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News from USL

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    SC United FC Bantams News Release -- www.palmettobantamsfc.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    PALMETTO, S.C. -- The SC United FC Bantams have announced the return of six players from the 2012 season. Ryan Freiberger, Braeden Troyer, Robert Beebe, Ryan Hurst, Thomas Valikonis and Hunter Riddle all contributed many minutes in the successful inaugural season.

    “We have a strong nucleus returning which, in our league, helps tremendously," said new coach Gary Winchester. "With the addition of our new players, we are excited about the 2013 season. Their understanding of our vision makes it easier as coaches to implement our tactics.”

    Returning players from the University of South Carolina include Freiburger, a defender and midfielder who played in all 16 PDL games and scored the first goal of the 2012 season, along with teammate and college All-American Braeden Troyer, a central midfielder who is a work-horse on the field.

    Beebe returns to man the Bantams’ goal for a second season, with the rising sophomore from South Carolina and 2011 South Carolina Gatorade’s High School Player of the Year bringing the experience the club will need. Also returning is Hurst, one of the fastest players in the PDL. A junior at Wofford College, Hurst is a midfielder/striker who is a threat to defenses when he steps on the field.

    Returning to lead the Bantams' defense is Georgia Southern’s Valikonis, a player with toughness and a great leadership on and off the field. And returning in the midfield is Greenwood native Riddle, who played two years at North Greenville University before transferring to Winthrop University. He is a versatile player who played central midfield for the Bantams as well as out wide in 15 PDL games last season.

    All six of these players earned All-State High School honors and each played their club soccer in South Carolina. Their leadership and PDL experience will be vital to the team throughout the 2013 season.

    “The excitement is beginning to grow around this season’s team," Winchester said. "We have the great returning group that brings experience and understanding of the franchise in the PDL. The organization’s inaugural season was shared by these players, so as coach, I’ll challenge them to further develop the SCUFC Bantams organization on and off the field again this year; a challenge they will enjoy.”


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  • 04/05/13--09:32: Kickers Add Duo To Squad
  • Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the signing of former FC Richmond goalkeeper Ryan Taylor and former Michigan Bucks midfielder Nate Robinson.

    Taylor, a Radford University product, finished his collegiate career with the third-lowest goals against average in the Big South at 0.99 after playing every minute of Radford’s 18 games his senior year, earning All-Academic Team, 2012 NSCAA All-South Regional Second Team and Big South All-Conference Team honors. The homegrown player and Midlothian, Va. native played club soccer at FC Richmond and was selected First Team All-Dominion District, Second Team All-Central Region and All-Metro as a senior at Midlothian High School.

    “It is a positive development to see another homegrown player sign with the Kickers,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “Ryan has worked extremely hard through preseason, impressing in both training and games. He thoroughly deserves this opportunity. Entering our 2013 season we could not be more pleased with the quality of depth in our goalkeeper position.”

    Robinson impressed at the Kickers 2013 Pro Combine, earning a professional contract after the three-day event. Over three seasons at the University of Detroit Mercy, Robinson tallied six goals and 16 assists, twice earning Horizon League Player of the Month honors. The Novi, MI native spent the 2012 season with the Michigan Bucks of the USL Premier Development League, helping lead the team to their PDL record 10th Great Lakes Division title, PDL regular season championship and a run to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

    “Nate immediately stood out from the crowd at our recent pro tryouts,” said Cowlishaw. “He has excellent technique, quickness and composure on the ball. He has gained valuable experience with the nationally renowned Michigan Bucks, contributing to their successful 2012 campaign. With his family now residing in Richmond, he is another signing with ties to the community.”

    Don't miss a minute of exciting Kickers Pro action as they kick off their 21st season this 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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  • 04/05/13--09:31: Quartet Return To Harrisburg
  • Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are pleased to announce the return of four players for the upcoming USL PRO season. Standout goalkeeper Nick Noble and forward Sainey Touray will be joined by the versatile Andrew Welker and defender Colin Zizzi.

    Noble didn’t take long to make an impression in Harrisburg, finishing his first season with the Islanders with an impressive 9-7-7 record. Noble started all 24 regular-season games and posted eight shutouts, finishing with a 1.273 GAA. Noble was nominated for the USL Goalkeeper of the Year award. Coach Bill Becher called him one of the best goalkeepers that the club has ever seen. Entering his second season with the Islanders, Noble hopes to build off his productive 2012 campaign.

    “It was important for us to get Nick back for the 2013 season,"  said Becher. "It is very crucial in this league to have a top goalkeeper, and with Nick we feel we do.”

    After spending a good portion of his career in the MLS, where he was drafted by the Chicago Fire in the first round of the MLS Supplemental Draft in 2007, Noble made his professional debut for the Fire in the 2008 U.S. Open Cup. Noble made a handful of appearances for the Austin Aztex in 2009 before heading to Sweden to join Ljungskile SK, where he spent the 2010-11 seasons. Noble made 59 appearances for the club over the course of the two seasons, before returning to MLS and signing a contract with the LA Galaxy at the end of 2011.

    Noble also had a strong collegiate career at West Virginia University, where he was a four-year starter. He was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2006.

    Touray returns after a successful 2012 campaign, appearing in 18 games in what was his second season with the Islanders. He registered two goals and four assists and is looking to continue to be a force on the Islander’s frontline. 

    Touray made quite an impression in 2011, his first full season with Harrisburg. The forward finished second on the team with 20 points and third with seven goals, many of which helped him capture people’s attention with his elaborate celebrations. He finished tops on the team with six assists, while logging 1,161 minutes. He also made a brief appearance with the team in 2010 on loan from the Carolina RailHawks.

    The 22-year old began his professional career at the age of 13, signing with Tallinding United of the Gambian Second Division. He made appearances on both Gambia’s U-17 and U-20 National Teams and also gained valuable experience in 2008 during a brief stint with the New York Red Bulls.

    “Sainey dealt with many injuries last season and his numbers went down, but he is healthy again and ready to get back to his 2011 form,” said Becher. “He has looked sharp so far this preseason and I expect him to score goals for us.”

    Returning for his third year with Harrisburg, Welker has proved to be a critical piece of the team’s line-up. Seeing action in 11 games and logging 1,040 minutes, Welker was able to post one goal. During the 2011 season, Welker finished as the team’s second-leading scorer. He appeared in 23 games for the team, logging 1,565 minutes. He finished with eight goals and 16 points. He received USL PRO Team of the Week honors three times, including being named Player of the Week twice.

    The versatile Welker played forward, defender, and midfielder during his time at Seton Hall (2007-10). He appeared in 64 games (59 starts) for the Pirates, totaling 15 goals and 36 points. He was a Third Team All-BIG EAST and All-District First Team selection in 2009 after leading his team in scoring with eight goals and three assists. The local product was a three-year letter winner at Cumberland Valley High School, where in 2006 he was named the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division Player of the Year and was an All-State selection (Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association) and All-Region II pick (NSCAA). He was a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP from 2002-2006.

    “Things didn't go as well for him last year as he also battled through a lot of injuries," said Becher of Welker. "I know he is ready for the coming year to prove that he is back in top form.”

    Zizzi returns to the Islanders for his second year after an impressive rookie campaign. Zizzi was a strong force in the Islanders defense last season, appearing in 12 games, totaling 687 minutes. He also recorded one assist. After a standout four-year collegiate career at American University, the Carlisle native was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll all four years and was named the team’s most valuable player for his senior season. He was also selected to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team his final season, where he started all 19 games.

    “Colin did a great job for us in his rookie year playing a couple of different positions," said Becher. "He brings energy and work rate to training every day and is showing us that he wants to be in the lineup.”

    Prior to his time with the Eagles, Zizzi had a highly-decorated senior season at Carlisle High School. He tallied 44 points (13goals) that season, which earned him Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division Player of the Year recognition and all-state and regional All-American recognition.

    Training camp continues this week with the last two of six preseason matches occurs. Thursday, April 4 the Isle faces Villanova at 7:30 pm at In the Net, Palmyra. They end the preseason matches on the road on Friday night at 5 p.m. against the University Of Maryland Terrapins. 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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    Reading United News Release -- www.readingunitedac.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    READING, Pa. – Two members of Reading United’s 2012 roster are returning for another season with the Philadelphia Union’s player development partner. Midfielder Dante Marini and defender Damion Lowe will pull on a Reading jersey again this summer and look to help the club secure its sixth consecutive appearance in the Premier Development League Playoffs.

    Marini returns to Reading after scoring United’s most memorable goal of the 2012 campaign. In a divisional playoff showdown versus the Jersey Express, Marini scored a dramatic 119th minute game winning goal to send Reading to the Eastern Conference Championships. Marini appeared in seven PDL matches for Reading, while also gaining significant minutes with United’s Super 20 team. The Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania native had a standout junior season for Northeastern University, starting 20 matches for the Huskies while registering a goal and five assists. Marini earned All-Colonial Athletic Association Second Team honors for the 2012 season.

    When Lowe returns to Reading this summer, he’ll bring some very valuable international experience with him. Lowe played in two matches for Reading United’s PDL team in 2012, but also gained valuable time with the club’s Super 20 team. A 6-foot-3 freshman defender from the University of Hartford, Lowe represented Jamaica in the 2013 CONCACAF Under-20 Championships that took place in Mexico this February. The Kingston, Jamaica native played in all three of Jamaica’s group stage matches and scored a goal in the Reggae Boyz’ 4-1 win over Puerto Rico. 2012 saw the big defender play 16 matches for the Hartford Hawks, scoring three goals and one assist.

    Reading United Head Coach and Philadelphia Union Assistant Coach Brendan Burke is happy to welcome back Lowe and Marini. “We are excited to have guys who have experienced our program and who have had an impact for us already involved again this season as they will help lead the younger players.”

    “We’re very excited to have these two players back in Reading this summer," Reading United President Art Auchenbach added. "Last season they both quickly made the jump from our U20 team to earn valuable playing time for the PDL squad. We are confident that their PDL, collegiate, and international experiences will help them make a stronger Reading United squad for the 2013 campaign.”

    Reading United kick off their 2013 PDL campaign on May 11 at 7 p.m. against the Westchester Flames. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at denise@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs. 


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    Phoenix FC News Release -- www.phoenixfc.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    PHOENIX --  Phoenix FC, in search of a second win in its inaugural USL PRO season, hosts the two-time defending USL PRO Regular Season champion Orlando City SC at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. PT.

    Phoenix is 1-1 after a 1-0 win in its inaugural home opener last Saturday against another expansion team, VSI Tampa Bay FC. Orlando City, nicknamed the Lions, plays its first match of the 2013 regular season on Sunday after defeating the Tampa Bay Rowdies for a third consecutive time in the preseason last weekend.

    Orlando City features several players with Major League Soccer and/or national team experience, including midfielder Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake/Haiti), forward Long Tan (Vancouver Whitecaps FC/China U-23s), midfielder Freddie Braun (Portland Timbers) and forward Jamie Watson (Real Salt Lake). The Lions also have four players from Sporting Kansas City on a season-long loan through a partnership agreement struck earlier this year.

    The Lions have won the last two USL PRO regular seasons, and they won the outright championship in 2011. Wolves coach David Robertson said Orlando City will offer a big challenge and a chance to see how the new team stacks up against an established club.

    Phoenix lost its inaugural match 2-0 to the Los Angeles Blues in Fullerton, Calif., on March 23. Midfielder Anthony Obodai received a red card late in the first half, forcing the Wolves to play for more than one half with just 10 players. Obodai is eligible to return to the pitch this week after serving an automatic one-game suspension for the red card.

    The Wolves returned to action last Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 4,198 at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium, and Brazilian Netinho's first-half goal stood as the game winner for the first time in club history. Goalkeeper Andrew Weber made six saves in earning the club's first clean sheet.

    Phoenix FC hopes for the return of veteran forward Darren Mackie from a groin injury this week. Mackie, the club's first player signing, has missed the first two matches.

    Phoenix FC and Orlando City FC will meet again on Friday, June 7, in Florida.


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    FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    TUCSON, Ariz. — FC Tucson officially kicked off its 2013 season with the signing of its first three players of the year: Travis Campbell, Edgar Reyna and Conor Spence.

    “There isn’t a better way for us to begin our 2013 campaign than to start it with signing these three players,” said FC Tucson General Manager Jon Pearlman. “Travis and Conor were major reasons why we had one of the best defenses in the country and to bring them back for a second year will give us a lot of stability along the back line.

    “Edgar is no stranger to us. He played with the club when it was just an independent team and he spent some time training with us last season. I’m really excited to see him get a chance to play during the PDL season and really show off his athleticism.”

    Spence appeared in 16 matches for FC Tucson last season and played a total of 1,363 minutes, both team highs. He scored one goal but spent much of his time leading the middle of a backline that notched a 548-miunte shut out streak early in the season. Spence was also named All-Conference (PDL Western Conference) defender at the end of the season.

    Campbell appeared in six matches for FC Tucson and played a total of 518 minutes while adding a goal. He was named the PDL Player of the Week for the week of June 14. In that week Campbell played all 90 minutes in back-to-back matches against the Ogden Outlaws and BYU Cougars. He helped FC Tucson notch back-to-back shut outs that weekend and also scored his lone goal of the season. Campbell was also the first player in FC Tucson history to be named PDL Player of the Week.

    Campbell recently graduated from the University of New Mexico. During his senior season in 2012, Campbell appeared in 20 matches (started 18) and anchored a backline that recorded 11 shutouts, including a seven-match shutout streak that ended the season and began the conference tournament. He was also a third-team All Conference selection. New Mexico reached the NCAA Tournament during all three of Campbell’s seasons as a starter and in his final two seasons, the Lobos were back-to-back regular season conference champions.

    “I can’t wait to get Conor and Travis back this season,” said FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz. “Having returning players always make it easier to prepare the grueling season. Travis and Conor are both good leaders and will be great locker room guys.”

    Reyna, a Tucson Soccer Academy alum, has played with FC Tucson before even though he didn’t dress during the 2012 PDL season. Reyna dressed for FC Tucson’s non-PDL match against the Phoenix Monsoon last season and spent time with the team training as a reserve. In 2009 Reyna appeared in 16 matches for Pima Community College and scored four goals while adding two assists. In 2010, Reyna made 18 appearances for Columbia (MO) College and led the team in points (25) and goals (12). In 2011, Reyna played with the club during its lone season as an independent club.

    “Edgar’s athleticism, matched up with his technical ability, makes him a versatile performer both on the attacking and defensive side of the ball, making him an valuable asset,” Pearlman said.

    Fans can catch FC Tucson’s first three signings in person by purchasing 2013 season ticket packages at www.fctucson.com. Ticket packages, which include tickets for seven PDL matches and three additional dates, are only $100 (Reg. $120) for adults and $80 for youth ages 3-12. Children under three do not need a ticket.


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    North Jersey Valkyries News Release - www.njvalkyries.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    WAYNE, N.J. -
    As the 2013 W-League season draws near, the North Jersey Valkyries are delighted to unveil Leanne Champ as the newest signing for their 2013 roster. The TSF Academy coach boasts an impressive playing background that includes 10 senior caps with the England National Team, five English Women’s Premier League titles, two English Women’s FA Cup winners’ medals and a Women’s UEFA Cup winner’s medal.

    Champ also enjoyed a six-year spell with Arsenal, three years with Chelsea and last year saw Leanne undergo her first year in the States with the Philadelphia Fever.

    "I'm really excited to represent the Valkyries this year," Champ said. "There's a real buzz around the place after last year and I hope that I can be a part of helping this team go even further this season.”

    Champ said she is excited to get started with her new teammates.

    “There’s a lot of exciting, young players here [with the Valkyries] and I can’t wait to start training with them," she said. "Playing in America, it's a totally different game, and I'm looking forward to the new challenges this will bring."

    Valkyries Head Coach Mark White is pleased to add a player of Champ's caliber.

    "Leanne brings quality, and most importantly experience at the very highest level," he said. "This signing clearly shows the intent of the Valkyries to push even further this season."

    The Valkyries' season gets underway against familiar opposition, as they make the journey to TCNJ on May 22 to take on the New Jersey Wildcats. Last season saw the Valkyries pick up only two points from a possible nine against the Wildcats, a record White will be keen to improve on this year.


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  • 04/05/13--14:14: Kickers Set For Home Opener
  • Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Friday, April 5, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers open their 21st season this Saturday night when they host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7 p.m. The enhanced game day experience at City Stadium begins when the gates open at 6 p.m. with live music, food trucks, draft beer trucks, corporate entertainment and hospitality tents, new and improved Family Zone and fun for families and soccer fans alike. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

    “The entire organization has worked hard through the offseason to produce a 21st season to remember,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “We have quietly assembled a talented and committed group of players who are excited to play at City Stadium and experience the new festive soccer atmosphere. Preseason has gone well and with a couple more players set to arrive, this has all the ingredients required for a memorable year for the club.”

    Overall, the Kickers hold a 14-8-5 record over the Riverhounds, with a rivalry dating back to 1999 when the two franchises competed in the USL First Division. The Kickers led the two-game series last season, defeating their northern rivals 3-1 in Richmond after drawing even at 1-1 in Pittsburgh. The two clubs last met at City Stadium on July 13, 2013 when defender William Yomby opened scoring before Matthew Delicâte converted his 63rd career goal, to draw even with the club’s all-time leading scorer, Rob Ukrop.

    Saturday’s match marks a milestone in Kickers history, officially kicking off the club’s MLS affiliation with D.C. United. As part of the landmark partnership agreement, four players could be suiting up for the Kickers this weekend as Taylor Kemp, Conor Shanosky, Michael Seaton and Casey Townsend begin their season-long loans in Richmond.

    Established in 1993, the Richmond Kickers have consistently been one of the most successful professional soccer clubs in America. Over the past 20 seasons, Richmond has qualified for postseason play 18 times, and reached the title match in 2010 for the sixth time in the past nine campaigns, falling just short of the Championship title. Richmond's seven previous league Championship appearances (1995, 1996, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009) include winning the Premier League title in 1995, a shoot-out loss to Seattle in the USL First Division final in 2005 and taking the USL Second Division crown twice against Charlotte in 2006 and 2009.

    Players to Watch
    Kickers: Defender Henry Kalungi returned to Richmond this week after captaining the Uganda National Team in last week’s World Cup Qualifier in Liberia. He enters his fifth season with the Kickers, anchoring the back line in 84 appearances since 2009 while contributing to 38 shutouts. Former Richmond Strikers and University of Virginia forward Brian Ownby returns his hometown on loan from the Houston Dynamo. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, Ownby made seven appearances, recording a pair of assists of the bench in his rookie season. Newcomer Alex Lee was the first pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft for FC Dallas following a standout collegiate career at the University of Maryland.

    Riverhounds: Defender Andrew Marshall recently signed with the Riverhounds after spending the last two seasons with the Harrisburg City Islanders. Playing an integral role in the City Islanders' back-to-back USL PRO playoff berths, he made 21 appearances last season, contributing to nine shutouts. The 2011 USL PRO Goal and Scoring Champion, Jhonny Arteaga kicks off his first season with Pittsburgh after spending the 2012 campaign with the New York Red Bulls. The Colombian forward made five appearances with the MLS side before returning to USL PRO this season. Veteran goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap returns for his fourth season with the Riverhounds. The 2010 USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year played every minute of all but two games in 2012 and finished third in the league in the saves category with 92.

    2013 Richmond Kickers Season Passes
    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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    VSI Tampa Bay FC News Release -- www.vsi-fc.com

    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    PORTLAND Ore. – Coming off its first victory in franchise history on Tuesday night, VSI Tampa Bay FC heads to play Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers Reserve team on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET at JELD-WEN Field. The groundbreaking partnership between USL PRO and MLS allows Tampa Bay to compete against the Portland Timbers Reserves twice this season in matches that will count in both league's standings.

    The opener of the two-game series against Portland is the final game of VSI Tampa Bay FC’s three-game road trip. Tampa Bay enters the match with a record of 1-1-0 after securing a 1-0 win against the LA Blues, and will be hoping to return home with a second win as its experienced squad faces a young but talented Timbers Reserves line-up.

    Sunday's game is the Timbers Reserves' first home game of the season, having taken victory against the Seattle Sounders Reserves 1-0 on March 17 and losing 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids Reserves on March 31. Jose Valencia scored the only goal against Seattle, while homegrown players Steven Evans and Brent Richards, who both starred in the PDL for the Timbers U-23s, will also be players to watch. 

    Players to watch for Tampa Bay include goalkeeper Alex Horwath and midfielder Douglas Dos Santos. Horwath enters the match with a shutout under his belt after VSI’s win against the Blues and Dos Santos is a steady threat to opponents with his ability to create in the final third, having recorded the assist on Antonio Neto's goal on Tuesday, the first in club history.

    The match will be aired on the Portland Timbers website at www.portlandtimbers.com/timbers-live. The website will only be active during the match at 5 p.m. ET. Timbers Reserves tickets are available by contacting the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555 or ticketsales@portlandtimbers.com.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC returns home to Plant City Stadium next Saturday as it hosts its inaugural home opener against the Rochester Rhinos at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit www.vsi-fc.com. 


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    Saturday, April 6, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers and Pittsburgh Riverhounds played to a 0-0 draw in front of 3,268 fans at City Stadium on Saturday night. Ryan Kinne came closest to breaking the deadlock for the Riverhounds, only to see his second-half shot come back off the crossbar as honors finished even.

    Both sides had several near-scoring chances during a first half, with Richmond going close in the 12th minute when Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap lost control of the ball in his box, dropping it to ground and nearly to the feet of several waiting Kickers players before he cleared it out of the way. The Riverhounds had the better of the game overall, however, with Kinne and Jhonny Arteaga both having long-range efforts miss the target.

    The Kickers went close again in the 29th minute, as a passing move between Kickers forward Jason Yeisley and midfielder Henry Kalungi was deflected out for a corner kick. The corner by Sascha Goerres found Yeisley, whose header went just wide of the left post. Pittsburgh went close from a corne of its own a few minutes later, with a clearance off the line by Taylor Kemp keeping the game scoreless at the break.

    Pittsburgh came out strongly again to start the second half, with Sterling Flunder having a shot from distance saved by Andrew Dykstra. Kinne then almost gave his side the lead in the 64th minute as Kinne’s effort from 30 yards beat Dykstra, only to come back off the crossbar.

    Kinne also forced a good save from Dykstra with 12 minutes to go with a free kick from just outside the penalty area, while Seth C’DeBaca also forced a good save five minutes later. In the final minute of the game, Pittsburgh would make try to get the game-winning goal, only for their late efforts to go over the crossbar, leaving the game scoreless.

    The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday night to host the Charleston Battery at 7 p.m. Order tickets in advance at RichmondKickers.com. The Riverhounds return home for their first game at Highmark Stadium next Saturday night at 8 p.m. against thhe Harrisburg City Islanders.


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    Sunday, April 7, 2013

    PORTLAND, Ore. – Midfielder Michael Nanchoff registered a goal and an assist and forward Jose Valencia tallied the game-winner as the Portland Timbers Reserves defeated VSI Tampa Bay FC 2-1 on Sunday afternoon before 1,803 fans at JELD-WEN Field. 

    The interleague match between the Timbers Reserves and VSI Tampa Bay FC was played as part of a new player development partnership between Major League Soccer and United Soccer Leagues formed earlier this year. Sunday’s match was the first of several matches between MLS Reserve sides and USL PRO teams to be played in 2013.

    The two clubs combined for all three goals in the second half. The Timbers Reserves opened the scoring on a penalty kick by Nanchoff eight minutes into the second half. After VSI Tampa Bay FC leveled in the 59th minute, Nanchoff initiated the play that led to the game-winning strike by Valencia just nine minutes from time as the Timbers Reserves recorded their second victory of the season.

    Valencia struck for his second game-winning goal of the season, Nanchoff tallied his first goal on the campaign and goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made six saves to pick up his second win for the Timbers Reserves (2-1-0, 6pts) in their MLS Reserve League home opener. Portland took a season-high eight corner kicks against VSI Tampa Bay FC.

    Forward Mauricio Salles scored his first goal of the season and took a team-high seven shots, defender Jean-Jacques Bitielo registered his first assist and goalkeeper Alex Horwath recorded four saves for VSI Tampa Bay FC (1-2-0, 3pts), playing its inaugural season in USL PRO.

    The Timbers Reserves claimed the initial lead in the 53rd minute on Nanchoff’s penalty kick. Forward Sebastián Rincón was clipped from behind by VSI Tampa Bay FC defender Alex Freitas as he charged through the left side of the penalty area. Nanchoff drilled the penalty kick down the right side for his first goal of the season.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC pulled level less than 10 minutes later as Salles was able to get in behind the Timbers Reserves backline on a long ball played in by Bitielo from the left side. Salles out-jumped his marker and knocked the ball over the goal line near the back post, tying the score at 1-1.

    A build-up from midfield sparked by Nanchoff led to the decisive goal in the 81st minute. Nanchoff slipped a pass down the right side for Rincón, who then crossed the ball in on goal. On a well-timed run at the near post, Valencia was in position to tap the ball in from close range and lift the Timbers Reserves to the 2-1 victory. Valencia also scored the winner in a 1-0 season-opening win over the Seattle Sounders FC Reserves on March 17.

    The match opened up after a scoreless first half, as both sides combined for 19 shots in the second half. Salles attempted six of his seven shots in the second half, forcing Gleeson to make many of his five second-half saves.

    The Timbers Reserves and VSI Tampa Bay FC finish their season home-and-away series on Saturday, June 1 in Tampa, Fla.

    The Timbers Reserves play host to the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves in their next match on Monday, April 15, at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Pacific). Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com.


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  • 04/08/13--13:52: Youngsters Headed To Milan
  • N.Y. Magic - F.A. Euro News Release -- www.faeuro.com

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- New York Magic - F.A. Euro, a young, up-and-coming soccer club in Brooklyn has developed a reputation for giving good, deserving players, who weren’t previously affiliated with a local club, a chance to play the game they love. But quietly, F.A. Euro has also been giving some outstanding young players with great potential a shot at living their dreams by helping them get trials with some of the best clubs in the world. Today, the club announced that two of their youth players, Nick Garzon and Steve Fernandez, will leave for Italy in two weeks for one-week trials with the youth academy of Italian powerhouse AC Milan.

    Garzon and Fernandez are the second and third players that F.A. Euro has helped get trials at Milan in the last two years. ODP select goalkeeper, Stanley Purygin was the first. Purygin spent a week in Milan training with the AC Milan U14 team in the spring of 2012, and while the storied Italian club hasn’t signed him, the unexpected experience has helped him grow as a player. F.A. Euro’s Director of Youth Operations, Adam Marcu, tried to put Nick and Steve’s opportunity into perspective.

    "It’s a dream come true for a kid playing soccer in Brooklyn to get to train with one of the best clubs on the planet," Marcu said. "At F.A. Euro, we are ecstatic for Nick and Steve and proud that we’ve built the kind of relationships that can give our kids the chance to go AC Milan and play in their academy. It’s an opportunity that almost no American player ever gets to experience."

    F.A. Euro President Joe Balsamo gives the credit to the players. He says that the club has built a strong relationship with AC Milan because of the hard work that the kids have been putting in at the training ground and on game days.

    "We have been working nonstop, and the club just gets better every day," Balsamo said. "These players are constantly improving in all aspects of the game: technical, physical, tactical and mental. We give them the chance to play and they are 100 percent motivated to make themselves into the best players they can be. By next year, God willing, a few more of our players will get trials in Italy. American soccer has the quality to make a difference nationally as well as internationally, and we hope that our players can help to become part of that difference.”

    Balsamo stressed that the objective is not to sign a professional contract overseas, but for the kids to get the experience of playing with top players at a top international club, even if only for a week. That week will change the way Garzon and Fernandez see and understand the sport.

    “The experience will benefit both of them, as it will give them the opportunity to see the reality of soccer," Balsamo said. "I would love nothing better than one day for a player who developed his game at our club to reach the highest level. We would all be so proud to know that we played a part in that young man’s success. And it would reinforce that we are doing things in the right way, and hopefully allow others to see us as a positive model for growing soccer in the US.”

    It is Balsamo’s philosophy that the boys at F.A. Euro should improve not only as players on the pitch but as people who become men of character as well. Balsamo’s holistic approach has made a great impact on his staff, who have wholeheartedly adopted his philosophy towards the game.

    “One of our major aims is not only to develop great soccer players, but to develop great people as well,” stressed Marcu. “Talent, especially in a country with so many good young players, is just not enough to enable a player to succeed today. Character is critically important as well. When opportunities arise for trials, camps, or tours, coaches immediately think of players who deserve the opportunity because they’ve worked for it.

    "Right away, certain names pop into your head as a coach in these scenarios, and to a man, they are the names of the kids who both have the talent and have demonstrated the character to get the most out of the experience. These are kids for whom you wished an opportunity would arise because they deserved it, and bang, suddenly there it is, so you don’t hesitate to call on them.”

    Garzon admits that he’s nervous about the trip, but he says he’s excited and ready to give his all in Milan.

    “I am very happy and lucky that I get the chance to train and play with a world class organization like Milan," he said. "I want to try my best to do well and represent F.A. Euro the best I can. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but my coaches have trained me well, and their constant motivation helps inspire me to perform at a high level.”

    When asked about his major goal for the trip, Garzon was restrained but hopeful: “I hope that Milan likes me and that the experience will help me on my journey to achieving my dream of one day becoming a professional soccer player.”

    The statement is both an indication of Nick’s strong ambition, as well as his determined character. Garzon’s dream is driven by his love for the game, his loyalty to his coaches and teammates at F.A. Euro, and his family, who introduced him to the game at a young age and have continued to sacrifice their time and weekends to help him achieve his dreams. Garzon especially wants his Mom to see him succeed, and be able to thank her, and the rest of his family for the sacrifices they’ve made and the faith they’ve had in him.

    Despite being able to prepare themselves mentally to a certain degree, Marcu believes that “what Nick and Steven will be most surprised by in Milan is the level of quality and commitment throughout all the kids in the academy. It will feel to them, in many ways, like they are in the AC Milan first team - of course, they won’t be, they’ll be training with kids their own age." He went on, saying, "one of the biggest challenges for our guys when they’re over there will be in finding ways to stand out without relying on pure talent. It will be difficult, but the more they can take in while they’re over there, the more they’ll improve as players, and the more they can bring back to their teammates and help them improve as well."

    Marcu’s final reflection on the opportunity was simple: "The entire F.A. Euro family knows that Nick and Steven are tremendous players with extremely bright futures, and I expect them to impress in Milan. They will be representing our entire organization, and we have faith that they will conduct themselves with professionalism on and off the field. At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience—and it’s going to be a great one!"

    The boys leave April 20 for Milan.


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  • 04/08/13--02:25: Orlando Rallies Past Phoenix
  • Sunday, April 7, 2013

    TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dom Dwyer, Long Tan and Kevin Molino each scored for Orlando City as the Lions rallied to take a 3-1 win against Phoenix FC on Sunday night in front of 2,329 fans at at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Phoenix had taken the lead through Diego Faria, but the Lions got back on even terms before halftime, with Tan and Molino scoring second-half goals to give Orlando victory in its season-opener.

    Phoenix FC took the early lead when Aaron King took advantage of a giveaway and crossed to teammate Faria for a first-time finish in the 16th minute. The Wolves’ lead lasted less than 20 minutes, however, as Dwyer found the back of the net for Orlando City off a cross from the right by Jamie Watson.

    Phoenix went close to regaining the lead in the 45th minute as Anthony Obodai shot just over the crossbar. Obodai, making his return after suspension, also had a good chance early saved by Orlando goalkeeper Jon Kempin, but the two teams went to the break tied 1-1.

    Scott Morrison had an early second-half chance for the Wolves, hitting the crossbar with a long-range effort after a corner was half-cleared by Orlando, but the Lions made effective use of their substitutions later in the half and their speed took over. Tan, formerly with Major League Soccer's D.C. United, latched onto a good through-ball by Kevin Molino in the 68th minute, splitting the Phoenix defense before finishing to make it 2-1. Tan had come on in the 61st minute and finished with a goal and assist.

    Orlando had the opportunity to extend its lead from the penalty spot in the 81st minute when Jamie Watson was brought down by Travis Bowen in the penalty area, but Phoenix FC goalkeeper Andrew Weber made an outstanding stop of Dwyer's effort to send the crowd of 2,329 into a frenzy and keep his side in with a chance of an equalizer.

    Orlando would wrap up the game with three minutes to play, though, as Molino was played into the right side of the penalty area by Tan before driving home a finish inside the right post. 

    The match marked the debut of Phoenix FC striker Darren Mackie, a former Scottish Premier League star who was the first player signing for the Wolves. Mackie, who had missed the first two games of the season with an injury, came on as a second-half substitute for the Wolves. 

    Phoenix FC next hosts the LA Blues on Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m. PT at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium. Orlando City also faces the Blues in its next contest, going west to California to play the Blues on Wednesday evening at 5 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium in Fullerton.


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    West Virginia Chaos News Release -- www.westvirginiachaos.com

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    CHARLESTON, W.V. -- The West Virginia Chaos are pleased to announce the appointment of former W.V. Chaos player and current volunteer assistant coach of University of Charleston, Predrag “Petsa” Ivanovic, as the new Head Coach of the team.

    Ivanovic is in his first year with the UC Men's soccer staff. After finishing his collegiate career at Jacksonville University, Ivanovic returned to University of Charleston as the assistant coach for men's soccer program, where as a player in 2009 he helped the team to WVIAC/East Region title, thus earning the All-American accolades for his efforts.

    Better known in the community as "Petsa", he has worked with many individuals and youth travel teams in Charleston, WV. Under Chris Grassie's guidance, who he replaces on the Chaos bench this year, Ivanovic was also a player/assistant for West Virginia Chaos PDL team in the franchise's most successful season so far in 2012. “Petsa” returns to the team for the fifth consecutive year but this time as a player coach.

    “I’m extremely honored to take on a coaching role and be part of the West Virginia Chaos organization once again," said Ivanovic, who has been playing with the Chaos since 2009. "It is one of the very promising PDL programs in the country and I am very excited to take on the challenge and begin the new season.”

    “Petsa has always been a solid and very consistent player during my time with the West Virginia Chaos," said West Virginia Chaos owner Bob Johns. "He was not only a leader on and off the field but also a mentor to all the other players. We look forward to having him back to continue his leadership and mentorship in his new role as a player coach.”

    Ivanovic will begin his career as a Head Coach against another West Virginian PDL franchise, the Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors on Saturday, May 18th at 7 p.m. in Beckley, W.V. The game will take place at the YMCA soccer complex in Beckley, West Virginia.


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  • 04/08/13--14:37: Rapids Return for Spence
  • Colorado Rapids Women News Release - www.coloradorapids.com/women

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids are pleased to announce that Australian National Team member and 2012 Colorado Rapids Women Captain Brooke Spence will return to lead the squad for the 2013 W-League season.

    Spence, a key member of the Brisbane Roar in the Australian W-League, played a crucial role in the Rapids Women success last season, leading the team as captain in its  inaugural season. Head Coach and Australian native Daniel Clitnovici handed the captain’s armband to his fellow Australian and Spence never disappointed. She led the team from the center of the defense, playing in 12 games and scoring an important game-winner against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the final game of the season.

    Amy Snider, managing director of the Colorado Rapids Women, was extremely happy about the re-signing of Spence.

    "We have rostered hundreds of players over the years of our W-League franchis; if I had to pick the ideal prototype of what we always wanted representing our Rapids Women, Brooke Spence is it!," she said. "She is a strong captain and leader. We are so excited to have a player of her level leading our team into the 2013 season."

    Spence was asked a few questions by the Rapids media about the upcoming W-League season:

    What is it that brings you back to the Rapids Women and to rejoin Head Coach Daniel Clitnovici’s squad for the 2013 W-League season?

    “It was so fantastic to be a part of the Rapids family in the 2012 season and the challenge of going one better this year and earning a spot in the playoffs has definitely contributed to me wanting to throw on the maroon jersey again. Aside from the drive to want to be a part of the team and achieve more this season, I am really looking forward to the positive, hard-working football environment and the opportunity to be a part of an extremely special group of players, coaches and support staff.”

    How do you think the 2013 season will differ from the Rapids’ inaugural season?

    “We want to make the playoffs, raising the bar higher in terms of team performance and hopefully achieving our objective!”

    How does playing in the W-League for the Rapids Women compare to other playing experiences you have had, such as with the Brisbane Roar and the Australian National Team?

    “To be honest playing with the Rapids feels just as much like ’home’ as it does throwing on my orange jersey back in Australia for the Roar. I am proud to be a Rapid and honored to have been offered the opportunity to develop myself as a footballer [and person] and hopefully lift and encourage those around me to do the same.

    In terms of football - I think Australia and America both bring that ’never say die’ fighting spirit when they step on the pitch as well as a highly athletic edge and intensity to the way we play.”

    How important is it to have a core group of players, like yourself, who are returning from last season’s team?

    “I think it’s extremely important to have a core group of girls that have stuck together and returned to play... It will give us a chance to build on our performances from last season and develop our combination play on the pitch. It is also fantastic to see some of the U-20s making their senior appearances as well as some new faces around the team lifting the standard and ensuring the club is moving forward. I can’t wait!"

    The Rapids Women kick off their season on May 25 with the “Derby” Home opener against the Colorado Rush. For more Information about the Colorado Rapids Women please visit their website at: www.coloradorapids.com/women and also, keep an eye on the Colorado Rapids Women’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/corapidswomen.


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    SW Florida Adrenaline News Release -- www.swfladrenaline.com

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    NAPLES, Fla. – The SW Florida Adrenaline have continued to impress everybody in the preseason with their ability to sign big-time players for the team’s upcoming inaugural season. The Adrenaline recently added three more top-caliber players, with Scott McCoubrey, Xavier Silva and Jason Wellington all set to join the club for its inaugural season in the PDL.

    McCoubrey is a Welsh international who played at Cardiff City, and has spent the last two seasons as the captain of Hamilton Rage of the PDL. During that spell, McCoubrey scored 11 goals and added four assists, and will be looked to for leadership in the squad. 

    "Scott will bring his vast experience to our team, I look for him to be that calming influence over some of our younger players," Adrenaline coach Mick Whitewood said. "Scott has vision that you just can’t teach, he is a tremendous goalscorer but brings so much more than that."

    McCoubrey will be joined in the forward ranks by Silva, a standout at Florida Gulf Coast University. Silva was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year in 2011 after scoring nine goals for the Eagles, helping them claim the Atlantic Sun championship. 

    Wellington, a West Palm Beach native, joins the Adrenaline after making 17 appearances at left back for Seton Hall University last fall. Prior to his college career, Welllington Led Delray Beach American Heritage to No. 4 in the ESPN RISE national rankings in 2010 while helping the school claim a pair of FHSAA championships. In Wellington’s senior season, he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Jacksonville Providence in the FHSAA Championship Game.

    “We are adding pieces to the puzzle," Whitewood said. "I am looking forward to getting all of the pieces on the pitch and getting to work. These are exciting times in SWFL, we are looking forward to the first game on May 11th.”

    To purchase tickets visit www.swfladrenaline.com or call the SW Florida Adrenaline office at (239) 218-5673.


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  • 04/09/13--14:24: Blues Ready To Host Orlando
  • LA Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. – The LA Blues are back in action on Wednesday night as they take on Orlando City SC at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton at 5 p.m. PT. This will be the Blues’ third game of the season as they look to bounce back from defeat last week against Tampa Bay.

    Orlando City started off its USL PRO season with a 3-1 win a Sunday night against Phoenix FC. The Lions got goals from Dom Dyer, Long Tan and Kevin Molino. The Blues midfield will have their hands full trying to shut down Orlando midfielder and playmaker Jamie Watson. The other player to watch for is USL PRO player of the week, Molino, who along with his goal notched an assist during Sunday’s game.

    The Blues are looking for their second win of the season and for a chance to remain undefeated at Titan Stadium. While the Blues fought hard in their last game, they fell 1-0 to VSI Tampa Bay FC. Defender Cory Miller was rewarded for his strong defensive play by being named to the USL PRO Team of the Week. Captain Allan Russell was given honorable mention honors for his leadership and command over the midfield.

    The game marks an opportunity for Blues forward George Davis IV and midfielder Rodrigo Lopez to face their former club. Both players spent time with Orlando last season, and are eager to take on their former team. Last season, the Blues were 0-2-1 against Orlando City.

    Tomorrow night’s game will be live streamed on USLNation.com at 5 p.m. PT. Tickets are still available for the game and can be purchased at http://lablues.ticketfly.com.


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    Reading United News Release -- www.readingunitedac.com

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    READING, Pa. – Reading United has played an important role in player development for the Philadelphia Union since the two clubs announced their partnership in December 2009. Building on that partnership, Reading United is pleased to announce that four members of the Philadelphia Union’s academy team have joined the club. Georgetown’s Keegan Rosenberry and Melvin Snoh, Penn State’s Shane Campbell and the University of Virginia’s Darius Madison will pull on a Reading jersey for the 2013 Premier Development League season.

    Madison, a dynamic forward from the University of Virginia will bolster United’s attack. The FC Delco product played in 17 games for the Cavaliers, scored two goals and earned All-ACC Freshman team honors. Top Drawer Soccer ranked Madison as the 31st best freshman in college soccer. The Philadelphia native was called into U.S. Soccer’s Under-20 camp in December 2012 and again in January 2013.

    Rosenberry, a midfielder from Georgetown University will partner with a familiar face in United’s midfield. Rosenberry, along with Reading captain, Steve Neumann, helped the Hoyas reach their first College Cup Final last December. The Lancaster Mennonite grad set up Neumann’s second goal in the semi-final match versus the University of Maryland. The native of Ronks, Pa. started 25 matches for Georgetown where he was credited with three assists during the Hoyas’ memorable march to the College Cup finals.

    Snoh, a forward from Georgetown University will also join his fellow college teammates in Reading this summer. The Coatesville, Pa. native featured in 24 matches for the Hoyas’ soccer team, scoring one goal and providing two assists. The Malvern Prep alum made substitute appearances in the College Cup semifinal against Maryland and the final against Indiana.

    Campbell will be the next in a long line of Nittany Lions to play their PDL soccer in Reading. Penn State soccer stars Corey Hertzog, Jacob Baron, Julian Cardona, Brian Forgue and United technical director Troy Snyder have all played for United over the years. The native of York, Pa. played club soccer for FC Delco, where he was captain for two years. In 2012, Campbell played in 16 games for the Big Ten regular season champions. The Dallastown Area High School grad was part of the Penn State defense that allowed the fewest shots in the Big Ten.

    Reading United Head Coach and Philadelphia Union Assistant Coach Brendan Burke has had the unique opportunity to work with these four tremendously talented players through his work as the Union’s Reserve Team Coach and at the academy’s home at YSC Sports in Wayne.

    “We are looking forward to further solidifying the relationship between the Philadelphia Union Academy and the first team," said Burke. "These players represent the first class of Academy players from Philadelphia coming to represent our PDL team. Keegan, Darius, Melvin, and Shane represent some of the premier college programs in the country and we expect them to be coming back into the program in excellent form this summer. Each of these guys have a distinctly different skill set and will help to maintain and raise the level of our program.”

    Reading United kickoff their 2013 PDL campaign on May 11 at 7PM against the Westchester Flames. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at denise@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week Three of the season on Tuesday, with Orlando City’s Kevin Molino earning Player of the Week honors after recording a goal and an assist in the Lions’ season-opening 3-1 victory against Phoenix FC on Sunday night.

    The 2012 USL PRO Most Valuable Player, Molino got his 2013 campaign off to a strong start as he helped the Lions rally from an early deficit against the Wolves. With the game tied 1-1 at the break, Molino’s decisive pass released Long Tan in on goal for what proved to be the game-winner in the 68th minute. Molino then found the back of the net himself, after a nice give-and-go with Tan released him into the right side of the penalty area, from where he fired home a finish at the near post.

    Tan, a new addition to the Lions this season, also earned a berth on the Team of the Week as his goal and assist after coming on as a second-half substitute proved important in Orlando’s victory. Joining Tan in the forward trio was Phoenix’s Diego Faria, who finished sharply to put his side ahead against the Lions, and VSI Tampa Bay FC’s Mauricio Salles, who had a goal and a pair of strong performances as his side took its first win in franchise history.

    Salles’ Tampa Bay teammate Antonio Neto also earned a berth on the team after scoring the game-winner, and first goal in club history, in a 1-0 win against the LA Blues this last Tuesday. Pittsburgh’s Ryan Kinne was also named in the midfield after a strong performance that saw him almost steal a victory on the road against Richmond, as one of his seven shots was the closest either side came to a goal as it rang off the crossbar.

    Kinne was joined by his teammates Hunter Gilstrap, who made four saves in recording a shutout against the Kickers, and center back Andrew Marshall, whose debut for the Riverhounds was an impressive one. Richmond’s William Yomby also put in a strong performance for the Kickers as they earned a point in their home opener, while Tampa Bay’s Kyle Hoffer earned his place with a commanding performance in VSI’s 1-0 win against Los Angeles

    The 2013 USL PRO season continues on Wednesday as Orlando City visits the LA Blues at 8 p.m. ET at Titan Stadium. Saturday sees four games on the schedule, with Charlotte hosting Antigua in both teams’ season-opener, and Charleston beginning the defense of its title in Richmond.

    Also on Saturday night, VSI Tampa Bay FC hosts its inaugural home opener as it welcomes the Rochester Rhinos to Plant City Stadium, while Pittsburgh plays its first game at its new soccer-specific Highmark Stadium against the Harrisburg City Islanders.

    Sunday brings another pair of games, with Rochester completing its trip to Florida with a visit to Orlando City, while later that night Phoenix hosts Los Angeles for their second meeting this season. Every game of the USL PRO season can be seen on USLNation.com, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+.

    USL PRO Team of the Week 

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    Hunter Gilstrap

    Pittsburgh

    Four-save shutout helped earn point on the road

    D

    William Yomby

    Richmond

    Held Riverhounds’ attack in check in scoreless draw

    D

    Kyle Hoffer

    Tampa Bay

    Strong aerial performance helped VSI shut out LA

    D

    Andrew Marshall

    Pittsburgh

    Impressed on his debut, making key clearances throughout

    D

    Cory Miller

    Los Angeles

    Solid defensively, and also threatened from set pieces

    M

    Antonio Neto

    Tampa Bay

    Scored first goal in club history to earn win against LA

    M

    Kevin Molino

    Orlando

    Had goal and assist as Lions rallied to take victory

    M

    Ryan Kinne

    Pittsburgh

    Had seven shots, including one off crossbar, on debut

    F

    Diego Faria

    Phoenix

    Pressed well throughout, was rewarded with goal

    F

    Mauricio Salles

    Tampa Bay

    Influential in win vs. LA, added goal against Timbers Reserves

    F

    Long Tan

    Orlando

    Scored game-winning goal, added assists, for Lions

    Honorable Mention - Los Angeles: Allan Russell; Orlando: Dom Dwyer, Jamie Watson; Pittsburgh: Mike Seth, Seth C’deBaca; Phoenix: Renan Bonfleur; Richmond: Andrew Dkystra, Nate Robinson; Tampa Bay: Douglas Dos Santos, JT Noone.


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

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    PLAINVIEW, N.Y. - The Long Island Rough Riders are pleased to welcome back forward Grace Hawkins for the 2013 W-League season. Hawkins ran away with the points and goal-scoring titles in 2012, and was named the W-League MVP.

    A former Hofstra and Villanova standout, Hawkins made her W-League debut in 2003 for Long Island, and her hard work and perseverance paid off with a career season in 2012 as she tallied 17 goals and 38 points in 12 games for the Northeast Division champions.

    The 25-year-old Northport resident spent her formative years competing for the Cold Spring Harbor/Huntington Lady Riders of the Long Island Junior Soccer League, the largest league in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). Hawkins also played for Northport High School, where she was all-state, all-county and all-league.

    It was then off to Villanova, where she played for three years while red-shirting in 2007. She joined Hofstra in 2010 for her senior year, helping lead the Pride to the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title.

    This year Hawkins looks to return stronger than ever to top her 2012 MVP performance. Hawkins' explosive presence on the front line will be valuable to the Rough Riders and undoubtedly a key to success.


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