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News from USL

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    Long Island Rough Riders News Release -
    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    SOUTH HUNTINGTON, NY - The Long Island Rough Riders swept past the New Jersey Wildcats 4-0 on Sunday afternoon as Grace Hawkins recorded two goals and one assist while Luana Miessa and Reanna Marino tallied one goal each. The Rough Riders’ dominant performance was illustrated by their shooting advantage of 25 to 2.
    The Rough Riders set the tone of the match early, taking control over the midfield. They put pressure on the Wildcats’ defense and tested goalkeeper Sage Dovale multiple times early in the game. In the seventh minute, Grace Hawkins placed a shot beautifully in the lower right corner after Sue Weber’s ball from 25 yards out hit the crossbar. 
    With her side up 1-0 Hawkins stayed dangerous throughout the first half and had her next chance in the 18th minute. She was taken down by a foul from Wildcats goalie Sage Dovale who was booked with a yellow card.
    The Rough Riders’ dominance forced Wildcats’ coach Kevin McDermott to an early substitution to try and change the momentum of the game. The tactic seemed to work with the Wildcats coming into the game. Just as New Jersey began to seize momentum it was Luana Miessa who put the Rough Riders up 2-0.  In the 25th minute she won the ball in the penalty box and fired home to double the advantage
    The goal gave the Rough Riders an extra lift and Grace Hawkins was able to extend the lead even further before half time. Right back Kerry O’Connor attacked down her side of the field, played a diagonal ball to Hawkins who used her speed to beat her defender. Hawkins’ left-footed shot beat Dovale and gave the Rough Riders a comfortable 3-0 lead going into half time.
    The Rough Riders kept up their focus in the second half not allowing the Wildcats any opportunities to cut the deficit. Coming off a game on Saturday night, the Wildcats could not find their legs to fight their way back. In the 79th minute, Hawkins played a beautiful through ball into forward Reanna Marino who calmly chipped it over Dovale to complete the scoring.
    "We split the games against the Wildcats last year so we knew we needed to come out strong," said Rough Riders’ player of the match Grace Hawkins. "We were all really ready and prepared going into this game."
    The Rough Riders defense stayed dominant throughout the entire game and did not allow the Wildcats any clear goal scoring opportunities.
    Long Island now sits at 3-1-0 and tied for second place in the Northeastern Conference with the Washington Spirit Reserves. They look to maintain their perfect home record when they take on the North Jersey Valkyries at Cy Donnelly Stadium on Saturday, June 15. Kickoff starts at 5 p.m. ET.
    Tickets are available for purchase online at  or at the Rough Riders ticket box on game day (box opens 60 minutes before kickoff)

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    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    READING, Pa. – Reading United’s home match against F.A. Euro-New York Magic had plenty of drama. Like any compelling drama, this match had three distinct acts. Following an uneventful first half, United tallied three second half goals before surviving a late scare from the Magic. In the end, United held on for a 3-2 win to stay unbeaten and moved into first place in the Premier Development League’s Mid Atlantic Division.

    The first half was largely uneventful. Reading maintained possession over much of the half, but the United forwards struggled to break through the F.A. Euro defense. The Magic elected to drop eight men behind the ball during the first 45 minutes of the match, and swarmed United’s attackers. Neither keeper was forced to make a save during the first half as the teams went into the locker room knotted at 0-0.

    United came out of the locker room with much more urgency and applied heavy pressure in search of the opening goal. The match took its first dramatic turn in the 49th minute when a seemingly mundane challenge resulted in a pushing and shoving match. Damion Lowe dispossesed Viktor Bakkioui near the sideline, with both players going to the ground. Bakkioui got up and put a hand to Lowe’s face, which the big defender swatted away as the two exchanged words. Referee Benjamin Larason intervened and showed Lowe a straight red card. After conferring with the linesman, Larason also sent Bakkioui to the showers.

    With more space to work, United pounced. Kadeem Dacres spotted Darius Madison in the Magic penalty area and hit the Union Academy product with a great pass. Madison fired through traffic and past New York keeper Alexander Naples to give Reading a deserved 1-0 lead.

    Head Coach Brendan Burke sensed more goals were to be had and inserted crafty midfielder Dante Marini in the 61st minute. Offensive minded midfielder Manolo Sanchez entered the fray in the 65th minute. Sanchez had the Reading fans out of their seats as he nearly got his third goal of 2013, heading a lovely Dacres’ cross just inches wide in the 70th minute.

    United doubled their advantage in the 74th minute off a Jason Plumhoff corner kick. The Magic failed to deal with the corner, with the ball finally landing at Ben Sweat’s feet. The left back fired the ball back into the area. Fatai Alashe’s flicked on header went to Larry Ndjock at the far post. Ndjock settled the ball with a quick touch and slotted the ball past Naples.

    Ndjock got his second goal of the night in the 79th minute. Sanchez found space down the right flank and played a perfect cross to Ndjock. The forward from Loyola made no mistake and put United up 3-0. Ndjock credited Sanchez for his finish.

    “Manolo took a few touches and put the ball in, it was a beautiful pass from him and I was completely free,” said Ndjock. 

    The three points looked to be safe and secure, but the Magic had other ideas. With Reading on cruise control, F.A. Euro scored what looked like a consolation goal. Some sloppy defending allowed the Magic’s Christian Marcel to score on a tap in at the back post, ending United’s shutout streak at 449 minutes.

    Just after the goal, the fourth official signaled that there would be three minutes of stoppage time. Magic quickly won possession following the restart and again pressed forward. Following a corner, Dominick Falanga was left unmarked on the left side of the United penalty area. The midfield fired his shot into the upper 90 of the goal to give the Magic a lifeline.

    As the seconds ticked down, New York was unable to mount a final attack. As the referee signaled for full time, United and their faithful could exhale. With the nervy win, United improved their league record to 4-0-1 and leap-frogged next week’s opponent, the Ocean City Nor’easters, into first place.

    Reading returns to Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium on Saturday, June 15th to face their division rivals, the Ocean City Nor’Easters in a battle for first place in the PDL’s Mid-Atlantic Division. Both sides are unbeaten in league play heading into next weekend’s showdown. Tickets are available at Reading United offer 2013 Game Day Youth Packages, Group Discount Packages, Birthday Parties and Fundraising Ticket Packages. Contact Denise Strohmayr at for all your group needs.

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    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    ORLANDO, Fla. — Behind 87th- and 90th-minute goals by Jamie Watson and Dom Dwyer, Orlando City (10-1-2, 32 points) topped visiting Antigua Barracuda FC (0-10-0, 0 points) 2-0 on Sunday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The win marked the 25th consecutive regular season home match without defeat, dating back to June of 2011.

    The Lions controlled possession early on, with the team adjusting to a lineup that featured 10 different starters from Friday night’s 2-0 win over the visiting Phoenix FC. Players including Defenders Justin Clark and Brian Fekete, along with former Orlando City U23s defensive stalwart Oumar Diakhite, made their first starts of the 2013 season, getting valuable minutes under their belts.

    Early chances by midfielders Adama Mbengue and Ian Fuller loosened up the Antigua backline toward the middle of the first half, with the Lions gaining more chances as the match went on. Mbengue and Fuller both had attempts ring off the right-hand post, coming dangerously close to the back of the net. The chances continued to mount for Orlando, but despite the increased pressure the game remained scoreless at halftime.

    League-leading scorer Dom Dwyer, Long Tan and Jamie Watson came in after the break to give the Lions a spark up front, looking to get by the Antigua backline. After chipping away and earning continued chances, Orlando finally got their chance with three minutes left to play in regulation.

    Former Portland Timbers midfielder Freddie Braun was making a turn in the penalty area in the 86th minute, only for Barracuda defender George Dublin to trip Braun, earning Orlando a penalty kick. Watson converted in the bottom-left corner past Goalkeeper Molvin James, putting the Lions up 1-0. The penalty conversion marked the second straight game in which Watson converted an attempt and his seventh goal of the season.

    The Lions weren’t done, with Watson finding Dwyer on a well-played ball past the Antigua defense, with the striker scoring his 15th of the season in the 90th minute. The conversion extended Dwyer’s single-season record of goals in a USL PRO season, which he broke on Friday in the team’s win over Phoenix.

    Goalkeeper Jon Kempin, who saw his first regular season start since an April 19th match against the LA Blues, played the full 90 minutes Sunday night behind a steady Orlando backline. The 2-0 win was the Kansas native’s first shutout in purple colors since coming on loan at the beginning of the season.

    Head Coach Adrian Heath looked past the three points after the match, saying the team needs to improve and was not impressed with the club’s play. 

    “We were pathetic,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I feel sorry for the supporters who came out and watched that performance. I’ve learned an awful lot about a lot of people today.”

    Orlando enters into the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup this Wednesday night against Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City. The Lions topped the Colorado Rapids 3-1 on May 28 at the Florida Citrus Bowl, marking the first time in franchise history the club has beaten an MLS club in the Open Cup. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

    The four players on loan from SKC, including Dom Dwyer, Jon Kempin, Christian Duke and Yann Songo’o, will be unavailable for selection on Wednesday. For more information on Wednesday’s match, visit

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    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    PLANT CITY, Fla. – Chad Burt scored the only goal as VSI Tampa Bay FC took a 1-0 victory against Phoenix FC on Sunday evening at Plant City Stadium. Tampa Bay took victory despite being reduced to 10 men midway through the second half as goalkeeper Alex Horwath was sent off for a foul in the penalty area.

    The game remained scoreless through the first half, although both teams had chances to open the scoring. Phoenix's Darren Mackie had a pair of shots miss the target as the Wolves tried to hit on the counter-attack, and while Tampa Bay was able to hold more possession they had difficulty finding a way through to create many clear-cut opportunities.

    The game opened up more in the second half, and J.T. Noone went close to opening the scoring for Tampa Bay as his shot from just outside the penalty area curled just wide of the left post. VSI was reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute, however, as Horwath brought down Anthony Obodai in the penalty, denying a goal-scoring opportunity and giving Phoenix a penalty kick. 

    The Wolves were unable to convert from the spot, however, as Mackie sent his shot high and wide of the right post, keeping the game scoreless, and seven minutes later Tampa Bay would take the lead through Burt. A good pass from Tony Donatelli found the midfielder 15 yards from goal, and Burt turned and sent a shot past Phoenix’s keeper Andrew Weber into the right corner of the net. Phoenix tried to find an equalizer late on, but Donny Toia's off-target shot was the closest the Wolves came to an equalizer.

    Tampa Bay now heads to Sahleen’s Stadium to play Rochester on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. ET. The Rochester match is the first of a four-game road trip for VSI, all of which can be seen on

    VSI returns to Plant City Stadium on Sunday, June 30 to host the Richmond Kickers at 7:35 p.m. ET. Tickets are $10 general admission for adults and $5 general admission for children under 12 years of age. Tickets to the match are available on Concessions will be provided by Alessi Bakeries and Catering. For more information on the team and match visit

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    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    TUMWATER, Wash. – The Portland Timbers U-23s regained sole possession of first place in the PDL’s Northwest Division as they defeated the Sounders FC U-23 1-0 on Sunday afternoon. A late goal from substitute Zack Foxhoven broke the scoreless draw in the 85th minute, and put the Timbers ahead for good, despite several late chances from the Sounders to equalize.

    The enthusiastic crowd of more than a thousand Sounders supporters was treated to an exciting match between equally matched, and rival foes, at Tumwater District Stadium. Although the first half of the contest remained scoreless, the play was open for both sides, and the Sounders and the Timbers had opportunities to get on the board first.

    In the 20th minute, Timbers-U23s midfilder Zach Barnes found room to take a shot on goal from about 20 yards on the right side of the penalty area. Barnes’ shot was driven right at well-positioned goalkeeper Zac Lubin, who managed to get his hands above his head and push the effort from Barnes up over the goal.

    The Timbers U-23s had a chance again just two minutes later when Jaime Velasco made a run up the right side into the box. Velasco beat two Sounders defenders and looked to pass across the box to an open teammate, but a timely touch from Michael Gallagher just as Velasco hit the pass helped direct the danger safely to Lubin.

    The Sounders FC U-23 began to find a rhythm later in the first half, and created several close calls for the Timbers’ defense before heading to the break. In the 30th minute, Aodhan Quinn sent a curling free kick toward the front of the goal where he nearly found Sean Okoli at the back post. Quinn’s left-footed free kick swerved around the Portland defense and Okoli tried to jump and direct it home on the far post, but could not quite connect.

    In the 38th minute midfielder Michael Harris took a long throw from the right side touch line. His throw made it down to Okoli on the far post, and he tried to spin fast and shoot the ball with a defender on his left hip. However, Timbers keeper David Meves watched Okoli’s effort sail high over the crossbar.

    As the Sounders continued to pressure the Timbers’ defense late in the first half, defender Steve Mohn had a chance to take his side into the second half with a lead. A Portland half-clearance found its way to Mohn at the top of the penalty are, where the Sounders U-23 defender lined up a shot, and drove the ball first time on a rope at the goal. The ball had the speed and height, but missed just off the far post, and the two sides went into the break scoreless.

    The Timbers U23s found themselves in control and in attacking positions early in the second half. Their closest chance of the match came in the 59th minute when Gabriel Conelian got open in front of goal just left of center in the middle of the penalty area. Conelian took a shot that was heading quickly into the top-left corner of the goal. A quick adjustment from Sounders’ keeper Lubin helped him get just enough of a reaching touch to glance the ball up off of the crossbar.

    During the middle of the second half, the pace of play for both sides slowed, and neither could get into a rhythm with both sides combining for seven substitutions between the 52nd minute and the 78th minute of the match. The Timbers were the side that finally started to assert the attacking pressure as the match began to dwindle into its final minutes.

    In the 80th minute the Timbers collected a half-cleared corner and sent a sharp ball into the box toward Mark Sherrod. Sherrod was first to the cross and directed his header toward the far post, but the shot went just wide.

    Timbers second-half substitute Foxhoven found the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute when he collected a pass in the center of the penalty area from Nick Palodichuk. Foxhoven did not waste any time with the ball and immediately sent it into the net with a left-footed shot past the diving save attempt of Lubin.

    The Sounders refused to let the 83rd-minute goal go uncontested, and continued to apply pressure as the final minutes slipped away, looking to equalize. With Harris’ throw-in ability, every ball the Timbers played out was an opportunity to get it into scoring position.

    The Sounders U-23’s last real opportunity came in the 89th minute. A long throw from Harris across the pitch found Okoli down low near the far post. Okoli was able to direct the tying effort towards the goal, but the near post kept it out, as it hit the frame and went out of play for a goal kick.

    The loss brings the Sounders U-23’s current three-game winning streak to an end. At the midway point of the PDL season, the Sounders U-23 have a record of 3-3-1, giving them 10 points. The Sounders U-23 will look to get back to winning form on Saturday, June 15th, when they will take on the Washington Crossfire FC at Starfire Sports Stadium at 8 p.m. PT. For more information and for tickets to the match, visit

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    LA Misioneros News Release --

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    LOS ANGELES -- The LA Misioneros FC head to Huntington Beach on Sunday as they take on the O.C Blues Strikers looking to continue their recent winning streak. The game will mark the halfway point of the PDL season for the Misioneros, with the White and Blue aiming to claim their second road win of the season.

    "This, our third road game of the season, is crucial to the team," said team administrator Freddy Avellaneda. "We are on a two-game winning treak currently and would like to build up on it."

    The Misioneros will be traveling with 20 key players this Sunday, including midfielders Rene Anguiano and Vincent Lucas Weijl who look to help increase the winning streak to three games.

    "The team has build a stronger relationship along this short path," said Anguiano. "Each practice session has created a more significant bonding amongst the players."

    "We have been playing great, but some of these games have just not gone our way" said Weijl. "I am sure we deserved to have won a pair if not more games, but this is soccer. We have to come back stronger than before which I am sure we will these next games"

    The Misioneros will be hopeful of taking victory against a Strikers side that has won only once this season. In their last outing, the Strikers absorbed a 9-1 defeat to FC Tucson on Thursday night. Kickoff fo Sunday’s game is set for 7 p.m. PT.

    The Misioneros remain on the road in their next league game on Saturday, June 15 as they visit the Ventura County Fusion at Ventura College. Before that, on Wednesday, the White and Blue will host a friendly game against Team U.S.A. of the Armed Forces.

    For tickets and more information, visit the LA Misioneros FC official website at

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  • 06/09/13--12:16: Piranhas Defeat Wildcats 4-1

    New Jersey Wildcats News Release -

    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    HOLMDEL, N.J. - The New Jersey Wildcats were unable to get it going on Saturday afternoon, suffering a 4-1 defeat to the Virginia Beach Piranhas at Saint John Vianney High School. The Wildcats battled to the end showing resilience to earn an eventual stoppage time goal from the team's leading scorer Jess Fuccello.

    After some back-and-forth action in the early stages, Virginia Beach struck for the first time in the 26th minute. Forward Shan Jones broke loose in the middle of the field before finding some space from about 25 yards out. Jones powered a right-footed shot that Wildcats goalkeeper Sage Dovale was able to touch, but the momentum of the strike carried the ball off her hand and into the goal.

    The Piranhas carried the 1-0 lead into halftime and came out firing on all cylinders in the second frame notching back-to-back goals in the 50th and 52nd minutes. Striker Esther Anyanwu carried the ball on the right side of the box before turning toward the middle and seeing Jones open on the left side of the penalty area. Anyanwu distributed to Jones who quickly settled and tapped it into the back netting to make it 2-0

    Before New Jersey had a chance to regroup, Virginia Beach made it 3-0 just two minutes later. Midfielder Lauren Lover had possession on the right flank and sent a cross into the middle of the penalty area. The ball was well-placed for Ashley Braam, who headed it into the back of the net.

    The Wildcats created a good scoring opportunity in the 62nd minute, with midfielder Lucy Goffe feeding Fuccello on the left flank. Fuccello turned toward the goal and hammered a hard shot that ricocheted off the crossbar. The ball then deflected back in her direction, and Fuccello quickly fired a follow-up shot that sailed just high of the frame.

    The Piranhas put the game to rest in the 83rd minute as Nkese Udoh fed Anyanwu as Dovale came off her line. Anyanwu did well to chip Dovale to make it 4-0.

    The Wildcats fought hard and the efforts were rewarded in the stoppage time as defender Jackie Cajigal sent a nice pass to Fuccello  who raced forward before stopping to briefly freeze Virginia Beach goalkeeper Lauren Vetock. Fuccello quickly fired a shot to the far left post that was out of the reach of the outstretched goalkeeper.

    The Wildcats look to rebound on Sunday afternoon when the team travels to Long Island to play the Rough Riders at 3 p.m. ET. The Wildcats' next home match is on Saturday, June 22, when it hosts the New York Magic at 3 p.m. ET at St. John Vianney High School in Holmdel. Tickets for all Wildcats home matches are now available and can be attained by calling 732-298-7619. Individual game tickets as well as team and family packages are available.

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    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    TUCSON, Ariz. —By the end of FC Tucson’s 1-0 loss to division-leading Fresno Fuego, FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz’s analysis was to the point.

    “They were better than we were,” Schantz said.

    FC Tucson wasn’t playing OC Blues Strikers anymore and any good feelings about a 9-1 win from Thursday night vanished when the final whistle blew.

    Fresno nearly scored less than three minutes into the match but midfielder Conner Brandt threw his chest into the shot and cleared the ball off the line. Moments later Brandt had a free kick outside of the box and curled it at the left upper 90 but drilled the crossbar.

    It would be the best chance FC Tucson would have the entire first half. The Fuego neutralized FC Tucson with physical play and timely interceptions. But according to Schantz, FC Tucson players didn’t help themselves with some of their decision making.

    “What we had Thursday night was everybody was clicking,” Schantz said. “Tonight we were two passes when we needed to be three and we were one when we needed to be two.”

    Schantz also said the players began responding to adversity by doing too much on their own and in some cases holding on to the ball too long. FC Tucson defender Travis Campbell said that the officiating may have also affected the team’s play.

    “I think our team started playing the referees and their team instead of just playing our game,” Campbell said. “We just have to keep playing the game and not let it affect us. Mentally it takes you out of the play for that half second you’re yelling at the ref and I do it, too. As a whole, we have to work on it.”

    Goalkeeper Michael D’Arrigo helped keep the game tied at zero when he made point-blank saves one-on-one within five minutes of each other and neither team had a lead heading into the half.

    Then in the 56th minute, following another great save from D’Arrigo, Fresno’s Paul Islas knocked in the rebound to score the game-winning goal for the Fuego.

    “It’s kind of a bummer to come from a 9-1 win, such a high, and then come out here and lose 1-0,” Brandt said. “Obviously it’s a better team but nine out of 10 times we beat that team and unfortunately today was the one time we lost.”

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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 12 of the season on Tuesday, with VSI Tampa Bay FC forward Mauricio Salles earning Player of the Week honors after scoring a league-record five goals in his side’s 8-0 win against Antigua Barracuda FC on Friday night. Salles broke the record previously held by Jhonny Arteaga and Peter Byers, who each had four-goal games in the 2011 season.

    Salles’ five goals all came in the opening half-hour, with the Brazilian opening the scoring in the first minute off a through-ball by Shawn Chin. Another pair of goals came in the 11th and 12th minutes, and he added a fourth in the 16th minute, timing his runs in behind the Barracudas’ defense perfectly before finishing well. The fifth goal came 10 minutes later, a strong right-footed drive into the left corner of the net, and Salles also added an assist late as Karamba Janneh capped the scoring.

    Joining Salles in the Team of the Week’s attack was Orlando City’s Dom Dwyer, who had a pair of goals to set a USL PRO record for goals in a season. Dwyer broke the record on Friday night in the Lions’ 2-0 win against Phoenix FC, and added his 15th goal of the season on Sunday in a 2-0 win against Antigua. Charleston’s Heviel Cordoves also earned selection after providing the spark for the Battery off the bench, recording a goal and an assist in a 2-2 draw against Charlotte on Wednesday night.

    Charleston’s Nicki Paterson was also named after scoring two goals in the Battery’s 4-1 win against the Houston Dynamo Reserves. Joining Paterson are Rochester’s J.C. Banks, whose perfect cross allowed Tam McManus to give the Rhinos the lead in their 1-1 draw against the Montreal Impact Reserves, and Charlotte’s Drew Yates, whose stoppage-time goal earned the Eagles a 2-2 draw against Charleston last Wednesday. Wilmington’s Daniel Roberts rounds out the quartet after providing the assist on Steven Perry’s game-tying goal for the Wilmington Hammerheads in a 1-1 draw against Richmond.

    Jason Yeisley leads a trio of defenders selected after a solid performance for the Richmond Kickers in their draw against Wilmington. Conventionally a forward, Yeisley stepped in and led the back line well as Richmond remained undefeated. Harrisburg’s Coady Andrews also earned selection, scoring a goal while helping the City Islanders record a shutout in their 2-0 win against Wilmington last Wednesday. Dayton’s Shane Smith was also honored after scoring the game-tying goal in Dayton’s 4-4 draw with Columbus. Pittsburgh’s Hunter Gilstrap took goalkeeping honors after a solid performance helped the Riverhounds earn a point against the Toronto FC Reserves on Friday night.

    The USL PRO season continues on Friday night as the Charlotte Eagles host the Chicago Fire Reserves at Queens Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET, while the Richmond Kickers host Antigua Barracuda FC, also at 7 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay begins its weekend trip in Rochester, with kickoff against the Rhinos set for 7:35 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium.

    Saturday night brings more interleague play, with the New York Red Bulls Reserves visiting the Wilmington Hammerheads at Legion Stadium at 7:35 p.m. ET. Out west, Phoenix FC hosts Real Salt Lake Reserves at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium, and the Los Angeles Blues host the LA Galaxy Reserves at the StubHub Center, with both games set to kick off at 10:30 p.m. ET. The night begins in Pittsburgh, where the Riverhounds host the Charleston Battery at 7 p.m. ET.

    Sunday returns to regular league action, with Antigua Barracuda FC visiting the Harrisburg City Islanders at 4 p.m. ET. The Charleston Battery complete their weekend trip as they face the Rochester Rhinos at 4:05 p.m., and Tampa Bay visits the Dayton Dutch Lions at Beavercreek Stadium at 6:30 p.m. ET in the final game of the weekend.

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

    USL PRO Team of the Week






    Hunter Gilstrap


    Made four saves as Riverhounds earned point against Toronto Reserves


    Jason Yeisley


    Playing out of position, put in strong performance against Wilmington


    Coady Andrews


    Scored and helped City Islanders shut out Hammerheads in victory


    Shane Smith


    Grabbed late equalizer in 4-4 draw against Columbus Reserves


    Daniel Roberts


    Incisive pass set up equalizing goal against Richmond


    J.C. Banks


    Fine cross set up goal for Rhinos in 1-1 draw against Montreal Reserves


    Nicki Paterson


    Pair of goals led the Battery to 4-1 win against Houston Reserves


    Drew Yates


    Stoppage-time goal earned 2-2 draw on road against Charleston


    Mauricio Salles

    Tampa Bay

    Five-goal game against Antigua set new USL PRO record


    Dom Dwyer


    Set new USL PRO record for goals in a season with pair of goals


    Heviel Cordoves


    Provided spark off bench with goal and assist in draw with Charlotte

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Molvin James; Charleston – Quinton Griffith, Jose Cuevas; Charlotte – Stephen Okai, Juan Guzman; Dayton – Joel DeLass, Gibson Bardsley; Harrisburg – Cristhian Hernandez, Morgan Langley; Orlando – Jamie Watson; Pittsburgh –Kevin Kerr, Jose Angulo; Richmond – Phillipe Davies; Rochester – Tam McManus; Tampa Bay – Shawn Chin, Chad Burt; Wilmington – Steven Perry, Troy Hernandez.

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  • 06/11/13--13:28: Laredo Announces Soccer Fest
  • Laredo Heat News Release --

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013

    LAREDO, Texas -- The Laredo Heat Soccer Club announced details on Monday involving three Mexican Federation powerhouse clubs coming to the Gateway City in early July to partake in the 2013 International Soccer Festival presented by Falcon Bank. Confirmed clubs participating in the “Soccer Fest” are Club Rayados de Monterrey Under-20, Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalajara Under-20 and Club Tigres de la U.A.N.L. Under-20.

    The festivities for this four day tournament will begin on Wednesday, July 3rd when the home team Laredo Heat will host division rival Austin Aztex in a Premier Development League (PDL) Mid-South Division match scheduled to kick-off at 8:00 P.M. at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex.

    In celebration of the Soccer Fest and the 4th of July Holiday, the game versus the Aztex, coined the “Freedom Match” will offer FREE general admission entry to everyone plus FREE hot dogs and FREE Orange Leaf Yogurt (courtesy of Orange Leaf Yogurt on North McPherson to the first 400 fans). VIP Admission will still be $20 for this game.

    On Thursday, July 4th, the Club Rayados de Monterrey Under-20’s will battle the Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalajara Under 20’s to open up the three day “Soccer Fest”.

    And then on Friday, July 5th, the home team Laredo Heat SC will host the Club Tigres de la U.A.N.L. Under 20’s in what should be a challenging match for the Gateway City team.

    On Saturday July 6th, the “Soccer Fest” will close out with a re-match of the Mexican Federation’s Under 20 Division Spring 2013 Championship Game as the Chivas de Guadalajara Under 20’s will face the Club Tigres Under 20’s. The Spring 2013 (Clausura) Champion were the Chivas de Guadalajara Under 20’s.

    All three matches involving the Rayados, Chivas and Tigres will be played at the Texas A&M International University Soccer Complex and kick-off for all matches will be at 8:00 P.M.

    Ticket pricing for the 2013 International Soccer Festival presented by Falcon Bank will be as listed:

    Pre-Sale Package – General Admission

    $20 for all three games involving the Rayados, Chivas and Tigres Under 20 teams on Thursday, Friday and Saturday

    Pre-Sale Package – VIP Admission

    $50 for all three games involving the Rayados, Chivas and Tigres Under 20 teams on Thursday, Friday and Saturday

    Individual Games – General Admission (Purchase at the Gate on Game Day Only)

    - $10 for Club Rayados de Monterrrey Under 20 vs. Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalajara Under 20 on July 4th
    - $7 Adults / $1 Children 12 and Under for Club Tigres de la U.A.N.L. Under 20 vs. Laredo Heat on July 5th
    - $10 for Club Deportivo Chivas de Guadalajara Under 20 vs. Club Tigres de la U.A.N.L. Under 20 on July 6th

    Individual Games – VIP Admission (Purchase at the Gate on Game Day Only)

    - $20 for each game involving the Rayados, Chivas and Tigres on Thursday, Friday and Saturday

    “We are very excited to bring this high level of soccer to Laredo for everyone to enjoy,” said Heat Owner Shashi Vaswani. “Over the past few years, when we have hosted foreign teams here in our hometown, we have seen many rising young players that have gone on to the highest of levels of professional soccer around the world, including but not limited to Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, now playing for Manchester United and Tony Lopez getting minutes with current Liga MX Champion Club America.

    “As always, I personally want to invite everyone to attend as many of the matches during these four days of soccer and show these visiting teams how great Laredo as a city is and how awesome its fans can be when it comes to support.”

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    Tuesday, June 4, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues has announced the acceptance of Austin Texans Soccer Club into the Next Generation Series. NextGen is a new youth soccer initiative, established by USL and IMG Academy, to provide coaches, players, and clubs the opportunity to train in an elite league.

    The 2013 NextGen structure will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams playing eight months beginning in August and winding down in April. Highlights from the season will include evaluation/competition events at IMG Academy. Through the NextGen Player Tracking Program the top players will be invited to attend the ID Training camp at IMG.

    Through the guidance of Director of Coaching Wes Schevers, Austin Texans SC is looking to craft a stronger team and compete in a national league.

    “For some time now, the Austin Texans wanted to be involved in a regional/national league. We knew NextGen was the opportunity we were looking for as a club,” Schevers said. “Having access to this type of opportunity will definitely give our young players an edge over our competition on a local level.”

    The Austin Texans Soccer Club was founded with a focus on more than just the game. The club seeks not only to produce the best players but to promote the talents and skills that being part of a team can develop. NextGen will aid the club in its efforts to develop the virtues of sportsmanship, physical fitness, and positive self-image.

    “The NextGen experience will allow our players to develop the unique skill of being an elite student-athlete, managing time and studying while on the road preparing for meaningful matches,” Schevers said. “Such a skill set will shape our players for success at the youth, regional, national, and collegiate levels.”

    More than just another youth soccer league, NextGen features 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.

    "Having a club like the Austin Texans on board is very exciting for us," NextGen Director Abe Thompson said. "It’s a massive club with such a talented roster of coaches and we’re thrilled to work with them to help develop their players for the next level."

    The inspiration for the Next Generation Series 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. NextGen 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.

    “Our ultimate goal always comes back to providing the best opportunities for our players,” Schevers added. “The majority of our players want to play for the national team, college and/or become a professional. By the Austin Texans being accepted into the NextGen series, it will provide our players the opportunity to play at the highest levels of competition, have access to national, college, and professional scouts.”

    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.



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    W-League News Release

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – The W-League announced its Team of the Week for Week 5 of the 2013 season today, honoring Seattle Sounders Women goalkeeper Erin McNulty as Player of the Week after she backstopped the Sounders to a 2-0-1 week on the road.

    McNulty, a former Florida State and Penn State standout who led the Nittany Lions to the 2012 NCAA College Cup finals, started the week with seven saves, including a game-saver in the final minute, as the Sounders Women defeated the LA Strikers 2-1 on Wednesday. Seattle traveled to Santa Clarita Friday, where McNulty recorded nine saves in another 2-1 win, before finishing the trip at Pali Sunday, where McNulty made six saves to shut out the 2012 league runners-up in a scoreless draw.

    McNulty’s teammate, Melissa Busque, stood out at both midfield and forward this past week to earn selection, putting in three dominating performances and scoring at Santa Clarita during the undefeated road trip.

    Toronto’s Kadeisha Buchanan leads the defensive selections, having filled in at forward and scored the game-winner against London before leading the Lady Lynx to their fifth consecutive shutout in a scoreless draw against Ottawa. Buchanan is joined by Pali’s Elizabeth Eddy, who led the way in a shutout vs. Seattle, and Carolina Elite’s Blakely Mattern, who assisted on the game-winning goal as the Cobras defeated Atlanta to take the Southeastern Conference lead.

    Virginia Beach had a pair of players chosen after posting back-to-back wins at New Jersey and North Jersey, with Meaghan Dullea selected in the midfield after her two goals were the difference at North Jersey and Shan Jones chosen at forward following a two-goal performance of her own against the Wildcats. London midfielder Chantelle Campbell scored a stoppage-time equalizer against Quebec City to earn her spot, and Charlotte’s Leah Fortune was selected in the midfield for the second consecutive week after her goal led the Lady Eagles past VSI Tampa Bay.

    Long Island’s Grace Hawkins and North Jersey’s Danielle Schulmann both tallied two goals and an assist in their teams’ victories this past week to lead the forwards, and they are joined by Virginia Beach’s Shan Jones, who scored twice in the Piranhas’ 4-1 win at New Jersey.

    W-League Team of the Week

    Pos Player Team Highlights
    GK Erin McNulty Seattle Starred in wins at LA, Santa Clarita; shut out Pali
    D Kadeisha Buchanan Toronto Played F and scored GWG vs. London; shut down OTT
    D Elizabeth Eddy Pali Led D that held Seattle to 6 shots in scoreless draw
    D Blakely Mattern Carolina Led Carolina D, assisted on GWG at Atlanta
    M Chantelle Campbell London Strong at both ends, scored stoppage-time equalizer vs. Quebec City
    M Meaghan Dullea Virginia Beach Sub changed game, scored twice to earn win vs. North Jersey
    M Leah Fortune Charlotte Scored goal, led team's effort in 3-1 win at VSI Tampa
    M/F Melissa Busque Seattle Led Sounders to 2-0-1 road trip, scoring at Santa Clarita
    F Grace Hawkins Long Island 2 goals, assist as Long Island defeated Wildcats 4-0
    F Shan Jones Virginia Beach Scored twice in 4-1 road win at New Jersey
    F Danielle Schulmann North Jersey Recorded 2G, assist in 3-0 win vs. New York








    Honorable Mention Carolina Elite - Claire Joyce; Colorado Rapids - Rebekah Patrick, Brooke Spence; Dayton - Juliana Libertin; Laval - Genevieve Richard; London - Miranda Horn; Long Island - Gabby Charno; Ottawa - Amanda Fancher; Pali – Sasha Andrews, Makenzie Doniak, Ashley Freyer; Quebec City - Josee Belanger, Melissa Roy; Seattle - Sara Campbell; Toronto - Rachel Melhado, Kailen Sheridan; Virginia Beach - Odishika Chukwuji.

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  • 06/13/13--02:42: Battery Fall In Extra Time
  • Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    SANDY, Utah -- The Charleston Battery saw a two goal lead slip as they lost 5-2 after extra time to Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. Dane Kelly and Nicki Paterson scored first-half goals as the Battery jumped out to a two-goal halftime lead, but RSL fought back to take the game into extra time, where the MLS side scored three unanswered goals to jump past Charleston into the quarterfinals.

    Kelly opened the scoring in the 16th minute, tucking the ball past RSL goalkeeper Josh Saunders after an excellent through-ball from defender John Wilson. The hosts appeared shell-shocked to have gone behind, and the Battery doubled their lead two minutes later after Quinton Griffith smacked a shot off the post. The ball bounced into the path of Paterson, who finished from close range with a right-foot volley.

    Charleston held the lead until the 66th minute when Devon Sandoval headed RSL back into contention. Ten minutes later Salt Lake were level after substitute forward Joao Plata converted a penalty kick after being brought down in the area. 

    The Battery withstood sustained pressure to take the game into extra time but any thoughts of victory were swept aside as RSL scored three times in the first 15 minute period. Sandoval headed the home side in front in the 97th minute and then Khari Stephenson added a fourth goal in the 104th minute. Javier Morales put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time at the end of the first half of extra time, converting a penalty-kick.

    The Battery return to USL PRO action on Saturday night as they visit the the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff (Sports Radio 1450 AM WQNT/

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    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    KANSAS CITY, Kansas — A quick goal by forward Long Tan was all Orlando City SC needed on Wednesday night at Sporting Park to defeat Major League Soccer affiliate Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The win advances Orlando to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup, the first time the Lions have done so in franchise history.

    Photo courtesy Jamila St. Ann/Sporting Kansas City“It’s a really big result and something the players can be proud of,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “All of a sudden we are a couple games from something really special. I’m looking forward to playing the next round opponent.”

    Orlando didn’t take very long to take the lead, with Tan capitalizing on a well-played takeaway from midfielder Adama Mbengue. In only the second minute, the former Orlando City U23s star took possession away from the Sporting KC backline and found the Chinese forward in stride behind the Sporting defense. The former D.C. United striker slotted it past SKC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg in the bottom-left corner to give the Lions a 1-0 advantage.

    Orlando continued to move men forward against the MLS side, who responded with chances of their own throughout the latter part of the half. Sporting KC, holding a 6-5-4 record in MLS regular season play coming into the match, began to produce opportunities as the game went on, whipping in dangerous corners and crosses that kept the Lions humble moving forward. Despite the increasing chances, Orlando weathered the storm to go into the locker room on top 1-0.

    Looking for a spark, Sporting subbed in Forward C.J. Sapong at the start of the second half. Sapong led the team in goals with nine last year, pushing the Lions’ backline as they held the 1-0 lead. 

    Despite the added pressure, Lions’ Goalkeeper and Team Captain Miguel Gallardo held steady – making key saves in succession in the 60th minute to keep the Lions ahead. The 2011 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year came up big as Sporting continued to push forward, leading an Orlando backline that featured second-time starter Justin Clark and veteran Rob Valentino.

    Last-minute chances by Sporting Kansas City in the five minutes of added time kept the game close, but ultimately Orlando prevailed 1-0 over its MLS affiliate.

    The win marked the club’s first win against Sporting KC, and a place in the quarterfinal round of the Open Cup. The quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of the Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew match, which was postponed until Thursday due to weather. The match will be held on Wednesday, June 26, in either Chicago or Columbus. The four Sporting loanees, including Dom Dwyer, Christian Duke, Yann Songo’o and Jon Kempin will be eligible barring a call-up from Kansas City.

    The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the United States and is open to United States Soccer Federation (USSF) affiliated teams. The Open Cup was first held in 1913, with this year marking the centennial edition of the tournament. This year’s field consisted of 68 teams, the largest field in US Open Cup history.

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    Ottawa Fury News Release -

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    OTTAWA, Ont. - The Ottawa Fury unveiled their 2012 W-League Championship banner in a special pregame ceremony at their home opener, but the visiting Laval Comets put a damper on the celebrations by capturing their first win against the Fury, downing the reigning champions 1-0.

    Catherine Charron-Delage capitalized on a defensive error from Liz Milne in the 17th minute and Genevieve Richard stood tall in the Laval goal, sending the Fury to their second consecutive home loss, dating back to 2012.

    The first half started with both sides jockeying for possession and control as the rivals felt each other out in their first meeting of the young W-League season. While the Fury had the majority of possession to start, they were unable to break through a disciplined Laval side that gave the Fury little time and space in the midfield.

    Charron-Delage opened the scoring in the 17th minute after a high ball eluded defender Liz Milne, who fell, allowing Charron-Delage in on a breakaway, beating Jasmine Phillips low. The duration of the first half saw much of the same with the two sides exchanging possession and showing that it would be a low-scoring defensive affair.

    Leading 1-0 after the opening 45, the Comets came out brighter to start the second half with substitute Nkemjika Ezurike proving an always-dangerous opponent. Phillips was forced to make an outstanding save off a Comets corner, stopping a sure goal to keep the Fury’s deficit at one.

    A short time later Ezurike snuck behind the Fury back line and was in alone with Phillips, but poked the ball wide of the open goal. Fury Head Coach Dom Oliveri went to his bench and substitute Tessa Gavilsky almost pulled the Fury level, but her header sailed agonizingly over the bar.

    The Fury pressed with several waves of crosses and long balls, but the back line of the Comets and the defensive play of Sarah Robbins in the midfield proved too much for the Fury offense that was shut out for the second consecutive game. The Fury will have a few days to regroup before facing the London Gryphons on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Algonquin College where, despite dropping their past two regular season home games, they are 32-3-2.

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  • 06/13/13--09:57: NextGen Welcomes SA United

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues announced today the acceptance of SA United Soccer Club into the Next Generation Series (NextGen). The joint venture between USL and IMG Academy features a forward-looking, innovative, comprehensive, and unique program designed to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation.

    The SA United philosophy is focused on player development both on and off the field - a philosophy the club shares with the Next Generation Series.

    "There are so many talented players in south Texas who are limited to the exposure offered within their communities," SA United Director of Coaching Jay Sparrow said. "The NextGen Series will help elevate soccer in San Antonio to another level and provide those top players with an opportunity to be part of SA United Soccer Club where the focus is on the player’s development, individual growth and excellence."

    The inspiration for NextGen 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.

    "Being a member of the NextGen Series will give our players the opportunity to consistently play against teams from different parts of the Southwest region," continued Sparrow. "By being pitted against teams from the other elite clubs, our players will experience a level of play beyond the standard that they experience just in south Texas. Exposure to this high level can only serve to inspire them to even greater heights."

    NextGen is an exciting, new youth soccer initiative established to provide players, coaches and clubs the opportunity to take part in an the first elite-level league totally devoted to player development.

    “We’re thrilled to have SA United Soccer Club on board for the inaugural NextGen campaign,” NextGen Director Abe Thompson said. "The opportunity to work with a highly respected club and coaches is exciting for us. This is unchartered territory in south Texas and the impact of NextGen in the region is certain to be massive."

    The 2013 Next Generation Series format will consist of U12 and U14 boys and girls teams participating in an eight-month season beginning in August and culminating in April. More than just another youth soccer league, top players will be identified through the NextGen Player Tracking Program and invited to attend the NextGen ID Training Camp at IMG presenting the unique opportunity for these elite soccer players to showcase their talents and train with distinguished IMG and NGS coaches.

    "We are particularly thrilled to have IMG Academy as a major partner in the NextGen Series," Sparrow added. "IMG Academy sets the standard across the US for athlete development and so having them involved with the Ignite 360 testing twice a year will give our coaches more information about our players which will be used to refine our training techniques in order to get the best out of our boys and girls."

    NextGen 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. It’s a concept that fits the SA United mold.

    "The ultimate goal of being part of the Next Generation Series is to expose both our boys and girls programs to a high level of competition across the Southwest Region," Sparrow said. "It will offer our very top players the opportunity to compete against players of an equally high ability while still playing for their regular club teams within south Texas."

    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, the 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.


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    Victoria Highlanders News Release --

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    VICTORIA, B.C. -- For the second time this season, the Victoria Highlanders will play host to the visiting North Sound SeaWolves. North Sound, who are travelling up from Washington state, managed to be the first team to avoid defeat against Highlanders this season, playing to a 2-2 draw in front of a crowd of 1,206 on May 25th.

    Last match, North Sound took the lead in the 32nd minute off a goal from Zachary Hamer after the Highlanders had the majority of possession and pressure for the first 20-minutes of the match. The Highlanders were able to fight back in the second half with a goal off a penalty kick from Riley O’Neill, followed by Jordie Hughes pouncing on a defensive mishap between the SeaWolves defenders and goalkeeper to give the Highlanders a 2-1 lead. The Highlanders looked to be holding onto their lead, but in the 87th minute North Sound’s Dominique Dismuke was able to snatch a goal and tie the game.

    Following their tie with the Highlanders, the SeaWolves have lost all four of their subsequent games. After a 5-1 rout by the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23, they have lost narrowly, often giving up a goal in the dying moments of injury time. Undoubtedly, the SeaWolves will be hungry to bounce back and record a win.

    The Highlanders will have to be wary of the Hamer brothers, Zachary and Nicholas, who have each recorded one goal and two assists. The Highlanders will also have the big frame of 6-foot-7, 200-pound goalkeeper Ryan Herman to get past in order to register goals this game.

    The Victoria Highlanders are looking to register their fifth win of the season Friday. The team bounced back after tying the SeaWolves and losing to the Whitecaps, defeating the Washington Crossfire 2-0 last Saturday. Kickoff versus the North Sound SeaWolves takes place at  7 p.m. at Royal Athletic Park. For more information please visit 

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    Sounders Women Feature -

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    TUKWILA, Wash. – Federal Way native Holland Crook left family and friends to attend Arizona State University. Now, she returns home to represent the team that her family has been a part of for decades.

    Crook attended Todd Beamer High School and began turning heads early in her career. She was named South Puget Sound League -South Player of the Year three times, an All-State player three times, The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year in 2007 and 2009, and ESPN All-Area player in 2008. As a sophomore, Crook won the Washington 4-A State Most Valuable Player award.

    Following high school, she had the choice of numerous schools, but chose to branch out and join Arizona State University. Crook, who will be a senior at Arizona State next year, has played in all 61 matches and has also been named an All PAC-12 Academic Honorable Mention.

    This summer, however, she returned home to join several of her PAC-12 competitors on a talented Sounders Women squad that leads the W-League’s Western Conference after five games. Crook has made four appearances so far this season. She made her first start in a 2-2 draw against the Colorado Rush on May 31 in front of her family and friends at Starfire Sports.

    “Dutchy,” as she’s known to her coaches and teammates, is a member of a family that is deeply entrenched in the Seattle soccer community; one with multiple connections to the Sounders name. Bill Crook, Holland’s father, was a professional player for 18 years for clubs such as the San Jose Earthquakes, and had two separate stints with the Seattle Sounders. Bill is now an assistant coach for the Sounders Academy, where Holland’s brother, Ike, currently plays.

    Crook is home with her family for the summer and for the first time, they’re all a part of the Sounders community.

    "I like being back in the northwest for the summer. It’s fun to be a part of the same thing my dad and my brother are so involved in," Crook said. "I’m playing at home which I don’t get a lot unless maybe we’re playing the UW. The transition has been good because I’m playing and I’m also getting prepared here for school and I’m getting touches on the ball at a really good level, so I couldn’t be asking for a better way to spend my summer."

    Now that Crook is a member of the Sounders playing community, she gets to experience the same sense of camaraderie that so much of her family already has.

    "It’s really exciting! I come home and my brother has all this Sounders gear, and I want it, but now I have stuff of my own!" she said. "It has been a lot of fun and now the Sounders name has been in my family for awhile, especially now with having two of us playing under the Sounders name."

    Although Crook and her brother grew up in a soccer-centric household, she feels that she was never pressured to be involved with the sport, and that her family would have supported her in the fullest with whatever she wanted to be active in. Crook sees her father as an integral part of her playing development, but also as a loving, understanding role model.

    "People always ask me, ’Did you play because of your dad?’ and that has never been a part of it," Crook said. "If I had wanted to do ballet or whatever, I could have, and I would have had complete support in that too. He was my club coach, for forever, so I got to have that connection too, where he’s not just my dad, he’s my coach, as well, and having that has always been a lot of fun."

    Crook sees her father’s experience with the game and the trust she has in him as the best way to get the most out of the good times, and to get through the bad times.

    "He has taught me so much as a coach, but also in the support I get from him as a parent, and as a parent that has experienced it, is great. He’s the first one I’m calling after games, and it’s nice to have that. It is nice to have someone to go to that knows if I’ve had a bad game. He’s there to tell me ’Just play simple’, so I trust his opinion to help me get through the rough times, and even the good times."

    Crook has quickly filled an important role on her new squad. She has earned a starting spot and can be found all over the pitch on game day. Asserting herself as a box-to-box midfielder, Crook has set her sights on winning with the talent and depth that the Sounders Women possess.

    "As a team, we want to win as much as possible and continue on as far as we can, and that’s always the goal," Crook said. "Personally, I’m just trying to get better all the time, and every single time I step on the pitch, so I think that why I come out and try to get something out of every training session. I can always learn something from coaches that I have and new coaches that I’ve never worked with in my game. I’m going to learn something different from them than I’ve learned from other people."

    In the Sounders Women’s first W-League road trip of the 2013 season, the team faced the challenging lineups of the L.A. Strikers, the Santa Clarita Blue Heat, and the defending Western Conference Champions, the Pali Blues. The Sounders Women found wins in two of those matches and played to a draw in the other, earning seven of the possible nine points. crook said the trip was important for developing the team chemistry necessary to have a successful campaign.

    "It has been a lot of fun," Crook said. "Getting back from our first trip was nice, because I feel like you show up for training, but a lot of the girls are still in school, so you don’t get to know them. So, I thought this trip was really fun getting to know the girls. You’re with everyone in close quarters for five days. Even soccer-wise; the training is good, the coaches are good, and these girls can really play. So I really like coming here every day and knowing I can get something out of it each day."

    Crook and the rest of the Sounders Women hit the road again this weekend facing the Colorado Rapids Women on Friday and the Colorado Rush on Sunday. The Sounders Women return home to Starfire Sports in Tukwila, Wash. on Friday, June 21 when they kick off against the Bay Area Breeze at 7 p.m.

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  • 06/14/13--10:16: Rhinos Ready For Tampa Bay
  • Rochester Rhinos News Release --

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos host VSI Tampa Bay FC at Sahlen's Stadium on Friday night at 7:35 p.m., and the defending USL PRO Champion Charleston Battery on Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Rhinos enter the weekend seven points behind the Charlotte Eagles for the eighth and final playoff spot in the USL PRO table.

    The Rhinos bolstered their attack on Tuesday as they agreed to terms with forward Andrew Hoxie for the remainder of the 2013 USL PRO season. Hoxie played with the Rhinos from 2010 to 2012 when he scored 14 goals and added eight assists in 60 appearances. However, Hoxie never started more than ten matches or played over 1,000 minutes in a season. He was most effective for Rochester coming off the bench in the second half of a match to provide a timely goal or an assist. Hoxie's inclusion in the line-up for this weekend's matches is still contingent on contractual approval from USL PRO and the USSF.

    Left back Tyler Polak and winger Gabe Latigue are expected to return to the Rhinos roster for this weekend's matches after they were recalled to Major League Soccer earlier this week. Polak and Latigue are both on season-long loans to Rochester from New England for the USL PRO season, but both players were in the Revs starting line-up and played 90 minutes in New England's 4-2 victory against the New York Red Bulls in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night. New England's next match in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be against D.C. United in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, June 26th at the Maryland Soccer Complex in Boyds, Md.

    VSI Tampa Bay FC enters Friday night's match with the Rochester Rhinos in fourth place in the USL PRO table. VSI is second in the league in goals scored (25), goals conceded (11), and goal differential (14). VSI's leading scorer is Rochester Lancers (MISL) forward Mauricio Salles, who is second in the league in goals (8) and third in the league in points (18). Five of Salles' eight goals came in VSI's 8-0 victory over Antigua Barracuda FC last Friday night. Salles is on a season long loan to VSI from the Lancers. \

    The Rhinos lost 3-0 to Tampa Bay on April 13th at Plant City Stadium in the only previous meeting between the two clubs. VSI striker Karamba Janneh scored the game winning goal for the home side in first half stoppage time, and Douglas Dos Santos and Andriy Budnyy added second half strikes for VSI. Alex Horwath kept the clean sheet for VSI, and Salles had one assist in the match.

    The defending USL PRO champion Charleston Battery will make their only appearance in Sahlen's Stadium this season against the Rochester Rhinos on Sunday afternoon. The Battery enter the weekend in third place in the USL PRO table. Charleston is tied for the third-best defensive record in the league. The Rhinos and Charleston Battery played to a 0-0 draw in their first meeting of the season at Blackbaud Stadium. Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper made two saves to keep the clean sheet for the home side, and Rhinos goalkeeper Kristian Nicht made six saves to keep the clean sheet for the visitors. The last time the Battery traveled to Sahlen's Stadium they eliminated the Rochester Rhinos from the 2012 USL PRO Playoffs on penalties in the semifinals last August 31st.

    Individual tickets are currently available for both of this weekend's contests, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting Individual tickets, group tickets and flex packages for the 2013 USL PRO season are also on sale now.

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  • 06/14/13--10:17: Des Moines Set To Face Chill
  • Des Moines Menace News Release --

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – One rival comes in riding a five-game winning streak and sitting atop the Premier Development League’s Heartland Division. The other is fighting for playoff contention. The stage is set for this Friday-Saturday doubleheader between the undefeated Thunder Bay Chill (5-0-0) and the Des Moines Menace (3-3-1) at Valley Stadium.

    These matches come at a pivotal moment for the Menace, a team that has alternated wins and losses since a season-opening draw. With half the PDL schedule played and just a 3-3-1 record to show for it, Des Moines finds itself in a less-than-optimal position.

    Taking two games and six points away from the division front-runner would get Des Moines back in the thick of the hunt for one of the division’s two playoff berths.

    Head coach Mike Jeffries and the Menace are ready to put their last game behind them. The team is coming off a 1-0 loss to Springfield last Saturday – the franchise’s first non-win in eight home matches against the Demize.

    - Seek to bounce back from a 1-0 loss to the Springfield Demize last Saturday.
    - Have scored 11 goals in PDL play, Jimmy Tulloch (two) is the only player to net multiple scores.
    - Advanced to the third round of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup – a run that ended with a 2-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City (Major League Soccer) on May 28.
    - 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 updated roster:

    - Are undefeated in PDL play (5-0-0) and sitting atop the Heartland Division
    - Starting June 1 against Des Moines, have gone three straight matches without allowing a goal.
    - Are led in scoring (three goals apiece) by forward Sunny Omoregieby and veteran defender Nolan Intermoia, a member of the current PDL Team of the Week.
    - Look to repeat recent success, including a 13-2-1 record last season and Heartland Division crowns in five of the last six seasons. Won the PDL title in 2008 and finished second in 2010.
    - Head coach Tony Colistro, the only head coach in the Chill’s history (2000-present), is 118-86-22 all-time.

    - The Chill opened their home schedule on June 1 by shutting out the Menace, 2-0.
    - Des Moines managed just two shots on frame; Pedro Adan and Paul Dillon scored for the Chill.

    - Des Moines leads the all-time series, 22-21-4.
    - The home side is 9-2-1 in the rivals’ last 12 meetings, with the Menace claiming a 2-1-1 record at Valley in the last two seasons.
    - Thunder Bay has been in control lately with an 8-2-2 mark and a 27-10 scoring advantage over the Menace in the last three seasons.

    A .500 PATTERN
    - The Menace have fallen into an up-and-down pattern in PDL play. Since a season-opening tie, the team’s PDL results have been: win, loss, win, loss, win, loss.
    - The Menace have not scored in consecutive league matches since the streak began.

    - On Friday, the first 1,000 fans receive a bobblehead likeness of Menace mascot Maniac.
    - On Saturday, fans wearing black get in for $5. The Menace women open the action on Blackout Night, with a 4:30 p.m. exhibition against Iowa Rush.

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