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News from USL

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    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    DAYTON, Ohio -- The Richmond Kickers remained undefeated this season as they rallied from a halftime deficit to take a 3-2 victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions on a cool Saturday night at Beavercreek Stadium. Two goals by Luke Vercollone, and another by on-loan D.C. United forward Michael Seaton gave the Kickers victory as the Dutch Lions got goals from goals scored by Dayton’s Brandon Swartzendruber and Gregory Preciado.

    The Dutch Lions took the lead in the fourth minute as a steal by Gibson Bardsley was passed forward to Swartzendruber for a beautiful finish to the far post. Eli Garner, Bardsley and Irakli Khutsidze each had opportunities in the first half, but were unable to convert for a second goal, and the Dutch Lions held the lead until the halftime break.

    Richmond came out with higher pressure at the start of the second half, causing Dayton to send more balls long as they tried to hit on the counter-attack. Possession began to go back and forth at a fast and furious pace, and Richmond was able to get back on level terms in the 57th minute after a foul by Preciado opened the door for Vercollone to convert from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.

    Vercollone struck again two minutes later as a throw-in opportunity near Dayton’s goal set up another score for Vercollone, with Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams’ punch came to the Kickers’ veteran and gave him the chance to finish. Seaton then added a third goal in the 71st minute as a deflected shot caught Williams off guard in the 71st minute.

    Dayton would try to come back, and they pulled a goal back in the 87th minute as Preciado put the ball in off a corner by Garner. The Dutch Lions then pushed forwarrd all 11 players in stoppage time, and a header by Preciado missed by inches as they pursued an equalizer. Time would run out, however, as the Kickers moved within a point of Orlando City at the top of the USL PRO standings.

    “I just told the guys, I forgot how it felt to lose, it’s not fun, but I applaud the effort," Dutch Lions coach Patrick Bal said. "We almost came back from 3-1 down, we didn’t lose because the other team was better, we lost because we gave up a couple of goals. We made a couple of mistakes. We should have put it away in the first half, we had a couple of chances. So, we lost because of us, not because of the other team. I told the guys we have to keep our heads up, it’s one game, not the whole season. We will go for three points in Columbus on Wednesday.”

    Dayton travels to Columbus to meet the Crew Reserves (2-4-1) at the Crew Stadium on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. They return home to Beavercreek Stadium to take on Orlando City (10-2-4) on Sunday, July 14th at 6:30pm. For season and individual game tickets, visit the Dutch Lions website.

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    Long Island Rough Riders News Release

    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    LONG ISLAND, NY. - The Virginia Beach Piranhas defeated the Long Island Rough Riders 2-0 on Saturday night in New York. Trailing seven points behind a playoff spot with two games remaining, they are now officially out of postseason contention. 
    In the extreme heat at Cy Donnelly Stadium, both teams sought their opportunities early in the game. Three minutes into the game the Piranhas had a chance as W-League top scorer Shan Jones beat Marissa Mertens and Gabby Charno just outside the penalty box and had to be stopped by a courageously diving Rough Riders goalie Diana Poulin. The home team answered with a double chance in the fifth and seventh minute. Stephanie Colon’s header after a Dianna Marinaro cross went wide. Two minutes later Deanna Murino finished a quick Rough Riders combination play with a strong shot but also missed the net. 
    Both teams continued to press forward with each time finding the woodwork. Piranhas forward Ashley Braam tested the woodwork when she fired a shot from 25 yards out, only to hit the right post. From a similar position at the other end of the field Amanda Epstein hit the right post as well.  Epstein had the next huge scoring opportunity when she was sent on the way by Amanda Ferranti. She dribbled around Piranhas goalkeeper Lauren Vetock but her shot was headed away on the line by Cheyenne Trevino.
    In the 26th minute, Ferranti came close to getting on the scoreboard. After her breakaway on the right flank, she took a shot from a tight angle but Trevino was able to deflect the ball against the crossbar. 
    While the Rough Riders were unsuccessful to convert their excellent opportunities, the Piranhas showed no mercy. Jones created some space for fellow forward Braam who needed only one touch to put the ball past Poulin into the left corner of the net. 
    The 1-0 scoreline stood as the teams headed for the lockers.
    The Piranhas brought on a fresh legs at half, replacing Braam with Nkese Udoh who made her impact in the second half. She recorded two early shots in the 55th and 58th minute but Poulin was there to save them both. Rachel Hoffman had the Rough Riders’ best chance of the second half in the 63rd minute. Sent on a breakaway by Epstein, she was narrowly beaten to a ball by Piranhas defender Melanie Adams-Cobb at the top of the penalty box.
    Both teams were struggled to find their legs in the extreme heat in the second half. Udoh was able to break through on her right side of the field, but this was enough to decide the game. Her precise cross found Taylor Mertz on the far post who headed the ball away to secure the Piranhas’ eighth win of the season.
    “Given the circumstances, we played very well and were unlucky not to take the lead earlier in the game," said Piranhas head coach Steve Cadet. “With six starters missing today and only three field players on the bench, we were not able to bring enough fresh legs to the game in the second half.”
    With this result, the Rough Riders remain in third place in the Northeastern Conference with 15 points and will not be able to claim a playoff spot this season. The Piranhas solidified first place with 25 points and clinched a playoff spot. 
    In their final two games of the season, the Rough Riders hit the road to take on the New Jersey Wildcats on July 11 and the North Jersey Valkyries on July 14.

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  • 07/06/13--23:37: Late Goal Lifts Hammerheads
  • Saturday, July 6, 2013

    WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Wilmington Hammerheads continued their undefeated streak at Legion Stadium on Saturday as they claimed a 2-1 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders as Cody Arnoux scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. Wilmington had held a halftime lead through Daniel Steres, and Harrisburg hit back with 16 minutes to go through Sainey Touray’s 10th goal of the season, only for Arnoux’s late header to grab all three points.

    There were few chances early on, and the first clear opportunity didn’t arrive until the 26th minute. Wilmington’s Gareth Evans drove a free kick into the penalty area for an opportunity for Richard Isberner, how headed just inches above the crossbar. Minutes later, the Hammerheads took the lead as Steres finished into the back of the net off a corner kick from midfielder Tom Parratt. Steres is currently the leading scorer for the Wilmington Hammerheads this season with five goals after Saturday night’s contest.

    Harrisburg found their first attempt of the night off the foot of forward Lucky Mkosana, who took a long shot from outside the penalty area after crossing Hammerheads goalkeeper Troy Hernandez before rolling out of bounds.

    The second half became more physical as both teams were eager to gain the upper hand in possession. After a consistent battle to find the back of the net, Harrisburg’s Touray tied the game in the 74th minute as he put home the rebound after Morgan Langley’s initial shot had been blocked by Hernandez.

    Both teams pushed to find a winner, and one would arrive in the 90th minute as the Hammerheads took their second goal of the match. Bryce Taylor created the chance as he carried the ball from midfield to the corner for a cross that found Arnoux for a header to secure the victory.

    The Wilmington Hammerheads will travel to play the Charlotte Eagles in their next outing on Saturday, July 13 at Queens University. Watch all the USL PRO action live-streamed via UNATION. For further information regarding the Wilmington Hammerheads, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit online at


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    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    SEATTLE, Wash. -- The Victoria Highlanders claimed a top-two position in the PDL’s Northwest Division as they fought back to take a 2-2 draw with the Washington Crossfire on Saturday night at Redmond High School. The point earned from the draw moved the Highlanders within a win of clinching the Northwest Division title.

    The Highlanders earned their first chance in the fourth minute, when Gavin Barrett lobbed a ball up the right side of the field, the lob was caught by Blair Sturrock who sent a cross to Brett Levis, who fired it high. Levis would get another shot off four minutes later off a pass from Jordie Hughes that would deflect off a defender before reaching goalkeeper Ian Clark.

    Washington would create a couple of opportunities of their own on the quarter-hour mark, firing crosses in front of goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou that would not connect. The Highlanders would answer back with a chance of their own minutes later, when Ravenhill went one-on-one against his defender, getting room to fire a shot that went past the far right post.

    Washington forward Christian Roldan  fired a shot that Mitrou got a hand on on the half-hour mark, slowing it down before it could trickle behind him. Washington then received a chance to the right of Mitrou, with Roldan once again firing a shot that Barrett slid to block, the rebound going wide left.

    The Crossfire would net the game’s first goal in the 39th minutes, with defensman Justin Schmidt converting on a penalty kick that was awarded after Tyler Hughes fouled Roldan in the penalty area.

    Following Washington’s goal, the Highlanders would gain the majority of possession for the remainder of the half, with Hughes getting a chance to answer back in the 42nd minutes, getting the ball 25 yards from goal but firing the ball just left. The Highlanders would be unable to even the score before the half was up, with the shots favouring Washington 5-3.

    The Crossfire almost struck again in the opening minute of the second half as Mitrou raced 30 yards out of his net to beat Roldan to the ball, kicking it away before the Crossfire striker could get a touch. Once again maintaining possession in the opening five-minutes, the Highlanders applied pressure in the offensive zone but were unable to capitalize.

    Roldan would double the Crossfire’s advantage in the 63rd minute as he broke in alone on goal and fired past an advancing Mitrou to put the Crossfire up 2-0. The game would turn in the Highlanders favor 10 minutes later, however, as the Crossfire were reduced to 10 men after Clark brought down Jordie Hughes, resulting in a penalty kick. Tyler Hughes would convert on the penalty kick, pulling the Highlanders within one.

    Five minutes later, substitution Sam Prette would break up the right wing, firing a cross pass to Sturrock who one-touched it into the back of the net, tying the match with 12 minutes to go.

    Up a man, the Highlanders would apply pressure, with Levis nearly converting a pass from Prette off a corner kick in the 86th minute. Levis would receive another opportunity in stoppage time, but would fire it wide right as the game ended in a draw.


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    Washington Spirit Reserves News Release -

    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    With both sides subjected to sweltering weather conditions all afternoon, the Washington Spirit Reserves managed to narrowly slide by the New Jersey Wildcats 2-1 Saturday at St John Vianney High School in Holmdel, New Jersey. Following a Wildcat equalizer in the 83rd minute, Spirit Reserves substitute Jessica Van Dyke quickly countered two minutes later to decide the exhaustive match in dramatic fashion.

    The win, coupled with Long Island’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Virginia Beach, locks up the Spirit Reserves' spot in the postseason. In additional to qualifying for the playoffs, Washington can still win the Northeastern Division title and claim the right to host the first round match if it wins both of its remaining games.

    With brutal temperatures in the upper 90s and stagnant airflow on the pitch, Washington and New Jersey battled the oppressive conditions as much as each other. In the opening moments, the Wildcats appeared to have the upper hand, relentlessly attacking the Spirit Reserves defense and testing keeper DiDi Haracic early.

    Washington soon regained its composure and demonstrated better ball control, but was unable to break through the New Jersey defense and the half ended scoreless.

    The second half showed a bit more offensive flair from the visiting Spirit Reserves, but they remained held in check by the threat of the dangerous counterattacks New Jersey seemed adept at launching. Washington nearly got on the scoreboard in the 47th minute on a high effort by midfielder Alex Doll, but the shot clanked off the crossbar and out of play.

    The determination of the Washington offense paid off in the 53rd minute when midfielder Amber Stobbs earned her ninth assist of the season on a low feed from the left to forward Ashley Herndon. Herndon wasted no time in rifling the cross untouched into the left side of the Wildcat net for the 1-0 advantage.

    Late in the game, New Jersey stormed back to draw the match even in the 83rd. The Wildcats rapidly turned a goal kick into a counter-attack down the right side, blowing through the Spirit Reserves midfield and defense. The New Jersey right wing broke free on the right side of the box and fired deep from nearly 25 yards out. Her shot sailed into the upper corner of the opposite side of the Washington goal for the 1-1 equalizer.

    Proving themselves capable of a quick counter-attack, the Spirit Reserves cut the New Jersey celebration short two minutes later when midfielder Hayley Siegel split the Wildcat defense and left teammate Van Dyke free to break in on goal from midfield. Enjoying a two-yard advantage for the racing New Jersey defense, Van Dyke cruised in on frame before firing high over the Wildcat keeper for the game-winner in the 85 minute.

    The win marks the first under new head coach JP Sousa, who takes the reins following the promotion of Mark Parsons to the professional Washington Spirit squad.

    The Spirit Reserves return to Maryland this Wednesday to host the Fredericksburg Impact in their final home game. Match time is set for 4:30 p.m. at the Maryland SoccerPlex and is the first in a special doubleheader. The Washington Spirit professional side face the Chicago Red Stars at 7:30.

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    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    READING, Pa. – In a match that will be remembered for the extreme weather in which it was played, Reading United and the Baltimore Bohemians played to a 1-1 draw. Brutal heat and humidity gave way to a severe thunderstorm which forced a one-hour delay in the match. Following the weather delay, each side frantically pushed for the winning goal. In the end, two teams desperate for a win that would edge them closer to the PDL Playoffs had to settle for sharing the points.

    United entered the match looking to get back into the win column following back-to-back draws against the Jersey Express. The Bohs came to town on a roll following emphatic wins over the Central Jersey Spartans and F.A. Euro-New York Magic. Both sides are part of a tight Mid Atlantic Division playoff race, one in which the top five teams were seperated by a mere four points coming into the match.

    From the opening whistle, Reading came out aggressively. With much of the early action in the Bohs’ half of the field, United created all of the early chances. Steve Neumann, leading the United attack from the center of the pitch nearly had the opener for Reading in the seventh minute. The midfielder found himself in on goal, but Bohs goalkeeper Andrew Harris got a hand to Neumann’s chipped effort.

    United’s captain would find himself on the score sheet moments later. Under constant pressure for the Reading forwards, the ball struck a Baltimore defender's arm in the penalty area. Referee Darth Newman pointed straight to the spot and Neumann stepped up to take the penalty kick. The captain went low and down the middle to give Reading an 11th minute lead.

    The lead would last for just 15 minutes before Baltimore evened the score. On a counter-attack, the Bohs broke through the United back four that was playing for an offside call. Facing a three-on-one situation, United keeper Alex Bono raced off his lined and blocked the initial effort. The deflection rolled to Bohs forward Peter Caringi, who crossed to former Reading Under-20 player Austin Martz who only had to tap home the equalizer.

    Despite the withering heat, both sides continued to race end to end, creating scoring chances. Neither side was able to capitalize and the sides went to the locker room knotted at 1-1.

    Reading had their tails up and mounted continous pressure on the Baltimore defense as the second half got underway. With United dominating possession, the Bohs looked for opportunities on the counterattack. Martz and Caringi were successful in creating chances for the Bohemians, forcing Bono to make eight saves.

    With storm clouds gathering over Don Thomas Stadium, the intensity of the match was ratcheted up as each team desperately searched for a game-winning strike. Reading defender Damion Lowe nearly created the go-ahead goal, hitting a 40-yard through-ball to Fatai Alashe. The midfielder got the slightest of touches to the ball, sending a slow roller past Harris and his defense that went just inches wide of the net.

    The referee stopped the match in the 83rd minute with lightning crashing all around the stadium just as Reading was about to take a dangerous free kick 25 yards from goal. The teams retreated to the locker rooms for one hour while the thunderstorm passed through the area.

    Play resumed with just seven minutes plus stoppage time left in the match. Each side used the hour long break to recover their energy for what would be a grandstand finish.

    Everyone in the stadium thought United had scored the game winner in the 87th minute when second-half substitute Jordan Vale hit a looping ball that looked to have caused Harris to save the ball behind the goal line. The referee saw it differently and Baltimore counter-attacked. Martz again found space in the Reading defense and sent a shot the whistled just wide.

    Newman found himself forced to make another critical decision seconds later as Darius Madison look to have been scythed down by a Bohs defender in the penalty area. The referee waved play on despite the protestations of the United bench and their faithful fans that had weathered the storm. The final whistle sounded and teams had to share the points as the match ended 1-1.

    Despite peppering the Baltimore defense with 22 shots, United were unable to break the deadlock. Neumann lamented United’s inability to put away the Bohs.

    “We got a little bit unlucky there in the last eight minutes," Neumann said. "We could have buried one, but it’s something we’ve been talking about, being more clinical in the final third so we’re ending up with wins in these games instead of ties.” The captain kept the big picture in mind stating, “All the other teams are fighting against each other as well and these are the vital games. If you beat a team in the top three or four, it’s going to be big points earned.”

    For Reading, the draw keeps them unbeaten in league play in 2013 and moved them into a first-place tie with their next opponent, the Long Island Rough Riders. The Rough Riders have a game in hand over Reading, but face a brutal run in with games against each of the other top five teams in the division. The draw leaves the Bohemians two points adrift of the playoff places and third place Ocean City. The Nor’Easters have two games in hand over Baltimore.

    Reading United will conclude their 2013 regular season home schedule and celebrate Fan Appreciation Night at Exeter’s Don Thomas Stadium on Friday, July 12th with an important divisional match against the Long Island Rough Riders. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm and 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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    Super-20 League News Release

    Monday, July 8, 2013
    TAMPA, Fla. – Five additional Super-20 League teams have clinched spots at the 2013 Super-20 League Championship presented by Nike at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, bringing the total to 11 teams that have punched their tickets thus far. Set for the world-class facilities of IMG Academy July 18-21, the Super-20 League Championship will feature a total of 16 men’s teams, with five spots yet to be claimed.
    Mid Atlantic Division
    Potomac SC

    Potomac SC Super 20s will join Junior Lone Star FC at the finals at IMG after qualifying as the second seed in the Mid Atlantic Division. With 15 points from a 5-2-0 record, Potomac posted the highest goal differential in the division, plus-15. Potomac finished the season with a four-game winning streak, and has earned the opportunity to represent the Mid Atlantic in Florida.
    Midwest West Division
    Chicago Fire

    Last year’s champs, the Chicago Fire (6-2-0), finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak to claim their place in the 2013 Finals. With a plus-14 goal differential, best in the division, and only one less point earned than the divisional winners, SLSG, it’s apparent that two strong teams are headed out of the Midwest West.
    North Atlantic East Division
    Beachside SC of CT
    Ironbound SC

    Two teams from the North Atlantic East Division have emerged as 2013 finalists, Beachside SC of CT and Ironbound SC out of New Jersey.
    Beachside SC of CT won the division with 17 points from a 5-1-2 record. Beachside was the most prolific scoring team in the division, netting 23 goals this season.
    The other North Atlantic East qualifier, Ironbound SC (4-1-2), has a chance to equal Beachside on points in their final game of their season against Long Island Rough Riders, but it has already been decided that both teams will go through.

    North Atlantic West Division
    Parsippany SC

    The second team out of the North Atlantic West Division, Parsippany SC, has enjoyed a great season. Perhaps a bit overshadowed by the colossal Reading United season, Parsippany has registered 20 points, third most in all of Super-20, and scored 27 goals, fourth most. Parsippany has certainly earned the right to compete at the end-of-season tournament.

    Additional Super-20 League Finals qualifiers will emerge in the coming days as the regular season wraps up, as finalists from the Southeast, New England, and Midwest East divisions have yet to surface. They will join previous qualifiers Jr. Lone Star FC, Laredo Heat SC, Alamo SC, Texas Football Club, St. Louis Scott Gallagher, and Reading United AC at IMG in late July.
    The 2013 Super-20 League Championship will be held America’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. IMG Academy hosted a myriad of soccer team training camps in recent years, 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.

    The 2013 Super-20 League Championship will serve as an important player identification event for MLS and the PDL, as well as for U.S. National Teams. Sporting Kansas City will have a scout on site for the event, and several PDL coaches will be in attendance to scout talent along with USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, a longtime USSF Staff Coach.

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    Sunday, July 7, 2013

    OCEAN CITY, N.J. -- Another beautiful day greeted the Ocean City Nor’easters as they defeated the New Jersey Rangers 4-0 at Carey Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The win takes the Nor’easters back to the top of the table as rivals Reading United and the Baltimore Bohemians could only tie on Sunday night.

    Photo courtesy Sean M. FitzgeraldThe Nor'easters took the lead 15 seconds into the game as Dwayne Reid stormed past two Rangers defenders and fired a curling right-footed shot into the top corner. The Rangers began to get back into the game but never really threatened the Nor’easters goal. At the other end in the 30th minute Reid had a shot saved, the rebound was passed by Emmanuel Kollie to Nick Perea, who flashed a shot just wide. Reid also went close, in a mirror-image of his earlier goal, only for his effort to this time hit the post and be cleared.

    The Nor’easters came out firing in the second half but it was the New Jersey Rangers who had the best chance early on, forcing Michael O’Keeffe into a fantastic save from a close-range shot. The game swung the Nor’easters' way as Reid again broke the Rangers backline and curled the ball around the diving keeper to make it 2-0 just before the hour-mark.

    The goal appeared to open the floodgates and the Nor’easters struck twice more in quick succession. Perea made it 3-0 with a hard driven volley low to the goalkeeper's left after a lovely pass from Ken Tribbett. Within 10 minutes it was 4-0 as Timothy Mulgrew was released down the left, and the midfielder chipped the goalkeeper from the left-hand corner of the penalty area. O’Keeffe continued his great form from his MVP display on Thursday with some world class saves from the former New Zealand Olympian to keep the clean sheet.

    With the win the Nor’easters go top of the PDL's Mid Atlantic Division, and it is where Head Coach Tim Oswald demands that they stay as they defend their division crown

    “We had a dip in form but we are now back in top gear and the score lines are showing this," Oswald said. "Our goals are being spread around which is great and shows that we can score in many different ways.”


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    Virginia Beach Piranhas Feature --

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Matt Busch's first season leading the PDL's Virginia Beach Piranhas has had its ups and downs, but the veteran coach now has his side moving in the right direction as they chase a playoff place with four games of the season remaining. After Saturday's 3-2 win against the Southern West Virginia King's Warriors, the Piranhas are now fourth in the PDL's South Atlantic Division, three points behind the West virginia Chaos, but with three games in hand. 

    This Saturday brings another crucial game for the Piranhas as they face the third-placed SC United Bantams at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex at 5:30 p.m. ET. Ahead of that contest, though, we spoke with Busch about his life away from the soccer field, and his recollections of growing up around the game.

    Q: What is your home town and what brought you to Hampton Roads?

    A: My home town is Queens, New York. I came to Virginia Beach in 1988 with the Navy and returned back in 1999 after getting out of Navy.

    Q: What first got you into playing and coaching soccer?

    A: I first began playing soccer in Roanoke, Virginia at the age of six, and began my coaching my younger brother's team at the age of 16. It was a way to give back to the younger players while I was still playing myself. When I got out of the Navy I wanted to play Pro soccer but that ended quickly during pre-season camp when I tore my achilles tendon. I then had the idea of getting into coaching with the knowledge I had gained through playing. I was hired as the Director of Coaching for Atlantic Soccer in Virginia Beach and when VA Rush came into town and Atlantic merged into the Rush, I became a Director of Coaching for them.

    Q: What part of coaching the Piranhas do you best enjoy and what frustrates you the most?

    A: The best part of coaching the Piranhas is the chance to work with older soccer players, some I used to coach in the VA Rush. To be part of their development during their youth careers and then see them now, is awesome. The most frustrating part of coaching is waiting for the players to get into town, for the first practice to arrive, because you spend the offseason finding the players, signing the players and all you want at that point is the chance to get them on the field training and playing together. To see what the boys can become within this group of players.

    Q: What is your idea of the perfect day off?

    A: My perfect day off is heading to the beach with my girlfriend and kids, hanging out and watching them surf while relaxing in the sun.

    Q: Do you have any hobbies other than soccer?

    A: I like to play golf. I am very average, but a old wise man (who I golf with) once told me, "How can you get upset about your golf game? You don't do this for a living, you don't get paid to play golf, you need to just keep your head down, hit the ball toward the hole and when we are done, know it was an enjoyable day."

    Q: If you could have any job in the world other than coaching what would it be?

    A: I am very lucky. Prior to coaching I was able to have a great job in the Navy. I was able to give myself and my service to this great nation, to make a difference while serving. Other than what I did while in the Navy I wouldn't want to do anything else but coach. What a great job I have.

    Q: What is your funniest road trip story?

    A: My funniest road trip story was with a youth team I was coaching. They were U18 Boys for the Virginia Rush. We were in Delaware and at around 10 p.m., one of the players got hungry and decided to heat up a jelly donut. Instead of 30 seconds, we think he hit 30 minutes. He fell asleep and the entire hotel woke up to the fire alarm going off because the entire floor we were on was now filled with smoke from the burning jelly donut. We had two fire trucks at the hotel, all the guests outside in the parking lot waiting for the all clear, while the burning jelly donut was smoldering on the grass below his bedroom window.

    Q: What is your favorite food / beverage?

    A: My favorite beverage is a Starbucks non-fat white chocolate mocha. My favorite food is pizza.

    Q: What music do you listen to before a game.

    A: I have a list of songs I listen to on the way to the field. It starts out with some Christian Rock and as game time gets closer I listen to some rap and Kid Rock.


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    Michigan Bucks News Release --

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    PONTIAC, Mich. -- The Michigan Bucks and FC London added the Premier Development League's top two trophies to their shelves last season and face off again in the game of the season on Wednesday night at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac (7:30 PM kickoff). The Bucks currently lead the Great Lakes Division of the PDL's Central Conference with a 7-1-3 record, (24 points) with London trailing with a record of 7-2-1, (22 points) with a game in hand.

    An FC London victory would vault last year's North American PDL Champions ahead of last year's PDL Regular Season champs and clearly put the Canadian's in the driver's seat. A Bucks win would give Michigan a five-point lead with two games to go and a bit more breathing room. Should the two teams tie, the outcome of this year's division championship will be determined by both team's final games against division foes.

    The Bucks took the first meeting of the season 2-0 in London on June 14 when new comber Gerald Ben scored his first two goals in a Bucks uniform and reigning PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Adam Grinwis played an outstanding game in net to register the shutout in a key match-up that moved the Bucks into first place, where they have remained ever since. The win was a bit of revenge for the Bucks, who defeated London twice in the regular season last year, only to be upset in the playoffs at home.

    Both teams have had opportunities to open the gap and secure the division, but neither team has been opportunistic enough to get the job done. London went on the road to Chicago and came away with only one point in two games, while the Bucks have sputtered offensively in tying each of the past three games, leaving six points on the table. The intense competition from all seven teams in the division have kept the playoff picture very fuzzy, since all teams are still mathematically alive this late in the season for the first time in history.

    With the PDL Playoffs less than two weeks away, both teams want to secure the division title, which would mean they would play the first playoff game against the No. 2-seeded team in the Heartland Division (currently Real Colorado) in the first game of the Central Conference Championships to be held on the weekend of July 27th. As the overall points leader in the Central Conference, the Thunder Bay Chill retain the rights to host the four team tournament that will decide which team will make it out of the Central Conference to join the other three conference champions in the PDL Final Four on the weekend of August 3.

    While it looks like a return to the Central Conference playoffs (which the Bucks have hosted the past two seasons) would require a trip to Canada, it could be that the last two Bucks home games of the season will take place this week with the game on Wednesday against FC London and then Saturday's final regular season home match against the River City Rovers. The Rovers handed the Bucks their only loss of the season when they won a last-minute game at the Canton Cup on Memorial weekend. Saturday's finale will also be played at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac (7:30 PM kickoff).

    Tickets for both final home games, including the huge showdown on Wednesday are $10 Adults and $7 Youth (16 and under) and are available at the door. Children 5 and under are always free to Bucks home games. Special presale discounted tickets are available for only $7 by purchasing online at Groups of 20 or more can get all tickets for only $5 each by contacting the Bucks office at 248-334-7463.


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    Dayton Dutch Lions News Release --

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dutch Lions are geared up to face the Columbus Crew Reserves on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium. The short trip across I-70 could go a long way in pushing the Dutch Lions up the USL PRO standings. A victory over the Crew will send the Dutch Lions into fourth place.

    The Dutch Lions (7-3-5) find themselves in the unusual position of looking to rebound from a loss. Prior to Saturday night’s 3-2 defeat by the Richmond Kickers, it had been more than two months since Dayton had failed to earn a point in a league contest. The unbeaten streak spanned 10 matches. The team hopes that the match against the Crew is the beginning of another successful run that not only secures a spot in the playoffs, but earns a good seeding in the postseason tournament.

    The Crew Reserves have put together a record of 2-4-1 and sit in fourth place of the MLS Reserve League's Eastern Division. Their most recent game was a 1-0 loss to the Montreal Impact on June 16. The Black & Gold were unable to capitalize on several early chances, and the Impact scored the game-winner in the 81st minute.

    This will be the second meeting between the Dutch Lions and the Crew Reserves this season. The previous match was an up-and-down battle at Beavercreek High School that featured a combined total of eight goals. Dayton took a 3-2 lead into halftime, thanks to goal by Gibson Bardsley and a pair from Joel DeLass. The Crew came out of the locker room after the half and asserted their will, jumping out to 4-3 lead. The Dutch Lions were undaunted and Shane Smith netted the equalizer in the 89th minute. It was a match that typified the grit and determination that Dayton has displayed all season.

    The meetings between the Dutch Lions and the Crew Reserves are part of a partnership between USL PRO and MLS that was struck prior to the beginning of the season. A portion of that agreement has each USL PRO team playing a home-and-away series against an MLS Reserve side. The results of the matches count in the standings for both leagues.

    The Dayton Dutch Lions return home on Sunday, July 14 to take on first-place Orlando City at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the Dayton Dutch Lions, or to purchase tickets, please visit


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    W-20 News Release

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. –
    Five teams have clinched their spots at the 2013 W-20 Championship presented by Nike at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Set for the world-class facilities of IMG Academy July 25-28, the W-20 Championship will feature a total of eight women’s teams, with three spots remaining to be claimed.

    Midwest Division
    Kalamazoo Kingdom
    Force Football Academy

    The Kalamazoo Kingdom W-20s have put together an extremely strong season, collecting the most points for any W-20 team (21), scoring the most goals (38), and conceding the third fewest in the league (5). Finishing with a 7-1-0 record, Kalamazoo’s only loss came to Force Football Academy, the other qualifier out of the Midwest.
    By most standards, a 6-2-0 record (18 points) and a goal differential of plus-27 should be enough to win a division. Although Kalamazoo’s sparkling season clinched the top spot in the division, Force Football Academy is another contender out of the Midwest with the talent to win the tournament. As the only team to defeat Kalamazoo, Force Football Academy is expected to make noise at IMG Academy later this month.

    North Atlantic Division
    Reading United AC
    Harrisburg City Islanders
    Northern Virginia Majestics

    The Reading United AC W-20s enjoyed a season comparable to their Super-20 League counterparts. Like the Super-20s, the Reading United W-20s finished atop their division and posted the best goal differential in the North Atlantic. With 18 goals scored and only four against, Reading United (4-1-1) looks poised to make a strong run in Bradenton.

    Finishing second in the North Atlantic, the Harrisburg City Islanders (4-2-0) have also punched their ticket to IMG Academy. The City Islanders appear to have an appetite for the dramatic, with four of their six games decided by one goal. Being able to win tight matches will come in handy at the championship, where goals will be hard to come by.

    The Northern Virginia Majestics have also earned a spot at the W-20 Championship, posting a 3-2-1 record and accumulating 10 points. The Majestics have a plus-4 goal differential from the regular season, as they finished third in the North Atlantic Division.

    Additional W-20 Championship qualifiers will emerge in the coming days as the regular season wraps up and finalists from the New England and South Atlantic divisions surface. The Ottawa Fury, New Brunswick Blizzards, FC Stars of Massachusetts, Western United Pioneers, Carolina Elite Cobras, Triangle FC, and Lake Norman SC all remain in the hunt for the final three spots.
    The 2013 W-20 Championship will be held America’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex. IMG Academy hosted a myriad of soccer team training camps in recent years, 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.

    The 2013 W-20 Championship will serve as an important player identification event for the W-League and U.S. National Teams. W-League coaches will be in attendance to scout talent along with USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, a longtime USSF Staff Coach.

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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 16 of the season on Tuesday, with Wilmington Hammerheads midfielder Daniel Steres earning Player of the Week honors after scoring three goals in two games as the Hammerheads took four points from two of the top three teams in USL PRO to remain in contention for the playoffs.

    Steres, a former player for the PDL’s Ventura County Fusion, helped his side earn a 2-2 draw with Orlando City last Wednesday night as he opened the scoring from close range after good work by Kyle Greig. The midfielder then converted from the penalty spot with nine minutes to go to earn Wilmington a point after Orlando had rallied to take the lead in the second half.

    Steres also scored the opening goal in the Hammerheads’ 2-1 win against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday night, as his powerful header off Tom Parratt’s corner kick found the underside of the crossbar and went in. Steres is joined on the Team of the Week by Bryce Taylor, who had a standout performance against the City Islanders, and provided a fine cross for Cody Arnoux to score a stoppage-time game-winner that moved the Hammerheads within three points of the playoff positions.

    Charlotte’s Jorge Herrera joined Steres and Taylor in the Team of the Week midfield after leading the Eagles in a successful trip to the Northeast that saw them move into fourth place in the standings. Herrera scored in both a 3-2 win against Pittsburgh and a 2-2 draw with Rochester as he moved into a tie for the team lead with five goals. Goalkeeper Eric Reed was also named after he recorded nine saves, a number of them outstanding, to help the Eagles defeat the Riverhounds.

    Los Angeles’ Matt Fondy leads the Team of the Week attack after a week that saw him score three goals in his first two games back with the Blues, including a late game-winner against Pittsburgh on Saturday night. He is joined by Dayton’s Gibson Bardsley, who had a goal and two assists in the Dutch Lions’ 3-1 win against Rochester, and Phoenix’s Diego Faria, who had the game-winning goal in the Wolves first win since April on Saturday night.

    Richmond’s Luke Vercollone led the defensive trio after he scored twice in the Kickers’ 3-2 win against Dayton on Saturday, and he is joined by Los Angeles’ Duach Jock, who had the equalizer and played solidly in the Blues’ win against Pittsburgh. Orlando’s Rob Valentino completes the trio after giving the Lions the lead in their 1-1 draw against Charleston, while the Battery’s Michael Azira was also named after a strong all-around performance against the Lions.

    The USL PRO season continues Wednesday night as the Harrisburg City Islanders host the Los Angeles Blues at Skyline Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET, and the Dayton Dutch Lions complete their interleague series with the Columbus Crew Reserves at Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET.

    On Thursday night, Orlando City returns home to host the Charleston Battery for the back end of the home-and-home series between the two clubs, while out west Phoenix FC hosts Antigua Barracuda FC at 9:30 p.m. ET. The Richmond Kickers visit the Rochester Rhinos on Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium for the opening game of their weekend trip, which continues on Saturday in Harrisburg against the City Islanders.

    Also on Saturday, the Charlotte Eagles host the Wilmington Hammerheads in a big clash between the two intra-state rivals, while VSI Tampa Bay FC returns to action as it hosts the Charleston Battery. Saturday night concludes with the Los Angeles Blues hosting Antigua Barracuda FC at Titan Stadium, while Sunday sees the Dayton Dutch Lions host Orlando City to cap an exciting weekend of action at Beavercreek Stadium.

    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






    Eric Reed


    Standout performance helped Eagles past Riverhounds


    Luke Vercollone


    Scored twice as Kickers remained undefeated


    Rob Valentino


    Had the opening goal in the Lions’ draw with Charleston


    Duach Jock

    Los Angeles

    Scored the equalizer as the Blues rallied past Pittsburgh


    Daniel Steres


    Had three goals in two critical games for Hammerheads


    Michael Azira


    Was influential at either end in draw with Orlando


    Jorge Herrera


    Pair of goals kept Charlotte moving up the standings


    Bryce Taylor


    Strong work-rate, and had assist on winner vs. Harrisburg


    Diego Faria


    Had game-winner as Wolves broke their winless streak


    Matt Fondy

    Los Angeles

    Three goals in first two games back with the Blues


    Gibson Bardsley


    Had a goal, two assists as Dutch Lions solidified position

    Honorable Mention: Antigua – Tamorley Thomas; Charleston – Heviel Cordoves, Jose Cuevas; Charlotte – Nate Thornton, Christian Ramirez; Dayton – Tjeerd Westdijk, Eli Garner; Harrisburg – Sainey Touray; Los Angeles – Chris Cortez, Rodrigo Lopez; Orlando – Jon Kempin, Jamie Watson; Phoenix – Anthony Obodai, Scott Morrison; Pittsburgh – Matt Dallman, Jose Angulo; Richmond – Michael Seaton; Rochester – Andrew Hoxie, Tam McManus; Wilmington – Cody Arnoux, Shawn Nicklaw.


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    LA Strikers FC News Release -

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    LOS ANGELES - The LA Strikers have signed University of Michigan Wolverine Christina Murillo, Laura Coombs of the Chelsea Ladies and Stanford Cardinal Lo’eau LaBonta for their final push toward the Western Conference playoffs. All three are LA Strikers’ alumni and will be available for the club's final two games of the W-League regular season. 

    Christina Murillo
    University of Michigan, Mexican Women’s National Team

    At Michigan Murillo has tallied nine goals in two seasons and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2011. Murillo, an Ojai, California native, is also a member of the Mexican Women’s National Team. She competed with Team Mexico in the 2012 U-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2012 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

    The defender suited up for 13 games with LA in 2011, recording seeing a team-high 1,170 minutes of action. She also appeared in 10 games in 2012, tallying a goal.

    Laura Coombs
    Chelsea Ladies

    Coombs, 22, has played for Chelsea Ladies FC of the English Women's Super League for three seasons. She has also played for England’s U-17 Women’s National team before winning a UEFA Championship with England’s U-19 Women’s National Team in 2009. The midfielder appeared in eight games with the Strikers in 2011, recording a goal and an assist.  

    Lo’eau LaBonta

    LaBonta received a PAC-12 Honorable Mention following her five-goal 2012 season which included the equalizing and tiebreaking goals in the NCAA Quarterfinal victory against UCLA. The Stanford Cardinal junior graduated from Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga in 2011 after being named CIF Southern Section’s Best Offensive Player. The midfielder appeared in four games in 2012 for the Strikers.

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  • 07/09/13--17:11: MBS Clearwater Opens Friday
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    CLEARWATER, Fla. – Major Beach Soccer’s Clearwater Beach qualifier runs Friday through Sunday, continuing a yearly tradition that began in 1991. The Clearwater Beach qualifier is one of three tournaments in Florida that enables teams to qualify for the MBS National Championship, which is also held in Clearwater.

    This year’s edition of MBS Clearwater will include 74 teams and feature age divisions from U10 to U18 boys and girls, Men and Women’s Open, and Co-Ed Open. Clearwater Beach is considered the flagship tournament of MBS, and the gorgeous sand and warm gulf waters promise a great display of beach soccer.

    Of the 74 teams to feature at this year’s event, 22 will fight it out in the Co-ed Open division. MBS Director Peter Mellor is thrilled about the number of attendees.

    “I think it’s great to see men and women playing together. It’s just such a great way to kick back with your friends or co-workers or family,” Mellor said. “Sun, surf, soccer. What more could you ask for? The perfect weekend getaway with a soccer flavor.”

    Games are played in three 10-minute periods with a 5v5 format. Rosters are no more than 10 players and the game is officiated under the FIFA Beach Soccer guidelines. Players are required to be either barefoot or in socks; no shoes are allowed. Games are typically high scoring and feature a number of exciting rule changes from the grass version to promote nonstop action.

    Clearwater will feature six fields of action for the weekend and games from sunrise to sunset adjacent to the famous Pier 60. Clearwater is home to more than just a beach. The surrounding area hosts many other options for families, ranging from dolphin tours to sunset cruises to a thriving nightlife.

    There are two ways for a team to qualify for the MBS National Championship in December. Any team that wins its division at an MBS tournament is given an automatic berth to the finals. There is also a point qualification system in which teams can accrue points for participating in each qualifying tournament.

    “There’s always a good number of teams returning from last year or coming across the state from the last tournament in Daytona,” Mellor said. “Some of them come just for fun and others come dead set on winning and getting a spot in the finals. I’m excited to welcome back all of the returning teams and we even have some friends coming back from Pennsylvania.”

    While registration for this year’s Clearwater tournament is closed, spots are still available for the final tournament of the year at Fort Myers Beach July 26-27. To secure your place on the sand please visit

    MBS Clearwater Beach is presented in conjunction with Nike, The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, Saint Leo University, Shephard’s Beach Resort, and Farpost Soccer Company.


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release --

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    HARRISBURG, Pa. – When the Harrisburg City Islanders meet the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET at Skyline Sports Complex, it will be one of the most important games of the season for both teams.

    The Islanders and Richmond currently sit two points away from each other in the standings. Entering the weekend's action, the Islanders are in third place, and the Kickers are in second, with both teams looking to make up ground on league-leader Orlando City. This game shows perfectly how close all the teams in the league are to each other, and how every game down the stretch can make the difference in playoff seeding.

    Richmond has not lost a game this season. They enter Friday night's game against the Rochester Rhinos with a record of 9-0-6, collecting points in every single one of their games thus far this season. The Kickers' top scorer Joseph Ngweyna has a total of 17 points on the season, with seven goals. That only puts him at seventh in the league, but the Kickers biggest strength so far has been defensively, where the lead the league with only 11 goals conceded in 15 games and seven shutouts between goalkeepers Andrew Dykstra and Ryan Jones.

    One of those shutouts came against the Islanders in a 2-0 win at City Stadium on May 24. This was during a time where the Islanders were trying to find their footing again after their scoring slowed down. Since then, the Islanders have been playing well  all over the field. Sainey Touray, the league’s second-leading scorer with 27 points and 11 goals. The Islanders have found their scoring since the last match in Richmond, which is the last and only time the Isles have been shut out this season. 

    The Islanders enter Saturday game looking to break out of a funk, however, as they have lost three of their last four outings. The Los Angeles Blues took a 4-2 victory in Harrisburg's last outing on Wednesday night, and the Islanders will be aiming to tighten up a defense that has conceded 11 goals in its past four games.

    Prior to kickoff, former Islander Captain and local Red Land High School standout Dustin Bixler will have his Harrisburg City Islander No. 3 jersey retired. The presentation will occur on the field at Skyline Sports Complex, City Island, Harrisburg at approximately 6:40 pm. In addition to Dustin Bixler’s jersey retirement the Islanders will announce their All-Decade Team at half time.

    Fans should arrive early as Stroehmann Bread is offering a City Islanders and Stroehmann Bread t-shirt giveaway. Quantities are limited.

    For information on the City Islanders please visit or call (717)-441-GOAL.

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release --

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles Soccer Club is set to host a doubleheader on Saturday night, with the Charlotte Eagles resuming their rivalry with the Wilmington Hammerheads at 8 p.m. The contest The Lady Eagles will host the Carolina Elite Cobras at in their final W-League game of the regular season at 5:30 p.m. The doubleheader will be a "blue out", with fans are encouraged to wear their best blue outfit.

    The Eagles will look to keep their eight-game undefeated streak in USL PRO alive when the Hammerheads visit. Charlotte returns home after five consecutive road games, but their run of form has seen them move up to a tie for fourth place in the USL PRO standings.

    The Eagles received goals from Jorge Herrera, Nate Thornton and a Pittsburgh own goal to take a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in their first game of their trip to the northeast last week. Goalkeeper Eric Reed turned in a standout performace as well, stopping nine of the 11 shots he faced. Charlotte then traveled to Rochester where new Eagles midfielder Paul Islas opened the scoring in the 33rd minute. Jorge Herrera added a second-half goal, but the Rhinos came back and scored twice in the final six minutes to earn a 2-2 draw.

    The two goals from Herrera this last weekend moved him into a first-place tie on the team with Christian Ramirez with five goals apiece. Reed has played all but 12 minutes of the 2013 season. His six shutouts have him tied for first in the league. Reed is also ranked in the top five in the league in wins (7), ties (8), saves (70) and goals against average (1.422). The newest Eagle, Islas, made his debut this past weekend and scored in the 2-2 draw with the Rhinos.

    Wilmington is riding its own wave of momentum heading into this weekend's game. The Hammerheads are undefeated in six games and have moved within three points of a playoff spot.  Cody Arnoux scored a 90th-minute game-winning goal against the Harrisburg City Islanders last Saturday after Daniel Steres opened the scoring for the Hammerheads in the 33rd minute. Steres is the reigning USL PRO Player of the Week thanks to his performances against the City Islanders and a 2-2 draw against Orlando City.

    Be sure to CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets for this Saturday's doubleheader! Keep that BLUE Flag Flying High and we'll see you on Saturday for a BLUE OUT Doubleheader!

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    Austin Aztex News Release --

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    AUSTIN, Texas -- The Austin Aztex (9-1-1, 28 pts) host Oklahoma City FC (7-3-2, 23 pts) in Austin’s regular season home finale on Saturday night at House Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT. The match is filled with playoff implications for both squads as the Aztex and OKC FC are on top of the PDL Mid South Division at first and second, respectively.

    “It definitely heightens the level of focus and intensity of the game,” Aztex defender Leone Cruz said. “Both teams are going to come out to win so that we can solidify our playoff berth.”

    The Aztex need a win or a draw in order to secure a spot in the playoffs, and a win would secure the Aztex as 2013 Mid South Division Champions. In addition, the Aztex need seven out of a possible nine remaining points from their final three games to win the right to host the Southern Conference Championships in Austin.

    OKC FC, on the other hand, need three points to try and wrestle the division championship from Austin’s grasp. In addition, OKC FC are trying to hold off the Laredo Heat for a spot in the playoffs, and a win Saturday night would help hold off the Heat. On Thursday night, OKC FC travelled to Laredo and settled for a 1-1 draw.

    OKC FC were without their top scoring weapon Adam Black Thursday evening versus the Heat. Black served a suspension received resulting from a red card from the team’s prior match. Black, who is tied for third in the PDL in goals scored with 10, is expected to be back in the fold Saturday night versus the Aztex.

    Outside of Black, OKC FC’s squad have split the scoring load evenly. Two players, Nicolas Alberto and Kevin Cabello, have scored three goals apiece while seven other players have scored at least one goal.

    Tactically, the matches between the Aztex and OKC FC take a different shape each match. In their first game, Aztex head coach Paul Dalglish countered OKC FC’s direct style by utilizing 6-foot-5 forward Tucker Hume, who scored the game-winning goal at the end of the match. In the second match between the squads at House Park, Aztex forward Kris Typrak scored two goals in a 3-2 victory. OKC FC recovered and held the Aztex to a scoreless draw in the third match between the squads.

    “They have changed their formation every single time,” Tyrpak said. “They played with three backs last time (in OKC) and the time before they played with four. It all depends on what they come out with and how we can adjust.”

    In goal, OKC FC has kept an even rotation between Ray Clark and Brian Byars. Both goalkeepers have played an even 540 minutes on the season. However, Byars kept the Aztex scoreless in their previous game, earning a spot on the following USL PDL team of the week. Byars sat out OKC FC’s match Thursday in Laredo and will be rested for Saturday’s match if he receives the starting nod. Byars has allowed fewer goals than Clark, averaging 0.833 goals allowed versus an even 2.000 by Clark.

    Aztex goalkeeper Devin Cook will look forward to the challenge presented Saturday. Cook leads all goalkeepers in the league in goals allowed (5), wins (8), and goals-against-average (0.500). Cook is also in second place in shutouts with six.

    Cook’s rankings are a testament not only to his stellar individual efforts in goal, but also to the team’s defensive work ethic. With strong collective defending along the backline and the remaining players all pressing up top, the Aztex have limited their opponents to an average just more than four shots per game. However, the Aztex defenders are aware that of the six goals they have allowed so far in the PDL, three have come at the hands of OKC FC.

    “I think we have prepared well,” Cruz said. “We have played OKC FC a few times and got to see how they approach us and work against our tactics. We are confident in our preparations and to go out and give a good performance in front of our home fans.”

    In the midfield, Zachary Garcia and Tony Rocha will be called on to contain Black while Andres Cuero looks to continue to ride his hot streak. Cuero leads the Aztex in all competitions with eight goals and is making a late season surge up the PDL’s charts for points and goals.

    The Aztex will see attacking options Kris Tyrpak and Tony Rocha return from their brief training spell with Houston Dynamo’s first team.


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    Friday, July 12, 2013

    READING, Pa. – Reading United had seen this script in the past. Regular season home finale and your captain sent off in the first half versus an opponent looking to punch their own ticket to the playoffs. It happened one year ago, when Reading skipper Stephen Okai was sent off in the first half of the last home game of the regular season against an Ocean City Nor’easters team that was ready to celebrate a division title. The 2012 United squad took control of their playoff destiny as they picked themselves up and scored two second half goals to beat Ocean City.

    Fast forward to Friday night’s match. Down a man after newly-minted captain Damion Lowe was sent off in the 44th minute, United rebounded in the second half scoring four goals against fellow playoff contenders the Long Island Rough Riders to record an impressive 4-0 victory on Fan Apprection Night. United’s goals came in a 23-minute surge that temporarily propelled the club back to the top of the Mid Atlantic Division standings.

    The first half of the match featured thrilling end-to-end action as each of the playoff contenders sought to grab the advantage. United held a slight edge in possession and created several good opportunities through some very crafty build-up play. Much like recent matches though, Reading was not able to find the final pass to cut apart the stubborn Long Island defense.

    The talking point of the first half was Lowe’s ejection in the 44th minute. The United defender was fouled just inside the Long Island half of the field. As he got up to walk away from two Rough Riders players, Lowe brushed away one of his opponent’s arms and was shown a straight red card for what referee Eric Weisbrod deemed as violent conduct.

    United came out of halftime as the more aggressive side. Darius Madison, acting as a lone striker, remained active and continually threatened the Long Island back four. With more space to operate, the forward found room down the right channel and nearly opened the scoring in the 56th minute. Breaking into the Rough Riders’ penalty area, Madison hit a lovely chip that floated just over Marco Joergensen’s crossbar.

    The deadlock was finally broken in the 67th minute thanks to a great through-ball from Wes Charpie. The defender found Kadeem Dacres in the right channel with a superb pass. Cutting back to the middle of the penalty area, Dacres fired through traffic to beat Joergensen to hand United a 1-0 advantage.

    Second-half substitute Mario Pinto nearly doubled United’s advantage in the 73rd minute but saw his shot skim off the outside of the post. Undaunted, Reading’s leading goalscorer handed United a two-goal lead in the 75th minute as he took advantage of a Long Island mistake and buried his shot into the back of the net.

    Manolo Sanchez increased United’s lead when he hit a long range blast from outside the penalty area that Joergensen failed to get behind completely. The ball squirted away from the normally sure-handed Rough Riders goalkeeper and rolled over the goal line to make it 3-0.

    Following the 86th minute ejection of Rough Riders defender Joe Posilico, Wes Charpie capped the scoring in the 89th minute. Sanchez took the ball on the right side of the field and raced into the Long Island penalty area. As Joergensen and his defenders were about to close down the Reading midfielder, Sanchez hit a chipped cross that found Charpie unmarked at the far post. The defender merely had to tap in to push the score to 4-0.

    Following the match, Lowe spoke about how important the win was for his team. “It was a great win. Everyone wanted it, the whole team wanted it, the coaches wanted it and the fans wanted it. We were tired of the ties. We pushed and the team stuck together.”

    Coach Ged Quinn felt Lowe’s red card changed the game in United’s favor. “The game pivoted when we went down to 10 men. I think that opened the game up a little bit and the second half, we came out with a little bit more energy. With a little more space that we provided because Long Island had to come at us, it allowed us to exploit that space.” As for the adjustments made at half time, Quinn said, “We knew the game was still there for the taking. We were trying to be a little bit more aggressive, we thought we were very passive in the first half. So basically, we said be aggressive, isolate someone one on one and get at them and try to switch the point of attack a bit quicker than we did in the first half.”

    Reading United will travel to Ocean City on Sunday to face the first place Nor’easters in a match that will likely determine the Mid Atlantic Division title. Kickoff from Ocean City’s picturesque Carey Field is set for 7 p.m. United’s final regular season match will take place on Saturday, July 20th when the team takes on the Central Jersey Spartans.


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    Pali Blues News Release -

    Friday, July 12, 2013

    The Pali Blues are pleased to announce the addition of forward Katie Stengel, midfielder Daphne Corboz, and defender Kassey Kallman to the squad. The Blues have faced numerous injuries this season, and Head Coach Charlie Naimo has added a few key players to help with the team’s championship hopes.

    Stengel is entering her final collegiate season at Wake Forest this fall with a wealth of awards and other honors to her name. As a freshman, she was named the ACC Freshman of the Year, and was a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy. She finished the season with 16 goals and five assists, setting her school’s single-season scoring record and points record (37).

    As a sophomore, Stengel became Wake Forest’s first player to be named the ACC Offensive Player of the year, and was once again a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. She broke her own scoring record from the previous year with 19 goals and eight assists for a total of 46 points.

    In 2012, she missed part of the NCAA season while in Japan playing for the US U-20 Women’s National Team. She went on the help Team USA win the U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Stengel returned to Wake Forest for 15 games and led her team in scoring with nine goals, and assisted on four others.

    “We have struggled to replace Lynn Williams all season,” Naimo said. “Adding Katie at this stage will be a huge help. She is one of the top strikers in college soccer and has played on various national teams with our nucleus. I expect a natural fit.”

    Corboz, a midfielder at Georgetown University, will help boost the midfield productivity for the Blues. A member of the U-23 USWNT player pool, Corboz finished the NCAA season fourth in points with 10 goals and one assist.

    “Daphne provides creative stability in the midfield, another area where we recently lost an important player,” commented Naimo. “She will make an immediate impact.”

    Lastly, Naimo has added depth to the Blues’ backline with the addition of Kallman from Florida State. Another U-20 World Cup champion and current U-23 WNT member, Kallman brings defensive versatility to Pali.

    “Kassey brings basically everything to the table. She can play left back or central, which may allow us to push [Abby] Dahlkemper forward. Along with Daphne and Katie, she has also spent time on various national teams with our core group, and has great leadership qualities.”

    The Blues’ last chance to make the playoffs will be on Sunday when they host the Santa Clarita Blue Heat. A win is necessary for Pali to finish the regular season on top and host the conference playoff.

    “Should we be fortunate enough to make the playoffs, these players will be enormous for our championship hopes,” Naimo said.

    Sunday’s match will kick off at 5 p.m. PT at Palisades High School. Tickets are still available at or by calling 310-777-7897.

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