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News from USL

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    Friday, May 3, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. --  VSI Tampa Bay FC returned from an early deficit to take a 3-1 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC on Friday night at Plant City Stadium. Mauricio Salles scored a pair of second-half goals to lead Tampa Bay to victory after Antigua's Tamorley Thomas had given Antigua an early advantage. 

    The Barracudas entered the match with a late scratch as goalkeeper Corey Whisenhunt replaced Molvin James. They were able to take the lead in the seventh minute, however, as Thomas quickly redirected VSI goalkeeper Alex Horwath’s punch into the back of the net for Antigua's first goal of the season.

    Tampa Bay’s Andriy Budnyy tried to return the favor two minutes later, but the goal was called back for offside. VSI continued to press, and came close to an equalizer in the 21st minute off a free kick, only for Whisenhunt to turn back two dangerous shots in succession by Douglas Dos Santos and Budnyy. 

    Antigua’s Thomas almost scored his second goal of the game off an ambitious shot in the 32nd minute from 45 yards out that went just over the crossbar, but Antigua was able to reach halftime with a 1-0 lead.

    VSI was able to get back on level terms seven minutes into the second half, with Tony Dontelli finishing a header from Alex Freitas' cross. Budnyy was then denied again, the offside flag going up in the 55th minute as Tampa Bay looked to press home its advantage. 

    Tampa Bay was able to take the lead with just over 20 minutes to play as Salles blasted a ball into the back of the net soon after coming on as a substitute. As second-half stoppage time wound down, Salles added a second to put the game away, breaking through the Barracudas' defense before finishing. Antigua was then reduced to 10 men shortly before the final whistle, Alex Phillip being given a red card for a hard foul.


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  • 05/03/13--23:14: Kickers Defeat Hammerheads
  • Friday, May 3, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Richmond Kickers scored a pair of second-half goals as they took a 2-0 victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads on Friday night at a windy Legion Stadium. Luke Vercollone converted a penalty kick before D.C. United loanee Michael Seaton scored on his professional debut to put the game away late on for the Kickers, who took their third consecutive victory.

    The Hammerheads held good possession at the beginning of the match as midfielder Will Heaney attempted a header in the 11th minute. The Kickers retaliated with good possession throughout the length of the field, and created their first real opportunity in the 31st minute as Seaton picked up a shot attempt in the box, only to be called offside before he could finish. Seaton soon saw another chance come his way after with a run toward Hammerheads goalkeeper Philip Tuttle, who was able to make the save.

    Wilmington tried to find the opening goal late in the half, with midfielder Arron Patrick twice having shots from just outside the penalty area blocked by the Kickers' defense, leaving the teams scoreless at the halftime break.

    The Hammerheads opened the second half well, and Parratt fired a shot on goal in the opening minute of the half that was saved by Dykstra. Richmond was able to settle into its rhythm again after the early pressure, however, and Kickers midfielder Nate Robinson took a hard shot on goal nearing the 60th minute that soared over the crossbar from a free kick. The Kickers follow that with an attempt from Joseph Ngwenya that deflected off Hammerheads defender Jamel Wallace.

    The night turned sour for Wallace just minutes later when he was called for a handball in the penalty area, giving Vercollone the chance to give his side the lead from the penalty spot. The Kickers veteran shot high into the net, giving Tuttle little chance, as Richmond took a 1-0 lead with 16 minutes to play.

    The Hammerheads pushed for an equalizer, and defender Uriah Bentick maintained had a long shot in the 85th minute that forced Dykstra to dive to his left and save, regaining control before Wilmington could follow up the opportunity. Bentick had another opportunity in the 88th minute off a corner from Heaney, only for his header to go over the crossbar.

    Richmond was able to find an insurance goal in stoppage time, however, as Seaton was able to outpace the Hammerheads' defense on a counter-attack from a corner before cooly shooting into the right corner of the net.


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  • 05/04/13--22:01: Kickers Rally To Tie Eagles
  • Saturday, May 4, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers rallied for a thrilling 3-3 draw against the Charlotte Eagles on a brisk spring Saturday evening at City Stadium. The home side claimed an early advantage courtesy of goals by Brian Ownby and Stanley Nyazamba, only to concede a pair of tallies as Drew Yates and Stefan Smith leveled the score in the second half. Eagles midfielder Shaun Francis broke the deadlock in the 90th minute, only for Kickers defender Conor Shanosky to bury an equalizer with seconds remaining in stoppage time to salvage a point as both teams remained undefeated.

    Photo courtesy Suz KitsteinerDespite the dramatic finish, the match got off to a slow start until the Eagles challenged Dykstra in the 13th minute. Midfielder Sam Asante sliced through the midfield and played a long ball to Ben Newman deep on the right flank. The Eagles defender served the ball to the far post to an awaiting Jorge Herrera but the Kickers goalkeeper easily collected his shot and started a break the other way, sending a pass to the midfield where Ownby collected the loose ball and carried it into Eagles territory. Beating his last defender, he faced goalkeeper Eric Reed one-on-one and calmly played a soft ball into the far right corner as the Eagles goalkeeper charged off his line to give the Kickers a 1-0 lead.

    Fueled by his first goal, Ownby turned playmaker in the 34th minute when he battled for the ball at the top of the box. The heavily marked midfielder got was able to head the ball into the path of Nyazamba, who rushed into the left side of the penalty area and slotted a low ball inside the right post from 12 yards to send the Kickers into the locker room with a 2-0 advantage.

    Following the restart, the Eagles cut the deficit in half when Francis received a long ball and slid it across the goal mouth, finding Yates at the left post who made no mistake from point blank range. With the Eagles gaining momentum, Dykstra weathered a barrage of shots, throwing his body into the line of fire but the Eagles persistence paid off in the 78th minute when a heroic save resulted in a Charlotte corner. Midfielder Mitch Waul delivered an inswinger into the mix, finding Smith who deftly played the ball over the goalkeeper’s fingertips and into the back of the net.

    With less than five minutes remaining, the Kickers struck the crossbar through Mike Callahan and watched a dangerous free kick whistle just over the woodwork before Francis’ lofted ball from the top of the box skimmed just underneath the bar for what appeared certain to be the game-winner.

    The Eagles celebrations were cut short in stoppage time when the Kickers capped the scoring with seconds left in regulation. Forward Casey Townsend flicked the ball on to Sascha Görres on the right flank who whipped the ball across the box to Nate Robinson on the left wing, only for the midfielder’s header to be cleared off the line for a corner. The Kickers wouldn’t be denied, though, as the corner curled into the crowded box and came to 17-year old Michael Seaton, who fired a shot that rebounded off the underside of the crossbar and fell to the feet of Shanosky, who tapped it over the line.

    The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium next Saturday, May 11 to host Antigua Barracuda FC at 7 p.m. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive a t-shirt, courtesy of Dr. Babik and tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.


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    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders turned in a professional road performance to beat a much improved Rochester Rhinos side 1-0 at Sahlen's Stadium on Saturday night. Morgan Langley scored the match's only goal in the 37th minute off of an assist from Sainey Touray, and City Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble made five saves on the ten shots he faced to keep the clean sheet for visiting Harrisburg.

    The Rhinos created their first opportunity of the match in the 16th minute when left winger Gabe Latigue played a through ball to striker Matt Luzunaris. The striker's first touch took him into the path of Noble in the Harrisburg penalty area, and Noble made a good stop on an aggressive challenge at Luzunaris' feet. The end result of the play, however, was a collision between Luzunaris and Noble that left Luzunaris with a broken leg. The Rhinos' striker was carted off the field and will have surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula on Sunday morning.

    After a seven-minute delay for the injury to Luzunaris, the City Islanders created their first chance of the match in the 28th minute. Harrisburg striker Sainey Touray started a counter off a corner kick and put Langley in behind the Rhinos' back four with a through-ball. Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht came off his line to clear the ball with his feet, but his clearance deflected off Langley and bounced into the penalty area. Langley was the first to the loose ball, but he was unable to control properly, which caused his resulting shot to be cleared off the goal line by Rhinos center back Georgios Kyriazis.

    Nine minutes later, the City Islanders took the lead as midfielder Cris Hernandez took a corner kick from the right that Touray was able to flick across the Rhinos goalmouth with a near post header. Langley was able to get on the end of Touray's header at the back post and finish to give the visitors a 1-0 lead heading into half time.

    Jarrisburg tried to add to its lead early in the second half, and Nicht made a big save in the 50th minute as City Islanders left winger Tim Mellor served a dangerous ball into the Rhinos penalty area that found Touray. The forward was able to direct his effort on goal, but Nicht was there to make a good reaction save to keep it a one-goal game.

    The Rhinos responded in the 57th minute when a corner kick taken by Latigue was cleared by the City Islanders, but only as far as Rhinos right back Ross LaBauex at the top of the penalty area. LaBauex played the ball to Rhinos right winger Michael Reidy, and he served the ball into the box. Rhinos midfielder Tyler Rosenlund headed the ball on to substitute Matt Horth, but Horth's shot hit the crossbar and bounced clear.

    In the 73rd minute Kyriazis and Reidy began to build out of the back for Rochester with a one-two combination. Kyriazis played a long diagonal ball to Rhinos substitute Kendell McFayden, and the forward put Horth in behind the City Islanders despite a handball from Harrisburg center back Coady Andrews. Referee Neil Barbulescu played the advantage, but blew the whistle and returned the ball to the spot of the hand ball when Horth's chance failed to materialize. Rhinos substitute Tam McManus took the resulting free kick from 35 yards out and put a blistering effort on goal, but Noble parried it over the crossbar to make the save.

    In the 86th minute Kyriazis pumped a long ball into the City Islanders box that found the head of Rhinos center midfielder Lance Rozeboom, who headed the ball across the Harrisburg goalmouth to McManus, but his header went right at Noble. McFayden had the final chance of the match for Rochester in the 90th minute as he got in behind the City Islanders back four and cut in from the left flank on his favored right foot. McFayden tried to finish to the far post, but Noble got down to make the save and preserve his first clean sheet of the 2013 USL PRO season.

    The Rochester Rhinos next match is on Friday night as they travel to Legion Stadium to face the Wilmington Hammerheads. The match can be viewed live via streaming video on UNATION at uslnation.com. Flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available for the remainder of the Rhinos' home schedule, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Individual tickets for the 2013 USL PRO season are also on sale now.


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    Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Blues welcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. PT at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The Blues are currently unbeaten at Titan Stadium, winning all three games, and have outscored opponents 7-0.

    The Blues currently sit in second place in the USL PRO standings with a 4-3-0 record. In their last game, Los Angeles defeated a 10-man Wilmington Hammerhead team 4-0, with goals by Shay Spitz, Mershad Momeni, Chris Cortez and Juan Perez-Bernal.

    Momeni’s first half goal earned him USL PRO Team of the Week honors, as well as receiving mention on the USL Goals of the Week. The Blues offense is coming from all positions on the field, as they have scored 13 goals this season by 10 different players. George Davis IV is the team’s leading goal scorer with three, followed by Chris Cortez with two. Rounding out the Blues offense is USL PRO assists leader, Rodrigo Lopez, with four assists for the season.

    Pittsburgh won’t only have their hands full with the Blues offense, but also with the Blues defense. Goalkeeper Carl Woszczynski and the rest of the Blues defense has yet to allow a goal at Titan Stadium.

    The Riverhounds, who are 0-4-2, are looking for their first win of the season this week. The Riverhounds rallied to take a 1-1 draw against Phoenix FC on Friday night, Andrew Marshall scoring the equalizer with just over 10 minutes to play against the Wolves.

    The Blues are celebrating Cinco De Mayo with buy one, get one free tickets. And, Cal State Fullerton students can receive buy two, get one free beers with a student ID. Tickets are available at lablues.ticketfly.com.


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  • 05/06/13--15:36: Flames Re-Sign Ogoo
  • Westchester Flames FC News Release -- www.westchesterflames.com

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Westchester Flames F.C. have re-signed midfielder/defender Housainou Ogoo and added midfielder/defender Jonathon Waters for the 2013 USL PDL season. Ogoo is a familiar face to fans of the Flames, having played the past three seasons with the team and serving as the team’s captain for the 2011 and 2012 USL PDL seasons. In 2012, Ogoo played in 11 games for the Flames, primarily in defense.

    A native of Gambia, Ogoo previously played three seasons for English club Greenwich Borough F.C. After moving to the United States, Ogoo played amateur soccer for New York based clubs NY Irish Rovers in the LISFL, Landsdowe Bhoys in the CSL, and currently with Yonkers Portuguese in the EDSL.

    Waters is from Rochdale, England and played the past two seasons for Bloomfield College. Prior to attending Bloomfield, Waters played for South Georgia College. Before moving to the United States, Waters trained at the famous Manchester United Training Academy in Carrington, England alongside future England internationals Danny Welbeck and Frazier Campbell. Waters went on to play for academy teams at Rochdale A.F.C and Bury F.C.

    "It’s terrific that Housainou has agreed to play for us again this season," Flames coach Gus Skoufis said. "He’s been a key member of the team the past few seasons and we look forward to having him play a significant role in our team for the coming season. Jonathon is a terrific player that our fans are really going to enjoy watching. Like Housainou, Jonathon has a lot of experience in the game, but is still very young and both have a great future ahead of them in soccer."

    Keep up with news about the Westchester Flames on Facebook and on Twitter @WFlamesPR. For more information on the Westchester Flames, please visit the club’s official website at www.westchesterflames.com. 


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    Saturday, May 4, 2013

    VICTORIA, B.C. -- The Victoria Highlander FC kicked off their 2013 Premier Development League season with a victory, taking a 3-0 victory against the Kitsap Pumas in front of 1,804 fans at Royal Athletic Park. Thomas Mallet, Brett Levis and Jordie Hughes each found the net, while Highlanders goalkeeper Joel Wilson saved a late penalty to record the shutout.

    Photo courtesy Adrian Lam/Victoria Times-ColonistKitsap opened the game well, and came close to taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes as Alejandro Chavez put an effort wide. The Highlanders took the lead in the 17th minute, however, as Mallet broke the deadlock, finishing off a chance created by Levis. Mallet nearly netted a second in the 26th minute, firing a shot right above the crossbar as Victoria pressured the Pumas defense throughout much of the opening half.

    Victoria was able to maintain its momentum into the second half as Levis added a goal to his earlier assist, with the 20-year-old increasing the lead to 2-0 in the 65th minute as he lobbed a volley over Kitsap goaltender Dustin Brym that found the back of the net. Jordie Hughes added the final tally during the 75th minute when he finessed a ball past the Pumas goalkeeper.

    The Pumas had a chance to get back into the game three minutes later when they were awarded a penalty kick, but Alex Rodriguez's effort, a low strike to the right corner, was denied Wilson. The win provided an ideal start to the season for Victoria, which is looking to return to the PDL playoffs after missing out last season.

     


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    Sunday, May 5, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Blues extended their undefeated streak at Titan Stadium to four games with a 0-0 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday night. Gabriel Gonzalez and Shay Spitz had four shots apiece for the Blues, but neither side was able to break the deadlock.

    Chris Cortez and Cory Miller contributed their share of effort with three shots apiece, but Pittsburgh goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap recorded four saves for his second shutout of the season.

    The game opened up with a lot of back and forth between both sides, with the best chances of the first half coming in the 21st and 24th minutes. Pittsburgh's Robert Vincent had the first, as the midfielder struck the ball straight toward the Blues' goal from distance, forcing a save by Carl Woszczynski, who punched the shot away. Three minutes later, the Blues saw their best opportunity when a crafty pass from Juan Perez found Cortez inside the 18, but his shot was denied by Gilstrap.

    The Blues pushed forward more aggressively in the second half, and came close to breaking the deadlock in the 69th minute when a good passing movement found Spitz breaking into the penalty area, only for his shot to hit the inside of the left post and rebound to safety, allowing the Riverhounds the clear.

    Spitz was again involved with 15 minutes to go as his cross from the left found Gonzalez 10 yards from goal, but the forward's header went just wide of the right post. The Riverhounds, who had earned a 1-1 draw against Phoenix on Friday night, were able to see out the remainder of the contest and take a second point from their west-coast trip.

    The Blues are now 4-3-1 and still remain undefeated at Titan Stadium. Next on their schedule is the first of two games this season against the LA Galaxy Reserves, to be held on Tuesday night at the Home Depot Center Track Stadium at 7 p.m. PT. Admission and parking are free. The return contest between the two teams will be played at Titan Stadium on Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. PT.


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    K-W United FC News Release -- www.kwunitedfc.com

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    WATERLOO, Ont. -- K-W United FC is pleased to announce the signings of Canadian left backs Adam Camillo and Adam Bradshaw to their upcoming PDL roster.

    Camillo, a 5-foot-7 defender from Oakville, Ont., joins K-W United from the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA. Having just completed his first year with the program, Camillo played in all 18 games for the Divison I school and averaged moer than 89 minutes a game.

    "Adam had an impressive first PDL season last year and was equally impressive throughout his first NCAA Division I season with Memphis," K-W United FC head coach Brett Mosen said. "Adam is an exciting attacking-minded full back and a player I believe has the potential to take his game to the next level."

    Bradshaw, a 5-foot-9 defender from Waterloo, Ont., joins K-W United prior to beginning his first year with the Bucknell Bison, an NCAA Divison I school in Lewisburg, Pa. Prior to joining K-W United, Bradshaw spent two years with the TFC Academy.

    K-W United FC's mens team plays its home opener on Friday night at University Stadium in Waterloo against the River City Rovers. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Season tickets are available now at www.kwunitedfc.com.


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    Colorado Rapids Women News Release - www.coloradorapids.com/women

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    DENVER, Colo. - The Colorado Rapids Women have announced the signing of Denver University trio Kristen Hamilton, Jessy Battelli, and Cassidy Larson for the 2013 W-League season.

    Hamilton, Battelli, and Larson all played a major role in DU’s success this past season as the Pioneers made it to the NCAA round of 16. Rapids head coach Daniel Clitnovici was thrilled to add these three talented players to the squad.

    "I'm excited to have these DU players in the squad because they played an integral role in Denver University’s success in 2012 and now I'm excited to see them play a role at a higher level in playing for the Colorado Rapids Women," Clitnovici said.

    Hamilton, a junior, has registered 37 goals and 24 assists during her three seasons at DU including a team-leading 14 goals during the 2012 season. She was named WAC Player of the Year in 2012.

    Clitnovici expressed his excitement about Hamilton joining the Rapids' strike force.

    "Kristen is a powerful forward who will be always looking for a goal," he said. "She gets herself in the right spots at the right time and she is clinical, that’s what it's all about. During her time with DU, she has caused every single team she played against problems at the back. She is a very talented player."

    A defender, Battelli anchored DU’s defense during the 2012 season and helped the Pioneers register 10 shutouts. Battelli started all 24 matches and headed in the game-winning goal against Idaho. She finished off the season with a First Team All-WAC selection.

    "Jessy is an extremely talented player that will do well for us," Clitnovici said. "She has been someone I've watched for a few seasons now and has just been getting better and better. She is a very classy defender, with exactly the physical, technical and mental attributes that we are looking for here at the Rapids Women. She has such a great mentality and will fit into the squad perfectly."

    Larson, a junior, is also a vital part of the Pioneers' defense. She started all 24 matches for Denver and tallied five assists during the 2012 season. She has recorded one goal and 13 assists during her time at Denver University.

    "Cassidy is a hard-working defender that loves to get forward and create attacking movements," Clitnovici said. "She is a very strong player and will give us an attacking threat from the back. She will be a player that the fans will love to watch.”

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

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    TACOMA, Wash. – Jordan Schweitzer will return to the Pacific Northwest to play for Sounders FC U-23 after a very productive freshman year with University of Denver. Schweitzer captained both the Sounders FC U16 and U18 Academy teams, in his two years with the Sounders FC Academy.

    Having played in 19 of 20 games in his freshman season, Schweitzer was an All-MPSF honorable mention with the Pioneers.

    “It was a good year. I learned a lot, and my experience with the [Sounders] academy definitely prepared me for the jump,” said Schweitzer on his freshman year with Denver.

    A graduate of Henry M. Jackson High School in Everett, WA, Schweitzer has always been hard working, on and off the pitch. A charismatic kid with a great leadership presence, he has captained teams in high school, Washington state ODP and Sounders FC Academy. Over the past few years, he has been involved in coaching at Sounders FC summer camps, where he helps instill his work ethic and love of the game to the next generation of soccer players in the Puget Sound region.

    Sounders FC U-23 coach, Darren Sawatzky, said, “We want to make sure that players coming out of the Sounders FC youth system are good young men. Jordan represents this type of player.”

    A self-described "blue-collar player", Schweitzer is a big, tough, defensive midfielder with a high work rate, great leadership skills and deep desire to win.

    “We are looking forward to seeing Jordan play this summer after his year at Denver,” said Sawatzky. “He has worked very hard to get better each year and his development speaks for itself.”

    With the Sounders U-23 coming off a highly successful 2012 season, Schweitzer knows that the competition for playing time and the caliber of players filling out the roster will make for an exciting summer.

    “I'm really excited to get back to Seattle and play for Darren,” said Schweitzer on coming to play for Sounders U-23s. “This team is already looking amazing and I want to come in and work hard and just hope to earn some minutes and work towards winning a championship.”

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


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    Los Angeles Blues News Release -- www.labluesprosoccer.com

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    FULLERTON, Calif. – The Los Angeles Blues play their first of two games against Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy Reserves on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center’s Track Stadium. This match will count in the USL PRO League standings for the Blues, as part of the agreement between MLS and USL PRO reached earlier this year. The teams will play a home-and-away series this season.

    The Blues are coming off a 0-0 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Sunday night. The Blues, currently 4-3-1, sit in second place in the USL PRO standings and are undefeated at Titan Stadium.

    The Galaxy will have their hands full with the Blues’ offensive power. The team has scored 13 goals, by 10 different players, in just eight games. Last season, the Blues struggled offensively, only scoring 26 goals in league play, but the return to form of George Davis IV, who leads the team with three goals, and the addition of former Chivas USA forward Chris Cortez, who has two, has boosted the club's attack this season.

    The Blues have also fared well defensively, with Carl Woszczynski in a tie for the league lead with three shutous this season. The Galaxy have a strong contingent of young talent on their roster, with players such as former UCLA standout Chandler Hoffman, Kofi Opare and Tommy Meyer all likely to feature against the Blues.

    The Galaxy Reserves most recently played the Real Salt Lake Reserves on April 28, falling 1-0. The full Galaxy team played on Sunday as well, falling to the Houston Dynamo, 1-0.

    The second game of the season series will be at Titan Stadium on June 15 at 7:30 p.m. PT. Tickets are available as part of the Blues’ Summer Pack and can be purchased at lablues.ticketfly.com. 


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    PDL Preview

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    The Northeast Division saw the Ottawa Fury return to the top of the division standings in 2012, edging out the defending champion GPS Portland Phoenix by a point to claim their third division title in four seasons. The top two will again be challenged by the Western Mass Pioneers, while the CFC Azul are hoping to make a jump into playoff contention in their second season. The division also sees a newcomer in the Real Boston Rams, who could be an immediate contender thanks to their partnership with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution.

    CFC Azul – The Azul had a very respectable debut season in the PDL, finishing above .500 in fourth place. Their captain of a season ago, Ryan Kinne, is now in USL PRO with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, but the Azul have a number of talented players returning to the side, including Justin Brewer, who finished second on the team with five goals a season ago. Also making their return are Patrick Boucher and Mario DiMecili, who had four goals in 2012, while the addition of Jonathan Raj should bolster a strong defense.

    GPS Portland Phoenix – Making their return to the U.S. Open Cup for a second consecutive season, the Phoenix are again expected to be among the division title contenders. Ben Havey returns to the side after recording two goals and an assist, as does Blaike Woodruff, who finished with a goal and three assists a season ago. The Phoenix have also added some international talent, with French players Gilbert Manier, Jonathan Lupinelli, Pierre Omanga and Clement Bompart expected to boost the side.

    Ottawa Fury – Ottawa’s 2012 season came to a cruel end as the Carolina Dynamo scored in the final minute of the Eastern Conference Championship to claim victory and advance to the national semifinals. The Fury should have the ability to return to that stage, and maybe beyond, this season as they have been able to return a number of good players, including last season’s leading scorer William Beauge, who had eight goals. Another player who could play an important role is Carl Haworth, who arrives from 2012 PDL Champion FC London, as will center back Shaun Foster, a standout for the Jersey Express in recent seasons.

    Real Boston Rams – Led by coach Jim Costa, the Rams have the potential to be an immediate contender thanks to a partnership with the New England Revolution that will see a number of the MLS club’s Academy players compete for the Rams in this and future seasons. There are also some familiar names on the roster, including former Revolution midfielder Andrew Sousa and the University of Cincinnati’s Cole DeNormandie, who had three goals and four assists for the Bearcats last fall.

    Seacoast United Phantoms – The Phantoms slipped down the standings last season after reaching the playoffs in 2011, but are certainly capable of finding a way back into the playoff race with the leadership of Iain Scott. One key will be finding the back of the net more often in 2012, with the Phantoms scoring only 14 goals in 16 games a year ago.

    Vermont Voltage – After struggling early on, the Voltage had a positive second half to the 2012 season, and will hope to make their way up the standings this summer. Team icon Bo Vuckovic is back after scoring three goals and adding two assists last summer, and midfielder Liam Gilbert is also expected to return after recording two goals and an assist while appearing in all 16 games last summer. Cornell’s Ben Williams, who started all 17 games and recorded three assists for the Big Red last fall, is also set to join the team.

    Western Mass Pioneers – The Pioneers have been on the cusp of breaking into the playoffs in each of the past two seasons in the PDL, and are hoping some key returning players will bring success to Lusitano Stadium this summer. Among those is DJ Pereira, who had three goals and three assists last summer, while former Northeast-10 All-Conference selection Jayme Kapinos also returns to lead the Pioneers defense. Hartford’s Javoni Simms will be a key for the club’s attack, with the Jamaican coming off a season in which he scored nine goals for the Hawks last fall. 


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  • 05/06/13--15:12: W-League Partners with ETSLS
  • W-League News Release

    Monday, May 6, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League is pleased to announce a partnership with the Empowerment Through Sport Leadership Series, allowing it to help promote and encourage positive change and leadership through healthy choices and lessons learned from sports and physical activity.

    Founded by two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Angela Hucles, ETSLS offers a nationwide series of day-long conferences and half-day workshops for girls, their parents and their coaches. The conferences aim to:

    • Foster discussion and interaction between youth, parents and professionals on specific topics of leadership, sports and nutrition
    • Motivate youth to take lessons learned from the conference and apply them in their daily lives to be examples to others
    • Encourage parents to support their daughters in positive ways both on and off the field as it applies to education, nutrition and sports

    ETSLS held its Boston, Massachusetts conference in January, with more than 100 attendees hearing from U.S. Women’s National Team stars Abby Wambach and Heather Mitts, as well as other current and former female athletes. Future events scheduled in Orlando, Florida in August and Los Angeles in November. Please visit http://etsleadershipseries.com for more information.

    “Partnering with Empowerment Through Sport is a great avenue for the W-League and its athletes to engage with young ladies and their parents who are active in sport and other activities,” W-League Senior Director Amanda Duffy said. “Being able to interact and share personal stories with others will always be a powerful means of positive influence regardless of the audience’s age. I look forward to working with Angela and the ETS Leadership Series at the upcoming Orlando conference, and beyond, to promote this tremendous message through the W-League.”

    In addition to hearing from keynote speakers, participants attend breakout sessions at the conferences with topics including Nutrition, Title IX, Media & Sports, Leadership, Body Image and Goal Setting, among others.

    “We are delighted to partner with the W-League and honored to work with the longest standing women’s soccer league in the country,” Hucles said. “Having the attention focused on the collaboration between the athlete, the parents, and the coaches and showing all of the lessons from sports that are used to empower young girls will only help strengthen our sports and our communities. In working with Amanda and her colleagues of the W-League we are able to see that happening even sooner and more effectively.”
     


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  • 05/07/13--13:58: Tucson Adds Six Signings
  • FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    TUCSON, Ariz. — FC Tucson’s roster continues to grow as the club announced the addition of six more players to its roster for 2013. The club brings back the University of San Diego’s Michael D’Arrigo and Eli Galbraith-Knapp. The four newcomers are Connor Brandt, Stephen Posa, Greg Carter and Conner Bevans. Brandt and Posa also come from the University of San Diego. Carter and Bevans are teammates from Gonzaga.

    “With each signing (FC Tucson head coach) Rick Schantz and I get more excited for the beginning of the season,” said FC Tucson General Manager Jon Pearlman. “Michael, Eli and Conner had a great season with USD going to the NCAA Elite Eight, and Stephen was drafted by the LA Galaxy.

    "Carter and Bevens are top West Coast Conference performers who have received high praise from their coach, former FC Tucson goalkeeper Vito Higgins, as well as rival coaches in the WCC.”

    Fans can purchase 2013 season ticket packages at www.fctucson.com. All match days will be doubleheaders and ticket packages 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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  • 05/07/13--13:50: Aztex Add Maryland's Metzger
  • Austin Aztex News Release -- www.austinaztex.com

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Aztex announced three additional signings to its 2013 squad, including University of Maryland standout Dan Metzger. Joining Metzger to the squad are returning Aztex members John Kaschak and Alesi Osorio.

    Photo courtesy Charlie Beboyace/The Diamondback Metzger, a 19-year-old midfielder from Holmdel, N.J., has seven caps and one goal with the U.S. U-20 National team. The Maryland player scored three goals and added an assist during his sophomore season, including a game-winning goal against Brown in postseason play. In addition to his U-20 experience, Metzger is a product of the New York Red Bull Academy, the U-18 U.S. National Team, and was TopDrawerSoccer.com’s 14th rated recruit in 2011.

    Metzger will join an Austin Aztex squad already rich on talent. Of the 28 signed players, four have previously played professionally while 11 have experience as national team pool players.

    Kaschak, a 22-year-old goalkeeper from Allen, TX, returns to the Aztex after a junior season at St. Edward’s University which saw him record nine shutouts. Kaschak earned First Team All-South Central Region honors and was the Heartland Conference Goalkeeper of the Year. He led the conference in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. Osorio, a 22-year-old midfielder from Austin, rejoins the Aztex after completing his senior season at East Tennessee State University. The Lyndon B. Johnson high school product was named third team NSCAA All-South Region after scoring four goals and three assists.

    The Austin Aztex kick off the 2013 United Soccer League’s PDL season with an away match on Saturday, May 11 in the Mid South division versus Oklahoma City FC. The Aztex will open the club’s home schedule on Tuesday, May 14 versus NTX Rayados in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, May 14 before resuming league play on Saturday, May 18 at House Park versus the Houston Dutch Lions. 


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    W-League Preview

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    The W-League’s Western Conference had a runaway winner in 2012, with the Pali Blues remaining undefeated all the way to the league championship game, where they fell in a penalty shootout against the Ottawa Fury. This season seems set to offer a raised level of competition throughout the conference, with newcomer the Bay Area Breeze hoping to challenge the Blues and the Seattle Sounders Women for conference supremacy.

    The Colorado Rush, Colorado Rapids Women and Santa Clarita Blue Heat weren’t far off the pace in 2012, while the LA Strikers have high hopes for an improved campaign.

    Bay Area Breeze – The San Francisco-based side arrives in the W-League with the expectation of competing immediately for the playoffs. Led by former Australian U17 National Team coach Vicki Linton, the Breeze are looking for strong seasons from former Sky Blue FC defender Danielle Johnson, who also brings W-League experience having played in every game a season ago for Vancouver. Marissa Mykines also arrives from the Whitecaps, while the Breeze will also look for good seasons from former Oregon State standouts Namja Homidi and Brittany Galindo.

    Colorado Rapids Women – The Rapids Women had a number of positive performances in 2012 as they partnered with the MLS side for the first time, and will aim to build on that success with a number of key players returning for the new season. Among them is leading scorer Erin Gunther, who had six goals and an assist while playing every minute of every contest. Australian international Brooke Spence also returns after spending the winter in her homeland playing for the Melbourne Roar.

    Colorado Rush – The Rush edged out their in-state rival the Rapids by a point to take third place in the conference, and will try to bridge the gap between themselves and Pali and Seattle this season. Leading scorer Danica Evans, who had five goals and two assists last summer, returns to the side, as does goalkeeper Megan McCain, who posted a 1.333 goals-against average in six appearances. Other key returnees include defender Samantha Harder and midfielder Jacy Drobny, both of whom recorded more than 1,000 minutes a season ago.

    LA Strikers – Looking overseas to boost their standing, the Strikers appointed former England Women’s National Team coach Tracy Kevins to lead the team this season. Following the appointment, overseas talent has followed, including former England international Kristy Moore. Others added to the squad include Cal-State Fullerton standout Ann Marie Tangorra, who had six goals and three assists last fall in her senior season, and Victoria Boardman, a former England U18 international.

    Pali Blues – After reaching the W-League championship game for the first time since their 2009 championship, the Blues have reloaded with another strong squad as they look for their third title. Joining the squad is Edite Fernandes, who had nine goals for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat in 2012, and former U.S. U20 National Team member Samantha Mewis, who helped lead the U.S. to victory last year in Japan. Defensively, goalkeeper Anna Maria Picarelli returns to the side after winning Goalkeeper of the Year last summer after posting a goals-against average of 0.216 in 14 games.

    Santa Clarita Blue Heat – Santa Clarita enters the new season with a new coach, with former Blackpool player Anthony Rodwell taking the reins. Rodwell will have some talent to work with, too, with 2011 Goalkeeper of the Year Cynthia Jacobo returning to the side. The departure of Edite Fernandes to Pali will need to be addressed, but the Blue Heat will have Stacey Rodwell back in the side and aiming to add to her three goals a season ago.

    Seattle Sounders Women – After having a star-studded lineup a season ago that helped them to second place in the conference, the Sounders Women have again built a strong squad as they challenge Pali at the top of the standings. Jenna Richardson arrives from the Whitecaps Women, for whom she had four goals and four assists last summer, and she will be joined by returning forward Linsday Elston. Also joining the squad is Canadian goalkeeper Erin McNulty, who helped Penn State reach the NCAA Championship game last fall.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week Seven of the season on Tuesday, with Orlando City forward Dom Dwyer earning Player of the Week honors after recording a hat trick in the Lions’ 7-2 victory against Antigua Barracuda FC on Saturday night. The three goals moved Dwyer, on loan from Sporting Kansas City, to a league-best eight for the season.

    Dwyer had been on a run of form entering Saturday’s contest, having scored four goals in the previous four games, and got the scoring going early against the Barracudas. Dwyer finished a cross from Jamie Watson in the opening minute as Orlando jumped out to a quick lead.

    The former University of South Florida All-American added a second in the 17th minute, capitalizing on a turnover as he claimed possession near the Antigua penalty area and shot home. He completed a first-half hat trick with another header, putting home Luke Boden’s corner kick.

    Dwyer’s teammate Rob Valentino was also named to the Team of the Week after putting in a solid defensive performance and adding a goal early in the second half before being removed from the game in the 55th minute. Joining Valentino in the Team of Week’s back four was Charlotte’s Sean Francis, who came close to earning the Eagles a victory in Richmond with a fine goal in their 3-3 draw on Saturday night.

    Pittsburgh’s Andrew Marshall was also selected after a pair of strong performances for the Riverhounds. Marshall scored the equalizer as Pittsburgh took a 1-1 draw with Phoenix on Friday night, and then was excellent as the Riverhounds earned another point from a 0-0 draw with the Los Angeles Blues on Sunday. Marshall’s former teammate for the Harrisburg City Islanders, Nick Noble, earned the goalkeeper selection after recording 12 saves in a pair of strong performances, including a shutout of Rochester on Saturday night in a 1-0 victory.

    Charleston’s Colin Falvey completed the defensive quartet after putting in a pair of strong performances as the Battery took victories on the road against Harrisburg and Dayton. Battery Midfielder Nicki Paterson was also named after scoring a pair of goals, both of which proved to be game-winners, in the two victories.

    Richmond’s Brian Ownby, on loan from the Houston Dynamo, was honored after recording a goal and an assist in the Kickers’ 3-3 draw against Charlotte. He was joined by Michael Seaton, on loan from D.C. United, who scored a goal in his professional debut on Friday night as the Kickers beat Wilmington, 2-0.

    Completing the Team of the Week were Phoenix midfielder Anthony Obodai, who had a strong two-way performance in midfield for the Wolves in their 1-1 draw with Pittsburgh, and VSI Tampa Bay FC’s Mauricio Salles, who came off the bench to score twice as his side rallied for a 3-1 win against Antigua.

    The 2013 USL PRO season continues tonight as the Los Angeles Blues visit the LA Galaxy Reserves at 10 p.m. ET in the first interleague meeting between the teams this season. Thursday night sees Phoenix open a weekend trip to the east coast with a visit to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.

    Friday night brings a pair of games, with the Antigua Barracuda visiting the Harrisburg City Islanders at Skyline Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET, and the Rochester Rhinos travelling to face the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. ET.

    Saturday night sees a rematch of the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game with the Battery hosting Wilmington at 7:30 p.m. ET at Blackbaud Stadium. Elsewhere, Antigua moves on to face the Richmond Kickers at City Stadium at 7 p.m. ET, while Phoenix visits the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7:30 p.m. ET.

    The weekend wraps up with a second interleague contest as Orlando City visits the Seattle Sounders Reserves at 7 p.m. ET at Cheney Stadium.

    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

    Nick Noble

    Harrisburg

    12 saves in two games, including a shutout against Rochester

    D

    Rob Valentino

    Orlando

    Scored from a powerful header, was impressive defensively

    D

    Colin Falvey

    Charleston

    Two strong defensive displays as Battery took two wins

    D

    Shaun Francis

    Charlotte

    Outstanding finish helped Eagles earn point in Richmond

    D

    Andrew Marshall

    Pittsburgh

    Two commanding performances, had goal against Phoenix

    M

    Nicki Paterson

    Charleston

    Scored twice, both game-winners, as Battery won twice on road

    M

    Brian Ownby

    Richmond

    Had a goal and assist as Kickers earned point against Charlotte

    M

    Anthony Obodai

    Phoenix

    Strong two-way performance as Wolves took point at home

    F

    Dom Dwyer

    Orlando

    First-half hat trick continued strong run of scoring form

    F

    Mauricio Salles

    Tampa Bay

    Scored twice off bench as VSI rallied past Barracudas

    F

    Michael Seaton

    Richmond

    17-year-old scored on professional debut as Kickers took win

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Tamorley Thomas, Hazely Pyle; Charleston – Mike Azira, Kevin Klasila; Charlotte – Christian Meza, Drew Yates; Dayton – Brandon Swartzendruber; Harrisburg – Greg Jordan, Morgan Langley; Los Angeles – Shay Spitz, Gabriel Gonzalez; Orlando – Anthony Pulis, Jamie Watson; Phoenix – Donny Toia, Renan Boufleur; Pittsburgh – Jose Angulo, Hunter Gilstrap; Richmond – Conor Shanosky, Luke Vercollone; Rochester – Lance Rozeboom, Matt Horth; Tampa Bay – J.T. Noone, Kyle Hoffer; Wilmington – Gareth Evans, Will Heaney.


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    Pali Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    LOS ANGELES –
    The Pali Blues are excited to announce the addition of forward Edite Fernandes of the Portuguese National Team to the squad for the 2013 season. Currently with Portuguese side Valadares Gaia FC, Fernandes will not be available for the opening game of the season on May 18.

    “Edite is a special player and a perfect fit for the team we have this year,” Blues head coach Charlie Naimo said. “Her soccer IQ and creativity in the final third combined with our possession-oriented style should make us an attractive yet dangerous team.”

    Fernandes is arguably one of the Portugal’s greatest all-time players in national team history. She earned her first cap on February 28, 1998 at the age of 18, and has played a total of 109 matches while scoring 34 goals.

    Currently, Fernandes is playing with Valadares Gaia FC, a new team which she has helped propel into the final of the Portuguese Cup, scoring 54 goals this season. The match will be played on May 19.

    Fernandes, a 2011 W-League All-League selection, talked about her decision to play for the Blues this year.

    “The Pali Blues are a strong club with a good history in the W-League, always featuring good players,” she said. “The goals and objectives of the team are what attracted me. It’s a winning team, and I could only see myself in a team like this one.”

    Fernandes will arrive in Los Angeles on May 22 after the Portuguese league championship.


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    PDL Preview

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    The PDL’s Mid Atlantic Division remains the largest, and one of the most competitive, in the league, with a number of its alumni going on to feature in Major League Soccer. Former Reading United standout C.J. Sapong earned MLS Rookie of the Year honors in 2011 with Sporting Kansas City, while Jersey Express goalkeeper Ryan Meara had a strong first season for the New York Red Bulls last year. A number of top prospects for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft will be on display this summer too, with Ocean City looking to defend its crown.

    Baltimore Bohemians – The Bohs had a strong second half in their inaugural season, going 5-3-1 and taking victories against playoff sides Reading United and the Jersey Express. Coach Steve Nichols will have a strong squad to work with, as 2012’s leading scorer Kingsley Okwuna returns after scoring five goals last summer. Malcolm Harris joins the side having played for Nicholls with the Baltimore Bays, and is coming off a good freshman season at the University of Denver where he had a goal and five assists for the Pioneers.

    Bermuda Hogges – Bermuda was able to record some upsets in 2012, but the team is looking to become a playoff contender this season. The club has installed Bermuda National Team coach Andrew Bascome as its new head coach as he aims to steward the top young players in the country forward, and will be hopeful that Antwan Russell and Wayne Bean can improve on their seven combined goals from a season ago.

    Central Jersey Spartans – After struggling a season ago, the Spartans appointed Jimmy Quinn to be the club’s new coach in the offseason, with the former Northern Ireland international aiming to push his team back toward the top of the standings. Among the players he’ll be relying on to accomplish that are forward Maxime Hoppenot, the younger brother of the Philadelphia Union’s Antoine, who had seven goals and three assists to lead Tufts University last season.

    F.A. Euro – New York Magic – A new addition to the division, the F.A. Euro – New York Magic will hope to contend immediately as they build off a strong youth organization in New York. Former Rutgers standout Sam Archer, who won the Chicago Fire’s Open Tryout this spring but didn’t earn a place on the roster, will lead the team, and he is joined by the former St. Francis duo of Adam Maadbi and Gabriel Bagot, who both shone this past fall. Maadbi had eight goals last fall, earning All-Northeast Conference honors, while Bagot led the team with six assists.

    Jersey Express – With former Coach George Vichniakov being promoted to become the club’s Sporting Director, the Express enter the new season with former Charleston Battery player Jeff Matteo at the helm. With the club looking to return to the playoffs, the Express have again built a strong squad, with former Rochester Rhinos goalkeeper Neal Kitson set to lead the team alongside former Westchester Flames standout Jake Keegan, who was an All-PDL selection in 2011 after scoring 16 goals in 16 games. Keegan will likely pair with returning standout Joseph Ovenseri, who had 11 goals for the Express last season.

    Long Island Rough Riders – After missing the playoffs a season ago, the Rough Riders return a number of familiar faces as they look to make a move back up the standings this summer. Ben Arikian returns after finishing tied for the team lead with 14 points in 14 games, including five goals, a season ago, and he is joined by the returning Dominick Sarle, who starred in the club’s run to the national semifinals in 2011 with 10 goals and five assists. Captain Danny Kramer also returns to the side, as do Tom Wharf and Gary Flood, which should provide a strong backbone for the club throughout the summer.

    NJ LUSO Rangers FC – After finishing fourth a season ago, the Rangers will try to move into the playoff places this summer. Among those aiming to push the side on are defender Pedro Vilar, who appeared in 14 games last season, and goalkeeper Paul Killian, who recorded a 1.268 goals-against average in his 13 appearances. The Rangers will need to replace Jack McVey in their attack - the forward had nine goals and six assists last summer - but Kevin Zalewski returns after scoring three goals and adding four assists a season ago.

    Ocean City Nor’easters – After finishing mid-table in 2011, recording draws in half of their games, the Nor’easters surged to the top of the standings, and the Eastern Conference overall, under the leadership of Tim Oswald in 2012. Ocean City has a number of important pieces returning to its squad as it prepares to defend its title and participate in the U.S. Open Cup, including forward Zoncher Dennis, who led the team with 11 goals a season ago. Also returning is Markhus Lacroix, who led outfield players with 1,213 minutes played while recording two goals and three assists from midfield, and defender Kevin Curran, who played a key role defensively a year ago.

    Reading United – Making its fifth consecutive U.S. Open Cup appearance, Reading is aiming for its first conference title since 2010 with a re-tooled roster that saw a number of alumni go pro this spring. Leading the way is Georgetown standout Steven Neumann, who had three goals and four assists for United last summer before leading the Hoyas to the NCAA Championship Game while recording 10 goals and 13 assists. A new arrival is goalkeeper John McCarthy, who shone for Ocean City last summer, while the University of South Florida’s Ben Sweat could be a big addition to the club’s defense.

    Westchester Flames – Westchester is looking to return to its former glory of the late 2000s after finishing bottom of the division a season ago. Veteran coach Gus Skoufis no longer has forward Jake Keegan at his disposal, but the addition of Zach Gosse and Dwayne Reid has the side hopeful of success. Also returning is captain Housainou Ogoo for his third season with the club, while Rilwan Salawu showed potential with the FC Jax Destroyers a season ago in the Southeast Division. 


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