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News from USL

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  • 05/26/13--02:08: Aztex Earn Win Against Heat
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Aztex (3-0-0) needed only one goal and the defense took care of the rest in a 1-0 victory over the Laredo Heat (1-1-1) on Saturday evening at House Park.The lone goal came on a free kick from Seth Casiple, who was subbed on merely a few seconds earlier in the 58th minute.

    “It was a great win against a top side,” Aztex Head Coach Paul Dalglish said. “Anytime we can get three points against Laredo it is a great achievement. “

    The Aztex were able to maintain possession throughout extended periods of the game, working their way into attacking opportunities from all parts of the field. The Aztex outshot the Heat 13-to-3 in the game.

    The Aztex defense recovered from adversity early in the first half when defender Leone Cruz had to leave the game due to injury. Michael King stepped in as a substitute for his debut and was able to stifle the Heat’s attacking players.When King was asked to enter the game, he was told to rely on his teammates and his game.

    “Paul told me when I came on that we are a good team, and that it was my first time playing so stay composed, play, and do what I do because I am here for a reason,” King said. “So I just took it into thought and went there to have fun and played how I know I can play.”

    The Aztex, who now have all players in town from their college seasons, were able to utilize their depth. This was most evident in the 57th minute, when Dalglish made three substitutions at once to revitalize the front line of attack in one swift move. Seth Casiple, Eddy Campbell and Tucker Hume entered the game for Chuy Cortes, Andres Cuero and Sito Seoane.

    Casiple would steal the show a few seconds later.

    Casiple had as strong a debut as anyone could ask for with the Aztex when he stepped onto the field and was immediately asked to take the shot on a free kick from just outside the penalty area. Casiple’s shot flew past diving Heat goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias.

    “When I was lining up for the shot, it was just one of those things where you envision it in your head,” Casiple said about the goal. “I was really astonished that it really happened as I saw it in my head. I was really thankful, and I immediately ran towards Eberly’s Army because they were giving me a push the whole time and they really hyped me up.”

    Later in the second half, the University of Maryland duo of Dan Metzger and Mikey Ambrose stepped onto the field to help the Aztex defense protect the lead against the mounting Laredo attack. The Aztex were able to dispatch the Heat attack and maintain control of midfield, thus controlling the game to the final whistle.

    With the victory, the Aztex remain tied for first place in the PDL’s Mid South Division with Oklahoma City FC, who have nine points, but have played an extra game than the Aztex. The Aztex will face Oklahoma City FC for a battle for the top of the division on Saturday, June 1 at House Park. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. CT.


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  • 05/26/13--01:08: Blues Hold Off Eagles' Rally
  • Saturday, May 25, 2013

    IRVINE, Calif. — The LA Blues were able to hold off a late surge by the Charlotte Eagles to take a 4-3 win at Anteater Stadium on Saturday night. With his two goals, Chris Cortez became the Blues’ leading goal scorer, while Los Angeles became the first side to defeat the Eagles this season.

    The Blues went up early in the first half with a pair of goals three minutes apart. The first came from a free kick that Rodrigo Lopez sent into the penalty area in the 17th minute. With Duach Jock applying pressure an Eagles defender headed into his own net from close range as he tried to clear for a corner.

    Two minutes later, Cortez scored his first goal of the game off another set piece. Allan Russell was able to send the ball toward goal, and Cortez was able to tuck his finish home near the left post. The Blues then added to their lead in the 42nd minute, Cortez playing provider as he was able to get a ball to Gabriel Gonzalez on a counter-attack. Gonzalez was able to break into the left side of the penalty area and lift the ball past Eagles goalkeeper Eric Reed for his first goal of the USL PRO season.

    The Eagles were able to pull a goal back in first-half stoppage time when Jimmy Turner was called for a reckless tackle in the Blues' penalty area, giving Charlotte a penalty kick. Jorge Herrera converted from the spot for the first of his two goals on the evening. Los Angeles was able to regain control with a strong start to the second half, scoring a goal in the 50th minute. Nelson Pizarro crossed the ball to Cortez, who beat Reed to the delivery as the goalkeeper came off his line and found the back of the net for the second time on the night. 

    With less than 10 minutes remaining, Charlotte began its comeback as Herrera found the back of the net again. Eagles defender Ben Newnam was able to cross the ball to Herrera, who was able to slide past the Blues defense and put a low finish into the left corner of the net. Stefan Smith then added another goal for the Eagles with two minutes to go, and it took an outstanding save from Blues goalkeeper Aaron Perez, appearing in his first USL PRO game, to deny Juan Guzman a stoppage-time equalizer with an outstanding save on Guzman's effort toward the top-right corner of the net.

    The Blues now turn their attention to the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where they host a game against Chivas USA on Tuesday night at Titan Stadium. The Blues are currently undefeated at Titan Stadium, shutting out all opponents 7-0 this season.


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  • 05/26/13--17:58: Magic Stay Undefeated
  • New York Magic - F.A. Euro News Release - www.nymagic.com

    Saturday, May 25, 2013

    NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The New York Magic topped longtime cross-town rival and last year's division champion Long Island Rough Riders 2-0 Saturday evening with a pair of second-half goals from Sade Ayinde and Lorena Maggio to move to 2-0-1 this season.

    After a first half in which both sides took four shots, the Magic finally broke the stalemate in the 63rd minute when former Rough Rider Ayinde scored her first goal of the season, converting from the penalty spot after a handball in the box. It was her first goal in a Magic uniform since 2007 when she played for the club as a teenager (2006-07). Ayinde had previously tallied a goal and assist against the Magic in 2011 for Long Island in a 5-1 win. 

    To leave no doubt, four minutes deep into stoppage time Australia's Maggio capped the game with the assistance of fourth-year Magic midfielder Aya Noguchi.  

    New York's back line trio of Ayaki Shinada, Kelci Hegg and Hikari Sato contributed significantly to the team's first shutout of the campaign. 

    New York will meet Long Island again next week in the second of their two meetings this season with the match set for Saturdaym June 1 at 5 p.m. on Long Island. Last year the Magic won the first meeting at home between the two as well with a narrow 1-0 decision, but fell in the next two with the Rough Riders prevailing at home twice 1-0 two weeks later and 6-2 later in the season.

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    Sunday, May 26, 2013

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The Thunder Bay Chill completed a weekend sweep of WSA Winnipeg, claiming six points that took them to the top of the table in the Heartland Division with a 2-1 victory on Sunday evening at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex. Axel Sjoberg and Nolan Intermoia had the goals for the Chill, who had defeated Winnipeg by the same score on Saturday night to open their season.

    Intermoia scored what proved to be the winner in the 58th minute on a header off a free kick by Sergio Campano. The Chill took control of the game early but it was WSA that had the first great scoring opportunity with a shot from inside the penalty area going just wide with rookie goalie Daniel Alvarado out of position. The Chill continued pressing and were rewarded with a goal in the 27th minute with a great header from Sjoberg off a corner from Paul Dillon. The teams headed to the locker room at halftime with the Chill leading 1-0.

    Winnipeg came out in the second half looking to press the Chill with the hope of salvaging some points in this weekend doubleheader, but it was not to be. With the score 2-0 the Chill made changes to secure the win. WSA pressured, but was unable to create much in the way of any good scoring opportunities. However, in the 75th minute Dante Moses converted a penalty kick to cut the lead in half, giving the home town fans optimism that a draw might still be possible.

    Winnipeg held the bulk of possession during the last 15 minutes of the game, but were unable to carve out a chance to equalize, giving the visitors the sweep and the full six points that were available.

    “I was much happier with the ball movement today,” said Chill head coach Tony Colistro, "but we still have a lot of work to do before next weekend. WSA challenged us this weekend so we fully earned our six points through hard work from all our players, but it was nice to get these two games out of the way, so that some of the new players got to experience play against a PDL opponent.

    Daniel Alvarado started in goal in his first PDL game, and was tagged with the foul that caused the penalty kick when he went to make a save that was deemed to have fouled a WSA player. In addition to Chill players already injured, two other players sustained injuries in Saturday’s game against WSA and were not available today. Sidelined were midfielder Dominic Roberts and striker Sunny Omoregie.

    Colistro was very happy with the play of Gavin Hoy who put in a solid 90 minutes up front. “He ran his tail end off and did what he was supposed to do,” said Colistro.

    The Chill will open at home next week Saturday June 1, 2013 at the newly named Tbaytel Field at Chapples Park. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. Few tickets still remain for the league opener against one of the Chill’s biggest rivalry in the Menace. The Menace currently sit with four points from their first three games of the season. Call the box office at 623-5911 for game day tickets.


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    Westchester Flames News Release - www.Westchesterflames.com

    Sunday, May 26, 2013

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The Westchester Flames opened their 2013 Super-20 League season with a 2-0 loss against Beachside FC. The Flames, who made their Super-20 debut in 2011, advanced to the championships in 2012.

    With this level of success, expectations were high entering the season and it was difficult to start with a loss.

    "In the first two years, we did not lose our opening game," Flames Head Coach Joao de Souza said. "We won the opening game in the first season, tied it in the second season, and now in our third season we’ve lost the opening game. We had an undefeated season in 2012 and this loss shows us that we need to improve and learn from this so that we can capture positive results."

    Beachside SC opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with a goal by Jon-Luke Ferrandino off an assist by Alex Petridis. Beachside picked up the second in the 56th minute with a goal by Ryan Gavey, assisted by Rocco D’Arcangelo.

    "We had our chances, but just couldn’t convert them", de Souza said. "If you look at the stats, Beachside had a slight edge in each area such as passes, possession, etc. This was the difference in the game and we need to play at a higher level to have another successful season."

    The Westchester Flames Super-20 League team will play its next game against Ironbound SC at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at City Park Stadium in New Rochelle, N.Y.


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  • 05/26/13--22:56: Tampa Bay Edges Wilmington
  • Sunday, May 26, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. -- VSI Tampa Bay FC took a 1-0 victory against the Wilmington Hammerheads on Sunday night at Plant City Stadium. J.T. Noone scored the only goal of the game in the second half as Tampa Bay won its fifth game of the season.

    "It was a great ball from Chad (Burt)," Noone said. "I thought I mis-hit it by I'm glad we got the game back on track."

    Coming off a defeat to Orlando on Saturday night, Wilmington opened the game well, but it was Tampa Bay that got the first good opportunity as Burt shot wide of the left post off a pass from Mauricio Salles. The Brazilian forward picked up an early injury, and was replaced by Sallieu Bundu, and Wilmington continued to push in search of a goal. Leading the way was Paul Nicholson, who had a shot saved by his former teammate Alex Horwath in the VSI goal.

    Tampa Bay had the better chances later in the half, Sean Reynolds shooting wide and Burt having a shot saved by Wilmington goalkeeper Phil Tuttle. Andriy Budnyy, another former Hammerhead, also went close for VSI, while Tom Parratt had a shot from the edge of the penalty area for the Hammerheads after a good backheel from Steven Perry, but neither side was able to break the deadlock before the halftime break.

    Nicholson continued to forge forward for Wilmington after the break, and came close to breaking the deadlock just before the hour-mark as he surged past his marker from the midfield and fired a shot from 15 yards, only for Horward to punch the ball to safety. The Scottish midfielder almost created an opportunity a few minutes later, getting deep into the penalty area on the right side, only for Horwath to claim his low cross at the near post.

    Tampa Bay was also able to find success on the flanks, Noone sending in a cross that Budnyy flicked just wide of the left post. Then, with 20 minutes to go, Noone found what would prove to be the game-winning goal, picking up a pass from Burt before sending a shot into the left corner of the net. Wilmington pushed to try and find a late equalizer, Cody Arnoux having a good shot saved, but VSI was able to hold on for victory. 

    "The first half we weren't able to dictate the rhythm of the match, and the second half we got the ball and kept it," VSI interim coach Joel Harrison said. "That was the difference. Now we move on and prepare for Portland, it's a game our guys are looking forward to."

    VST Tampa Bay FC next hosts the Portland Timbers Reserves on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m., the return contest of an interleague series that saw the Timbers reserves take a 2-1 victory in May. Tickets to VSI Tampa Bay PC's home matches are available online at www.vsi-fc.com or at the stadium box office on game days. General admission to all of VSI's USL PRO matches is $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 years old. Parking is $5 and concessions are provided by Alessi Bakeries.


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  • 05/27/13--09:06: Late Goal Gives Cobras Win
  • Carolina Elite Cobras News Release - www.centralsccobras.com

    Sunday, May 26, 2013

    GREENVILLE, S.C. – Blakely Mattern and Tiff Turpin led the Carolina Elite Cobras their second win in a week against VSI Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon, each scoring a goal in a 2-1 victory.

    The Cobras got on the board early against Tampa Bay when Turpin found the back of the net off a Cobras corner in the 14th minute, slipping one just past Tampa Bay goalkeeper Morgan Cresant. The game continued to build with both teams taking several shots on goal, including a sliding shot taken by Tampa Bay’s Sharla Pasariello that was saved by Cobras keeper Rose Hull, but the Cobras kept their leading going into halftime 1-0.

    The beginning of the second half started with several lineup changes for VSI Tampa Bay, including goalkeeper Che Brown coming in for Cresant. With four fresh legs on the field, VSI Tampa Bay began to pressure the Cobras defense with Tampa Bay eventually tying the game in the 68th minute when Cara Patterson got on the end of a Tampa Bay corner kick.

    With both teams looking to break the tie it was teamwork from Turpin and Mattern that gave the Cobras the advantage. After a ball crossed in was hit by Turpin toward the goal, it landed in front of Mattern in the six-yard box and she finished it for the winning goal in the 83rd minute.

    The Cobras will be at home again on Wednesday with a game against the Charlotte Eagles at 7:30 p.m. at MESA Soccer Complex.


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    Orlando City News Release -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- For Orlando City, Tuesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids is a big game.

    Not just because Orlando will host a MLS team at home in the knockout tournament for the first time in franchise history, but because of the support the players know they will have come kickoff at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

    “It’s always difficult playing MLS teams in the Open Cup, and on the road it’s even a bigger task,” said Orlando City Midfielder Jamie Watson. “But playing at the Citrus Bowl is difficult because of the environment. Our fans make it a tough place to play. No matter who you are, it’s not an easy place to play.”

    After Saturday’s 4-1 win against the Wilmington Hammerheads, Orlando quickly transitioned to preparation for Tuesday and Colorado with a training session Sunday morning. The Rapids, who also played Saturday night, are unbeaten in their last five MLS games.

    “Turnaround is quick, but the motivation is there for us,” said Watson. “We want to beat a MLS team in a competition like the U.S. Open Cup. It would be a huge accomplishment for the club. Now more than ever, we want to do it. This could be the year that we get over the proverbial hump.”

    In the last two years, the Lions traveled and fell to FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City in the same third round they are entering into Tuesday night. Both were by the final score of 3-2.

    “Coach (Adrian Heath) gives the Open Cup the respect it deserves,” Watson added. “He looks at this like every other game, he wants to win. Adrian is on the same wavelength as all of us in the locker room. We want to win.

    “There will always be upsets (in the Open Cup). Why can’t it be our turn?”


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Monday, May 27, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers host Major League Soccer’s D.C. United in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night, presented by Chicken Fiesta. The gates open at City Stadium at 6 p.m. with food trucks, draft beer trucks and live music from The Fender Benders and kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for $15, youth and adult, at RichmondKickers.com. The winner of Tuesday’s match will host the winner of the Philadelphia Union (MLS)/Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL) game in the Fourth Round on Wednesday, June 12.

    “Bringing MLS to City Stadium for the Open Cup is one of our main team objectives at the start of the season,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “Tuesday’s game promises to be a special occasion for the players, club and supporters alike.”

    The Kickers enter Tuesday’s third-round match following a decisive 4-1 win over USASA side Icon FC in the second round one week earlier. Slated to face D.C. United for the 12th time in franchise history, Richmond last hosted their MLS affiliate in the U.S. Open Cup on May 29, 2012 when United edged the Kickers 2-1 in overtime to tip the 5-4-1 all-time series record slightly in their favor. The clubs met four times previously in the U.S. Open Cup, including a 2004 upset when the Kickers ousted the black-and-red, 2-1, in the Third Round at City Stadium.

    The 2013 season marks the 15th time the Richmond Kickers have qualified for the U.S. Open Cup over the past 21 seasons, posting an overall record of 25-13 during tournament play. With a reputation of defeating MLS teams, the Kickers made history in 2011 when they became the first lower division team to defeat back-to-back MLS teams on the road.

    The Kickers claimed the U.S. Open Cup title the first year of the Professional Era in 1995 and have since made it to the quarterfinal round five times (1995, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2011) and the semifinal round twice (1995, 2011), ousting five MLS teams along the way, including Colorado Rapids in 2000, D.C. United in 2004, LA Galaxy in 2007 and Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in 2011. With 86 total goals scored during the Open Cup, the Kickers have set several franchise records, as well as a Professional Era U.S. Open Cup record for most goals (12) during the 8-4 rout over the Ocean City Barons in 2005 and Kickers midfielder David Bulow is the tournament’s all-time leading scorer in the modern era with 14 goals.

    Unbeaten through their first nine games this season, the Kickers are coming off a 2-0 win against USL PRO rivals Harrisburg City Islanders. D.C. United loanees were integral in obtaining the critical three points with goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra posting nine saves to preserve his third shutout of the season and forward Michael Seaton rounding out the scoreline with his second professional goal. Signing 24 hours before the Kickers season opener out of the club’s preseason combine, midfielder Nate Robinson made his scoring debut, tallying the game-winning goal that allowed the team to leapfrog the City Islanders into third place in the USL PRO standings.

    Meanwhile, the two-time U.S. Open Cup Champions (1996 and 2008), United, enter this year’s tournament in the Third Round, alongside 15 other U.S.-based MLS teams. Currently positioned in the Eastern Conference standings basement, United enter Tuesday’s match with a 1-9-2 regular season record, most recently dropping a 2-0 loss to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.

    Players to Watch
    Kickers: On loan from D.C. United, goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra has made an immediate impact during his short tenure in Richmond. Having started nine games in all competitions thus far, Dykstra has posted an impressive 0.89 goals against average and three shutouts, most recently blanking the Harrisburg City Islanders in USL PRO action last weekend.

    Joining the Kickers starting lineup two days after his 17th birthday, forward Michael Seaton became the youngest player in club history to represent the Kickers when he made his professional debut against the Wilmington Hammerheads on May 3. On loan from D.C. United, the Maryland native signed with D.C. as a Homegrown player in January after impressing with United’s Academy and notched his second professional goal in the Kickers 2-0 win over Harrisburg last weekend.

    Midfielder Joseph Ngwenya is second in the USL PRO goals category with six in league play, adding a seventh against Icon FC in the U.S. Open Cup Second Round a week ago. Bringing eight years of MLS experience to Richmond, the Zimbabwean international most recently spent the 2011 season with D.C. United before signing with the Kickers prior to the 2013 campaign.

    All-time U.S. Open Cup leading scorer, David Bulow notched his 14th goal in tournament history against Sporting Kansas City in 2011 to lead the Kickers to a stunning 2-0 upset and berth to the Semifinals. In his eighth season with the Kickers, the midfielder resides in fourth place on the club’s all-time scoring list with 44 career goals in a Kickers uniform.

    United: Former Richmond Kickers midfielder and 2011 MLS MVP, Dwayne De Rosario, will make his homecoming at City Stadium Tuesday. Starting his professional career with the Kickers in 1999 at the age of 21, he had his breakthrough season in 2000 when he contributed 16 goals and six assists while leading the Kickers to a 20-7-1 record. The lynchpin in United’s attack, the prolific goal scorer has amassed 101 MLS goals, tied for sixth in the league’s all-time scoring charts.

    U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Bill Hamid made history in 2009 when he became United’s first Homegrown player. Since then, he has become a regular on the starting lineup, making 71 appearances with the black-and-red, posting 18 shutouts over the past four seasons. He was recently called into training camp to represent the U.S. in the international friendly against Germany on June 2.

    In his sophomore MLS season, midfielder Nick DeLeon recently returned to the lineup after being sidelined through injury. The 2012 MLS Superdraft First Round pick proved to be essential to D.C. United's playoff push last year as he notched the winning goal in the Eastern Semifinal playoff series against the New York Red Bulls.

    Acquired from Chivas USA prior to the 2013 season, forward Casey Townsend made his D.C. United debut in the club’s 2-1 loss to Dallas on May 11. The University of Maryland product made three appearances in Richmond on loan earlier this season and registered a pair of goals in the Kickers 4-1 win over USL PRO powerhouse Charleston Battery in April.


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    Des Moines Menace News Release -- www.menacesoccer.com

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. – They’ve long dreamed about playing in front of thousands of Major League Soccer fans.

    Tonight, the Des Moines Menace’s players will get that opportunity. For the first time in the Menace’s 20 Premier Development League seasons, the team takes center stage in an MLS stadium. And not just any stadium: The incomparable Sporting Park – a state-of-the-art, $200 million spectacle that will host the 2013 MLS All-Star Game in July.

    The opponent: Sporting Kansas City. The competition: the third round of the 100th annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – a storied national tournament that affords amateur teams like the Menace the chance to go toe to toe with professional teams like Sporting KC.

    Sporting KC is the reigning U.S. Open Cup champion. Peter Vermes’ side is 6-4-4 in MLS play, after rallying for a 1-1 draw with Eastern Conference foe Houston on Sunday. Just two days before they get to step on this same field, Menace players watched this nationally televised game played in front of more than 20,000 fans at Sporting Park.

    Tonight’s winner advances to a June 12 date with the winner of a contest between the Colorado Rapids (MLS) and Orlando City (USL PRO) – teams that face off tonight at 6:30 CT in Florida. If the Menace can pull off an upset, its fairytale continues on the road. If Sporting KC wins, its title defense continues at home.

    Since knocking off Minnesota a week ago, the Menace has received national recognition in unexpected places. The team received mentions from ESPN announcers on broadcasts of a couple high-exposure soccer matches: Manchester City-Chelsea on Thursday and Los Angeles Galaxy-Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.

    “It’s been pretty exciting,” said Menace defender Taylor Diem. “It’s nice to get noticed, but we know we need to stay humble and work hard. I think we’re all nervous and excited. We’re all ready to show up and play, and we all want to show what we got, on such a big stage.

    “Putting up a bunch of college kids against an MLS team – this is a dream.”

    ABOUT THE MENACE
    - Earned tonight’s match with 1-0 defeats of Minnesota United FC and the Madison 56ers.
    - Suffered its first loss on Saturday – 1-0 at St. Louis.
    - Is 2-0 in the U.S. Open Cup and 1-1-1 in the PDL. All three wins have come by 1-0 counts.
    - Has yet to play in a match in which either side scores more than once.
    - Has received a goal from four different players: David Santamaria, Jimmy Tulloch, Taylor Diem and Brandon Fricke.
    - Finished 8-5-3 in 2012, missing the Heartland Division’s second and final playoff spot by a single point to Real Colorado (8-4-4).
    - Began 2013 under the direction of a new general manager (Matt Homonoff) and head coach (Mike Jeffries). The last time Des Moines did this, in 2005, the team advanced to the fourth round of the Open Cup and ended the season as PDL champion (GM Alan Oatsvall and coach Casey Mann).
    - The updated roster: www.MenaceSoccer.com/men/roster

    ABOUT SPORTING KC
    - Begins its defense of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup championship tonight.
    - In a dramatic 2012 Open Cup final that came down to a shootout (Aug. 8 at Sporting Park), prevailed over three-time defending Cup champ Seattle, on a 3-2 PK advantage, following a match knotted 1-1 after 120 minutes of play.
    - Outscored five Open Cup foes 11-3, en route to the 2012 title.
    - Carries a 17-12-5 all-time mark in the Open Cup.
    - Also won the Open Cup in 2004 and MLS Cup in 2000.
    - Is 6-4-4 in 2013, with identical marks of 3-2-2 at home and on the road.
    - Has finished atop the Eastern Conference standings each of the last two seasons, including an 18-7-9 finish in 2012 that included a 12-match unbeaten streak.
    - Jimmy Nielsen, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, has made 24 saves.
    - Claudio Bieler leads the team with six goals and 13 points.
    - Is without the services of Matt Besler and Graham Zusi, who yesterday joined the U.S. Men’s National Team for a five-match tour. Besler is the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year; Like Besler, Zusi (who currently leads MLS with five assists) was named to the 2012 MLS Best XI. Sporting KC’s Jimmy Nielsen and Aurelien Collin also made this exclusive group.
    - Is also without forward Sonny Saad, who recently joined the Lebanon national team for the first time.
    - Fan favorite Kei Kamara scored his first goal of the season on Sunday, rallying SKC to a 1-1 draw against his former team, the Houston Dynamo.
    - C.J. Sapong has five career Open Cup goals (in eight matches) – tied for the most in franchise history.

    ALL-TIME SERIES
    - Sporting KC eliminated the Menace from the Open Cup’s in 2005 (fourth round) and 2006 (third round).
    - On July 12, 2006, Kansas City (then called the Wizards) needed a stoppage-time goal from Scott Sealy (92rd minute) to win 2-1 over Des Moines at Blue Valley District Activity Center (Overland Park, Kan.). The Menace’s Brad Whitsitt tied the match in the 72nd minute; Edwin Disang assisted.
    - On Aug. 3, 2005, the Wizards began their title (2004) defense with a 6-1 triumph over a Menace team that won the PDL title 10 days later. Playing at Julian Field in Parkville, Mo., the Wizards got all-star performances from Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud. Wolff converted two penalty kicks and assisted two scores; Arnaud scored twice and added an assist.

    MENACE’S TIES TO SPORTING KC
    - Menace goalkeeper Scott Angevine, a native of Kansas City, Kan., played for Sporting KC in 2012 and also played for the Sporting KC Academy.
    - Menace defender Brandon Fricke, whose header goal late against Minnesota set up tonight’s matchup, played for the Sporting KC Academy U18s.
    - More than 25 Menace players have gone on to play in the MLS, and five have played for Kansas City:
    Kevin Souter (2007 Menace; 2008-09 Wizards)
    Michael Kraus (2005 Menace; 2007-09 Wizards)
    Corey Farabi (2005 Menace; 2006 Wizards)
    Stephen Shirley (2003 Menace; 2006 Wizards)
    Chris Brunt (2002 Menace; 2002-04 Wizards)
    - Menace Academy product Tyler Peeler, who interned with the Menace the last two seasons, is interning with Sporting KC.

    FRICKE NAMED “PLAYER OF THE ROUND”
    - Menace defender Brandon Fricke is the “Player of the Round” for the second set of matches in the 2013 Open Cup, announced this morning by TheCup.us.
    - Fricke, the Menace’s captain in a 1-0 win over Minnesota Unite FC, scored the lone goal in the team’s 1-0 upset win. His game-winning header came in the 86th minute, set up by a corner kick from Jimmy Tulloch.
    - The Grimes native, in his fourth season with the Menace, as he prepares for his senior year at Butler University.
    - Fricke edged out Reading United goalkeeper John McCarthy (second) and Menace goalie Scott Angevine (third) for the award, voted on by the staff at TheCup.us and a select panel from the North American Soccer Reporters.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 10 of the season on Tuesday, with the Los Angeles Blues’ Chris Cortez earning Player of the Week honors after scoring a pair of goals and adding an assist in his side’s 4-3 win against the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday night. The Blues moved into fourth place in the USL PRO standings with the win, while also handing the Eagles their first defeat of the season.

    After the Blues took the lead in the 18th minute from a free kick, Cortez doubled the advantage off a corner kick a minute later as he was on hand to tap home after Allan Russell’s pass found him near the left post. Cortez played provider just before the halftime break, springing teammate Gabriel Gonzalez on a counter-attack to give the Blues a 3-0 lead a few minutes before halftime.

    Cortez then scored what proved to be the game-winning goal early in the second half as he beat Charlotte goalkeeper Eric Reed to a cross to head home for a 4-1 lead. Fellow Team of the Week selection Jorge Herrera led the Eagles’ comeback, scoring twice as they pulled within a goal late, but the Blues were able to hold on to win.

    Joining Herrera in the Team of the Week midfield is Phoenix’s Scott Morrison, who had a goal and an assist for the Wolves in their 2-2 draw with Charlotte, and Matt Dallman, who capped another good performance with his first goal for the Riverhounds while also taking the league lead with his sixth assist.

    Tampa Bay’s J.T. Noone was named after a good all-around performance that was completed by the game-winning goal in VSI’s 1-0 win against Wilmington, while Richmond’s Nate Robinson was selected after scoring the game-winning goal in the Kickers’ 2-0 victory against Harrisburg.

    Robinson’s teammate Andrew Dykstra earned a second consecutive selection after recording a nine-save shutout against Harrisburg to help keep the Kickers undefeated. Joining him defensively were Orlando City’s Bryan Burke, who had a goal and an assist in the Lions’ 4-1 win against Wilmington, and Rochester’s Tyler Bellamy and Charleston’s Emmanuel Adjetey, who both performed well in a 0-0 draw between the Battery and Rhinos.

    Dayton’s Joey Madigan completes the Team of the Week after he scored the opening goal and drew a penalty kick in the Dutch Lions’ 3-1 win against Antigua Barracuda FC on Sunday night.

    The USL PRO season continues on Friday night as two west-coast teams head east for the weekend, with Phoenix FC visiting the Richmond Kickers at 7 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Blues visiting the Rochester Rhinos at 7:35 p.m. ET. Also on Friday night, the Charleston Battery host the Harrisburg City Islanders at 7:30 p.m. ET.

    Saturday night brings four games, with an interleague clash between VSI Tampa Bay FC and the Portland Timbers Reserves at 7:30 p.m. ET at Plant City Stadium highlighting the slate. Also on Saturday night the Rochester Rhinos visit the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 7 p.m. ET, Phoenix FC completes its road trip with a visit to the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. ET, and Harrisburg completes its trip with a visit to the Charlotte Eagles at 8 p.m. ET.

    The weekend concludes on Sunday as the Los Angeles Blues visit the Dayton Dutch Lions at 6:30 p.m. ET. 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

    Andrew Dykstra

    Richmond

    Nine-save shutout keyed Kickers’ win against Harrisburg

    D

    Bryan Burke

    Orlando

    Had a goal and assist as Lions defeated Wilmington

    D

    Emmanuel Adjetay

    Charleston

    Solid on left side as Battery earned shutout against Rhinos

    D

    Tyler Bellamy

    Rochester

    Played key role as depleted defense withstood Battery

    M

    J.T. Noone

    Tampa Bay

    Had game-winning goal as Tampa Bay defeated Hammerheads

    M

    Matt Dallman

    Pittsburgh

    Recorded league-leading sixth assist, added goal, against Antigua

    M

    Nate Robinson

    Richmond

    Scored game-winner as Kickers remained undefeated

    M

    Jorge Herrera

    Charlotte

    Had a pair of goals as Eagles rally came up just short

    M

    Scott Morrison

    Phoenix

    Goal and assist as Wolves earned point against Charlotte

    F

    Chris Cortez

    Los Angeles

    Had two goals and an assist to lead Blues past Eagles

    F

    Joey Madigan

    Dayton

    Scored opening goal, won penalty, in win against Antigua

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Orlando Mitchum; Charleston – Haviel Cordoves; Charlotte – Sergio Villasenor, Drew Yates; Dayton – Remco Klaasse, Jeremy Cheeseman; Harrisburg – Yann Ekra; Los Angeles – Allan Russell, Gabriel Gonzalez; Orlando – Jamie Watson, Dom Dwyer; Pittsburgh –Jhonny Arteaga, Kevin Kerr; Phoenix – Darren Mackie, Donny Toia; Richmond –Joseph Ngwenya, Michael Seaton; Rochester – Kristian Nicht, Mike Reidy; Tampa Bay – Alex Horwath; Wilmington – Paul Nicholson.


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    PDL Feature

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    As four teams from the PDL make their way to face MLS opposition in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this week, all four clubs, and the players within them, have stories to tell.

    There is the newcomer, FC Tucson, which eliminated the San Antonio Scorpions after a dramatic penalty shootout to advance in their first appearance in the tournament.

    There are the storied programs, in the Ocean City Nor’easters and Des Moines Menace, who get another crack at MLS opposition, continuing their clubs’ histories of success in the event.

    Then there is Reading United, which reached the third round for the first time this season after coming up short in four previous attempts.

    For Georgetown standout Steven Neumann, who was part of Reading teams that came close in the past, last week’s victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders was a big moment in the club’s history. A top prospect for next year’s MLS SuperDraft, Neumann is eager for the opportunity to face the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

    “It’s going to be great,” Neumann said. “We’re all really looking forward to the chance to have a shot at an MLS team. I don’t know how many of their starters that they’ll play, but just being on the field against a team that boasts players like Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill; those are guys I watched on TV growing up. And I’m a big Arsenal fan so Thierry Henry was always one of my favorite players growing up, so, I mean, just playing a team where he’s on the roster there is just an unbelievable opportunity for me personally, and we’re all really excited to get the chance at it.”

    Reading, the PDL affiliate of the Philadelphia Union, has been a consistent contender in the Eastern Conference in recent years thanks in part to the leadership of the front office, led by President Art Auchenbach, and the coaching staff, led by Head Coach Brendan Burke. An assistant with the Union in addition to his duties with Reading, Burke has been able to assemble top-level college talent year-in and year-out, with graduates of the Union’s Academy such as Darius Madison also now playing a part in the club’s success.

    “I had heard about Reading United before from past players that are now in MLS who played with Reading, and I think they hold a great standard of professionalism within the organization,” Neumann said. “Whether it’s in management, the coaching, just the way the players handle themselves on a daily basis, so it’s definitely a great opportunity to have during the summer to stay sharp and also have exposure to a lot of professional coaches.”

    While a professional career is likely in Neumann’s future, a return to MLS is the aim for Des Moines Menace goalkeeper Scott Angevine. Formerly with Sporting Kansas City, Angevine returns to Sporting Park on Tuesday night with his new side after helping the Menace defeat Minnesota United 1-0 last week.

    For Angevine, games such as this one offer the opportunity for him to not only help his team succeed, but also try to catch the eye of a professional side that could use his services. If he can help his current club claim an upset against his former club, so much the better.

    “I’m excited about the opportunity to go back to Kansas City and show them I can play, prove it to them first-hand,” Angevine said. “Then I really wanted the rest of my teammates to get the opportunity and the experience to play in that beautiful stadium at Sporting Park and also in front of what I believe to be the best fans in MLS.”

    After his release from SKC, Angevine’s options were limited to continue in the professional ranks. After tryouts with a pair of USL PRO clubs didn’t work out, his agent suggested he head to Des Moines to get playing time and stay on the radar. With Mike Jeffries installed as the new head coach, and owner Kyle Kraus continuing to run one of the top-attended clubs in the PDL, Angevine has been pleased to play for the Menace.

    “To be honest, it’s exceeded my expectations,” he said. “As a PDL side, they really run it as professionally as they possibly can with the limited resources that they have. The owner does an incredible job just making sure that the organization is well run, and the professionalism is outstanding for the PDL level, so in a way it really exceeded my expectations, and that’s all credit to the owners, the general manager and the front office staff with the Des Moines Menace.”

    For Ocean City’s Kevin Curran, the Nor’easters are much more than a club. Having been part of the team’s youth program since he was a youngster, the club captain is now embarking on another potential run in the Open Cup. Part of the squad in 2009 that fell to D.C. United in the third round, Curran is hoping to make more memories this season as his side travels to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union.

    “Back then in 2009 it was a different setup with the Open Cup where you had to qualify in the first three games of your season instead of from the year before, so obviously it was my first year and we had all of these things happening all at once,” Curran said. “We had the first games in the PDL, we had the qualifying period and then we played Crystal Palace Baltimore and Real Maryland, so it all happened so fast, but the fact that we came together and united within that short span was the most memorable thing, it really brought that group together and I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.”

    This is Ocean City’s first appearance in the tournament since that run, with the club surging back to the top of the Mid Atlantic Division a season ago with the leadership of Coach Tim Oswald. With the goal of reaching the third round now complete, Curran said the side now has its sights set on going a step, or two, further than four years ago.

    “Being with them for two weeks now and getting comfortable with each other, you’re looking for more,” Curran said. “You’re not just looking to get to the third round, but maybe the fourth or the fifth round. Personally, I’ve been with this club since I was 10 years old, so starting with the youth program and going up to the amateur level, it’s really special to be part of it for such a long time.”

    While Curran has been part of the fabric of Ocean City for more than a decade, FC Tucson’s meteoric rise has been one of the great stories of this year’s Open Cup so far. In just its second season, Tucson has already defeated a pair of professional sides, including a dramatic penalty shootout win against the San Antonio Scorpions last week on the road.

    Travis Campbell has been a key player for Tucson since its inception, and the New Mexico grad is hopeful that the club’s run of success won’t peter out as it faces Eastern Conference power the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Field.

    “Going into Houston and playing in their stadium against an MLS team; I don’t think anything needs to be said to anyone on our team,” Campbell said. “Everyone knows it’s a big game, it’s their chance to shine, and playing against a couple of MLS teams this preseason with this FC Tucson team, we already got a feel for their pace, because they definitely play a lot more organized and smarter on the ball, but I think if we can stick to our game plan I think it could be a pretty fun game.”

    For Campbell, as with Neumann, the chance to showcase his talent in front of an MLS audience is also an appealing one. Having completed his college career this past December, the former Lobo is now hoping a big performance could bring the chance to jump to the pro ranks, joining fellow Tucson alumni Donny Toia and Reid Schmitt in doing so.

    “Right now I’m playing this summer to hopefully have some opportunities jump out at me, to see if I can get a look, get a tryout or something,” Campbell said. “These games are all huge for me; I have to approach it as though every game is a championship game.”

    It’s likely that all four games that pit PDL sides against MLS opposition will have a championship feel to them, with the underdogs looking to spring a surprise to keep their remarkable runs alive. Whatever happens, though, players from all four clubs will have some great stories, and memories, to carry with them in the future.

    “It’s exciting to be in a tournament like this where you’re playing against teams that are higher up in the hierarchy in professional soccer in America, and you get chances to play against guys that are in spots that you hope to be in when you get out of college,” Neumann said. “It’s exciting to play against those guys, and it’s absolutely a great opportunity to try and prove yourself at a little bit higher level and see what you can do.” 


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    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery defeated Major League Soccer’s San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in front of 1,954. Club captain Colin Falvey headed home the winner in the 74th minute to propel the Battery past the defending MLS Supporter’s Shield winner.

    The win means the Battery have now defeated MLS opposition on nine occasions in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup; DC United (1999), MetroStars (2001, 2004), Houston Dynamo (2007, 2008), FC Dallas (2008), Chivas USA (2009), Chicago Fire (2010) and San Jose Earthquakes (2013).

    The Battery advance to face the winner of the third-round contest between Real Salt Lake and the Atlanta Silverbacks on Wednesday, June 12.

    The first clear chance of the game fell to San Jose in the 19th minute after forward Mike Fucito slipped past the Battery defense. Fucito was forced into a wide position but managed to get his shot on target only to see it cleared off the line by the Battery’s Falvey. Charleston had a chance a minute later after the ball was played out to midfielder Jarad van Schaik on the left side. van Schaik held off his defender but his driven right footed attempt flew high.

    The game opened up after the interval as both teams pressed forward looking for a goal. San Jose striker Steven Lenhart forced a save from Odisnel Cooper in the 49th minute and then defender Brad Ring smashed a shot wide minutes later after finding himself open in the box.

    Charleston fought back with forward Dane Kelly creating trouble for the Earthquakes defenders with his pace. In the 65th minute Kelly got past his man and cut back a pass to Nicki Paterson 10 yards out but Paterson’s strike was deflected away.

    The goal was scored nine minutes later after Zach Prince was dragged down out on the left side. Midfielder Jose Cuevas curled his free-kick into the box and Falvey snapped a header past goalkeeper David Bingham and into the back of the net.

    San Jose piled on the pressure in the last 10 minutes could not find a way past the Battery defense led by the central defensive pairing of Falvey and Cody Ellison.

    The Charleston Battery returns to USL PRO action on Friday night with a 7:30 PM match versus the Harrisburg City Islanders (WQNT Sports Radio 1450 AM). 


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    Wilmington Hammerheads News Release -- www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com

    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Wilmington Hammerheads travel to Portland, Ore. this week to take on Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers in the third round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The Hammerheads are set to play the Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field at 10:30 p.m. ET (7:30 p.m. PT) on Wednesday night.

    Wilmington advanced to the third round after defeating the Austin Aztex of the Premier Development League (PDL) 2-0 last week at House Park in Austin, Texas.

    The Hammerheads are transitioning into U.S. Open Cup mode following a difficult weekend in Florida amidst their USL PRO regular season standings. The team took two defeats on the road after playing Orlando City on Saturday at the Florida Citrus Bowl and VSI Tampa Bay FC on Sunday at Plant City Stadium.

    Wilmington fell 4-1 against Orlando with a lone goal from midfielder Paul Nicholson, his third of the season. Wilmington again fell the next day to Tampa Bay 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining in the match, giving Tampa Bay their fifth win of the season.

    For further information regarding the Wilmington Hammerheads, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.


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    FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    HOUSTON — The FC Tucson staff can talk tactics and game plan and scouting reports but when the third round of the U.S. Open Cup kicks off tonight at 7:30 p.m. CT, FC Tucson’s chance at upsetting the Houston Dynamo may just come down to mentality.

    “Unfortunately (the players) are college players and they’re young and they’re not quite pros yet where they understand that they have to play the same game every time they play,” FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz said. “Going into this past weekend, it was perfect example of riding a high and not really understanding that the opponents in the league will be coming after us.”

    With their U.S. Open Cup Cinderella run on the line tonight, Schantz said he’s confident that there won’t be a let down in the team’s mentality against the Dynamo. Still, with a group of young players, there’s always a worry that the emotions of the moment will overwhelm them.

    “We saw that in San Antonio,” Schantz said. “In the first 20 minutes (the players) were just in awe of where they were and what they were doing. The most important part is that they don’t make any serious mistakes at that point. Once you get through the first 15-20 minutes of battle and you see the game and see the speed, then they’re just soccer players again.”

    In last week’s second round match against San Antonio, FC Tucson really didn’t start looking comfortable until the second half of the match, when the club threw out their original game plan and decided to play an all-out attacking form of soccer. The players responded well by scoring two goals within the first 15 minutes of the half, taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish until stoppage time.
    They’d eventually win in penalty kicks.

    “We’ve been playing well in the U.S. Open Cup,” said FC Tucson defender Edgar Reyna “So we just have to come out with the same intensity we’ve had in the last two games.”

    With all the talk of emotion and mentality, there is still a game plan in place and the FC Tucson staff has used its coaching connections to draw up a solid scouting report on the Houston Dynamo. Even their reserve squad, who will likely make up most of the starting XI, has been scouted and broken down.

    But Schantz said that this match will ultimately come down to FC Tucson having to play near-flawlessly aggressive soccer combined with the Dynamo having an off day. Not exactly a hopeful tone, but it’s the reality of reaching the third round of the U.S. Open Cup for a PDL team.

    “I think we’ll be just fine,” said FC Tucson defender Greg Carter. “This team is very excited about the Open Cup and we’ve had two big wins already. We have a lot of confidence going into this game and even though we’re playing an MLS team we have a lot of confidence in what we can do and that we can get a result in this game. I think we’ll be just fine.”


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    Next Generation Series News Release

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues is pleased to announce the addition of Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay to its latest youth soccer initiative, the Next Generation Series. Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay is, as the title suggests, an affiliate of the MLS’ Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo will look to develop players in the Tampa area through its competing in the groundbreaking youth league.

    The 2013 NGS format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April that will feature two evaluation/competition events at the world class IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Top players will be identified through the NGS Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NGS ID Training Camp at IMG.

    The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosted myriad soccer team training camps in 2012, including clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.

    "Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay’s philosophy of developing players on and off the field through playing experiences, academics, as well as the psychological approach to the game fits perfectly with NextGen," NGS Director Abe Thompson said. "The club has great leadership and I know we will be able to work together to produce the next wave of elite players."

    With the guidance of Director and Coach John Clare, HDT is eager to take advantage of the new resources NGS will provide.

    “As a coach, I am looking forward to all the new information that will be available,” Clare said. “And the education that will be available for the parents and the players.”  

    More than just another youth soccer league, NGS is a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique development program designed to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation. Houston Dynamo Tampa Bay understands the need for a new approach to the game.

    “This opportunity will give each player the proper ratio of training to games – train three to four times a week with one weekend game – this is how I believe that true development can happen for a player," Clare said.  "This is unlike what is happening now, with clubs and teams focused on tournaments only, traveling all over the country playing in showcases. I believe the USL can form a year-round league where the ratio of training/games is in the right perspective, and start to produce players that can compete at a very high level.

    “The U.S. does not have any world-class players like those in Germany that are playing in a Champions League final. If the United States ever wants to produce players of that caliber, this country needs to change the mindset of what development really is.”

    The inspiration for NGS was the repeated and consistent message received from top youth soccer clubs and coaches that they were seeking a fresh development initiative specifically geared toward younger teams and players. NGS was launched to fill the void by providing a comprehensive platform for clubs to best prepare their young players for the challenges which await them at the next level.

    “My goal is to be part of the movement that changes the mindset of how soccer should be played in this country,” Clare said.

     

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  • 05/29/13--14:30: Rapids’ Gunther Named PotW
  • W-League News Release

    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League announced its Team of the Week for Week 3 of the 2013 season today, honoring Colorado Rapids Women midfielder Erin Gunther as Player of the Week after she led the Rapids to a 3-2 victory against their rival the Colorado Rush.

    Gunther, a 2011 graduate of Creighton University and a three-year member of the Rapids, was a dominant force in the midfield in the back-and-forth match, playing a part in all three Rapids goals and scoring a highlight-reel goal of her own in the 3-2 victory. Gunther edged out New Jersey Wildcats forward Jessica Fuccello, who tallied two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win vs. North Jersey. Atlanta’s Rachel Garcia earned the other forward slot after her goal against VSI Tampa Bay.

    Marissa Mykines of the Bay Area Breeze earned a midfield spot on the Team of the Week after scoring the historic first goal in team history as the Breeze defeated Santa Clarita 1-0 in their opener. Also in the midfield are VSI Tampa Bay’s Stacy Bishop, who scored a late equalizer at Atlanta, and Dayton’s Kelly DeNiro, who tallied the game-winner as the Dutch Lions knocked off Charlotte.

    Carolina Elite’s Blakely Mattern leads the defense after scoring the game-winning goal against VSI Tampa Bay on Sunday, and she is joined by a trio that helped their teams to shutout victories – Laval’s Kathryn Acton, Ottawa’s Caylee Milne and Dayton’s Alexandra Warren.

    Rounding out the team is New York Magic goalkeeper Charlotte McCormick, who made four saves as New York earned an impressive 2-0 victory against Northeastern Conference rival Long Island.

    W-League Team of the Week
     

    Pos Player Team Highlights
    GK Charlotte McCormick New York Recorded 4-save shutout vs. Long Island
    D Kathryn Acton Laval Led defense in shutout win and 1-1 draw
    D Blakely Mattern Carolina Elite Scored GWG vs. VSI Tampa in 83rd minute
    D Caylee Milne Ottawa Led Fury to shutout win vs. Quebec City
    D Alexandra Warren Dayton Anchored defense that shut out Charlotte
    M Stacy Bishop VSI Tampa Bay Scored late equalizer at Atlanta
    M Kelly DeNiro Dayton GWG in huge win vs. Charlotte
    M Erin Gunther Rapids Led Rapids in win vs. Rush, scored highlight-reel goal
    M Marissa Mykines Bay Area Scored only goal in first franchise win
    F Jessica Fuccello New Jersey 2 goals, assist vs. North Jersey
    F Rachel Garcia Atlanta Goal, game-high 5 SOG vs. VSI Tampa Bay

    Honorable Mention Bay Area – Danielle Johnson, Brandi Vega; Carolina Elite – Rose Hull; Colorado Rush – Danica Evans; Dayton – Helena McCurdy; K-W United – Anne Houliston; Laval – Kylie Davis, Genevieve Richard, Sarah Robbins; London – Chantelle Campbell; New Jersey – Daija Griffin, Claudia Vazquez; New York – Lorena Maggio; Ottawa – Emily Gielnik, Jasmine Phillips; Toronto – Furtuna Velaj; VSI Tampa Bay – Karina Gutsche.


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  • 05/29/13--22:53: Eagles Eliminated By Chicago
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    ROCK HILL, S.C. -- The Chicago Fire ended the Charlotte Eagles' 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run with a 2-0 victory at Winthrop University on Wednesday night. The Fire goals came from Mike Magee, on his Fire debut, and Chris Rolfe, while goalkeeper Paolo Tornaghi made three saves to keep the clean sheet.

    Chicago controlled much of the possession in the first 10 minutes and was rewarded with a goal from newly acquired Mike Magee on a cross from Gonzalo Segares in the 11th minute. Chicago enjoyed a 5-1 shot advantage in the opening 20 minutes. 

    The Eagles seemed to settle in after giving up the opening goal playing with more urgency and composure after conceding the early goal. Shaun Francis came up with the Eagles' best chance in the 27th minute as his shot just clipped the crossbar. Francis was active again as his cross found Stefan Smith in the penalty area, but Smith’s header went high of Tornaghi’s net.

    The Fire came close to striking again in the 35th minute off a corner kick but the ball was cleared off the line by midfielder Juan Guzman. Charlotte received another chance as Bakary Soumare was shown a yellow card 39th minute for taking down Samuel Asante but Shaun Francis’ free kick was headed away from danger. Just before halftime Francis again created an Eagles chance as he cut onto his weaker right foot and sent a shot just wide of the far post.

    Chicago’s counter attack sprung Magee whose shot in the 50th minute tested Eagles keeper Eric Reed who pushed it wide of the post. The Fire would double their advantage seven minutes later, though as Chris Rolfe fired home a beautiful left-footed shot from the top of the box to the opposite corner.

    In the 59th minute Francis’ goalmouth cross found Sam Asante whose lunging shot attempt just missed the right post. Francis was dangerous all night running up and down the left flank, causing problems for Jalil Anibaba.

    Chicago enjoyed much of the possession following the second goal of the evening. The Eagles pressed for a goal in the final 15 minutes but Francis’ free kick was punched wide by Tornaghi in the 80th minute. Christian Meza’s late shot in the 88th minute didn’t test Tornaghi and the match ended in favor of Chicago 2-0.

    The Chicago Fire advanced to the fourth round to take on the Columbus Crew, who defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-1 on Wednesday night in another third-round contest. The game will be played at Toyota Park in Chicago.

    The Eagles next game will be this Saturday night as the Harrisburg City Islanders will visit Queens Sports Complex in USL PRO regular season action. Keep that Orange Flag Flying High and we’ll see you at Queens Sports Complex for Princess and Mustache night on Saturday night.


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    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    HARRISON, N.J. – Reading United’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup dreams came to an end at Red Bull Arena as Major League Soccer powerhouse New York Red Bulls defeated United by a 2-0 scoreline on Wednesday night. United held the Red Bulls scoreless for 61 minutes with resolute defending and some sensational goalkeeping. In the end, New York’s superiority prevailed as they advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup.

    The Red Bulls came out and pressed their young opponents from the opening whistle. New York midfielder Connor Lade and defender Roy Miller were active down Reading’s left flank, while Brazilian legend Juninho pulled the strings from the center of the pitch. United keeper John McCarthy was called into action early and often as the Red Bulls continuely found chances in the final third of the pitch. Reading center backs Damion Lowe and Jimmy Ockford had a superb first half as they denied multiple Red Bull threats with clutch tackles.

    McCarthy’s play in net was superb in the opening 45 minutes. After picking up a knock in the 15th minute, McCarthy battled on bravely and was Reading’s best player in the first half. The La Salle keeper did well to keep the Red Bulls from breaking through, making several spectacular diving stops while officially recording four saves.

    United held the Red Bulls off the scoreboard in the first half and ran their consecutive shutout streak to 495 minutes.

    Red Bulls Head Coach Mike Petke upped the ante following the break by inserting regular starters Dax McCarty in the match for Juninho and goal-scoring threat Fabian Espindola for Peguy Luyindula. The tactic paid off 16 minutes into the second half. McCarty took the ball to the endline before hitting a perfect low cross across the face of goal. Espindola popped up at the far post and tapped the ball in giving the Red Bulls the lead. The goal snapped Reading’s shutout streak at an impressive 511 minutes.

    McCarty masterminded the Red Bulls’ back-breaking second goal in the 67th minute. The midfielder found Espindola near the top of Reading’s penalty area and the big forward laid off for Lloyd Sam who hammered home his chance to make it 2-0.

    United tried to mount a challenge, but were left hoping to hit the Red Bulls on a counter-attack. With possession heavily favoring New York over the final minutes of the match, the cruel reality of Reading’s first defeat of the season set in.

    When the referee blew the whistle for full time, the Reading players held their heads high. The 2-0 defeat was disappointing, but the once in a lifetime opportunity to face the New York Red Bulls in the Open Cup was an experience to not be forgotten.

    Reading United return to Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium on Friday, June 7th to face their player development partners, the Philadelphia Union. The fourth meeting between the clubs will be Kicks Against Cancer Night as Reading and Philadelphia unite to raise money and awareness to help battle cancer. Tickets are available at www.readingunitedac.com. Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at denise@readingunitedac.com for all your group needs.


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Thursday, May 30, 2013

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers look to continue their undefeated run in USL PRO this Friday night when they host Phoenix FC at 7 p.m. Join the Kickers for Happy Hour at City Stadium when the gates open at 6 p.m. with live music from the Acousta-Lites, draft beer trucks and food trucks. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

    Photo courtesy Suz Kitsteiner“It’s vital that we rebound from the disappointing loss to D.C. United with another inspirational home performance,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “So far we’ve played 10 games, won six, tied four and conceded only eight goals. Confidence is high and we continue to improve in all areas of our play. We now need to dig deep physically and make sure, on Friday night, we deliver the positive attitude and hunger for success we have shown in our previous 10 games.”

    The Kickers enter Friday’s match three days after a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss to their official MLS affiliate, D.C. United, in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round. Scoreless through 120 minutes of regulation and overtime, the winner was determined when United goalkeeper Joe Willis made a pair of heroic saves while D.C. converted all four of its penalties to advance to the fourth round.

    Unbeaten through their first eight regular season games, the Kickers are coming off a 2-0 win against USL PRO rivals the Harrisburg City Islanders. D.C. United loanees were integral in obtaining the critical three points with goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra posting nine saves to preserve his third shutout of the season and forward Michael Seaton rounding out the scoreline with his second professional goal. Signing 24 hours before the Kickers season opener out of the club’s preseason combine, midfielder Nate Robinson made his scoring debut, tallying the game-winning goal that allowed the team to leapfrog the City Islanders into third place in the USL PRO standings.

    Friday’s match marks the first-ever meeting between the Kickers and Phoenix, who kicked off their inaugural USL PRO season in March. The Wolves head into the first leg of a back-to-back East coast road trip following a 2-2 draw with the Charlotte Eagles last week. The back-and-forth affair saw the Wolves level the score twice in the first half with midfielder Scott Morrison and defender Donny Toia notching the crucial equalizers before the break. Phoenix currently resides in 10th place in the USL PRO standings, carrying a 2-5-3 record into Friday’s contest.

    Players to Watch
    Kickers:
    Splitting time between the Richmond Kickers and Houston Dynamo, midfielder Brian Ownby returned to his home town on loan from the MLS side in early April. Since then, the former Richmond Strikers and University of Virginia midfielder has bolstered the Kickers attack, recording one goal and four assists, most recently setting up a goal against Harrisburg last week.

    Joining the Kickers defense on loan from D.C. United in April, Conor Shanosky registered his first professional goal with a stoppage-time equalizer in the Kickers thrilling 3-3 tie with Charlotte earlier this month. The 6-foot-4 defender made his first start with United’s first team on the opposite side of the pitch at City Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round match on Tuesday.

    Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra backstopped the Kickers to a scoreless draw through regulation and overtime against D.C. United. With an overall goals against average of just 0.77, the VCU product anchors the second-best defensive unit in the league, having allowed just eight goals in 10 games played.

    Phoenix FC: Nineteen-year old midfielder Netinho led the Wolves to their first-ever win in club history when he notched the lone goal in the 1-0 victory over fellow expansion franchise VSI Tampa Bay FC in March. Having played with renowned Brazilian side Santos FC since he was 14, the youngster signed with Phoenix prior to the 2013 campaign.

    Signing with MLS side Real Salt Lake as the club’s first Homegrown player prior to the 2011 season, defender Donny Toia joined the Wolves after a one-year stint with FC Tucson. Playing all but one minute with the Wolves defense, he doubles as an offensive threat, posting his second goal of the season in the 2-2 draw against Charlotte last week.

    Former Brazilian youth national team midfielder Diego Faria signed with the Wolves after spending time with his hometown club América T.O. The playmaker has been the most prolific player for the Wolves, attempting 12 shots while converting two goals and an assist.


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