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News from USL

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

    Monday, October 11, 2010


    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

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  • 04/23/13--10:13: Azul Add Three To Squad
  • CFC Azul News Release --

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    HAMDEN, Conn. -- CFC Azul is excited to announce three additional commitments for the 2013 PDL campaign. The Azul will return Mario DiMiceli and Sony Narro from last season’s squad and are excited to receive a commitment from Jonny Raj out of Fairfield University.

    Raj, who will graduate in May, is no stranger to the PDL. He played for the Chicago Fire PDL team in 2011 and then joined Reading United in 2012 where he saw action in 10 games. In his senior season at Fairfield, Raj started in 14 games and tallied one goal while receiving his third All-MAAC First Team selection. He was also named as one of 42 players to the Hermann Trophy watch list, an award given to the top player in college soccer. Raj started in every game his first three years and finished his junior season having started 54 consecutive games for the Stags.

    "Signing Jonny Raj is another huge step in moving the Azul forward,” CFC Azul head coach Dave Kelly said. “Before Fairfield University, Jonny had experience with the New Zealand National team. He also has plenty of PDL experience; last year with Reading and captaining the Chicago Fire's team in 2011. He is athletic, good on the ball, and he's a natural leader. We're thrilled he's agreed to play for us this season."

    DiMiceli was a big part of the Azul’s success in 2012 as he tallied four goals in nine games for eight points on the season. In the fall, he played for Southern Connecticut State University and led the team in scoring with 27 points off of a team-high 12 goals and three assists. Before Southern Connecticut State University, DiMiceli played at Iona College for three seasons. As a junior in 2011, he tallied four points off of two goals. He had one goal as as sophomore and two goals and an assist as a freshman in 2009.

    "Mario DiMiceli only played a handful of matches last year, but he showed that he has a killer instinct around goal,” Kelly said. “He is a goalscorer, par excellence. My hope is that after a great season, Mario moves on to a higher level."

    Narro was also an influential part of the Azul’s offense last season as he finished with eight points off of three goals and two assists. After last summer he returned to Dominican College for his junior season where the success carried over as he tallied a team-high 21 points off of eight goals and five assists and was also named to the All-CACC First Team. Narro started in all 19 games for Dominican. As a sophomore, he had seven points off of three goals and one assist and as a freshman, he was named the CACC Rookie of the Year after posting 17 points off of five goals and seven assists.

    "Sony Narro is one of the most technical players in this part of the country,” Kelly said. “He is quick, skillful, and can turn the game in an instant. The fans of CFC Azul will be happy he's returning, and so am I. He's a joy to coach, fun to watch and he will be a big part of the Azul this year."

    All seven CFC Azul home games will be played on the campus of Central Connecticut State University this summer. Click here for tickets!

    For more details about CFC Azul please visit our website, “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or e-mail us at

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    Fredericksburg Impact News Release -

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - The Fredericksburg Impact have announced that Chelsey Haney and Nicole Pond will return to Fredericksburg for the 2013 W-League season.

    Haney, a member of the 2012 Impact and freshman forward at Youngstown State University, returns to Fredericksburg for her second season. In 2012, Haney played in six games for the Impact, scoring two goals. In 2012 Haney started 15 of 17 games at YSU, and tallied five goals and three assists, including the go-ahead goal on September 25 against Cedarville in a non-conference matchup.

    Haney said she has many goals for the upcoming season and wants to bring her work ethic to the field to garner team cohesiveness.

    “I am a hard worker as well as a team player and hoping that will bring us to the playoffs this year," Haney said. "I want to be more dangerous up top and get my scoring stats up. I am looking forward to working with the new players coming in and hoping the team will be able to come together as a unit and work towards the same goals. I want to be a leader and someone who can set an example for the newer and younger players coming in to play.”

    Pond, a freshman goalkeeper from Michigan State University, will return to the Impact to play for her third consecutive season. In 2011, she played three games for Fredericksburg recording a 3.00 goals-against average, while earning one of two Impact wins. As a Spartan in 2012, Pond played in one exhibition game against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In the game, she played 21 minutes and had one save.

    The Impact start their 2013 W-League season on April 11 against Virginia Piranhas at the Virginia Sportsplex with game time scheduled for 7 p.m.

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release --

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are set to play host to Orlando City this Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Queens Sports Complex. The Eagles are looking to maintain their stout defense that has only given up five shots in two games so far this season. Orlando City is looking to stay atop the USL PRO standings after winning three of its first four games.

    The Eagles, 1-0-1, played to a scoreless draw with the Rochester Rhinos on Friday night. The Eagles outshot the Rhinos 11-4, but Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht made seven saves to deny the Eagles a goal. Eagles defenders Shaun Francis and Ben Newnam both had great opportunities in the first half to put the Eagles in front but neither put their headed chances home. The Eagles' best chance came from a shot by Ghanaian midfielder Stephen Okai, whose low, hard shot forced a diving save by the Nicht to keep the game scoreless.

    The Eagles had taken a 2-0 victory against Antigua in their opening game of the season, with Nate Thornton and Christian Ramirez finding the back of the net. The club will be tested by Orlando, which beat the Los Angeles Blues 3-2 on Friday to move into a tie for first place early in the season. Jamie Watson, a former UNC Tar Heel, is the team's leading scorer this season with three goals and two assists in four games. Watson left UNC in 2005 and was selected by Real Salt Lake in the MLS SuperDraft, making 39 appearances for the club.

    Orlando is managed by former English Premier League player Adrian Heath. Heath is in his third season as Orlando's head coach. The club also has four players on loan from MLS side Sporting Kansas City: midfielder Christian Duke, forward Dominic Dwyer, goalkeeper Jon Kempin and defender Yann Songo'o.

    To purchase season tickets or tickets for Tuesday's match CLICK HERE. Keep that Orange Flag Flying High and we'll see you on Tuesday at Queens Sports Complex!

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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week Five of the season on Tuesday, with Orlando City midfielder Jamie Watson earning Player of the Week honors after recording two goals and an assist in his side’s 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Blues on Friday night.

    Watson had a good first half against the Blues, creating opportunities while also coming close to scoring himself. He finally provided the breakthrough for the Lions in the 57th minute, finishing a move from close range after Long Tan had sent a low cross to the top of the six-yard box. Five minutes later, Watson’s corner from the left was met at the back post by Yann Songo’o, doubling the Lions’ lead.

    Los Angeles pulled a goal back, with Team of the Week selection Rodrigo Lopez’s corner being headed home by Conor Hearn in the 70th minute, but almost immediately Watson restored the Lions’ two-goal advantage. After being brought down in the penalty area, Watson himself finished from the spot for his third goal of the season.

    Joining Watson and Lopez in the Team of the Week’s midfield was Charleston’s Ben Fisk, who had a goal and an assist in the Battery’s 4-0 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday night. Fisk, on loan from the Vancouver Whitecaps, created the Battery’s opening goal before adding one of his own two minutes later. Rounding out the quartet was VSI Tampa Bay FC’s Shawn Chin, who capped a strong performance with a fine goal from the top of the penalty area in his side’s 3-2 win against Los Angeles on Sunday.

    Harrisburg’s Cris Hernandez was also named to the Team of the Week after recording a goal and an assist as the City Islanders became the first USL PRO side to defeat an MLS Reserve side in interleague play against the Colorado Rapids Reserves on Saturday night. He was joined in attack by Wilmington’s Kyle Greig, who scored his first professional goal in the Hammerheads’ 2-0 win against Antigua.

    Hernandez is joined by his City Islanders teammate and fellow Philadelphia Union loanee, Greg Jordan, who scored the game-winning goal in the City Islanders’ 2-1 win against the Rapids Reserves. He is joined by Charlotte’s Matt Gold, who helped the Eagles earn a shutout against Rochester on Friday night, and Sean Reynolds, who scored his first professional goal in VSI Tampa Bay FC’s 3-2 win against Los Angeles. Richmond veteran Sascha Görres also earned a place on the team, while Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams’ strong six-save performance that helped the Dutch Lions edge out Pittsburgh, 2-1.

    The 2013 USL PRO season continues on Tuesday night as the Charlotte Eagles host Orlando City at 7 p.m. ET. Friday night brings three more contests, with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds visiting Charlotte at 7 p.m. ET, VSI Tampa Bay FC hosting the Dayton Dutch Lions at 8 p.m. ET, and the Wilmington Hammerheads visiting the Los Angeles Blues at 10:30 p.m. ET.

    Saturday night sees the renewal of one of USL PRO’s strong rivalries, with the Harrisburg City Islanders hosting the Rochester Rhinos in their home opener at 7 p.m. ET. Pittsburgh and Dayton also continue their weekend trips, with the Riverhounds visiting the Charleston Battery and Dutch Lions visiting Orlando City, with both games kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET. The week’s action concludes on Sunday night, with the Wilmington Hammerheads completing their west-coast swing with a visit to Phoenix FC at 10:30 p.m. ET.

    Every game of the USL PRO season can be seen on, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+.

    USL PRO Team of the Week






    Matt Williams


    Made six saves as 10-man Dutch Lions defeated Pittsburgh


    Sascha Görres


    Was good getting up flank, and defensively, against Rhinos


    Greg Jordan


    Strong performance capped by game-winning goal


    Matt Gold


    Marshaled defense in shutout of Rochester


    Sean Reynolds

    Tampa Bay

    First career goal helped VSI past Los Angeles


    Jamie Watson


    Two goals, assist led Lions to 3-2 victory against Blues


    Rodrigo Lopez

    Los Angeles

    Had goal, assist as Blues came up short in Orlando


    Ben Fisk


    Impressed throughout, recording goal, assist in victory


    Shawn Chin

    Tampa Bay

    Excellent goal, and was dangerous on flank for duration


    Cris Hernandez


    Goal, assist to lead City Islanders past Rapids Reserves


    Kyle Greig


    Scored first professional goal in win against Antigua

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Randolph Burton; Charleston – Zach Prince, Nicki Paterson; Charlotte – Fejiro Okiomah, Stephen Okai; Dayton – Gibson Bardsley, Remco Klaasse; Harrisburg – Morgan Langley, Nick Noble; Los Angeles – George Davis IV, Shay Spitz; Orlando – Yann Songo’o; Pittsburgh – Kevin Kerr, Matt Dallman; Richmond – Nate Robinson, Joseph Ngwenya; Rochester – Michael Tanke, Lance Rozeboom; Tampa Bay – Andriy Budnyy, J.T. Noone; Wilmington – Paul Nicholson, William Heaney.

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    W-20 News Release

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – W-20, the premier North American under-20 women’s league, released its divisional alignment and schedule for 2013 today, with the action slated to kick off for the 96-game regular season on Saturday, May 18.

    The 2013 W-20 season features 23 teams aligned in four regional divisions - North Atlantic, Midwest, New England and South Atlantic - playing 8-10 regular season matches from May through July, with a national championship set at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    The Northern Virginia Majestics will travel to face Reading United AC on Saturday, May 18 in the rebranded league’s inaugural matchup. The Washington Spirit Academy, which reached the 2012 Women’s Super-20 League final as the D.C. United Women, opens its season on June 8 when it hosts Keystone Athletic SC in another important North Atlantic Division matchup.

    The regular season closes on Sunday, July 14 when the Carolina Elite Cobras host Southern Soccer Academy and Lake Norman SC travels to face Triangle FC.

    2013 W-20 Alignment

    North Atlantic Division
    Harrisburg City Islanders
    Harrisburg City Islanders/LDC
    Keystone Athletic SC
    Northern Virginia Majestics
    Parsippany SC
    Reading United AC
    Washington Spirit Academy

    Midwest Division
    Alliance Academy Black
    Dayton Dutch Lions FC
    Force Football Club Academy
    Kalamazoo Kingdom
    Toronto Lynx Jrs.
    Waza FC East 

    New England Division

    Black Watch Premier SC
    FC Stars of Massachusetts
    New Brunswick Blizzards
    Ottawa Fury
    Western United Pioneers

    South Atlantic Division
    Carolina Elite Cobras
    Lake Norman SC
    Southern Soccer Academy
    Triangle FC

    W-20 currently features six teams that serve as reserve teams for W-League clubs, including the Carolina Elite Cobras, the Dayton Dutch Lions, FASA (Fredericksburg Impact), the Ottawa Fury, the Toronto Lynx Jrs. (Toronto Lady Lynx) and the Washington Spirit Academy (Washington Spirit Reserves). The Washington Spirit Reserves of the W-League serve in the same capacity for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

    2013 W-20 Schedule

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  • 04/23/13--21:51: Eagles Earn Late Draw
  • Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Eagles fought back from an early 1-0 deficit to earn a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Orlando City in Tuesday night USL PRO action at Queens University Stadium.  Nate Thornton's 90th-minute equalizer earned Charlotte a draw and allowed it to stay undefeated at 1-0-2. Orlando City moved one point ahead of the Los Angeles Blues atop the USL PRO standings at 3-1-1.

    The Lions jumped out to an early lead in the physical contest, with a well-placed corner from Winger Luke Boden finding an unmarked Dom Dwyer in the box for the header and goal in the eighth minute. Dwyer, who’s currently on loan from Orlando’s Major League Soccer affiliate Sporting Kansas City, whipped his conversion into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

    The goal was Dwyer’s third of the regular season, which ties him for team and league bests with Midfielder Jamie Watson.

    Orlando City continued to create several chances in the first half, though the Eagles put some pressure on the Lions late in the half. Shaun Francis forced a diving save by Lions goalkeeper Sean Kelley in the 29th minute, and Thornton found Christian Meza who put the Eagles' best chance in the first half just wide of the post in the 37th minute. 
    Charlotte came out of halftime with a more active attack, putting pressure on the Orlando backline. Christian Ramirez tested Kelley in the 63rd minute mark but sent his shot just over the bar. The Eagles kept the pressure up and forced a number of saves from Kelley as the second half wore on.

    Charlotte finally capitalized in the closing minutes of play. A long ball by an Eagles defender found Thornton near goal, and a costly defensive miscommunication allowed him to weave around Kelley and easily slot home the equalizer in the 90th minute.

    The Eagles will be back in action against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Queens Sports Complex at 7 p.m. Friday, while the Lions are back home at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to face the Dayton Dutch Lions at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

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    Sounders FC U-23 News Release --

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – 2012 Sounders FC U-23 goalkeeper, Doug Herrick has signed with Major League Soccer. Herrick has signed as an emergency pool goalkeeper for the league. Should an MLS club suffer an extreme hardship, needing a goalkeeper, Herrick would join the club and fill the need.

    Since January, Herrick has been training regularly with Seattle Sounders FC. Under the terms of the contract, he will continue to be based out of Seattle and train with Sounders FC.

    "To get to work with Tommy Dutra and some of the first team goalkeepers on the whole is such a wonderful experience and a great way for me to improve," said Doug Herrick about his experience working with Sounders FC. "Also, for me, this is an opportunity to realize that this is what I want to do, and this is something worth chasing; and something that I’m good enough to chase."

    A 2012 graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Herrick was a three-time All West Coast Conference selection, and school record holder in minutes played; 5,820, career wins; 27 and career shutouts; 24.

    "I give a lot of credit to Adam Cooper and staff for putting together a successful program," said Herrick of his time with the Gaels. "My success academically and athletically will stay with me forever."

    Herrick was a PDL standout with Sounders U-23, leading the league with eleven wins in fourteen league games played. In leading the team to a Western Conference Championship, he had five shutouts and an impressive 0.933 goals allowed average.

    Since concluding the 2012 PDL season, Herrick has gone on to earn ten international caps with the Guam National Team.

    "Doug has made huge strides in the last year. He’s been a bit of late bloomer," said Dutra, the Sounders FC goalkeeping coach. "He comes in and works hard and is just a good guy to have around. He could have a good future in this game if he keeps dedicating himself and working hard each and every day."

    Herrick said, "I think there’s a big step between playing college and playing professionally and I think the experience I had with the U23s, as well as the regular training with the first team helped me a lot. Working with Darren (Sawatzky), who is an ex-pro, who’s been a part of the organization and Ben Dragavon, who was also an MLS pool goalkeeper; I think that experience is invaluable."

    For more information on roster signings, schedule and U.S. Open Cup draw, visit, follow us on Twitter: @SoundersU23, or ’Like’ us on Facebook.

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  • 04/24/13--13:32: Laredo To Open Preseason
  • Laredo Heat News Release --

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    LAREDO, Texas -- Excitement is in the air this week for the defending 2012 PDL Mid South Division Champion Laredo Heat as they prepare to open their 2013 season in front of their home fans on Wednesday night against cross-border soccer club, the Bravos de Nuevo Laredo, a member of the Mexican Football Federation’s (FMF) Second Division.

    Kickoff for the Copa LareDOS is scheduled for 8 p.m. at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex.

    The Laredo Heat will continue to offer great family entertainment in 2013 as General Admission Pricing will remain at $5 for adults and $1 for kids 12 and under. A VIP Area will also be available again this season with tickets available for $20 in this up-close, sideline section of the stadium at TAMIU.

    The team has been training since early April and has had two very productive pre-season games versus St. Edward’s University in Austin and the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. In Austin, Laredo was able to produce a 2-0 victory over the Hilltoppers; however, versus the Cardinals in San Antonio, a 0-0 draw was the best the Heat could muster at Benson Stadium this past Sunday evening.

    “Over the past three weeks, we have had the opportunity to see new players incorporate themselves into our system of play by virtue of solid practices put together by our coaching staff and two very successful games in Austin and San Antonio that allowed us to see these new players in action,” said Laredo Heat General Manager J.J. Vela.

    “Now it’s time to showcase ourselves in front of our loyal fan base and the rest of Laredo sports supporters in what will be a great opening home game to watch and be a part of as the Bravos (de Nuevo Laredo) will bring a team that is about finished with their spring (clausura) portion of their schedule and more importantly, they bring players that have the talent to play at a high level as their personal expectations are to move up into the First Division of Mexican Soccer.

    “For fans that have been supporting us over the years, the one thing they will notice immediately are the new faces that will be wearing the red and black as only Juan de Dios Ibarra, Greg Mulamba, Emmanuel Frias and local standouts Daniel Garza (United High School) and Eduardo “Wayo” Gonzalez (Alexander High School / TAMIU) are part of a handful of returning individuals that will be joining several other talented local players and plenty of other players that have origins in Brazil, Serbia and Cuba,” concluded Vela.

    2013 PDL Season

    The Heat will continue to prepare for 2013 after this match-up against the Nuevo Laredo Bravos for another two weeks as they will open up the PDL Season in The Woodlands, Texas against the Houston Dutch Lions on Saturday, May 11th. Then on Friday, May 17th, Laredo will host the Midland / Odessa FC at TAMIU.

    Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tournament

    News on what team the Laredo Heat will face in the 1st Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be announced soon. The 1st Round Match will be played on Tuesday, May 14th and the Gateway City team has submitted, to the U.S. Soccer Federation, its request to host in Laredo. Stay tuned for details.

    Laredo will be participating in the U.S. Open Cup for the second straight year and will be representing the Mid South Division of the PDL. Also representing the Mid South will be the Heat’s I-35 rival, the Austin Aztex. The Heat and Aztex earned the right to play in the 100th edition of the U.S. Open Cup by virtue of placing first (Heat) and second (Aztex) in the Mid South in 2012.

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    Sounders FC U-23 Feature --

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – He may only be 22 years old, but Lucas Baldin has a wealth of soccer and life experience. The son of an international business-man, Baldin was born in Brazil, has lived in Argentina, Mexico and the United States. In addition, he has played academy soccer with Vitória of Brazil, Cruz Azul U17, Atlante reserves and Toluca U20 teams in Mexico.

    In 2009 Baldin made a huge life decision. With his parents moving back to Argentina, and having just signed a contract to play for Toluca's U20 team, he decided to stay living with his older brother in Mexico City, and pursue his dream of playing pro soccer.

    While with Toluca, he had the opportunity to occasionally train with the first team, and the U-20 team regularly scrimmaged against the first team. During this time, Baldin was fortunate to meet and talk with one of his idols, Sinha, the Brazilian-born, Mexican World Cup veteran that played for Tolcua.

    “It was just an incredible experience and really great opportunity for me,” said Lucas Baldin, who loved his life in Mexico. “They received me and my family with arms wide open. I couldn't appreciate it more; all the opportunities I had in Mexico. I really grew as a player and a person.”

    Unfortunately, obtaining a Mexican citizenship was proving to be quite difficult for the young foreigner. Baldin had always been a good student and had aspirations of to coming America, where he could get a great education and the prospects of playing soccer in America was also quite appealing. With the support and blessing of his parents, back in Brazil, as well as his brother, who just graduated medical school in Mexico, Baldin began to look into setting off on his own, and move to the United States.

    Having been recruited by several universities, Baldin ultimately chose University of South Florida.

    “I felt a very good vibe," said Baldin about the impression of the USF coaching staff. “When I started to look at the campus online, the facilities, the stadium they were going to build, something inside me just said--go to USF, that's your place!”

    Baldin describes the move to the United States as "perfect, just perfect!"

    Baldin is a very mature and grounded young man. He refers to his brother as his "hero." The player he most closely follows is Kaká. As a child, Baldin was a huge supporter of São Paulo, where Kaká began his career.

    “I love the way that Kaka plays and he plays in the same spot as I play,” said Baldin. “He is a huge role model--not just because of the way he plays, but because of the way that he takes care of himself on and off the field.”

    An economics major, Baldin has received Big East All-Academic honors for his work in the classroom. University of South Florida head coach, George Kiefer spoke quite highly of the talented midfielder.

    “Lucas is a class act," said Kiefer. "He does excellent in school, so academically his grades are very good. He's a good-good person. He's raised from a good family. [He’s a] first class guy. He's always shaking your hand when he comes in, he's polite and respectful.”

    On the field is where Baldin really shines.

    “He's very good at keeping a rhythm to the game,” added Kiefer. “He's a leader on the field, he's very good tactically and you'll hear him communicating on the field.”

    An attacking midfielder with a team-first mentality, Baldin looks to put his forwards in front of goal; he has tremendous vision and passing ability.

    Speaking of his team-first mentality, Baldin said, “If my teammates score, that's a goal for me--I'm as happy as possible!

    “For me, there is nothing more important than for my team to win,” said Baldin. “I sacrifice all I have for my teammates.”

    In January, Baldin and Kiefer sat down to talk about the upcoming summer and where Baldin could play, to further his development. It became quite clear that he wanted to play for team affiliated with an MLS franchise, was well-run, and would contend for a championship.  Kiefer spoke highly of Seattle Sounders FC and Baldin, too had been impressed with what he had seen and heard of the organization. It was then that Baldin reached-out to Sounders FC U-23 head coach, Darren Sawatzky, where he presented his case to earn a roster spot for the upcoming season.

    Baldin's excitement and enthusiasm to join the Sounders FC U-23 is very apparent in talking with the young Brazilian.

    “My objective right now is to have a great summer and to win the PDL championship with the Sounders. That's what is in my head right now--it's been stuck in my head for the last two months, I can't wait to get to Seattle and play!”

    The ambitions of Baldin match those of Sounders FC U-23's overall philosophy: To win championships and to develop professional soccer players. The reigning Western Conference Champions had a number of players that have gone on to play at the next level, most notably; DeAndre Yedlin.

    Baldin is a player with impressive talent and has an absolute desire to make it as a professional soccer player.

    Kiefer believes in the talented midfielder as well, “I believe he's a guy that will be drafted into MLS,” said Kiefer. “I look at him technically and his brain, and I feel like he's a guy that can play at the next level.”

    Be sure to come out and see all the talented players with Sounders FC U-23 this season. For more information on roster signings, schedule and U.S. Open Cup draw, visit, follow us on Twitter: @SoundersU23, or 'Like' us on Facebook.

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    Reading United AC News Release --

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    READING, Pa. – Berks County has long been one of Pennsylvania’s soccer hot beds. Since 1996, Reading United has a long tradition of featuring the Greater Reading area’s elite soccer players. That tradition continues in 2013 as Reading United are very pleased to announce the addition of former Berks All-County soccer standouts Brad Vanino and Jamie Vazquez.

    The two former Berks County all-stars join an impressive array of local soccer stars such as Fleetwood's Troy Snyder and Keith Schlegel, Wilson's Travis Berger, Drew Kaufman, Ed Sep, Matt Wolf and Chris Arthur, and Conrad Weiser's Steve Thomas and Tom Auchenbach from the original Reading USL Professional team to the more recent PDL standouts like Geoff Pezon, Corey Hertzog and Tyler Witmer as local players who have pulled on a Reading jersey.

    Vanino joins Reading United following three standout seasons with St. Bonaventure University. The Wilson High School graduate led the Bonnies in goals and assists during the 2012 season. The midfielder earned Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team honors during his freshmen year. Vanino has been a starter since arriving at St. Bonaventure and was selected as the team captain in 2012. The Sinking Spring native was a three starter at Wilson High School, earning All-County First team honors while leading the team in goals and assists during his senior year.

    Vanino understands Reading’s unique history of showcasing Berks County’s top soccer stars. “It’s a privilege to join Reading United as a local representative. Over the years, United has carried a number of local players on the team, and they all have represented the county admirably and that’s a tradition I hope to continue.”

    Vazquez joins United’s 2013 squad following a standout career at Tulpehocken Area High School. The three time All-Berks forward scored an impressive 70 goals while providing 28 assists during his time at Tulpehocken. Vazquez helped lead the Trojans Boys Soccer team to the Berks County Championship in 2011, firing in an eye-popping 39 goals. The Bernville native was named the 2011 Berks County Boys Soccer Player of the Year and was also named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American team. Currently a freshman at Millersville University, Vazquez scored four goals while appearing in 19 matches for the Marauders.

    Vazquez is ready to make an immediate impact for Reading. “My goal for the 2013 PDL season is to play to the best of my ability and play an important role in the team’s success.”

    Reading United kickoff their 2013 PDL campaign on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. against the Westchester Flames. All United home games will be played at Exeter Township High School’s Don Thomas Stadium in Reiffton, Pa. Tickets are available at Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at for all your group needs.

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  • 04/25/13--09:23: Flames Add Gosse, Reid
  • Westchester Flames News Release --

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Westchester Flames F.C. have signed defender Zachary Gosse and forward Dwayne Reid for the 2013 USL PDL season. Gosse and Reid come to the Flames after a successful 2012 campaign with the Brooklyn Knights. Gosse was a fixture of the Knights defense in 2012, playing in 14 games. Reid scored five goals in 12 games for the Knights in 2012, while often playing on the wing.

    Gosse from Oakdale, N.Y., comes to the Flames after making 43 appearences over the course of three seasons with the Knights. Prior to joining the Knights, Gosse was a standout at Siena College. During his college years, Gosse played in the USL Super Y-League for the Long Island Rough Riders. After college, Gosse had an offer to play professionally in Serbia with FK Novi Sad, but was unable to secure a visa to allow him to sign with the club. Most recently, Gosse has been playing for Istria SC in the Long Island Soccer Football League, where he is the captain of the team.

    Reid from Bronx, N.Y., was a standout at Bloomfield College, leading the school to their first NCAA tournament appearence in 2010. Reid is a very fast player and has earned the nickname "Bullet". Peter-John Falloon, his college coach at Bloomfield, said “Dwayne’s energy, skill and fighting spirit gave defenders a hard day each time out, and his explosive speed and trickery made him very tough to contain during his career. He is one of the best scorers to every play at Bloomfield, and I have no doubt he will succeed should he get a chance to play at the next level.” Reid also played for NYC Jamaica in the 2010 Cosmos Copa, where he led his team to the finals and was named a First Team All-Star.

    "I’m very excited to have Zack and Dwayne join the team for the upcoming season," said Flames Coach and General Manager Gus Skoufis. "I’ve seen them play for Brooklyn in the past and both of them are terrific players who will be very important members of our team. Our fans are going to enjoy seeing them play at City Park Stadium this season."

    Gosse and Reid were featured in the upcoming movie "Going Pro: American Soccer", which is a documentry on the Brooklyn Knights that was filmed during the course of the 2012 USL PDL season. The film is currently in post-production and is expected to be released shortly.

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    New Jersey Wildcats News Release -

    Wednesday, April 24, 2013

    The New Jersey Wildcats announced Wednesday that Toms River North High School senior Danae O'Halloran will return to the team this summer. O'Halloran, who was highly recruited by many of the top college soccer programs in the nation, will head to Chapel Hill to play for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels this fall at the conclusion of the upcoming W-League season.

    "We are very happy to have Danae return to the Wildcats this fall, and she will play a pivotal role in how well we do this season," Head Coach Kevin McDermott said. "I have truly enjoyed watching Danae develop into an elite soccer player during her time with the Wildcats, and I know she will continue to have great success as she heads off to Chapel Hill to play for UNC in the fall."

    O'Halloran spent the past two seasons playing with the full Wildcats side, compiling two goals and a pair of assists in four matches in 2012. The previous year, she contributed two assists to the Wildcats stat sheet. It has not been an easy road to North Carolina for the Toms River native, who has overcome ACL tears to both knees in the past two years to sign with the Tar Heels. UNC is the most successful women's soccer program in college history, winning 22 of the 32 total NCAA College Cups that have been played, including the 2012 National Championship this past fall.

    O'Halloran and the Wildcats return to Lions Stadium at The College of New Jersey in Ewing on Wednesday, May 22, hosting the North Jersey Valkyries for their 2013 season opener at 7:45 p.m. Tickets for all Wildcats home matches are now available and can be attained by calling 732-298-7619. Individual game tickets as well as team and family packages are available.

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  • 04/25/13--13:44: Tampa Bay Set To Face Dayton
  • VSI Tampa Bay FC News Release --

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – VSI Tampa Bay FC is set to face the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday night at 8 p.m. at Plant City Stadium as the club aims to continue its perfect home record to start the season. Tampa Bay has claimed victory in both of its home contests this season, including a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Blues last Sunday night.

    The Dutch Lions enter VSI’s den after a dramatic victory in their home opener against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last Saturday. Playing a man down for much of the match the Lions keeper, Matt Williams, made six saves to keep his team alive and earn himself a spot at the top of this week’s USL PRO Team of the Week.

    Following its victory against Los Angeles, Tampa Bay holds an overall record of 3-2-0, good for secod place in the USL PRO standings with nine points. Shawn Chin and Sean Reynolds were both honored on the league's Team of the Week on Tuesday for their work in the rain-delayed win against the Blues.

    Players to watch this match for VSI Tampa Bay FC include Andriy Budnyy and Tony Donatelli; both individuals created goal-scoring opportunities last Sunday, with Budnyy supplying VSI’s game winner for his second goal of the season.

    Dayton’s Gibson Bardsley may give Tampa Bay some trouble. Bardsley scored five goals for the Dutch Lions last season, and also played a key role in the club reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. This offseason, Bardsley participated in the VSI Tampa Bay FC invitational trial and VSI Head Coach Matt Weston expects good play from him.

    “Dayton has a new coach [Patrick Bal] who is young and enthusiastic," Weston said. "I expect their team to mirror his enthusiasm as they went down to 10 men in the first half versus Pittsburgh and managed to win 2-1. It should be a high tempo game. I expect us to respond after what I described to our players as an average performance versus LA. We want three home wins on the bounce.”

    Friday night's game will air via at 8 p.m. ET. For tickets to the match visit the VSI Tampa Bay FC website at or the ticket window at Plant City Stadium. General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children.

    Plant City Stadium is located less than three miles off of Exit 22, Park Road Exit on Interstate-4. The physical address is 1810 East Park Road, Plant City Florida, 33563.

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    Portland Timbers U-23s News Release --

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers U-23s today announced the addition of four more players to their roster for the upcoming Premier Development League (PDL) season. Forward Mark Sherrod and midfielder Eric Miller return for a second season, while midfielder Reinaldo Brenes and forward Zack Foxhoven join the team.

    Sherrod assembled a standout PDL campaign in 2012, ranking among league leaders in goal scoring and being named to the PDL All-League team. Miller, a member of the U.S. U-20 National Team, along with Brenes and Foxhoven all helped lead their respective colleges to the NCAA tournament last season.

    Sherrod (Knoxville, Tenn.) was the Timbers U-23s leading scorer last season with 10 goals in 16 matches and was named to both the PDL All-League and PDL All-Western Conference teams. He recently finished his junior season at the University of Memphis, compiling 12 goals in 18 matches, including three game-winners. In total, Sherrod has tallied 35 goals in 53 appearances at Memphis, including a 19-goal sophomore season in 2011 in which he set the school’s single-season record for goals scored. He has garnered numerous accolades, including All-Conference USA first team and C-USA Offensive Player of the Year in each of the last two seasons.

    Miller (Woodbury, Minn.) rejoins the Timbers U-23s for a second PDL season after helping Creighton University to the 2012 NCAA College Cup and the U.S. U-20 National Team recently qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At Creighton, Miller earned All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team honors as a sophomore in 2012, starting 19 matches and logging one goal and one assist. He has been a regular contributor for the Bluejays, appearing in 43 games (41 starts) in his first two collegiate seasons. He earned seven caps with the U.S. U-20 National Team in 2012, and played for the United States during the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship tournament.

    Brenes, born in San José, Costa Rica, had a breakout junior season at the University of Akron in 2012. He scored a Mid-American Conference-best 11 goals, including four game-winning strikes and recording a hat trick against Buffalo on Sept. 29. Brenes, who helped lead Akron to the third round of the NCAA tournament, was a two-time All-MAC Player of the Week, earned all-conference first-team honors and was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America first team last season. He has appeared in 43 career games at Akron, totaling 12 goals and seven assists. Prior to Akron, Brenes was a member of the Costa Rica U-17 and U-18 National Teams and attended Edison Academic Center in Florida.

    Foxhoven (Littleton, Colo.) played his first season at the University of Louisville – his junior season – last fall, helping the team make a run to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament. He ranked among the Cardinals leading scorers with five goals in 20 games and tallied four of his goals in substitute appearances. Foxhoven played his first two collegiate seasons at UCLA, where he made 31 appearances and registered four assists. He has represented the United States at multiple youth levels, and was a member of the player pools for both the U.S. U-18 (2009) and U-17 (2007-08) National Teams.

    With today’s transactions, the Timbers U-23s have eight players on their 2013 roster.

    Portland plays host to Seattle Sounders FC U-23 in its 2013 PDL season opener Thursday, May 16, as part of a Providence Health & Fitness Day at JELD-WEN Field at 11 a.m. (Pacific). 

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    Los Angeles Blues News Release --

    Thursday, April 25, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. – The LA Blues are set to host the Wilmington Hammerheads for the first game of the season's two-game series on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, Calif. The Blues are looking to maintain their defensive prowess at Titan Stadium, while Wilmington is looking for their second win of the season.

    Los Angeles returns home after a three-game road trip that last weekend took it to Florida. The Blues, 3-3-0, most recently played VSI Tampa Bay FC in a 3-2 loss last Sunday. George Davis IV scored his third goal of the season, while the second goal was deemed a Tampa Bay own goal. Goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski made six saves on the night. The previous Friday, the Blues lost to Orlando City, also by a score of 3-2. Defender Conor Hearn scored his first goal of the season off a Rodrigo Lopez corner. Lopez, who leads the league in assists with four, later scored his first goal of the season off a penalty kick after being pulled down in the box.

    The Blues are 2-0-0 so far this season at Titan Stadium, having claimed victories against Phoenix FC and Orlando City. They will try to maintain that form as they welcome the Hammerheads, who opened the season with a 2-0 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC at Legion Stadium last Friday night. Kyle Greig scored his first goal of the season, and his professional career, against the Barracudas, earning him Team of the Week honors. Midfielder Paul Nicholson scored the second goal of the night.

    Los Angeles has had success in the past at home against the Hammerheads. Last season, the Blues took a 2-1 victory, with Allan Russell's penalty kick proving the game-winning goal, and a 2-2 draw in their two games on the west coast. Wilmington, however, took a 4-2 victory on their home turf as they reached the USL PRO Playoffs, falling in the final to the Charleston Battery.

    For more information, and to purchase season tickets or tickets for Friday’s match, visit Friday night's game will also be available on

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  • 04/26/13--12:20: Former Pirates Join Impact
  • Fredericksburg Impact News Release -

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    FREDERICKSBURG, Va. - The Fredericksburg Impact announced that former East Carolina University Pirates Caty Butler and Kimmy Cummings have signed with the team for the 2013 W-League season.

    Cummings, a native of Mechanicsville, Virginia and an inaugural member of the Impact in 2011, will return for her second season in 2013. In 2011, Cummings played in six games for the Impact, leading the team with 16 shot attempts. At East Carolina from 2008-11 she played 59 games while starting every game in her junior and senior seasons. Cummings graduated from the Pirates' program with 15 goals and 11 assists, accumulating 41 points in her four seasons.

    New Impact Head Coach Rich Stoneman knows Cummings and Butler from his days as an ECU assistant coach.

    "She’s a workhorse," Stoneman said fo Cummings. "She knows how to play game because she’s very skillful and doesn’t know the word stop. She has a good shot and can score a lot of goals for us.

    "Caty is not only in small in stature but her play is improbable. She is fast and relentless and scores goals. I look forward to coaching her again as I recruited her at East Carolina."

    The players know each other well from their three years spent together on and off the field at East Carolina. Butler said doing things the right way is what made Cummings the player she is today.

    "Kimmy was a great teammate," Butler said. "She was the person I could always go to about helping me do extra work or extra fitness. She was the type of player that would never cut corners and would try her hardest in every practice, which I appreciated. She enjoyed being at practice and never complained about anything.

    "In a game, I could count on her to help me stay focused on playing my best and not getting upset with factors I couldn't control. I also knew that she could be counted on in clutch situations. I am excited to play with her this summer because I know she is going to push me harder than I can push myself!”

    Cummings had similar praise for Butler, and it's obvious a mutual respect developed during their time together.  

    "Caty is just a scrappy player, a firecracker if you will, there is no better way to put it," Cummings said. "I had the privilege of playing with her for three years at ECU and as upperclassmen it was awesome to watch her transform during that time. Caty expects players to perform at their best and that pushes people to be even better. We spent every game my final season working side by side on the field; I'm excited to get back out there with her."

    Butler, a native of Boerne, Texas was at ECU from 2009-12 playing in every game in her Pirate career while starting each game during her senior season. She amassed 16 goals and eight assists in her four seasons.

    "My goals for this upcoming season would be to win our [division] and make a good run in the playoffs, make some new friends and contacts for the future, and to get ready for playing at the next level,” Butler said.

    The Impact start their season on May 11 against Virginia Beach Piranhas at the Virginia Sportsplex with game time scheduled for 7 p.m.

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    FC Tucson News Release --

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    TUCSON, Ariz. — Soccer is known for the colorful call and response chants that sometimes echo around a stadium’s walls. So it was only fitting that during the groundbreaking for the new Kino Sports Complex North Stadium, someone would rise up to lead the crowd in a chant of its own.

    “Let’s try and do something together: I’m going to say something and I want you to repeat it,” said Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias.

    “Our field!” Our field.

    “Our place!” Our place.

    “Our home!” Our home.

    Mr. Elias repeated the calls one more time before adding, “For all of you young people, this is your field. For FC Tucson, this is your field. For all of us who live here and make this our home, this is our place.”

    The crowd of soccer fans gathered to watch the groundbreaking ceremony were sitting on the site of the future home of FC Tucson; an 1,800-2,000-seat stadium that will include an overhang to provide shade for fans and trap in the crowd noise to create an intimidating atmosphere for visiting clubs.

    But lost in the excitement of the stadium groundbreaking are the other improvements being made to the North side of Kino Sports Complex: a sixth field is being added, a new entrance is being constructed and new bathrooms and concessions stands are being built. The improvements will not only enhance the FC Tucson match day experience but it will also benefit youth soccer clubs according to FC Tucson Managing Member Greg Foster.

    “It’s just the beginning,” Foster said. “We finally have a proper home for youth soccer in Southern Arizona. And it’s youth soccer, adult/amateur soccer and professional soccer. We have a great place to play and a great place to showcase soccer as a spectator event.”

    Large construction equipment sat idle in the background while moms, dads and children took part in the ceremony themselves. They grabbed shovels, dug up dirt and took pictures of it all. But beginning on Friday, April 25, the rest of the construction equipment arrives and what was the site of soccer fans, players and coaches milling around will be torn up to place the foundation of a new field. A new place. A new home.

    “Opening day 2014 I see a stadium that is packed to the gills,” said FC Tucson Chief Business Officer Chris Keeney. “Everybody is wearing black and wearing FC Tucson shirts. Singing songs, chanting (and) everybody with the same rhythm and the same music. I see flags. I see people beating drums and (they) are just all in.

    “And then I see our team taking the field against our … opponent and seeing the vibration of the stands and seeing that feeling of everybody pulling for them. And then I see four goals. I see a 4-0 win and I see the next phase of a gorgeous relationship.”

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  • 04/27/13--02:29: Blues Sweep Past Hammerheads
  • Friday, April 26, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues remained undefeated at Titan Stadium and moved back into first place in the USL PRO standings as they took a 4-0 victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads on Friday night. The Blues got first-half goals by Shay Spitz and Mershad Momeni, and second-half goals by Chris Cortez and Juan Perez-Bernal ro earn their fourth win of the season, while also handing the Hammerheads their first loss of the season.

    Wilmington found themselves down a man after only 18 seconds, when midfielder Paul Nicholson was sent off after a hard foul from behind on Los Angeles’ captain Allan Russell. Spitz opened scoring soon after, capitalizing on a cross by James Turner to give the Blues the lead in the fifth minute. 

    With a man-advantage, the Blues maintained possession of the ball, and increased their lead to 2-0 in the 17th minute after Momeni struck the back of the net from 25 yards into the top-left corner.

    The Blues had chances to add to their scoreline when Spitz took charge of a counter-attack, opening a chance for Cortez, only for the forward's shot to sail over the crossbar from the top of the penalty area. Spitz also went close when he was able to find an opportunity to put the Blues up by another goal, but Wilmington goalkeeper Phil Tuttle denied him only seconds before the hour-mark.

    Los Angeles would add to its lead in the final 10 minutes as Cortez scored his second goal of the season when he found the back of the net in the 81st minute off a low near-post cross by Russell from the left side. Perez-Bernal added a fourth goal only three minutes later to seal the victory for the Blues, becoming the Blues' 10th goal-scorer this season in the process.

    Wilmington completes its weekend trip to the west coast on Sunday night as it visits Phoenix FC at 10:30 p.m. ET. Los Angeles returns to action on Sunday, May 5 as it hosts the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Titan Stadium. Tickets are available at

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  • 04/27/13--00:10: Dayton Edges Past Tampa Bay
  • Friday, April 26, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. -- The Dayton Dutch Lions took their second consecutive victory to open the USL PRO season as they defeated VSI Tampa Bay FC 1-0 on Friday night at Plant City Stadium. Second-half substitute Brandon Swartzendruber finished the only goal of the match, handing Tampa Bay its first home defeat of the season.

    Both sides had chances in the first half, with Dayton going close in the opening 10 minutes as Irakli Khutsidze shot over the crossbar. Tampa Bay also had chances, with Douglas Dos Santos having his header saved by Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams in the 15th minute, and Tony Donatelli also being denied on a shot from distance later on in the half.

    The back-and-forth battle continued into the second half, with Tampa Bay holding the upper hand as it pressed for the opening goal. VSI came close to opening the scoring just past the hour-mark, only for Williams to swat away a cross by Alex Freitas meant for Andriy Budnyy’s head as the Ukranian broke in unmarked at the far post.

    Tampa Bay continued to press forward to try and find the opening goal, but the Dutch Lions would take the lead in the 68th minute soon after Swartzendruber was brought on as a substitute. The tall forward finished Eric Kissinger’s cross from the left into the near post, finding space before driving his finish home at the near post.

    Tampa Bay almost got back on even terms four minutes later, Bitielo Jean-Jacques hitting the near post from a tight angle on the left. Tampa Bay had other chances to tie the game, Freitas shooting over from 15 yards from the right side of the penalty area and then clipping the top of the crossbar with a curling effort in stoppage time. Dayton was able to close out the victory, however, ending Tampa Bay's strong run of home form.

    “We started with no energy and had the wrong mentality, I tell them all the time they have to earn the right to win a game, we got what we deserve,” said Head Coach Matt Weston. “We need to draw a line in the sand and move forward quickly into a good game against Orlando. We’ve got to stay positive and move forward with new energy into next Tuesday.”

    The Dayton Dutch Lions now travel to face Orlando City on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. VSI Tampa Bay FC also visits Orlando for its next outing, visiting the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday night.

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