of his last two seasons. The midfielder notched 22 goals and 16 assists as a Bluefield Ram. Mbengue appeared in six matches for the Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors of USL PDL in 2012 and scored three goals.

    After observing Mbengue in a tryout in November, Bal described him as a “creative midfielder who is great in one-on-one situations.”

    Grothaus also came to the Dutch Lions’ attention during the November tryout. Grothaus, a native of Milford, Ohio, spent one season at Northern Kentucky University. One of the midfielder’s four goals for the Norse was a game winner in the conference championship game. Grothaus believes that the Dutch style of play suits him.

    “I’m a firm believer in the best defense being a strong offense," he said. "Quick passing possession with interchanging runs is the style I’ve played my whole life.”

    De Wit comes to the Dutch Lions after spending time with Voetbalvereniging Drachster Boys in the Netherlands’ Eerste Klasse League. He arrived with the Dutch Lions through a series of professional networks that the team maintains with clubs in the Netherlands.

    Madigan was a standout midfielder for the 2011 NCAA Division II champion Fort Lewis College. He scored 22 points on seven goals and eight assists for the Skyhawks in 25 games that year, which was followed by an invitation to join FC Dallas’ 2012 preseason training camp. Madigan also appeared in seven games for the PDL’s Real Colorado Foxes in 2012, scoring two goals.

    The Dayton Dutch Lions FC kick off their season at home against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Beavercreek High School Stadium. To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Dayton Dutch Lions FC, please visit www.daytondutchlionsfc.com.


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are pleased to announce the return of midfielders Morgan Langley and Tom Mellor for the 2013 USL PRO season. This is Langley’s third season with the City Islanders, and Mellor's second, as both look to build on strong 2012 seasons. 

    Langley totaled 331 minutes in 20 appearances during his rookie season in 2011, and then had three goals and two assists last season. Following the 2011 season, Langley signed with the City Islanders' MLS affiliate, the Philadelphia Union, making one appearance for the club. Langley played four years of college soccer at Swarthmore College.

    Langley arrived in Harrisburg as Swarthmore College's all-time leader in career points (95) and assists (47). In his final season at Swarthmore, Langley produced one of the best offensive seasons in the school’s history, recording 14 goals and 14 assists to earn Centennial Conference Player of the Year honors.

    “Morgan played an important role in our success that season," said City Islanders coach Bill Becher. "His season was cut short by an injury and I know he is ready to make an impact again.”

    Mellor made 21 appearances for the City Islanders in 2012, scoring four goals in his rookie season. Prior to arriving in Harrisburg, Mellor had a successful career at Notre Dame College in Ohio, where he was named an NAIA First Team All-American. Mellor, a native of Oldham, England, began his career in the United Kingdom with the Manchester United Academy.

    “Tommy had a strong second half of 2012 and I believe he will have a breakout season this year,” Becher said.  

    Training camp continues this week and the fourth of six preseason matches occurs on the road, Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against the University Of Maryland Baltimore City (UMBC). The Islanders' 10th Anniversary season kicks off at Pittsburgh on Saturday, April 13 and the home opener is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7 p.m. against the Rochester Rhinos. For more information about the Harrisburg City Islanders visit the website at cityislanders.com or phone 717-441-4625.


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce that veteran midfielder, Luke Vercollone, has agreed to terms for the 2013 season, pending USSF approval.

    “We are fortunate that Luke wanted to play one more season in Richmond,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “Over the years, he has demonstrated his value to the club and to re-sign such an experienced and talented player so close to the start of the season is a major boost to the team.”

    After spending the offseason training with the Colorado Rapids, Vercollone returns to Richmond for his sixth season. Splitting time between the defense and the midfield, the Kickers workhorse has made 127 appearances and accumulated nearly 11,000 minutes with the Kickers while tallying six goals and 10 assists. Additionally, he is the founder and director of the Richmond Kickers Little Kicks program, which brings a soccer enrichment program to preschools.

    A native of Pembroke, Mass., Vercollone spent two seasons with the Charleston Battery, where he made 66 appearances, notching three goals and six assists for 12 points overall. The 5-foot-10 midfielder began his career when he was drafted by the Columbus Crew in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft and made five appearances over two seasons with the New England Revolution.

    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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    Charlotte Eagles News Release -- www.charlotteeagles.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are excited to announce the addition of Shaun Francis to their 2013 USL PRO roster. With significant turn over in the Eagles' back line, Francis is an accomplished and proven veteran able to add leadership and experience on the field.

    "Shaun brings attacking flair to the left back position," Eagles GM Tom Engstrom said. "Coach Steffens likes his outside backs to get forward and Shaun will certainly do that. He brings great experience from his time with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and the Jamaican National Team. Just as important he is a quality person. We are fortunate to have Shaun added to the club this year."

    A native Jamaican, Francis quickly became a noted player where he was an All-Island, Ben Francis Cup, and Dá Costa Cup Champion, as well as a member of an All-Conference Team. He displayed exemplary skills for Calabar High at the Pepsi, Colts and Manning Cup levels.

    He came to the United States to attend Lindsey Wilson where he scored seven goals in 61 appearances and served as the captain of the 2009 NAIA National Championship team. During his college tenure Francis also played with both the Indiana Invaders and Thunder Bay Chill of the PDL.

    Francis was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew. In July 2010, he made his professional debut in the U.S. Open Cup and made his MLS debut against the New York Red Bulls. Francis made 38 appearances for the Crew from 2010-2012.

    While playing for the Crew in 2010, Francis earned his first cap for the Jamaican national team squad during a friendly against Trinidad & Tobago. He scored his first senior team goal in a 2-0 victory over Guadeloupe in the 2010 Caribbean Championship. Overall he has five caps for the national team.

    Purchase your Eagles tickets today a www.charlotteeagles.com or call 704-841-8644. Home opener is April 13th, kickoff at 7 p.m. at Queens Sports Complex.


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  • 03/27/13--15:12: Laredo To Host Bravos
  • Laredo Heat News Release -- www.laredoheatsc.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    LAREDO, Texas -- The 2012 PDL Mid South Division Champion Laredo Heat Soccer Club announced today that cross border soccer club, the Bravos de Nuevo Laredo, will be visiting Laredo, Texas on Wednesday, April 24th to inaugurate the club's 2013 season.

    It what has become an intense rivalry on the field over the past few years, this upcoming match should continue in that tradition as the home side will try to bring back the Copa LareDOS to the Gateway City. Kickoff for the international friendly game is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex, home of the Laredo Heat Soccer Club.

    General Admission Tickets for this “Border Classic” and all Laredo Heat SC 2013 Regular Season Home Games will remain at the very affordable price of $5 for adults and $1 for all kids 12 and under. VIP Pricing will once again be $20 for both adults and children.

    “I cannot wait to get back on the pitch for an actual game and I know that many of the new players coming in will get a taste of the fantastic support that is afforded to us by our fans,” said Heat Head Coach Fernando Hernandez.

    “Last season ended very abruptly for us at the hands of the Orlando City U23 in Florida and this upcoming season feels as we have to come out and demonstrate once again that we can win the division and go beyond the conference playoffs and well into the finals, those are the expectations we bring every PDL season.

    “Opening up versus a quality team like the Bravos in our home field will give both players and coaches a feel for what I expect in this my second season and I am very happy that the administration was able to get this game set up and I promise our team will be ready to play”.

    In addition to the game versus the Bravos de Nuevo Laredo, the Heat will also have two preseason matches prior to the home opener.

    On Saturday, April 13th, the Heat will travel to Austin, TX to play the St. Edward’s University Hilltoppers and on Sunday, April 21st, Laredo will make the short drive to San Antonio to face the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals.

    Both preseason games will help Hernandez and his assistants, former players Dany Galvan and Carlos Ordaz, evaluate the progress of the team and it will also allow them to see how the new players are conforming to their new play system and experienced players.

    Regular Season News
    The Laredo Heat will open up their defense of the Mid South Division on Saturday, May 11th in Houston as they take on the Houston Dutch Lions and they will also participate in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tournament. The First Round opponent for the Heat has not yet been determined; however, that game is currently scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, with location and time to be announced at a later date.


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  • 03/27/13--12:02: Revs Loan Four To Rochester
  • New England Revolution News Release -- www.revolutionsoccer.net

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Revolution has loaned four players to the Rochester Rhinos, the team’s USL PRO affiliate, for the 2013 USL PRO season. Defender Tyler Polak, midfielder Gabe Latigue, forward Matt Horth, and defender Bilal Duckett will join the Rhinos this week ahead of the team’s season opener on April 13 at VSI Tampa Bay FC. The Revolution has the option to recall any of the players at any time during the loan period.

    The Revolution and Rhinos announced their affiliation on Jan. 28, allowing the Revs to send players to Rochester to train and play with the USL team for extended periods of time. With the agreement in place, the Revolution will not field a reserve team in 2013, instead sending reserve players to Rochester in an effort to get those players consistent, meaningful playing time.

    Rochester Rhinos head coach Jesse Myers spent several days in Tucson, Arizona with the Revolution to observe the Revs’ roster and training sessions.

    “I think our affiliation with New England is a great step for soccer in America. These guys will be competing on a daily basis to vie for playing time in competitive matches. I've spent time with the Revolution in Arizona, and frequently talked with their coaching staff. These four players are quality players and quality people who will fit into what we are trying to do here and help us win a championship.”

    Polak, 20, was drafted by the Revolution in the second round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft as a Generation Adidas player. He played two seasons at Creighton, helping the Bluejays lead the country in shutout percentage and goals against average in his sophomore season. He has yet to make an MLS appearance this year after making his MLS debut in the Revs’ 2012 season opener – his only MLS appearance – at San Jose.

    Latigue, 22, signed with the Revolution on March 1, 2013, after the Revolution drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 MLS Supplemental Draft. He played four seasons at Elon University, scoring 15 goals and adding 17 assists in 82 games. He was an all-region honoree as a senior.

    Horth, 23, signed with the Revolution on Jan. 25, 2013, after trials with the club last fall and in preseason. He has not appeared in a Revs game this season, but is coming off two successful seasons with the NASL’s Atlanta Silverbacks, where he scored 18 goals in 49 appearances in 2011 and 2012. Undrafted, Horth played collegiately at Gordon College.

    Duckett, 24, signed with the Revolution on Feb. 11, 2013, after extended trials with the club last fall and this spring. He has yet to appear in a Revs game this season, but made 16 appearances with USL PRO club Harrisburg City Islanders in 2012. He was originally drafted by Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the third round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of Notre Dame. 


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

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – Following Open Tryouts for Sounders FC and Sounders FC U-23, which saw nearly 200 participants fighting for a spot in rave green, the Sounders FC U-23 have announced the signing of three Sounders Academy products, Darwin Jones, Aaron Kovar, and Nick Raskasky for the 2013 PDL Season. 

    Top players from the Sounders FC Open Tryout will be called back to trial with the Sounders FC U-23 in attempt to earn a signing.

    Jones, 20, returns to the Sounders U-23 after scoring four goals and adding two assists in only nine matches. Jones has spent time training with Sounders FC and will join the University of Washington soccer team in the fall.

    “Darwin is a known commodity and having watched him play for the last 10 years, I am excited to watch him score again this summer," Head Coach and GM of the Sounders U-23, Darren Sawatzky, said. "His pace and power will be exciting for the Sounders U23 fans.”

    Kovar, 19, is a Sounders FC Academy product finishing up his freshman year at Stanford University. He has seen time in Sounders FC Reserve matches as well. In 2011, Kovar played for the U.S. U-18 National Team before being named Washington State Gatorade Player of the Year. This past season with Stanford, he earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by scoring three goals and adding two assists in 15 matches played.

    “Kovar is an exciting young winger with loads of potential," Sawatzky said. "After the year at Stanford, we can’t wait to get him back in green and continue his development.”

    Raskasky, 20, returns to the Sounders after a freshman year at West Virginia University where he started all but one match. The defender produced two goals and two assists for WVU in 2012. The Tacoma, Wash. native is a Sounders FC Academy alum.

    “The past few years have been tough for Nick as he fought through some injuries to build a level of character we look for in players,” said Sawatzky. “His season at West Virginia speaks volumes and this summer should be a good showcase for him.”

    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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    Pali Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    LOS ANGELES -
    The Pali Blues are pleased to announce the addition of former U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Angela Hucles to the organization as assistant coach. The two-time gold medalist will bring a wealth of experience that will prove to be valuable in coaching a young team this year.

    “Angela and I have always talked about working together and I could not be happier that we will finally actually do it,” Blues Head Coach Charlie Naimo said. “She has so much experience as a collegiate All-American, professional, and on the international level. I cannot think of a better role model for our players. Just one more exciting piece to what we are doing this season.”

    Hucles, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, spent her college years close to home as a Cavalier at the University of Virginia from 1996-99. A four-time First-Team All-ACC selection, she ended her career as the all-time leading goal scorer in program history with 59 goals, in addition to 138 points, also a program best. In her final year at Virginia, Hucles was a finalist for the Hermann trophy, which rewards the top collegiate male and female soccer players.

    After college, Hucles went on to play for the Hampton Road Piranhas where she lead the W-League in assists (seven), and scored six goals.

    Following the stint at Hampton Road, Hucles was drafted by the Boston Breakers for the inaugural season of the WUSA, the first women’s professional soccer league in the U.S. She remained with the Breakers through the end of the league’s existence and accumulated six goals and eight assists.

    Hucles earned her first cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team on April 27, 2002, and scored her first goal for the team later that year on November 6 against Costa Rica. She earned her spot on the team in 2003 and was named to the World Cup roster, but did not play due to injury. The following year, Hucles made the Olympic team and helped the USA to a gold medal in Athens, Greece.

    The gold-medalist was named to the 2007 World Cup team, but did not see any action. She followed up that year with a surprising performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a tournament for which she was originally an alternate for. Coming in as a replacement for injured forward Abby Wambach, Hucles lead the team with four goals in the tournament, scoring in group play against New Zealand, against Canada in the quarterfinals, and twice against Japan in the semifinals. The USA went on to defeat Brazil in the gold medal match.

    In December 2008, Hucles was allocated to the Boston Breakers for the first season of Women’s Professional Soccer, which kicked off in April 2009. Hucles saw action in 19 games scoring two goals and assisting on one.

    On October 16, 2009, Hucles announced her retirement from international and club soccer. She expressed her thoughts on becoming the new assistant coach for the Pali Blues.

    “I'm excited to join Pali's staff this season with what looks to be a great team,” she said. “My experience with the game over the last 20-plus years will be helpful in not only the technical and tactical aspects of the game, but also hopefully relating to the players and helping them work towards their goals and greatest potential.”

    “I'm also excited to work with Charlie after knowing him for many years both in the USL and former professional leagues,” she said. “It will be a lot of fun.”


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    BYU Cougars News Release -- www.byusoccer.com

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    PROVO, Utah – The BYU Men’s Soccer Team will play Real Salt Lake, the state’s professional team, in an exhibition match Monday at the Rio Tinto stadium. The game will kick off at 6:30 p.m. The Cougars have played Real on previous occasions, and serves as an opportunity for the BYU players to step up their game and play at a professional level. The Cougars currently play in the Premier Development League, the top U-23 development league in North America.

    “We’re excited to play against Real once again,” BYU head coach Chris Watkins said. “It’s a great opportunity for our players to learn from the professionals.”

    The Cougars sent three players to the USL PRO Combine last earlier this year, where they trained and played with top players from around the country.

    “We have annually enjoyed our games throughout the years with BYU, and are very excited to finally hold this fantastic Utah soccer event at our Rio Tinto stadium home,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis said. "RSL looks forward to a competitive game against our state’s best PDL side, and we look forward to welcoming friends from all over Utah for this unique event.”

    Tickets can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com or at the stadium box office starting at 10:00 a.m. MT on Wednesday, March 27. Real Salt Lake PRIDE season-ticket holders can purchase tickets for this game for $5 each, $10 for the public. Fans can choose virtually any location in the stadium to sit at.

    BYU students can purchase the tickets at http://www.realsaltlake.com/tickets/ticket-promotions. The code to purchase the tickets at the discounted rate is BYUSTUDENTS. Students who have purchased the discounted tickets will have to show their BYU IDs when entering the stadium.


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  • 03/28/13--15:31: Ryan Brooks to Lead PDL
  • USL News Release

    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – United Soccer Leagues announced today that experienced soccer administrator and coach Ryan Brooks has joined its management team as Senior Director, PDL. Brooks will oversee all operations and management of the PDL and its related events/activities. He will also be active in the continued development, strategic planning, and growth of the league.

    “As evidenced by his background and experience, Ryan Brooks has a passion for soccer and its continued growth throughout North America,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “We are confident Ryan is the right person to lead the PDL into its next phase as it continues to strengthen its role as the top men’s developmental league in North America.”

    Brooks joins USL after most recently serving as head of recruiting and goalkeeping and assistant coach for the U18 USSF Development Academy team at the highly-respected Shattuck-St. Mary’s Soccer Academy. He previously served as assistant coach and director of player development for Real Salt Lake of MLS, where he trained the goalkeepers and oversaw the U16 and U18 academy teams.

    Brooks played for and graduated from St. John’s University, and after graduation he served as an assistant coach at Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.), Williams College (Mass.), and Hobart College (N.Y.). After a four-month stint studying the Tahuichi Academia in Bolivia, he became the director of coaching education for Super Soccer Stars in New York City, where he oversaw the teaching of 150 professional coaches.

    Brooks received his Master’s Degree in Sports Leadership from Duquesne University. His coaching licenses include the NSCAA Premier and National Goalkeeper Diplomas and the USSF National “B” License.

    The top developmental men’s league in North America, the 2013 PDL features 65 teams within four conferences throughout the United States and Canada. The PDL season consists of 14 regular season matches for each team, seven home and seven away, and provides elite collegiate players the opportunity to taste a higher level of competition while maintaining their eligibility. In addition to league play, PDL teams compete in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as various exhibitions. The PDL has proven to be an important stepping-stone for top professionals now playing throughout the world.


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    Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Women have signed Rachel Mercik and Genessee Daughetee from the University of California-Berkeley for the 2013 W-League campaign. Mercik, a forward, adds more U.S. U-20 National Team quality to the Sounders attack, while Daughetee is an outside back with speed comparable to another Cal-Berkeley and Sounders alum - Alex Morgan.

    The University of California-Berkeley was 16-6 this past season, with five of the losses coming against eventual NCAA Tournament teams. Cal’s tournament run ended in the second round against No. 2 seed San Diego State. The Bears outscored opponents 45-23 during the season.

    Mercik, 21, is a veteran of the U.S. Youth National Team system, having played on the U.S. U-16, U-17, U-18, and U-20 National Teams. The wing/forward has scored a total of seven goals and added eight assists in her three years at Cal. Mercik is an excellent 1v1 player who provides sharp service with her crosses. She played in all 22 matches last year.

    “It is such an honor to be asked to play for such an elite team, with such elite players," Mercik said. "It's going to be fun teaming up with some of my fellow PAC-12 rivals! I look forward to the new experience, as well as the high level training that will improve my game.”

    Like Mercik, Daughetee played in every match for the Bears in 2012. She is regarded as one of the fastest players in the PAC-12 and can play as a wide midfielder or outside back. The 20-year-old has played in 61 matches for Cal in her first three years.

    “I feel proud and blessed to be given the chance to play for such a high-caliber team," Daughetee said. "This is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to meet the team in Seattle!”

    This will be the first season for Mercik and Daughetee in the W-League's Western Conference.

    “I’ve only heard great things about the Sounders Women,” Daughetee added. “[I know] mostly that they are a force to be reckoned with, and they've had many big names, like my former Cal teammate, Alex Morgan, rep the Sounders jersey. I’ve also heard that the Western Conference is one of the most competitive and talented conferences of the W-League.”

    While both players are California natives, and will be new to Seattle, they know the power of Rave Green.

    “When I wear the Sounders jersey for the first time, I know it will be a huge statement," Mercik said. "The Sounders are a well-known, well-loved organization, and are giving me a great opportunity to live and breathe soccer at an elite level. [It will be] my first real taste of what life as a pro might be like. It also means that I have shown to the coaches and players around me that I have what it takes to play in a league that the best of the best play in. I could not be more proud of wearing that jersey this summer."

    The Sounders Women open up preseason on April 14 against Oregon State University. Single-match and season tickets are currently on sale on SoundersWomen.com.


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    Super Y-League Feature

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    BRADENTON, Fla. – According to the parents of the Cleveland Internationals’ Nick Malinowski, his first word was ‘ball’.

    They acted accordingly.

    “My parents said my first word was ‘ball’, so they kind of wanted me to get into that early,” Malinowski said recently at the Super Y-League ODP Camp at IMG Academy. “They signed me up for a team, the Cleveland Blues, when I was like four years old, so I just grew up playing against older age groups as I got older, and then transitioned to the Internationals.”

    Malinowski’s immersion into the game at an early age certainly appears to be paying off. After helping the Internationals reach the semifinals of the Boys U14 Division at the Super Y-League North American Finals last December, where they fell in a penalty shootout against the Ottawa Fury, Malinowski returned to IMG eager to add to the knowledge he’d gained the year before.

    “As we were at the camp last year, I was one of the younger kids there,” he said. “I was playing against the older kids, and playing against bigger and faster kids really teaches you to play smarter and faster, and not rely on your own physical ability.”

    Moving the ball quickly, and improving his touch, have been Malinowski’s principle focuses in the past year, and in a club like the Internationals there are certainly good role models to look up to. The Portland Timbers’ Darlington Nagbe and Michael Nanchoff are alumni of the club, with Malinowski and others having had the chance to practice alongside both, and others are now getting ready to head from the club into Division I college soccer.

    “I look up to them as players,” Malinowski said, “and since I’m a developmental player in the academy, I look up to our U18 players as some of them are signing with Akron and big colleges, so I look up to them and see what I can take from them as well as Louie and George [Nanchoff], who are the coaches who have made this team successful.”

    For Malinowski, as he turns 15 this year, the path toward college soccer is now developing. With college and U.S. National Team scouts again attending this year’s ODP Camp, he is getting used to the idea of having his game put under the microscope as coaches look for the players that will carry their programs to success in the future. While that can be nerve-wracking, Malinowski is looking forward to seeing where the game might take him in the future.

    “You get nervous when people are watching, but it’s kinda fun just looking at college and planning out what you want to do when you have colleges in mind,” he said. “I’m looking forward to college.”

    And given the access to top-level coaching that was available at IMG Academy, he was sure to take advantage of the expertise available as he tries to continue to grow as a player.

    “[You’re] getting to know coaches, and what they want in a player, so you can get noticed,” Malinowski said. “When they tell you what you need to work on, you can take that away and bring that into your play, and into other camps, as you move toward college.”

    After competing and learning among some of the best players in the country, Malinowski is certainly ready to get back to work in Cleveland.

    “It’s really nice,” he said of the ODP experience. “You get to see a lot of players, you’re not the only good player here, and it really makes you want to push yourself harder to top yourself off.” 


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

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – The Sounders FC U-23 announced three out-of-state signings today for the 2013 PDL campaign. Midfielder Lucas Baldin, forward/midfielder Blake Wise, and forward David Geno will all join the team as newcomers to the Sounders U-23 organization.

    Baldin comes to the Sounders U-23 from the University of South Florida, where he will be a junior next year. Baldin appeared in all 19 games for the Bulls in 2012, and scored three goals. The Brazilian born Baldin was raised in Mexico, where he has represented the Mexican Primera Division power Toluca's U-20 team, and also represented Mexico in Germany’s Berlin Games.

    "Lucas is a box to box midfielder with great vision and a desire to get to the next level. It will be fun to watch him pull the strings in midfield,” said Head Coach and GM of the Sounders U-23, Darren Sawatzky.

    Wise played his last two collegiate seasons for Indiana University before transferring to San Diego State. During his time with the Hoosiers, Wise was selected to the 2011 All-Big Ten Academic Team, and also played with the U.S. U-20 National Team.

    "Blake has the pace and dribbling ability to get beyond players,” Sawatzky said. “We are looking for great production from him this summer in the Northwest Division."

    Geno will be a senior at East Tennessee State University next fall. In his junior season, he led the Buccaneers in goals and points by setting an ETSU single-season records with nine goals and 21 points. For his efforts, Geno was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year 2012.

    "We need a presence up top depending on the formation we play this summer," Sawatzky said. "David adds a different type of forward to the group and his ambition is high. It will be fun to watch him battle with the defenders in this division."

    The Sounders U-23 begin their quest to repeat as PDL Northwest Division champs on Thursday, May 16th. They will take on their Cascadia rival Portland Timbers U-23 at JELD-WEN Field at 11:00 a.m. The Sounders U-23s’ first home match takes place May 24th, against the Kitsap Pumas.

    For more information on roster, schedules, and the U.S. Open Cup draw, see SoundersU23.com, follow @SoundersU23 on twitter, or like us on Facebook.


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  • 03/29/13--11:53: Phoenix Set For Home Opener
  • Phoenix FC News Release -- www.phoenixfc.com

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    PHOENIX -- Phoenix FC hosts the first home game of its inaugural 2013 USL PRO regular season when VSI Tampa Bay FC visits Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. PT. Phoenix FC and VSI Tampa Bay FC are the two newest USL PRO franchises, and this Saturday’s match will mark the first ever professional game for the visitors from Florida. Phoenix FC kicked off its season with a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles Blues in Fullerton, Calif. last Saturday.

    Despite the first-game loss, Phoenix FC was encouraged by its performance in Los Angeles. With starters Darren Mackie and Devon Grousis out of the lineup due to injury, the club found itself at an almost immediate disadvantage when midfielder Anthony Obodai received a red card late in the first half, forcing Phoenix FC to play for more than a half with just 10 players. The Wolves played tough defense and allowed only one goal after the sending off, while also stepping it up on offense for shots on goal that were ultimately saved by Blues goalkeeper, Carl Woszczynski.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC boasts an impressive roster of seasoned players for its inaugural season, led by veteran forward, Mauricio Salles. 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 who has scored goals in multiple preseason matches.

    Both Phoenix FC and VSI Tampa Bay FC have assembled teams made up of players with professional and international experience, many of whom have played together previously for USL PRO and Major League Soccer clubs. Both sides have made it clear with their signings that they intend to be immediately competitive in USL PRO, and this Saturday’s matchup promises to be one in which each team looks to make a statement as the stronger of the two freshman clubs.

    Veterans Mackie and Grousis are listed as probable for Phoenix FC this week and both will be game-time decisions as to whether or not they play. A trio of talented Brazilians including Renan Felipe Boufleur, Diego Faria and Netinho, and former MLS goalkeeper and local native Andrew Weber are expected to start. 

    For tickets to Phoenix FC’s inaugural home opener, visit phoenixfc.com.


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    Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery looked sharp against the Carolina Railhawks and came away with a 1-0 victory in their final game of the preseason at Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Battery haven’t lost since mid-February and will have some great momentum going into the regular season, which they open on the road against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday, April 13.

    Shots did not come easily in this game, but the Battery were able to capitalize on an opportunity in the first half and take the 1-0 lead. Nicki Patterson received a cross at the left post and was able to flick the ball on to Jose Cuevas who volleyed it past the Carolina goalkeeper for the score. The goal was the 2012 USL PRO Rookie of the Year’s team-high eighth of the preseason. 

    Antigua & Barbuda international Quinton Griffith pressed the issue during the match but was unable to come away with a goal. He created some great opportunities with runs down the sideline and had two shots on goal but both were easily corralled by the RailHawks goalkeeper.

    The Battery’s play has been very promising lately and they will definitely be looking to move things forward as the season progresses. The 2013 Charleston Battery home opener is set for Saturday, April 20 against Antigua Barracuda FC at 7:30 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium. For tickets, call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.


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