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News from USL

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    U.S. Soccer News Release --

    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    CHICAGO -- The 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicks off Tuesday night with two play-in matches between amateur clubs. The 100th edition of the U.S. Open Cup features 68 teams - an increase from the 64 that competed last year, marking the largest field in the modern era (1995-present).

    "To have the 100th Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup taking place during U.S. Soccer's Centennial is a fitting moment for our country's rich soccer history," U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said. "As the sport continues growing in the U.S., the Open Cup has become one of the most important trophies and the tournament increases in popularity every year. We are looking forward to all the competitive matches among the professional and amateur teams during what will surely be an exciting tournament."

    The pairings for the tournament's second round were detailed earlier today. Eight USL PRO (Division III) clubs and six North American Soccer League (Division II) teams are scheduled to kick off their participation at this stage on Tuesday, May 21. Historically, this group has had its share of strong U.S. Open Cup runs. In 2012, USL PRO's Harrisburg City Islanders defeated Major League Soccer's New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls in the third and fourth rounds, respectively, to advance to the quarterfinal stage. 

    The 2013 U.S. Open Cup opens Tuesday night with the Colorado Rovers (U.S. Specialty Sports Association) hosting the Georgia Revolution (National Premier Soccer League) and Southern California-based FC Hasental (NPSL) heading north to face the Fresno Fuego Future (US Club Soccer).

    The following week, the first round will take place on May 14 and May 15. The first round will set a record for most Open Cup games played in a single round (18) and on a single day (17 on May 14) in the tournament's modern era (1995-present), breaking the previous record of 16, set most recently in 2012. The two play-in round winners will be joined by 30 other amateur sides, including six other NPSL teams, 16 from the USL Premier Development League, and eight U.S. Adult Soccer Association regional qualifiers. Four Division III professional clubs from USL PRO complete the first round field.

    The defending U.S. Open Cup champion is Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City, which captured its second Dewar Challenge Trophy at the 2012 U.S. Open Cup with a thrilling 3-2 shootout victory against three-time defending champion Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 9, 2012, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. It was the tournament's first final decided by penalties since 1997 as Sporting and the Sounders played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time.

    Two scheduling changes were made toward the U.S. Open Cup's early-round schedule following the initial release. The kickoff time for the May 7 play-in round game between the NPSL's Georgia Revolution and USSSA's Colorado Rovers is at 8:30 p.m. MT. The first-round match between the Madison 56ers (NPSL) and Des Moines Menace (PDL) was changed to Wednesday, May 15.


    21. GPS Portland Phoenix (PDL)/Mass Premier (USASA) winner at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO)
    Sahlen's Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:35 p.m. ET

    22. Brooklyn Italians (NPSL)/Icon FC (USASA) winner at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO)
    Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET

    23. Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Reading United AC (PDL)
    Don Thomas Stadium; Reading, Pa.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET
    Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL)
    Whitehall High School Soccer Complex; Whitehall, Pa.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:05 p.m. ET

    24. Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)/RWB Adria (USASA) winner at Ocean City Nor'easters (PDL)
    Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET
    New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO)
    Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET
    New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL) vs. RWB Adria (USASA)

    25. Michigan Bucks (PDL)/Dearborn Stars (USASA) winner at Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO)
    Beavercreek High School; Beavercreek, Ohio
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET
    Michigan Bucks (PDL)/Dearborn Stars (USASA) winner vs. River City Rovers (PDL)

    26. Carolina Dynamo (PDL)/Chattanooga FC (NPSL) winner at Carolina RailHawks (NASL)
    WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET

    27. Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at VSI Tampa Bay (USL PRO)
    Plant City Stadium; Plant City, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET
    Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Orlando City U23s (PDL)
    Seminole Soccer Complex; Sanford, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET

    28. Orlando City (USL PRO) at Ocala Stampede (PDL)
    Trinity Catholic High School; Ocala, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET
    Orlando City (USL PRO) at Red Force (USASA)
    Florida International Soccer Stadium; Miami, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET

    29. Des Moines Menace (PDL)/Madison 56ers (NPSL) winner at Minnesota United FC (NASL)
    National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. CT

    30. FC Tucson (PDL)/Phoenix FC (USL PRO) winner at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL)
    Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. CT

    31. Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) at Austin Aztex (PDL)
    House Park; Austin, Texas
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. CT
    Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO) at NTX Rayados (USASA)
    Richland Community College; Dallas, Texas
    Tuesday, May 21, at 8 p.m. CT

    32. Ventura County (PDL)/FC Hasental (NPSL)/Fresno Fuego Future (US Club Soccer) winner at L.A. Blues (USL PRO)
    Titan Stadium; Fullerton, Calif.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 6:30 p.m. PT

    33. Charleston Battery (USL PRO) at Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL)
    JELD-WEN Field; Portland, Ore.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. PT
    Sacramento Gold (NPSL) at Charleston Battery (USL PRO)
    Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET

    If Georgia Revolution (NPSL) advances to First Round

    34. Sounders FC U-23 (PDL)/Doxa Italia (USASA) winner at Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO)
    Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex; Charlotte, N.C.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET

    35. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Georgia Revolution (NPSL)
    RYSA Soccerplex; Conyers, Ga.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET
    Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) vs. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL)

    36. Laredo Heat (PDL)/PSA Elite (USASA) winner at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
    Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET

    If Colorado Rovers (USSSA) advance to First Round:

    34. Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) at Colorado Rovers (USSSA)
    Shea Stadium; Highlands Park, Colo.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 8 p.m. MT
    Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO)
    Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex; Charlotte, N.C.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET

    35. Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Laredo Heat (PDL)
    Texas A&M International Soccer Complex; Laredo, Texas
    Tuesday, May 21, at 8:15 p.m. CT
    Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at PSA Elite (USASA)
    Irvine Stadium; Irvine, Calif.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. PT

    36. Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) at Sounders FC U-23 (PDL)
    Sunset Chevrolet Stadium; Sumner, Wash.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. PT
    Doxa Italia (USASA) at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL)
    Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
    Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET

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  • 05/08/13--14:53: Bohemians Announce Squad
  • Baltimore Bohemians News Release --

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Baltimore Bohemians have announced the initial set of signings for the 2013 season. Nine players will return for the new campaign.

    Among the returning Bohs are defenders Oumar Ballo (UMBC), Marquez Fernandez (UMBC) and Hugh Roberts (George Mason), who anchored the back line for Baltimore last season. UMBC forwards Pete Caringi and Kingsley Onwuka will also be returning to the fold this season. Caringi earned NSCAA All-Northeast Region Second Team honors this past season for the Retrievers after netting 14 goals. UMBC midfielder Mamadou Kansaye will join his Retriever teammates again this season in the Bohs' black and gold. Familiar faces Brian Graham (UNC-Greensboro), Elton Joe (CCBC-Essex) and Michael Molloy (Mt. St. Mary's) will also return.

    The Bohs have brought on some new talent to bolster the squad for this season, including two from Wake Forest. Goalkeeper Andrew Harris will mind the nets and forward Michael Gamble, who had eight goals for the Demon Deacons, will join the attack. Gamble was named to Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman Team of the Season for 2012 and was a member of the All-ACC All-Freshman Team.

    Midfielders Julio Arjona (George Mason) Malcolm Harris (Denver) and Austin Martz (Georgetown) have signed on to shore up the middle. Defenders Steven LeVine (York) and Matthew Shinksy (Columbia) have also joined the Bohs in the back.

    Forward Milo Kapor, who graduated from UMBC, has signed with the Bohs to provide some offensive power. Another UMBC graduate, Liam Paddock, who was named to Academic All-American First Team for his work on the Retrievers defense and in the classroom, has also signed.

    Loyola University Maryland goalkeeper Zach Kane will join the squad for the first Bohs season at Ridley Athletic Complex. Rounding out the initial wave of signings are Sam Tana (Susquehanna), Geaton Caltabiano (UMBC) and Christian Wulff (Army).

    For more information, please contact the club's Director of Marketing and Media Relations Joe Tirabassi at 

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    Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    CARSON, Calif. – After jumping out to a four-goal lead, the LA Galaxy held on for dear life and picked up their first win of the MLS Reserve League season, beating the Los Angeles Blues 4-3 on Tuesday night at The Home Depot Center. Gyasi Zardes scored once and assisted on two others while also earning a penalty to lead the Galaxy to the win in their first game of the year against the USL PRO club.

    It took just five minutes for the Galaxy to get on the board as a Zardes cross from the right wing found Michael Stephens streaking into the center of the box. The midfielder powered a right-footed shot into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season, giving his side a 1-0 lead.

    Zardes and Stephens nearly combined a few minutes later, only for Stephens to see his shot rattle off the crossbar. However, the Galaxy would double their lead in the 17th minute when Zardes and Jimenez combining to set up Chandler Hoffman for his first goal of the year. A long period of sustained possession and passing led to Jimenez picking out Hoffman to make the score 2-0.

    The Galaxy would go into the half with a 3-0 lead as Zardes and Jimenez combined again with Zardes heading a cross past Blues goalkeeper Steve Gonzalez for his first goal of the season.

    With a goal and two assists under his belt in the first half, Zardes continued his fantastic night when he was dragged down inside the area in the 49th minute, earning the Galaxy a penalty. Hector Jimenez stepped up to take the spot kick and fired his shot past Gonzalez to stretch his side’s lead to 4-0.

    However, things began to unravel for the home side shortly after the Jimenez penalty. Rafael Garcia headed a Blues free kick into his own net, past Brian Perk, who came on at halftime in place of Brian Rowe, to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Galaxy in the 51st minute.

    The Blues then cut the lead to 4-2 in the 72nd minute when a pass from Jimmy Turner found Shay Spitz inside the box, allowing the midfielder to slip a shot past Perk. Just 10 minutes later, the lead was down to one as the Galaxy were called for a foul inside the box, leading to a penalty kick that Blues’ captain Allan Russell stepped up and converted, to make the score 4-3.

    However, that would be as the visitors would get as the Galaxy managed to kill off the final 10 minutes and hold on for their first win of the season. The same two sides will meet again in just more than a month’s time, on Saturday, June 15 with that game scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. 

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    Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 News Release --

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the club’s roster for the 2013 United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League team, Whitecaps FC U-23. This year’s team will be coached by Stuart Neely, Whitecaps FC head of high performance.

    “Our PDL roster this season is a compilation of local university talent, as well as a select group of players from our Residency program and finally, a small number of professional prospects,” said Neely. “There is no doubt that the PDL will prove to be a strong task for these players to conquer, making it an exciting season for us all to be a part of.”

    Seven players on the initial roster are graduates from the club’s Residency or Prospects program. Returning to the club are defenders Bobby Jhutty of Douglas College, James Farenhorst of Trinity Western University, as well as midfielders Cam Hundal from the University of Victoria and Gagandeep Dosanjh from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

    Jhutty, Dosanjh, Hundal, and defender Derrick Bassi are all products of the Whitecaps FC Residency program, while UBC midfielders Marco Visintin and Harry Lakhan are products of the club’s Prospects program.

    New to the club are defenders Colton O’Neill from University of the Fraser Valley, Michael Winter from Simon Fraser University, and strikers Peter Bow from Langara College and Niall Cousens from UBC. In addition, defender Ethen Sampson, who has been training with the club’s first team since February, joins Whitecaps FC's U-23 side. Sampson comes to Vancouver following three years with South African club ASD Cape Town.

    Rounding out the roster are Whitecaps FC Residency goalkeepers Sean Melvin and Marco Carducci, defender Sam Adekugbe, midfielders Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos, and strikers Spencer DeBoice and Yassin Essa. The roster will also feature up to three Major League Soccer players on loan per match.

    Defender/midfielder Emmanuel Adjetey and midfielder Ben Fisk, another graduate of the Residency program, were also named to the roster, but are currently on season-long loans to USL PRO side the Charleston Battery.

    The Whitecaps FC U-23 begin their PDL campaign this coming Friday night at 7 p.m. PT at home to Kitsap Pumas at UBC’s Thunderbird Stadium. The match is open to the public and admission is free of charge.

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    Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release --

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    PITTSBURGH -- Following a set of strong defensive performances resulting in two draws on the west coast this past weekend against the Phoenix FC Wolves and the Los Angeles Blues, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds return to Highmark Stadium Thursday night to open a six-game USL PRO home stand. The Riverhounds will square off with the Wolves for the second time in less than a week, with the game slated to kick off at 7 p.m. and set to be streamed live on

    The two sides met in the desert last Friday night at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium on the campus of Arizona State University, resulting in a 1-1 draw. The Wolves jumped on top of the Riverhounds in the 11th minute when Donny Toia’s left-footed strike whistled past the outstretched hands of Hunter Gilstrap and into the back of the net. The clubs exchanged quality-scoring opportunities for the next hour, before Riverhounds defenseman Andrew Marshall was successful in tapping home a cross from Jose Angulo to record the equalizer in the 79th minute. Both Toia and Marshall tallied their first goals of the young USL PRO season.

    The Riverhounds met the Blues on Sunday for an afternoon game at Titan Stadium on the campus of California State University Fullerton. Both Clubs showcased solid defensive performances throughout the full ninety minutes, ending the game in a 0-0 draw.

    Thursday night’s clash at Highmark Stadium will be a strategic match-up as the two sides are familiar with one another following last week’s game in Arizona. The Riverhounds will look to take advantage of the comforts of home in the USL PRO’s newest stadium, Highmark Stadium.

    Promoting the game as Ladies’ Night, the Riverhounds will be wearing pink kits and will honor the ‘Soccer Mom of Pittsburgh’, sponsored by Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, at halftime. Following the game the Riverhounds will participate in a ‘Shirt Off the Back’ raffle to raise money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

    Following Thursday night's contest, the Riverhounds have been selected to host a first-round game in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Tuesday, May 14 against the Chicago-based Croatian side, RWB Adria (USASA). The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at the Riverhounds' new home, Highmark Stadium, located in Station Square. To purchase tickets for the opening round matchup, visit For Riverhounds group ticket sales, please call the Highmark Stadium Box Office at (412) 224-4900.

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    PDL Preview

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    The Carolina Dynamo emerged from the PDL’s South Atlantic Division to claim not just the Eastern Conference title, but reach the PDL Championship Game, only to fall to FC London. With a large talent pool of in-state talent, the Dynamo should be strong again, but could be challenged by perennial contenders the West Virginia Chaos and Northern Virginia Royals, and second-year clubs SC United Bantams and Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors who are both looking to make a move up the standings.

    Carolina Dynamo – The Dynamo return a number of important pieces from 2012, including PDL Defender of the Year Sebastian Ibeagha of Duke, and he is expected to be joined by U.S. U20 international Boyd Okwuono. Also back on the defensive front is goalkeeper Peyton Ford, who posted a 0.750 goals against-average last summer, while University of North Carolina standout Robbie Lovejoy is also back after recording 12 points in 11 games for the Tar Heels last fall. Leading the attack will be Hakan Ilhan, who had eight goals and six assists last summer.

    Northern Virginia Royals – The Royals reached the playoffs in 2011, only to fall back in the pack last season. As the club looks to return to challenge the Dynamo, it has brought in experienced midfielder Grady Renfrow, formerly of D.C. United and last with the MISL’s Rochester Lancers to bring leadership to the squad. The side also has some important returning pieces, with A.J. Sheta having scored three goals and added two assists last summer, and West Virginia’s Travis Pittman should play an important role in midfield after coming off a season where he had two goals and four assists for the Mountaineers.

    SC United Bantams – After a solid inaugural season that saw its leading scorer, Austin Savage, make the jump to USL PRO this season, the SC United Bantams will aim to move into playoff contention as they build their club. While Savage may now be with the Charleston Battery, the Bantams have brought in former Battery player David Kenga to provide leadership to the squad. Among those returning for their second season with the side is goalkeeper Robert Beebe, who posted a 0.800 goals against-average last season in five games, while Nico Rittmeyer will be a new addition to watch as he arrives after a good freshman season at North Carolina.

    Southern West Virginia King’s Warriors – After a slow start to their inaugural season, it took the club six games to earn their first victory, the King’s Warriors are aiming to build off the lessons they learned to make a move this summer. Coach Scott Reitnour returns with a good group of players who experienced the club’s first season, including Carter Robbins, who had three goals, and goalkeeper Erik Mozzo, who recorded four shutouts in 14 games. How far the King’s Warriors have come will be evident in their season-opener against in-state rivals the West Virginia Chaos

    Virginia Beach Piranhas – The Piranhas struggled throughout last season, winning just three games, but are hoping new coach Matt Busch can help turn things around this summer. The Piranhas will be hoping Jerjer Gibson can replicate his strike-rate of a goal every other game this summer after scoring three goals in six games in 2012. Youngster Peter Pearson might also be a player to watch, with the forward having spent time training with D.C. United’s Academy and being listed as one of the Top 100 college prospects for the Class of 2014 by

    West Virginia Chaos – The Chaos finished a point outside the playoffs a season ago, and will challenge again for a place in the postseason under new head coach Chris Grassie. While they are without last season’s leading scorer Dion Peters, the Chaos do have some good pieces returning, including defender Predrag Ivanovic. Joining the side is goalkeeper Tyler Atwell, who appeared six times last fall for junior college powerhouse Tyler Junior College, conceding just one goal. The duo of Matt Brown and Daniel Smee also arrive after earning Division II All-America honors, with Brown scoring 13 goals for the Bobcats and Smee recording 15 assists last fall. 

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    W-League Preview

    Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    The W-League’s Central Conference has been dominated by the Ottawa Fury during the past decade, with the club finally winning its first championship last season after a tense final against the Pali Blues. While the Fury ended up on top of the standings a year ago, however, the challenge to them was stronger than ever from the Quebec City Amiral, who finished just four points behind the Fury, while Laval, Toronto and K-W United all had strong summers. The question now is whether one of those teams can go one step better and claim the conference title.

    K-W United – The new season brings a new name for the former Hamilton Rage FC, and the hope that the club can build on its place in the conference semifinals last season. On a re-tooled roster, Virginia Commonwealth standout Courtney Conrad brings her scoring prowess after recording 11 goals for the Rams last fall, while midfielder Emily Adamic arrives after a good freshman season at the University of Memphis that saw her make 16 starts and record a goal and two assists. Radford’s Rachel Conway should also contribute after leading the Highlanders with seven goals and 16 points last fall.

    Laval Comets – The Comets have a new coach after 11-year W-League veteran and former player Cindy Walsh took over the side in the offseason. Walsh will have some good players returning as she tries to help the team improve on its third-place finish a season ago, starting with the club’s leading scorer Nkemjike Ezurike, who finished the summer with five goals. Defender Kathryn Acton also returns after playing every minute of every game a season ago, while University of Wisconsin and Canadian U20 National Team goalkeeper Genevieve Richard joins the team.

    London Gryphons – After a winless 2012 season, the Gryphons are looking to some new faces to help the side try to move up the standings this summer. Among those is young goalkeeper Miranda Horn, who recently signed with George Washington University after a stellar youth career that saw her named to the Ontario Provincial Soccer Team in four successive years. Also joining the side is former Central Michigan standout Stephanie Martin, who finished her career with the Chippewas as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 26 goals and 69 points.

    Ottawa Fury – After falling short on numerous occasions, the Fury were able to claim their first W-League championship on their home turf last season, a reward richly deserved by the club and recently inducted USL Hall of Famer John Pugh. Now the Fury will try to defend their title, and they have a number of key players returning with All-Central Conference goalkeeper Jasmine Phillips set to return after recording 0.439 goals-against average a season ago. The Fury have also added Alyscha Mottershead, who was an All-Conference selection a season ago for Toronto.

    Quebec City Amiral – After reaching the national semifinals a season ago, the Amiral are aiming to topple the Fury from top spot in the conference, and have added a number of good players to try and reach their goal. Among those new to the roster are goalkeeper Cynthia LeBlanc, who previously played for the Canadian U20 National Team. Returning to the Amiral is forward Lea Chastenay-Joseph, who had three goals last summer, and midfielder Joelle Gosselin, who had two goals and three assists.

    Toronto Lynx – Toronto finished fourth in the conference a season ago, but has a very different look for the new season with the departure of Alyscha Mottershead to Ottawa and the absence of leading scorer Kinley McNicoll. To make up for this, however, the Lynx have added a number of good young players, including starting WNT defender Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence, who was named Canada’s U17 Player of the Year in 2012 and is moving into the senior squad this season. Also in the squad are Lawrence’s former U17 National Team colleagues Kailen Sheriden, Rebecca Quinn and Rebecca Pongetti, with Sheridan serving as the starting keeper in every game at last year’s U17 Women’s World Cup. 

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  • 05/09/13--15:56: Flames Sign Kramarchuk
  • Westchester Flames News Release --

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The Westchester Flames F.C. have signed defender Mark Kramarchuk for the 2013 USL PDL season. Kramarchuk is from Mt. Vernon, N.Y. and plays soccer collegiately at Bucknell University. Prior to playing at Bucknell, Kramarchuk played for Blau Weiss Gottschee’s U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy and youth soccer programs. While playing at Gottschee, Kramarchuk captained the U16 Academy team and was coached by Giovanni Savarese.

    Kramarchuk played high school soccer for Fordham Prep, where he was a High School All-America selection and led his team to a New York state title. Kramarchuk was a NYC CHSAA "AA" first team all-league defender and a three-time first team All-Bronx Varsity Soccer League selection.

    Bucknell University Men’s Soccer Coach Brendan Nash described Kramarchuk as "a traditional center back, but could probably play anywhere along the back line. He has a big, solid frame, but is also a technical player. Mark’s biggest asset is his defensive positioning off the ball, which is vital in our system."

    "We didn’t have to look far to discover Mark," Flames coach Gus Skoufis said. "He is a great example of the many talented young players in the Westchester area that we’ve seen coming through our system and the other local clubs. We’re delighted that Mark has agreed to play for us this season and hope that the soccer fans in the local community come out to support him."

    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

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    Long Island Rough Riders News Release -

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    While the Long Island Rough Riders feature international players and out-of-state players, the solid base of homegrown talent is ever present. Amanda Epstein and Deanna Murino have made the transition from local youth player to becoming a part of Long Island’s W-League team.

    Epstein, from Jericho, New York attended Jericho High School and now represents Marist College where her eight goals and four assists in 17 games made her the team's leader in goals and points in 2012.

    She was named the MAAC Rookie of the Year and the MAAC tournament MVP, as well as being chosen for the MAAC All-Rookie Team and the MAAC All-Tournament Team. She was also named MAAC Rookie of the Week six times.

    Like her teammate, Murino relishes the opportunity to play for the Long Island. Murino is a native of Bohemia, New York and went to high school at Connetquot. In her freshman year at St. John’s University she played in 18 games, scoring one goal and adding two assists from midfield.

    Show your support this season for your hometown heroes. The season will begin with a double-header on May 18 with the W-League team facing the Fredericksburg Impact at 5 p.m. and the PDL squad kicking off at 7:30 p.m. against the Baltimore Bohemians at Cy Donnelly Stadium.  Purchase your tickets at

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  • 05/09/13--15:11: Grocott Added By K-W United
  • K-W United News Release --

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    WATERLOO, Ont. -- K-W United FC is pleased to announce that Will Grocott has signed with the PDL team for the upcoming season. Grocott, an English midfielder, played with Aston Villa academy for 10 years until he was 18. This will be his third season in the PDL after playing with the Hamilton Rage for two seasons. Previously this year, Grocott played for FC Jove in the Spanish third league.

    Grocott has additionally gone on trial to various USL PRO teams after his last season. He is described as a very fundamental player and will stand out on K-W United FC.

    "Will is an attacking midfield player," said head coach Brett Mosen. "We all believe he has the ability to go onto the professional level and he's got ambitions to play at the pro level in North America."

    "I'm really excited to come back and play for a new team," Grocott said. "It's good to work under Brett and I'm excited to go in and hopefully help the team toward the playoffs."

    Grocott expressed that local soccer in K-W is a good thing for the community, giving players extra experience and giving residents a new level of soccer to watch.

    "I've met a few people from around the community and they're very excited to have K-W United in the region. I think that also helps. It should be a good season."

    The PDL team opens on the road on May 23rd against the River City Rovers in Louisville, Ky.

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    PDL Preview

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    The Southeast Division had a surprise winner in expansion franchise the Ocala Stampede last season, but it was runner-up Orlando City U23 that claimed the Southern Conference title after making a strong run through the playoffs before falling to the Carolina Dynamo. The Southeast saw a tough battle for the division’s second playoff place, with five teams finishing within four points of each other, and this season figures to be no different as teams such as VSI Tampa Bay FC, IMG Academy Bradenton, the Mississippi Brilla and the Panama City Beach Pirates look to advance to the postseason, with the SW Florida Adrenaline also aiming to challenge in their inaugural season.

    Fort Lauderdale Schulz Academy – While Schulz Academy was able to spring some surprises, among them defeating division champion Ocala, the club continued to have difficulties defensively, conceding 39 goals in 16 games. Former Florida Atlantic players Sean Hart and Vincent DiBullo return to the team, as does Kevin Bangai, who had two goals and two assists last summer. Goalkeeper Kent Freund arrives from Fort Hayes State University, looking to help the club’s defense, after recording a 1.59 goals-against average and .769 save percentage last fall.

    IMG Academy Bradenton – After finishing one place out of the playoffs last season, IMG is aiming to make a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Marco Lobo is expected to return after scoring three goals a season ago, and the club has also been able to add players from this year’s USL PRO Combine, with former Orlando City U23 player Anthony Arico joining the side. Also arriving from Orlando is defender Joseph Toby, who played in all 16 games for the Lions last season. All-Big Ten selections Owen Griffith and Andrew Wolverton also arrive from Penn State.

    Mississippi Brilla – The Brilla got off to a slow start in 2012, with defeats in their first three games proving too much to overcome as the club hit its stride late with victories in its last three outings to finish four points behind second-placed Orlando. The side does return a number of important players from a season ago, with leading scorer Felipe Silva back after recording 20 points, including nine goals, last summer. With a new head coach, Drew Courtney, the club has also added three players from NAIA champion Belhaven University, with Eduardo Cruz, Victor France, and Tom Gavin all expected to help the club attempt to return to the playoffs.

    Ocala Stampede – After surprising many with a division title in their inaugural season, the Stampede are aiming to continue their success in both the league and the U.S. Open Cup this summer. Former Charlotte Eagles player Cheyne Roberts has become head coach following Matt Weston’s departure, and he has brought in some talented players. Among them is another former Eagle, Miguel Ferrer, while Kenny Hogg led the NCAA Division II with 29 goals for Palm Beach Atlantic last fall. Creighton goalkeeper Alex Bolowich also arrives after recording four shutouts in nine starts for the Bluejays last fall.

    Orlando City U23 – The first season under the Orlando City umbrella was a strong one for the former Central Florida Kraze, with the club continuing to find success on the field while also sending players into USL PRO with the Lions this spring. While captain Jonathan Mendoza may have graduated to the next level, there is a strong returning group looking to earn another playoff berth and defend the Southern Conference title. Among those is Oumar Diakhite, who is also on the roster of the club’s USL PRO team, and Nicolas Russo, who had four goals from midfield a season ago. A new arrival to watch this summer will be Louisville’s Marlon Hairson, who is a candidate to be on the U.S. U20 squad this summer at the U20 World Cup in Turkey.

    Panama City Beach Pirates – The Pirates had an up-and-down inaugural season, claiming some impressive wins, but not enough to stay in playoff contention. The squad this season returns some good defensive talent, including All-Southern Conference selection Taian de Souza, who played in every game in defense last summer. Drew Russell also returns for a second season with the club after making 15 appearances last year, but the team will need to find a replacement for midfielder David Malloy, who was outstanding while recording eight assists last summer to set up the club’s front-runners.

    SW Florida Adrenaline – A new addition to the division, the Adrenaline are aiming to hit the ground running and will try to emulate the success of Ocala last season. The side has brought in some good talent, with Welsh midfielder Scott McCoubrey being joined by college players from throughout the state. Among those are Florida Gulf Coast’s William Morse, who had three goals and two assists for the Eagles last fall, while former Florida Tech goalkeeper Derrick Hackett returns to the side after competing in their exhibition season last summer.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC – After finishing fourth in the club’s inaugural season, Tampa Bay has restocked its lineup looking to move up into the playoff places this summer. Among those joining the team are the University of South Florida’s Ricardo Webb, Samuel Hosseini and Stivan Salinas, whose speed could prove a challenge for opponents. Jack McVey, formerly of the New Jersey Rangers, joins the club after scoring nine goals and adding six assists last season, while former U.S. U17 international Tarik Salkicic will make the move to the PDL ahead of his first season with Tulsa. 

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    W-League Preview

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    The newly-formed Northeastern Conference will see two 2012 division champions battling for a place at the W-League Championships, but the Washington Spirit Reserves and Long Island Rough Riders will not be alone in aiming for a berth at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The quintet of the Virginia Beach Piranhas, Fredericksburg Impact, New York Magic – F.A. Euro, North Jersey Valkyries and New Jersey Wildcats could also contend.

    Fredericksburg Impact – After missing out on a playoff place by a point last summer, the Impact are aiming to claim their first playoff berth in their third season of action. The club has installed Rich Stoneman as its new head coach, and he has some familiar faces returning to action, including Chelsey Haney and Kara Blosser, both of whom had a pair of goals. Also joining the squad is the East Carolina duo of Kimberly Cummings, who scored 15 goals in her career for the Pirates, and Caty Butler, who had 16 goals in four seasons.

    Long Island Rough Riders – The Northeast Division champions last summer, Long Island returns a number of familiar faces this season as reigning W-League Most Valuable Player Grace Hawkins is joined by Kimberly DeCesare and Hailey Hemmer. Also returning to the side this season is two-time W-League Defender of the Year Sue Weber, who took a season off last summer for maternity leave. The former Hofstra standout will lead a defense that will aim to emulate its performance a season ago, conceding only eight goals in 12 games.

    New Jersey Wildcats – The Wildcats have had a number of departures, both to the NWSL and professional leagues overseas, but will be hopeful of remaining a contender with a re-tooled squad this summer. One player that could step into a larger role this season is youngster Danae O’Halloran, who showed promise as she recorded two goals and two assists last summer, while former Penn standout Jessica Fuccello will provide experience in attack, having scored 36 goals in 51 games in her career for the Quakers.

    New York Magic – F.A. Euro – The Magic will hope to make positive progress this summer, and with some new faces on the squad, might be able to make their way up the standings. While co-leading scorer from last summer Brittany Pfaff returns to lead the attack, the Magic have added Florida State’s Hikaru Murakami and Polish U19 international Evelyn Nicinski, who had three goals and three assists last fall for Bucknell.

    North Jersey Valkyries – North Jersey had a positive third season, finishing just behind Long Island in the Northeast Division. Now on the hunt for the first playoff berth in club history, the Valkyries have brought back a number of key players from last summer, including Nickolette Driesse, who had six goals and three assists last summer. Ashley Clarke also returns to pair with Driesse after leading the side with seven goals and four assists, and the duo should remain a potent threat to opposing defenses. At the other end of the field, goalkeepers Katherine Courter and Erica Keil both return to compete for the No. 1 jersey.

    Virginia Beach Piranhas – Reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2004, the Piranhas have a good group returning to try and build on their success, with leading scorer Esther Anyanwu back after scoring five goals and adding two assists last summer. Emily Kittleson and Taylor Mertz are also back with the side, which has added former Atlanta Silverbacks forward Nkese Udoh after she scored a pair of goals last season.

    Washington Spirit Reserves – The Atlantic Division champion last summer, the Spirit have a new name, but a number of familiar faces as they look to return to the W-League Championship. Ashley Herndon makes her return after scoring five goals and adding three assists last summer, and will play her third season with the club before heading to James Madison this fall. The Spirit Reserves have also added some high-profile college players to bolster their ranks, with U.S. U20 international Alex Doll arriving from Stanford, and Maryland’s Danielle Hubka and Ashley Spivey both arriving after strong seasons for the Terrapins.

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    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Riverhounds defeat the Phoenix FC Wolves 2-1 on Thursday night at Highmark Stadium to earn their first victory of the 2013 USL PRO season. Jose Angulo recorded a goal in each half for the Riverhounds, lifting the home side to victory despite a 90th minute goal from the Wolves' Aaron King.

    The game opened with a frantic pace, seeing the Wolves earn two quality chances in the first 10 minutes. The Wolves received a dangerous set piece just outside of the Riverhounds penalty area in the fifth minute. Taking the set piece with his right foot, Diego Faria bent the ball around the wall, requiring Riverhounds goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap to dive to his right and smother the attempt.

    Three minutes later a quick counter-attack by the Wolves caught the Riverhounds defense out of shape. A quality-penetrating pass from the midfield line sprung Netinho down the right flank, and the full back played a first-time ball into the penalty area. The Riverhounds attempted to clear the ball over the goal line, but the ball ricocheted off the upright and back into play. Jose Ramos tried to react and turn the ball on frame, but his redirection sailed over the crossbar.

    The Riverhounds would jump ahead in the 22nd minute. A strong tackle by forward Mike Seth at the edge of the Wolves' defensive third deflected to midfielder Kevin Kerr. The Wolves' back line was stretched and Kerr looped the bouncing ball over the defense for a slashing Angulo. Kerr’s pass brought Wolves goalkeeper Andrew Weber off his line to challenge Angulo, but a calm lofted touch over Weber by the forward landed in the back of the empty net.

    Following the break, the Riverhounds wasted little time in doubling their lead. An attempted switch by the Wolves defense in the 50th minute was picked off by the Riverhounds Matt Dallman near the halfway line. Traveling with pace down the left flank, Dallman lifted his head to see Angulo sliding to the back post. Dallman’s left-footed cross was delivered brilliantly for Angulo, who headed home from inside the six-yard box.

    The Wolves continued to pressure the Riverhounds' defense and nearly found the back of the net in the 67th minute, but Gilstrap was on his game and up for the challenge. A low, dipping shot by Faria coming from left-to-right required Gilstrap to fully extend and dive to his left. Gilstrap’s initial save squirted out from his body for an on-rushing Travis Bowen. A first-time shot from Bowen at close range was pushed over the crossbar by Gilstrap to deny the Wolves twice in just seconds.

    The game was wide open for the remaining 20 minutes, with both sides earning multiple scoring opportunities. The Wolves would find the back of the net in the 90th minute off a corner kick, as a delivery to the back post was headed down by Donny Toia and a final flick by King would redirect the ball just enough to skip past a Riverhounds defender and Gilstrap at the goal line. Pittsburgh would hold on to claim their first win of the season, however, as time ran out on the Wolves' attempt to rally.

    The Riverhounds remain at home on Tuesday for a first round game in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Riverhounds will meet the Chicago-based Croatian side in RWB Adria (USASA) with kick off slated for 7 p.m. at Highmark Stadium. The Wolves travel overnight to meet the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday night. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. in Beavercreek Stadium.


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  • 05/10/13--14:23: Aztex Head To Oklahoma City
  • Austin Aztex News Release --

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Aztex took to the road to face the Texas Dutch Lions, hosting their inaugural game, to start the 2012 PDL season. The Aztex returned home with three points after a 4-0 win.

    This year, the Aztex are hoping to repeat their performance from a year ago when they travel to face expansion franchise Oklahoma City FC on Saturday night. This time, the Aztex have a year under their belt and confidence from the core of a squad which reached the USL PDL Southern Conference Championship Game.

    “We want to build off of what we did last year,” Aztex forward Kris Tyrpak said. “It is about the team and going for that championship this year so we all need to go out and bust it.”

    The road to the team’s goal begins with Oklahoma City FC, which joined the league this season and will offer few familiar faces aside from 2008-2009 Austin Aztex U23 member Chris Spendlove.

    “It is a new team and we don’t know much about them” Aztex defender Leone Cruz said. “We have gone through preseason and we have prepared well, both physically and tactically. So going into it I think we manage the things that we can control, take care of ourselves and make sure we put our best foot forward and start off the season well.”

    The Aztex head into the season opener after wrapping up their preseason with a 5-1 record and outscoring their preseason opponents 21-4. The squad introduced Aaron Guillen, Justin Franz, and John Kaschak to training sessions this week while head coach Paul Dalglish worked to get the team up to speed.

    “We’ve got the team together that I think is going to start the season for us, so our training right now is a crash course in tactics,” Dalglish said. “It was an intense week on trying to teach the players the different phases of the game.”

    The Aztex look to send a mix of returning core players from last year’s squad such as Zack Pope, Zachary Garcia, Kris Tyrpak, and Chuy Cortes while mixing in talented newcomers Max Gunderson, Andres Cuero, and Aaron Guillen. 

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    Atlanta Silverbacks Women News Release -

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    ATLANTA - The Atlanta Silverbacks Women open 2013 USL W-League play Sunday against the Carolina Elite Cobras at 2 p.m. at Mesa Soccer Complex in Greenville, S.C. It will be the first game of the season for a new-look Silverbacks Women’s squad that is much younger across the board than in past seasons. Veteran leaders such as midfielder Stacey Balaam and forwards Alexa Newfield and Kristin Burton return, but the rest of the roster is filled with youth.

    Youth doesn’t necessarily mean inexperience, however. Four young newcomers are actually members of the U-20 U.S. Women’s National Team – goalkeeper Jane Campbell, midfielders Gabby Seiler and Allison Wetherington, and forward Savannah Jordan.

    All four will ply their trade at the NCAA Division I level next season, with Jordan heading to the University of Florida, Campbell going to Stanford University, Wetherington choosing the University of Portland, and Seiler staying in-state with the University of Georgia.

    The Women will be under new guidance this season too. New head coach Chris Davidovicz will take over for Chris Adams, who will continue with the club as general manager and part-time assistant coach. Campbell Chapman, who is the director of coaching at local youth club GSA, will also serve as one of Davidovicz’s assistant coaches. Davidovicz serves as the head women’s soccer coach at the University of West Georgia.

    In total, the Women return seven players from last season’s squad. Besides Balaam, Newfield, and Burton, goalkeeper Connie Organ, defenders Leilani Huntley and Kansas Bayly, and forward Rachel Garcia all return.

    In addition to the U.S. youth internationals, the Women will also add veteran defenders Christi Ehrhardt and Nataly Arias. Ehrhardt, a former standout at the University of Northern Illinois, has played for four different W-League clubs, most recently with the Colorado Force. Arias is a full Colombian international, appearing in the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany. Capped 16 times by Colombia, Arias played college soccer at the University of Maryland.

    Rounding out the roster thus far is defender Jessica Binkowski and midfielder Allyson Treat, who both played for Davidovicz when he was in charge of the women’s program at Georgia College and State University.

    Key losses for the Women include goalkeeper Ashley Baker and forward Elizabeth Guess, who both moved onto the newly formed NWSL this offseason. Midfielder Rebecca Nolin, a veteran of six seasons in Atlanta (five with Silverbacks, one with Beat), also won’t return.

    “Although we’ll miss the veterans that have departed, the exciting part about this year’s group is that they’re young and energetic,” Adams said. “There will be lots of learning on the fly, but at the same time, the talent level is extremely high. This is a group that we hope will return year after year and really come together as a unit.”

    Following their season opener on Sunday, the women will return home to host the Charlotte Lady Eagles on Saturday, May 18. To purchase tickets to the Women’s home opener on May 18, click here.

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  • 05/10/13--12:03: Hammerheads Set For Weekend
  • Wilmington Hammerheads News Release --

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – It is a doubleheader weekend for the Wilmington Hammerheads as they begin by hosting the Rochester Rhinos on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Legion Stadium. The Hammerheads will then travel to Charleston to face the Battery on Saturday nightat 7:30 p.m. at Blackbaud Stadium in a rematch of the 2012 USL PRO Championship Game.

    Friday night’s match against Rochester will see the return of Hammerheads midfielder Paul Nicholson after he had to serve a two-game suspension following his ejection on the road at Los Angeles due to a hard foul. In contrast, midfielder Shawn Nicklaw will finish serving the final two games of of his three-game suspensions this weekend during both the Rochester and Charleston matches. He will be eligible for regular play Saturday, May 18 when the Hammerheads host the Los Angeles Blues at Legion Stadium.

    The Hammerheads currently hold an overall record of 1-3-0 for the 2013 USL PRO regular season, while the Rhinos hold a present record of 0-5-1 overall. The Hammerheads and Rhinos last met on the pitch of Legion Stadium in July of 2012 in a match that ended in a 0-0 draw. Wilmington is scheduled to travel to Rochester for their return match on Friday, July 19.

    Wilmington and Charleston last encountered one another during preseason in March at Blackbaud Stadium, with Charleston coming out on top 2-0 in the second half. This was the first meeting between the two teams since the USL PRO Championship Game last September, when Charleston took the cup with a 1-0 victory.

    For those that are unable to make the trip to Charleston but would still like to be a part of the action, the Hammerheads will be holding a Watch Party at Buffalo Wild Wings on Old Eastwood Road, Wilmington, N.C. on Saturday night to watch the game via live broadcast on UNATION. Buffalo Wild Wings is the Official Watch Party Headquarters of the Wilmington Hammerheads this season. Join the fun as Hammerheads fans support the team while they are on the road.

    For more information, contact the Wilmington Hammerheads at (910) 777-2111 or visit

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  • 05/10/13--12:01: City Islanders Host Antigua
  • Harrisburg City Islanders News Release --

    Thursday, May 9, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- After a solid 1-0 win on the road at Rochester last weekend, the Harrisburg City Islanders return to Skyline Sports Complex on Friday night to take on Antigua Barracuda FC at 7 p.m. Morgan Langley scored the only goal of the game against the Rhinos, his first of the season, while Nick Noble recorded five saves to continue a strong start to the season for the City Islanders.

    Collecting 12 of a possible 15 points in their first five games, the Islanders are in third place in the league and have played two fewer games than Orlando City, which is currently in first place. A win on Friday will move the Isles within one point of the top spot. The Isles record is 4-1-0, continuing the best start in club history.

    Antigua, on the other hand, is winless in its first five games, losing most recently to Orlando last Saturday night. This is the first of two times that the Barracudas will travel to Harrisburg, with the second coming June 16th.

    This marks the first home game for captain Jason Pelletier, who was forced to sit out the first four games due to an offseason surgery to repair an injured groin. Although Pelletier was suited up for the May 1st matchup with Charleston he did not played. He saw his first action of the season in the Islanders win at Rochester last weekend.

    Along with the strong start with wins the Islanders have also scored in every one of their first five games. The Isles have collected a total of 11 goals with Lucky Mkosana netting a team-high three, which puts him third in the league. Antigua has let in a total of 18 goals in five games and have only scored three.

    There will be an Islanders eye black giveaway to the first 1,000 youths that enter the game sponsored by Kelly’s Sporting Goods.

    This game also marks the first Craft Brew night for the Islanders and the first brewery is the local Troegs Brewery. The first 100 fans to the Beer Garden located behind the bleachers that are behind the goal will get a free pint glass from the brewery. The brewery will bring a few beers to sample and pints will also be available for purchase.

    The Islanders next match will also come at home against current USL PRO leadere Orlando City Lions at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 17. This will feature two of the league’s top offenses. The game will feature the second of six Craft Brew Nights with Travelers Brewing Company coming to Skyline Sports Complex. For more information on the Islanders or to purchase tickets visit the website at or phone 717-441-4625 (GOAL).

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  • 05/10/13--09:39: K-W United finds its Diamond
  • K-W United FC News Release - 
    Friday, May 10, 2013

    WATERLOO, Ont. - K-W United FC announced Thursday that Diamond Simpson has signed with the W-League team for the upcoming season. From Mississauga, Ontario, Simpson recently completed her first season with the University of Memphis. Prior to Memphis, she was a member of the Canada U20 and U17 National teams.

    The midfielder helped the U17 squad to a bronze medal in the 2008 CONCACAF Championship in Trinidad and Tobago, and led the U17 squad to the qualifiers for the U17 World Cup in New Zealand.

    While with the U17 team, Simpson also earned gold in the Brazil tournament and gold at the Guadalajara Olympics. She qualified with Canada's U20 team for the 2012 World Cup with a silver medal finish at the CONCACAF Championships in Panama.

    Simpson is a returning player from Hamilton FC and will continue with K-W United FC this season.

    "Diamond has great speed and will quickly become a fan favourite," W-League head coach Brett Mosen said.

    K-W United FC has also signed Melissa MacKinnon, another returning player from Hamilton FC. From Burlington, Ontario, she has played the past two years with the University of Oakland as goalkeeper and will return to Canada to play with the UOIT Ridgebacks in the upcoming year.

    "Melissa is a great shot-stopper who commands her box well. At six feet tall, she is great in the air and communicates well with her back four," UOIT women's soccer head coach Peyvand Mossavat said.

    The W-League team will start its season in two weeks against the London Gryphons at University Stadium. Game time is set for 7 p.m. Season tickets are still on sale at   

    For more information or photos, please contact Shelby Blackley at or 519-575-6002.

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    W-League Preview

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    The Southeast Division had been dominated in recent years by the Atlanta Silverbacks and Charlotte Eagles, with Charlotte coming out on top to reach the Eastern Conference championship game last season. With the growth, and new additions, made by the Carolina Elite Cobras, Dayton Dutch Lions and VSI Tampa Bay FC this offseason, the order at the top could change, with the new Southeastern Conference looking very competitive as it enters the new season.

    Atlanta Silverbacks – After finishing two points behind the Charlotte Eagles last season, the 2011 champions will aim for a return to the W-League Championship this season. Some players have moved on, but the club’s leading scorer from 2012, Kristin Burton, returns to try and match, or improve, on her nine goals a season ago. Alexa Newfield is also back with the side after scoring four goals in seven games a season ago, while former U.S. U17 goalkeeper Jane Campbell joins the side before heading to Stanford in the fall to compete for a place with returning Silverbacks backup Constance Organ.

    Carolina Elite Cobras – Carolina competed well in its inaugural season, taking points from contests against both Atlanta and Charlotte. Now the side is hoping to turn draws into wins and move into playoff contention, and the addition of former U.S. international India Trotter will add experience to the squad. Former Atlanta forward Tiffani Turpin, who had five goals last summer, also joins the side, while Claire Joyce (four goals, one assist) and Tabitha Padgett (two goals, three assists) return to the squad for a second season.

    Charlotte Eagles – After falling one win short of the W-League Championship a season ago, the Eagles have returned a strong squad as they look for their first national semifinal berth since 2006. Leading scorers Leah Fortune and Amanda Naeher, who each had six goals last summer, are both back, as is goalkeeper Robyn Jones, who claimed All-Eastern Conference honors after recording a 0.775 goals-against average. The area the Eagles will need to address is on their back-line after the departure of defenders Shelly Lyle, who played every minute of the regular season, and Sabbath McKiernan-Allen, who only missed 20 minutes.

    Dayton Dutch Lions – The Dutch Lions struggled last season, and it will not get easier as they become part of the Southeastern Conference this summer. Some players who did fare well in 2012 are back with the side, however, as co-leading scorer Emilie Fillion returns to try and boost the club’s attack. Defensively, the Dutch Lions have added Wright State goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy, who had eight shutouts and a 0.65 goals-against average while earning All-Horizon League Second Team honors. The University of Dayton duo of Meghan Scharer and Sarah Senoyuit will also be expected to help a defense that conceded 32 goals last season.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC – Tampa Bay’s biggest addition of the offseason came in the coaching ranks, with George Fotopoulos taking the reins for the club’s second season. The veteran coach has built a strong squad, which includes former Florida standout Stacy Bishop and local products such as Karina Gutsche (Florida), Sydney and Shelby Payne (Stanford) and the University of Tampa’s Lauren Moore and CiCi Gonzalez. The squad has also been able to draw from the University of South Florida, with Canadian winger Taylor Patterson, attacking midfielder Sarah Miller and midfielder Jackie Simpson all arriving from the Bulls.

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    PDL Preview

    Friday, May 10, 2013

    The Mid South Division was a three-horse race for much of the season in 2012, with Laredo, Austin and El Paso fighting things out for the division’s two playoff places until the Patriots fell away late, losing three of their last five including games against the Heat and Aztex. This season, the division seems set to be as, if not more, competitive, with the Houston Dutch Lions and West Texas Sockers both set to make a move and Oklahoma City FC aiming to hit the ground running.

    Austin Aztex – While the brightest star of the Aztex’s return to action, Kekuta Manneh, has moved on to Major League Soccer, along with midfielder Dillon Powers, Austin returns a number of key players from last summer. Leading scorer Kris Tyrpak, who had 10 goals and three assists, is back with the side, as is Chuy Cortes, who had four goals and six assists last season. Zack Pope, who as an All-Southern Conference selection last summer, also returns, while the side has added Maryland standout Mikey Ambrose, who was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team and All-ACC Second Team last fall after recording a goal and seven assists.

    El Paso Patriots – The Patriots missed out on the playoffs as late-season losses against Austin and Laredo pushed them into third place. Hugo Samano will hope to return to the postseason this summer, and with veteran players such as Enrique Cervantes (three goals, three assists) and Naoyas Aizawa (three goals, four assists) returning, he will have a good veteran core to build around. Ernesto Bolivar also returns after scoring three goals in eight games last season, while Mario Alvarez arrives from Cal State Fullerton after recording a goal and three assists last fall.

    Houston Dutch Lions – After appointing Hans van Arum as the club’s new coach, the Dutch Lions have looked locally, overseas and within their own division to rebuild their squad for the new season. Israel Becerra and Juan Lozoya arrive after playing with the Laredo Heat last season, and van Arum has also added players from his native Netherlands, including Derk Jan Rosink, who previously played in the Dutch Third Division. After winning five games in their inaugural season, Houston will aim to make a jump forward into playoff contention.

    Laredo Heat – The defending division champions, who reach the PDL Championship Game two seasons ago, the Heat have a number of familiar faces back to defend their crown. Leading the way will be Juan de Dios Ibarra, who led the side with 11 goals and 25 points a season ago. Emmanual Frias returns in goal after recording a 0.943 goals-against average last season, and the side has also added some interesting pieces, with former MISL player Lubo Kocic of the Rochester Lancers joining the squad, a move that should bolster the club’s attack.

    Oklahoma City FC – The new addition to the division, Oklahoma City has experienced NAIA coach Jimmy Hampton at the helm for its inaugural season. One of Hampton’s former players, Chris Spendlove, will be expected to provide leadership for the team after his stint with USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads, while many members of the rest of the squad has either played for, or against, Hampton in the Sooner Athletic Conference. Goalkeeper Bryan Byars recorded a 0.551 goals-against average for the University of Arts and Science of Oklahoma last season, while defender Scott Parkinson will be a key figure in the backline in front of him.

    West Texas Sockers – With a new partnership in place with FC Dallas West Texas, the Sockers are aiming to move up the division standings after finishing last a season ago. Warren Cottle remains at the helm, and he will have some talent to work with as former Indios de Ciudad Juarez midfielder Andres Maldonado returns to the team after a season-shortening injury last summer. The biggest key for the Sockers will be in attack, where returnees Andrew Power and Jose Munoz led the side with three goals apiece last season. Finding increased production in front of goal will be crucial if the Sockers are to contend. 

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