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News from USL

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  • 02/11/14--14:46: Lions Add Hertzog To Squad
  • Orlando City News Release --

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City Soccer Club announced on Wednesday the signing of former Major League Soccer(MLS) Striker Corey Hertzog for the 2014 USL PRO season, pending USSF approval.

    “We were in need of another striker, as we only have Chinny (Dennis Chin) at this moment in time, and Corey is somebody we know all about,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “He scored a hat trick against us in 2012 and everyone we spoke to in Vancouver were really complimentary of not only his attitude, but they also think that he has the potential of becoming an MLS player so we’re looking forward to working with him this year .”

    At only 23 years old, Hertzog has already made his way onto two MLS sides prior to joining Orlando. After a stellar career at Penn State University and for Reading United AC in the PDL, which saw the Reading, Pa. native forgo his senior season, Hertzog signed a Generation adidas contract and was drafted 13th overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls.

    Hertzog made his professional debut for the Red Bulls on March 26, 2011 in a 0-0 draw against Columbus Crew. The Striker’s first professional goal and start would occur simultaneously in a 2-1 victory over former USL PRO side, FC New York, in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

    After his rookie season with the New York Red Bulls, Hertzog would go on loan to the Wilmington Hammerheads in USL PRO. In 17 appearances with the North Carolina-based side, Hertzog found the back of the net nine times, ending the 2012 season as one of the league’s top scorers. Hertzog was named to the All-League First Team, and was a finalist for the league's Most Valuable Player award.

    After spending two seasons as a member of the Red Bulls, Hertzog went on to sign for his second MLS team, the Vancouver Whitecaps. Hertzog scored one goal in seven appearances for the Whitecaps. Now he joins Dennis Chin as the only two strikers currently on Heath’s 2014 roster, and is amongst the myriad of signings coordinated by Heath in the past month.

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    PDL Feature

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. – When Harry Shipp stepped onto the field at IMG Academy on Saturday for the Chicago Fire’s first preseason contest of the year, it was both the start of a new professional career and the culmination of a plan set in motion four years ago.

    Photo courtesy Chicago FireShipp, a former standout at Notre Dame, and Chris Ritter, a standout at Northwestern, became the second and third Homegrown Signings in the Fire’s history this winter, having retained their eligibility through the club’s Super-20 and PDL programs since heading to college. That they were able to do so was a result of a new direction within the club that made both programs an extension of the club’s Academy system.

    “We kind of felt our mission for the PDL team changed,” former Fire PDL coach and current Academy Director Larry Sunderland said. “We kind of made the decision internally that in the future we were going to use the PDL team to continue grooming our homegrown guys.”

    The Fire U-23 continue to have a strong PDL squad, but gone are the days when the side would be populated by the top college players from throughout the country. Since the team’s first season in 2001 more than 60 alumni have been selected in the MLS SuperDraft, with most heading to other clubs to begin their professional careers. Players like Perry Kitchen, Ned Grabavoy and 2004 PDL Goalkeeper of the Year Brad Guzan are among the club’s alumni, with the Fire often unable to claim them in the SuperDraft.

    “Some of those guys we could get and some of those guys we couldn’t,” Sunderland said. “If you go back through the years with all of our PDL drafts, we could have one of the best teams in MLS if we could have taken all of our guys.”

    With the club’s new approach and players like Shipp and Ritter leading the way, the Fire will now have the chance to hold onto their top prospects and could have a steady pipeline of strong players available to join the first team. Shipp had the opportunity to train with the Fire’s first team as part of his development the past two summers, and is excited to have the chance to turn pro in Chicago.

    “It was really exciting, especially this past summer training with the first team most days for the first half of the summer. I think it got me accustomed to playing with these guys, not just in the style of play, but to start to know their tendencies,” Shipp said. “I think a big part of my game is knowing where people are going to move on the field and I think playing with them the past couple of summers has really got me aware of what people like to do, especially in the attacking third.”

    Shipp had a solid debut for the Fire’s first team as he recorded his first goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory against D.C. United on Saturday. Sunderland believes that the time Shipp has spent in the Fire’s system makes him different from a typical MLS rookie.

    “We’re bringing in guys that know our culture now, that we’ve trained to play the way we want them to play, to understand the game, to be, quite frankly, a little bit different than what comes into the MLS system in the past,” Sunderland said. “I think you look at Harrison Shipp - he’s a different player. He’s an intelligent player, he’s very good on the ball, he’s a little bit different to the regular guys that are coming into the league, and I think we have more of those coming through the pipeline.”

    “The longer you play in a program, the more you get a unified system where there’s kind of an attitude as to what you want to do on the field,” Shipp added. “I think we bring kind of a technical element to the game - we want to be a technical side - and I think getting those guys that come up through the youth system all on the same page makes it both exciting for the team and for the entire city of Chicago.”

    Should Shipp shine this season he wouldn’t be the first Homegrown signing to have an immediate impact on his team’s fortunes after spending time in the PDL. 2012 PDL All-League selection DeAndre Yedlin had a standout rookie season for the Seattle Sounders FC last summer and recently made his first appearance for the U.S. National Team.

    The Sounders are one of eight MLS clubs that have either a partnership with a PDL club or run their own franchise in the league, with the San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact the newest entries into the league this season. Sunderland is happy to see the new initiatives being taken by MLS and USL to boost player development.

    “MLS is forming a number of great partnerships with USL, which could end up being a tremendous, tremendous step for the development of players in this country,” Sunderland said. “We’ve had this hole from say, 17, 18 to 22 and it’s a hole with a lot of different things. You can say it’s a developmental hole - it’s a hole where you lose control of the players you’ve been developing - so this idea of bridging that gap not only with the PDL, but with USL PRO teams, is just a fantastic opportunity for all of us.

    “As I see it there are very few players that can go from 17, 18 years old right into MLS, and this provides an opportunity to continue to develop as a soccer player, but also to physically mature, and I think that’s a big part of it.”

    As far as Shipp and Ritter are concerned, the opportunity to make the jump together is hopefully going to make the transition to the Fire’s first team a smooth one. Alongside first Fire Homegrown Victor Pineda and the exciting addition of Benji Joya, the youth movement in Chicago could take a big step forward this season as the club is able to reap the rewards of the time it has spent cultivating its players.

    “We’ve roomed together the past two camps down here and it’s really helpful,” Shipp said. “I knew [Ritter] a little bit in high school and playing against him every year in college with him at Northwestern. I think having that familiar face around off the field really helps me feel more comfortable on the field, both with him and the other players.”

    “A guy like Victor had it tough because he was the only Homegrown at the time,” Ritter added. “It’s nice that Harry and I are both going through this for the first time together.”

    With both players settling into their professional careers, the hope for the Fire is that both are able to bridge the gap between the PDL and MLS quickly and establish the club’s development model as one that could be emulated elsewhere.

    Should that be the case, the club’s decision about the direction of its PDL and Super-20 teams four years ago will appear prescient.

    “We felt that over a certain period of time we would be grooming our Homegrown guys through the PDL, through the Super-20, that were going to be draft picks,” Sunderland said. “We felt that by doing it this way we would have a steady stream of guys coming through our Homegrown system, through the 20s, through the PDL, and into the first team, and I think Shipp and Ritter is just the start of that.”

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  • 02/11/14--23:24: Orlando Falls Against Fire
  • Orlando City News Release --

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. — Approximately one week after beginning preseason training, Orlando City SC began its 2014 preseason campaign with a tough test against Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire at IMG Academy Stadium in Bradenton, Fla. With a roster comprised of 13 signed players and numerous trial players, the Lions suffered a 3-0 defeat to the Fire.

    “I thought that some of our guys looked okay, but I think it’s difficult when you’re playing an MLS team that’s two or three weeks ahead of you in terms of conditioning,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We learned something about one or two of our players but we’ll get better as we move forward in the preseason.”

    Orlando began the match on the front-foot and their possession-oriented style of play was on display, despite having two trialists in the starting 11. For the first 10 minutes, the Lions were able to move the ball around the pitch effectively, as Chicago sat back.

    City’s movement of the ball would eventually yield their first chance when new signing Austin Da Luz struck a cracking effort from just outside the penalty area. Da Luz’s strike was a looping one, and went just inches over the crossbar.

    Despite managing the tempo for the opening portion of the first-half, the Lions would find themselves down 1-0 after a costly error from trialist Miguel Ibarra. The right back found himself in an awkward position during a Chicago counter-attack and was forced to bring down midfielder Harry Shipp just outside the area.

    hipp, who was heavily involved in the Fire’s movement going forward in the first half, curled his effort around the wall and into the bottom corner past goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo.

    In the ensuing moments, the Fire began playing at a higher tempo as Shipp’s free kick seemed bring more life into their play. Instead of bunkering in with defensive walls, Chicago began pressing Orlando's defense higher up the pitch and created several opportunities.

    Nevertheless, a clearance off the line from Da Luz and a few big saves from Gallardo would allow City to regain a grip on the match. As a result, Watson and Chin began getting more involved in the run of play and allowed the Lions to play more directly.

    After a few half-chances from both Watson and Chin, however, matters would get worse for Orlando when guest player Daniel Jackson doubled the Fire’s lead in the 30th minute. An errant pass from the City defense landed at Jackson’s feet outside the box and, with ample time and space, the midfielder was able to flick the ball over Gallardo's head before he rolled the ball into the back of the net.

    The second half began with Heath making five changes, which featured three trial players and new signings Corey Hertzog and Carl Woszcyski. Returning players Anthony Pulis, Jamie Watson and Miguel Gallardo were all given the rest of the night off.

    Chicago also made several changes of their own to begin the second 45, one of which included former Lion Freddie Braun, who is currently on trial with the Fire.

    Orlando once again opened the half as the more dominant side, in terms of possession, but struggled to create threatening opportunities in the final third. The Fire sustained the pressure being implemented by City, and responded with timely attacks on the counter.

    One of those timely attacks would eventually result in Chicago’s third goal of the match, when Braun found himself in the righht place at the right time. Fire midfielder Brendan King’s effort from the right-hand side came back off the left post and landed perfectly for Braun, who slotted it past Woszczyski in the 77th minute for the third and final goal of the match.

    The Lions’ next preseason match will occur in their first Disney Pro Soccer Classic game against the Philadelphia Union, on Wednesday, February 19, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

    For more information, visit

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    Lane United FC News Release --

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane United FC is extremely pleased to announce that it has arrived at a three-year partnership deal with the Eugene-based Oakshire Brewing. Oakshire will be the Reds' exclusive match jersey sponsor and their Public House will serve as a venue for Lane United’s community events, according to the club’s managing director Dave Galas.

    Galas and Oakshire founder Jeff Althouse began working on the deal in January when the soccer club began its push for sponsors for the upcoming year. "Oakshire was immediately excited about supporting Lane United, and we were excited about working with them," said Galas. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Oakshire to make the experience for our fans a richer one, but also in working to broaden the exposure of soccer in general in the community.”

    “Oakshire is excited to help build exposure for Lane United Football Club - we feel this team will be very positive for our local community, and for the soccer community in Oregon,” added Althouse.

    Both Galas and Althouse have said that plans are in the works for World Cup viewing parties at the brewery's public house during the month-long tournament in June and July. The building, which re-opened in May 2013 in the Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene, boasts an open pub feel with a small outdoor patio, well-suited for such events, said Althouse.

    Lane United FC operates a soccer franchise in the PDL. They will begin their season in May, competing against other teams in the PDL’s Northwest Division. Home games will be at the Willamalane Center on 32nd Street in Springfield. The club was founded in 2013 and is headed by an ownership group that includes longtime Eugene Emeralds owner Dave Elmore.

    Oakshire was founded in October 2006 and is now a 15-barrel production company.

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    Orlando City SC News Release -

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC has signed former Vancouver Whitecaps Defender Brad Rusin for the 2014 USL PRO season, pending USSF approval. With only three defenders currently signed to OCSC, Rusin adds depth to Head Coach Adrian Heath’s backline as the club continues to make a series of acquisitions heading into the 2014 campaign.

    “We’re excited to have Brad in, and we’re building a bit more strength in the squad,” Heath said. “We think that he is going to be a big addition for us and we certainly know that he can play at this level, but we’re also looking at next year as well.”      

    Known as an athletic and powerful defender, Rusin joined the Whitecaps on January 11, 2013, after spending the prior year-and-a-half with Danish club HB Køge. The 27-year-old defender has an imposing 6-foot-4 frame and made 19 appearances for Vancouver, starting in 16 of those matches for the Canadian side.

    “We really liked his physicality,” Heath added. “He’s a big, strong and mobile player.  We know that we’re bringing in someone who played 20 games in MLS last year for a side that had one of their best seasons to date.”

    Rusin, who played collegiate soccer at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), began his professional career in 2009 with the Carolina Railhawks of the USL First Division. The former Bruin made 52 appearances, from 2009-11, for the North Carolina-based club and also recorded two goals.

    After a three-year stint with the Railhawks, Rusin signed a three-year contract with HB Køge who had just been promoted to the Danish Superliga. During his time with the Danish side, Rusin scored two goals in 33 appearances.

    The signing of Rusin marks two former Vancouver players added to Heath’s roster this month, as former Whitecaps Forward Corey Hertzog was acquired by the club earlier this week. With 14 total players on the roster, the Englishman has been active in comprising a talented squad as the Lions approach the 2014 USL PRO season.

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release --

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are pleased to announce the re-signings of Matt Gold, Ben Newnam and Drew Yates for the 2014 USL PRO season. 

    Gold, Newnam and Yates all played their first season for the Eagles in 2013 as they helped the team reach the 2013 USL PRO Championship Game. 

    Gold and Newnam both played in 26 games and anchored a defense that recorded eight shutouts. Newnam led the team in minutes played and added one goal and one assist. Yates appeared in 23 games last season and added three goals and six assists. His six assists led the team and were good for sixth place in the league.

    “I'm super excited to get back in town to see everyone, from the returning players to the people the in office,” said Gold. “Obviously the soccer side of it is always exciting to start up again but I think all the relationships are what makes the Eagles such a unique and attractive place to come back to.”

    "Last season was such an unbelievable experience on and off the field," Yates said about coming back to Charlotte for the 2014 season. "The run to the championship was a thing of beauty. Unfortunately we came up a little short and I couldn't pass up the opportunity of coming back to the Eagles to give it another go. It's an unbelievable organization and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

    Yates is currently playing for the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League and will join the Eagles after the MISL season concludes in early March.

    “To bring back the quality of men as well as soccer players that Ben, Drew, and Matt are is outstanding,” said new Eagles General Manager Jeremy Auyer. “We could not be happier to have the three of them back helping to build into the team on and off the field in 2014.”

    The Eagles will return once again to Queens Sports Complex for the 2014 USL PRO season. The season kicks off on April 4th against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Fans can purchase their tickets HERE

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    Toronto Lynx News Release --

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    TORONTO -- The Toronto Lynx began their 2014 PDL roster building, by announcing the re-signing of two former captains, Taylor McNamara and Macca Wilde for the upcoming season. Both are long serving players within the USL, coming through the Lynx's Junior Academy Super Y-League teams. They both also captained Lynx U20 teams to the North American Finals.

    McNamara also completed two seasons with USL PRO's Dayton Dutch Lions before returning to Toronto in a Player/Academy Coach position in 2013. Wilde, a former U20 National team member, has recently returned from Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee and both former captains are very much looking forward to the season ahead.
    McNamara and Wilde are joined on the new Lynx roster by 2012-13 Most Valued Player, Leigh Veidman. Rated as Toronto's top import player in recent seasons, Veidman, a former Liverpool FC Academy player is currently completing his final year at NAIA Bellevue University, Neb. On a busy weekend, Toronto also secured the return of Lynx goalkeeper Matthew Silva, who will also return for his third year in the PDL. Silva recently completed a standout career for Le Moyne College in New York, where he earned the school record for most career shutouts. Silva is another Lynx Academy graduate that has represented his club at all levels of USL.
    Toronto hopes to be making additional announcements in the near future, as a determined effort to be fully prepared for the new challenges within the realigned Midwest region for the 2014 season. Further information and player applications can be found on the clubs web site at

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  • 02/16/14--17:32: Battery Win Preseason Opener
  • Charleston Battery News Release --

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery kicked off their preseason schedule with a 2-0 victory against the College of Charleston on Sunday afternoon at Blackbaud Stadium. Jarad van Schaik scored the first goal and trialist Dean Kelly added a second as the Battery began its preparations for the 2014 USL PRO season. 

    The Battery got off to a quick start with a goal in only the third minute of play from van Schaik. The ball was pulled back to the midfielder just inside the 18-yard box and he drilled home a shot high into the roof of the net.

    Former Cougar Zach Prince had a chance to add a second for the Battery in the second period (the scrimmage featured three periods of play as both coaches used multiple players) after Charleston were awarded a penalty kick, but his attempt was saved by the College of Charleston goalkeeper.

    Late in the final period the Battery scored a second goal when former CofC striker Luke Huggett snuck in behind the defense, and when his shot was blocked it fell kindly for trialist Dean Kelly to slot home.

    The Charleston Battery take on Coastal Carolina University this Wednesday, February 19 before turning its attention to the Carolina Challenge Cup featuring Major League Soccer on Saturday February 22.

    Tickets on sale for 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup 
    Tickets for the 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup featuring Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders, D.C. United and Houston Dynamo are on sale now. Carolina Challenge Cup tickets are included in all 2014 Charleston Battery season ticket packages.  Season Ticket packages are on sale now starting at only $120.  Individual tickets (includes 2 games) are available starting at just $15 with discounts available for groups of 10 or more.

    To purchase tickets, for a full game schedule or for more information call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit

    Charleston Battery preseason schedule
    2/19 – 5 .p.m vs. Coastal Carolina – Blackbaud Stadium
    2/22 – 7:15 p.m. vs. Seattle Sounders FC – Blackbaud Stadium (Carolina Challenge Cup)
    2/26 – 7:15 p.m. vs. D.C. United – Blackbaud Stadium (Carolina Challenge Cup)
    3/1 – 7:15 p.m. vs. Houston Dynamo – Blackbaud Stadium (Carolina Challenge Cup)
    3/7 – 1 p.m. vs. NAIA All-stars – Blackbaud Stadium
    3/8 – 2 p.m. at Carolina Railhawks
    3/11 – 2 p.m. vs. Wilmington Hammerheads – Blackbaud Stadium
    3/13 – 2:30 p.m. at College of Charleston
    1 p.m. vs. Clemson – Blackbaud Stadium
    3/18 – 11 a.m. vs. Georgia Southern – Blackbaud Stadium

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    OKC Energy FC News Release --

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC has announced the signings of Philip Lund, Paul Wyatt and Gareth Evans General Manager Jason Hawkins announced today. Lund and Wyatt’s signings are pending visa processing and receiving their international transfer clearances.

    Photo courtesy Seattle SoundersLund, a central midfielder from Vejle, Denmark, played in one game for the Seattle Sounders during the 2013 season. Prior to coming to MLS, Lund played four seasons in Denmark.

    “When Philip first signed with Seattle Sounders, I was very happy for him,” said Energy FC Head Coach Jimmy Nielsen. “I have followed his career in the Danish League. He is a young and hungry player, and he's the kind of player who can make a difference in games. When he was released from the MLS, I didn't have to think twice about signing him to our team. He will be a great addition.”

    While in his home country, Lund played for second-division side FC Lyn, Vejle Boldklub in the first division and spent time with Kolding FC on loan. Lund also played for the Danish Under-19 national team.

    “I am happy to sign with Energy FC,” Lund said. “I see a lot of positive perspectives and potential that I’m drawn to. We are building this club together, and we will represent it as best we can. I want to do my best to show people this is a sustainable project we’re working to establish in Oklahoma.”

    Wyatt, a native of Modbury, England, was a four-year starter at forward/midfield for James Madison University, registering 28 goals and 11 assists for 67 points in 73 games.

    “I was aware of Paul from his time at James Madison University where he was the driving force behind a successful team,” said Energy FC assistant coach Chris Spendlove. “He has two good feet and is extremely athletic with good size and power. With his engine and mentality we are excited to have him on board and have no doubts he will give us everything he has in every practice and game.”

    Wyatt was named to the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region First Team and All-Colonial Athletic Association as a junior and senior. He was also named to the CAA All-Tournament team, a Soccer America Preseason All-America, Top Drawer Soccer Top 100 Underclassmen Preseason list, CAA Preseason Co-Player of the Year, College Sports Madness Preseason All-CAA First Team and named to the Hermann Trophy watch list as a senior. He earned NSCAA All-America Second Team honors as a junior.

    Wyatt led the Dukes in goals (9) and points (21) and finished his career tied for fourth in goals (9) and tied for sixth in total points (21). He was named JMU’s Athlete of the Year and the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player as a senior, earned team Co-Most Valuable Offensive Player as a junior and was named Rookie of the Year as a freshman.

    He played for Reading United of the PDL in 2012.

    “Oklahoma City has one of the fastest growing soccer fan bases in the country and becoming part of the first professional soccer team in the city is an extremely exciting and humbling prospect,” Wyatt said. “It’s clear the coaching staff is putting together a squad based on not only a mix of youthful energy and experienced minds, but also players who want to work for the club and for each other. I look forward to getting started and believe that this is the beginning of an exciting journey for the club, the fans and the city.”

    Evans previously played for USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads for the last three seasons. He also played with the Carolina RailHawks. Prior to his success in Wilmington, Evans began his North American career with the Austin Aztex and later played with the Real Maryland Monarchs.
    “We are thrilled to have a player of Gareth's experience and ability to anchor our backline this season,” Nielsen said. “He has continued to develop and mature, and I have no doubt he will be a leader for us this year. Gareth brings all the qualities we are looking for, as well as invaluable multi-year league experience.”

    Evans played in the Welsh Premier League for Newi Cefn Druids and then signed a professional contract with Wrexham in 2006.

    “I’m very excited to join Energy FC,” Evans said. “I knew as soon as I spoke with the coaching staff this is where I wanted to be, and I’m very thankful to have the opportunity. I am 100-percent focused and determined to do everything I can to repay the faith shown in bringing me here. I want to help this organization be successful from the beginning.”

    Season seat holders who have paid in full may participate in the team’s Select-a-Seat event on February 22. Those individuals who have not paid in full and wish to select seats as soon as possible may contact their account representative at 235-KICK.

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    LA Blues SC News Release -

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    LOS ANGELES – The LA Blues are pleased to announce the additions of Rachel Daly and Leah Galton to the roster ahead of the 2014 W-League season.  The two hail from Harrogate, England, but play collegiately in New York at St. John’s and Hofstra, respectively.

    After a spectacular 2013 campaign in the NCAA with Ian Stone’s St. John’s Red Storm, Daly will return to Southern California to play for her former LA Strikers head coach, Tracey Kevins.

    “We are excited to have Rachel on board this season,” said Kevins, Blues Technical Director. “She had an excellent first season in the W-League with the LA Strikers last year, and has had a standout year at her college with her goal-scoring feats.  Having recently received a call up to the England senior team, Rachel will be a valuable addition to this strong squad.”

    Daly, who played forward at St. John’s, recently completed her first college season and led her team to an historic run while earning numerous personal accolades along the way.  She finished the season with 23 goals and four assists, making her the nation’s top goal scorer and resulting in Big East Offensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors.  Daly also helped St. John’s to its first NCAA Tournament win, helping spark a comeback against UCF in the first round.  The Red Storm went on to make their program’s first appearance in the second round of the tournament.

    Daly became St. John’s first All-American in program history, being named to the Second Team as well as the All-Northeast Region First Team.  She also received her first call-up to the senior England National Team for its training camp in La Manga, Spain in January of 2014.  Her W-League accolades include Player of the Week, Defender of the Week, and All-Western Conference Defender in 2013.

    “I am delighted to be playing for the Blues this year,” Daly said. “Obviously I was a part of a great team last year [with the Strikers] and working closely with Tracey was something that was so beneficial for me and all of the girls last year.  Being a part of the best two teams in L.A. combined is something incredibly exciting and what is even more exciting is that we are going to have such a strong squad, including all the staff. 

    "Working with Charlie [Naimo] is something I am looking forward to as his past record is enough to tell me how successful he is.  As an English kid from a small town, to be in L.A. over the summer playing great football is something amazing in itself.”

    The Blues are equally excited to welcome Galton.

    “Leah is an excellent talent with strong leadership skills for a player so young,” Kevins said.  "She has represented England at all youth levels including captaining the teams.  She has a fantastic left foot and will bring great quality to an already strong roster.”

    In 2012, Galton scored a team-best 11 goals and added five assists for the Hofstra Pride.  She was later named to the All-CAA First Team, All-CAA Rookie Team, CAA All-Tournament Team, and the CAA Rookie of the Year. She followed up with eight goals and 12 assists in 2013 for a total of 27 points.  She was named the All-CAA First Team and CAA Player of the Year.

    Galton has played on England’s U-15, U-17, and, most recently, the U-19 women's national team.

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    USL PRO Feature

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. – As one of the newest members of Orlando City, the objective for former USL PRO All-League forward Corey Hertzog couldn’t be clearer as he prepares for the new season.

    Photo courtesy Joe Petro/Orlando City SC“I just felt like I could come down here and make an impact on the team and get some games,” Hertzog said after his first appearance for the Lions on Tuesday night. “The past couple of years I haven’t that many games, so I want to get playing and start scoring some goals.”

    In the past, goals have never been hard to come by for the former Reading United standout. A Super Y-League ODP selection who attended camp alongside other standouts such as the Chicago Fire’s Dilly Duka, Houston Dynamo’s Tony Cascio, D.C United’s Nick DeLeon and the Portland Timbers’ Darlington Nagbe in 2008, Hertzog’s ability to find the back of the net shone through in the PDL and also in his time at Penn State, where he led the nation in 2010 with 20 goals.

    His ability in front of goal brought the opportunity to leave school early and turn pro as a Generation adidas player, which brought him to the New York Red Bulls. Hertzog said the time he spent in Reading not only helped him prepare for his college season, but also to make the step up to MLS.

    “Playing for Reading United in the PDL got me ready to go in MLS,” he said. “They bring in good players from all around that are also playing in MLS now, so it’s just a great squad to practice with and get used to the speed of play and everything.”

    After limited playing time as a rookie with the Red Bulls, Hertzog was sent on loan in 2012 to the Wilmington Hammerheads, where he again displayed his scoring prowess. With nine goals in 17 regular-season games he was a finalist for the league MVP award, but he shone the brightest in the postseason as his pair of goals helped propel the Hammerheads to a shock 4-3 semifinal win against Orlando, and into the championship game.

    “I think it was one of those games,” Hertzog said of the semifinal. “Playing any game down there was awesome; it was a great experience for me to get some game time and it helped me learn a lot.”

    Now, as he joins the Lions, Orlando coach Adrian Heath is hoping that he can have the same impact for his side that he did for the Hammerheads. As a former forward, Heath is also looking forward to helping Hertzog sharpen his game as he looks to regain his form.

    “We’re hoping that we can work with him and make his movement a little bit better in the box, make sure his finishing is better,” Heath said. “These are all things that are about polishing him up. He’s proved that he can score a goal and now we’re going to make sure we work with him so we know where he is, and what he’s looking for. I’m excited that he’s come in because I think he can score goals for us.”

    Hertzog is also looking forward to learning from Heath as he looks to put together a confidence-building season for the Lions.

    “I’ve heard all good things about him and I’m excited to get in and learn a lot,” he said. “Hopefully he can teach me a lot of stuff.”

    As he looks to work his way into form over the next six weeks before the Lions kick off the season against the Charleston Battery on March 22, Hertzog will get the opportunity to stake a claim to be the lone striker in Orlando’s 4-2-3-1 system ahead of another player looking for a big season, Dennis Chin. Heath is looking forward to the competition Hertzog will provide the longtime Lions standout.

    “We always tell the players that the best player plays,” Heath said. “Once the season starts whoever starts the season well and gets the shirt, it’s up to him to keep it, and if he starts and starts scoring goals he’s got every chance.”

    And as has been proven in the past, give Hertzog a chance, odds are he’ll take it. If he does, the Lions will likely end their USL PRO era with a bang.

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    Springfield Demize News Release --

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Springfield Demize announced today that Ian Henry has been hired as the Head Coach for the 2014 PDL season. Henry, originally from Dublin, Ireland, is currently an Assistant Coach at Drury University Men’s Soccer, who were ranked as high as fourth in the nation this year, and Director of Youth Development for Springfield Soccer Club, in Springfield, Mo., which competed in the youth national championships this year. 

    While playing soccer at Missouri Baptist University (St. Louis, Mo.), Henry earned a B.A. in Sports Management and is currently working on his M.S. in Education at Drury University. Upon graduation, Henry became Director of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club as he worked with the U15/16 and U17/18 Boy’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams, which played in the USSDA National Championship, and served as the club’s trainer. He was also an assistant with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Men’s soccer program that competes in the Missouri Valley Conference.

    Even though being a soccer coach is nothing new, this is Henry’s first PDL head coaching position. “I always had an interest in coaching in the PDL,” Henry said. “This opportunity will allow me to coach at the next level.”

    So what type of soccer player does Henry want? His ideal player would be one that plays “attractive soccer” --- proficient technical ability, speed, and tactical awareness. “We need to continue to improve upon what this organization has developed, create more interest in and excitement around the game, and bring fans to the stadium,” Henry said. “Having an attractive product on the field that can win games will fulfill those goals.”

    Plan to attend the Demize's PDL season opener and meet Coach Henry and the Demize players on May 17, 2014, at Cooper Sports Complex, Springfield, Mo. as they take on the Des Moines Menace at 7 p.m. CT. For tickets, visit

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    Washington Spirit Reserves News Release -

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    BOYDS, Md. – The Washington Spirit announced that German Peri will take the head coaching reins for the Spirit Reserves W-League team for the 2014 season.  Following a Final Four playoff run at the helm of Spirit Reserves squad last year, the Washington front office was equally pleased to confirm that JP Sousa will remain with the program to assist Peri this season.

    A familiar name to Washington Spirit fans, Peri served as assistant coach to the NWSL professional Spirit team as part of Mike Jorden’s inaugural staff.  Recently, Peri returned from a guest-coaching stint in Florida at the Major League Soccer combine.

    As a youth coach, Peri boasts 17 separate Virginia Youth Soccer Association (VYSA) State Cup championships with both boys and girls teams.  The Northern Virginia native also earned three regional titles and two national finalist finishes in his career, as well as led D.C. United’s U20 team in 2008.  

    In addition to moving into the W-League coaching ranks, Peri will also share duties as an assistant on the coaching staff for the senior Spirit professional side under NWSL head coach Mark Parsons.

    Currently, Peri is also the Director of Coaching for Arlington Soccer Association.

    “The excitement of working with the top caliber players in the W-League to advance both the professional first team Spirit and the future of women’s soccer is tremendous,” commented head coach Peri.  “The experience opportunities for both our players and myself to build the program and club are incredible.

    “I was fortunate enough to be given the initial opportunity under Mike Jorden. Working alongside Mark [Parsons], the Spirit Reserves will implement a mirrored program with the pro team to facilitate both player movement into the upper ranks and the overall club philosophy.”

    After taking over the head coaching position vacated by the ascension of Parsons to the pro team, former Super-20 leader Sousa steered the successful reserve squad through the postseason and into the W-League Championship tournament in 2013.  After ousting the regular season front-runner Virginia Beach Piranhas, the Spirit Reserves fell 3-2 in overtime to eventual champion Pali Blues.  

    “Having both German and JP leading our reserve side is a coup as far as any soccer manager would be concerned,” Reserves Director Tim Schweitzer said.  “The player development track record both of these coaches bring to the table combined with working directly with Mark and the pro side are unheralded in the W-League.

    “I cannot imagine a better situation in providing a straight path for our players into the professional ranks,” Schweitzer beamed.

    The Washington Spirit Reserves face a challenging schedule of opponents in the Northeast Conference this season, including historic playoff contenders the Long Island Rough Riders and W-League veterans the New York Magic.

    The Spirit Reserves kick off their season Saturday, May 17 against the Braddock Road Stars Elite at the Maryland SoccerPlex.  Match time is currently slated for 3 p.m. and is the first match of a special doubleheader with the Washington Spirit professional side.  The Spirit take on Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash at 6:30 p.m.


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    Wilmington Hammerheads News Release --

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    WILMINGTON, N.C. – Wilmington Hammerheads FC announced on Thursday the re-signing of forward Cody Arnoux for the 2014 USL PRO season. This will be Arnoux’s third consecutive season with the USL PRO club.

    “I am excited to be back for my third season,” said Arnoux. “I am even more excited to spend another year in my hometown of Wilmington. It is great to see all of our local soccer programs doing well and growing in numbers.”

    The Wilmington native filled a late slot in the Hammerheads roster in July 2012 after having previously signed with Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer. Prior to the start of his MLS career, Arnoux was on a one-year agreement with Everton of the English Premier League.

    “I am very happy to have Cody back,” said David Irving, Wilmington Hammerheads FC Head Coach. “He has experienced a few unlucky seasons due to injuries over recent years, but with a full bill of health and injury behind him, I am looking forward to an outstanding season from Cody.”

    Arnoux finished the 2013 USL PRO regular season with four goals and one assist for the Hammerheads.

    The Hammerheads kick off their first game of the 2014 USL PRO regular season on Saturday, April 5 against the Harrisburg City Islanders at Legion Stadium.

    For further information regarding Wilmington Hammerheads FC, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit

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    Baltimore Bohemians News Release --

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Bohemians announced today that former US international Santino Quaranta has been appointed head coach of the PDL squad. 

    “I’m thrilled to be joining the Bohemians organization,” said Quaranta. “I look forward to building a winning squad that Baltimore can be proud to call its own.”

    As a player, the Baltimore native spent 11 seasons in Major League Soccer, his time split between D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy and New York Red Bulls. With D.C., Quaranta won the MLS Cup in 2004, and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2008. He earned 15 caps for the United States national team, and was a member of the Gold Cup-winning U.S. squad in 2005.

    After retiring, Quaranta co-founded Pipeline Soccer Club, an elite youth club based in the Baltimore area. He serves as Technical Director and Vice President of the club, which has more than 40 competitive teams, an academy, recreational programs, camps and private training.  

    “We are very excited to have Santino on board,” said Bohs General Manager James Tirabassi. “His experience both on and off the pitch will be invaluable to young players in the Baltimore area looking to make the move into the professional ranks.”

    Baltimore's season kicks off on Saturday May 17 on the road to Northern Virginia Royals. Their first home match is Saturday May 31 against NJ-LUSO Parma at Calvert Hall in Towson. Tickets to all home matches are available at 

    Please direct all media inquiries to the club’s Director of Marketing & Media Relations Joe Tirabassi. He can be reached at

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    Rochester Rhinos News Release --

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The New England Revolution (Major League Soccer) and the Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO) have renewed their partnership that makes the Rhinos the official USL PRO affiliate of the Revolution.

    This is the second year of the teams’ affiliation and is one of the founding partnerships of the MLS and USL PRO relationship that launched in 2013 to help further the development of professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada.

    The agreement calls for the Revolution to loan a minimum of four players to the Rhinos for the season. Rochester head coach Bob Lilley joined the Revolution in Bradenton, Fla., for a part of its 12-day training camp to observe players and collaborate with the Revolution coaches.

    The Revs players loaned to Rochester will be announced closer to the start of the season once that determination has been made.

    “We believe our partnership with the Rhinos was mutually-beneficial in 2013 and we’re looking forward to the continued relationship in 2014,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “Having the ability to get players consistent and meaningful playing time is important to their development, and we saw the benefits of it last year with a few of our players when we needed to recall them for first-team games.”

    “We are happy to be back working with the New England Revolution this season.” Rochester Rhinos President and Chief Operating Officer Pat Ercoli said. “USL PRO's affiliation with Major League Soccer has raised the profile of our league and level of play on the field. Our partnership with New England puts our franchise on par with the best minor league organizations in Rochester. We are looking forward to another great year working with the Revs.”

    Per an announcement made on Jan. 23, 2013 by the two leagues, MLS teams can partner with, or form their own, USL PRO clubs to further player development. As the Revolution’s official affiliate, Rochester will retain a minimum of four Revolution players for development for the entire USL PRO regular season. Those players would then get regular playing time, and have the opportunity to be called back up by the Revs if needed.

    In 2014, 11 MLS teams will be involved with USL PRO teams, either through affiliation or by having their own team in the league. In 2013, four MLS teams had USL PRO affiliates: New England, D.C., Philadelphia and Kansas City. MLS teams without representation in USL PRO will compete in the MLS Reserve League in 2014.

    The 2014 Rochester Rhinos schedule can be found here:

    The Rhinos open their 19th season on Saturday, April 5th against the defending USL PRO Champion Orlando City. The Rhinos' home opener is on Sunday, April 27th against the Charleston Battery in Sahlen's Stadium. Season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available, 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

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  • 02/18/14--15:59: NCAA Champs Return to Blues












    LA Blues SC News Release -

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – LA Blues Soccer Club is excited to announce that the UCLA trio of Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion, and Caprice Dydasco, 2013 NCAA College Cup champions, will return to the club to play their second W-League seasons. The three were critical in the Pali Blues’ run to the 2013 W-League Championship, and hope to repeat the accomplishment for the new LA Blues team.

    “I can go on and on about these three,” Blues Manager Charlie Naimo said. “Their ability is obvious, but I respect even more what you cannot see. They each are extremely professional, are great teammates, and dedicate themselves to winning.”

    Dahlkemper played all but three games for the Pali Blues in 2013, helping anchor a defense that allowed only 11 goals and helped the team earn eight shutout victories. Toward the end of the season Naimo set Dahlkemper in the midfield where she made major contributions. Her play was exceptional during the W-League final, which the Blues won 1-0 against the Laval Comets.

    Following the 2013 W-League Championship, Dahlkemper played an outstanding season at UCLA, helping the Bruins win the College Cup final.

    She scored one goal and earned two assists from the center back position during the NCAA season. She helped the Bruins defense allow an average of 0.30 goals, the best in the nation, and set a new school record of 18 shutouts in one season.

    After the season, Dahlkemper was honored with numerous awards including NSCAA All-American, Scholar All-America Player of the Year, the Honda Award, and was a finalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, among other accolades.

    “What a year Abby had,” Naimo noted. “I do not think there was an NCAA award that she was not a finalist for. That speaks to her production and versatility. Everyone knows she is a great central defender, but it was her contributions in the midfield that helped us win the championship last year in the end. Obviously, she will play a huge part of that again this year.”

    “I'm so excited to be returning for the 2014 season,” Dahlkemper said. “I think it will be a great year, and I can't wait to compete for another championship with the Blues.”

    Midfielder Killion returns as another instrumental player from the 2013 Pali Blues team. She led the team in assists with eight and scored two goals. Her efforts were enough to be named to the All-Western Conference Team at the end of the regular season.

    At UCLA, she scored one goal and assisted on a team-best 14, including one in the semifinals of the College Cup that led to the equalizer which kept the Bruins alive in the race to the College Cup final match.

    “Sarah may be even more competitive than me, and that is not easy,” Naimo said. “I love those players that genuinely hate losing, even in training. That is her, and she brings that into every match. She also has a soccer sense second to none and has the ability to escape some difficult situations. We certainly think she will pull strings for us again this year.”

    “I am extremely excited to have a chance to play another season with the Blues this summer,” Killion said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to play with such an awesome group of girls and to be around an outstanding coaching staff. It will be another great season and I am looking forward to bringing everything that I can to the team.”

    Dydasco is another key player from the 2013 Blues championship team. She earned two assists from the left back position, being a player who likes to get up the flanks and create goal-scoring opportunities. She also impressed with her ability to defend one-on-one.

    “Caprice is hands down one of the best 1v1 defenders I have been around, but she also possesses a knack to get forward. She will be a huge part of trying to keep the trophy in LA,” Naimo said.

    “I am very excited to be back playing with the Blues in the W-League this summer,” Dydasco said. “Playing in the league will be a great experience and opportunity to play with and against so many talented women throughout the summer. I am very excited for this upcoming season and we will try our best to bring the trophy back to LA again.”

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  • 02/19/14--09:09: Orlando Set To Face Union
  • Orlando City News Release --

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Orlando City SC kicks off the 2014 Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic on Wednesday evening against Major League Soccer side the Philadelphia Union at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. as the Lions get set to play their first of three matches against MLS sides in the Pro Soccer Classic.

    Photo courtesy Jon Lorenz/Orlando City“Over the years, the one thing that we’ve proved to MLS teams is that we’ve always been competitive with them, and we expect to do that again,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We are always a little bit behind them (MLS teams) in terms of numbers and training time, but I’m still looking for an improved performance from our previous two matches.”      

    The Union, who are further along in their preseason training, have already held scrimmages in Jacksonville, Fla. against MLS clubs New England Revolution and the New York Red Bulls. Philadelphia drew 1-1 with the Revolution before falling 2-1 to New York at Everbank Field.

    The Union is headlined by big-name players such as Maurice Edu and Jack McInerney. Edu, who has earned more than 40 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, was acquired from English Premier League side Stoke City FC on January 27th. In his fourth season with the Union, McInerney had his most productive campaign to date in 2013 as he scored 12 goals.

    Both Orlando and Philadelphia are quite familiar with each other, as both clubs have played one another in preseason for three consecutive years. The two sides initially matched up against each other when the Lions played their first game in Orlando during the 2011 preseason. Stemming from a Lewis Neal free kick, the Lions took a 1-0 victory against the visitors at the Florida Citrus Bowl. In 2012 and 2013, both games featured a 1-1 scoreline.

    “We’ve really enjoyed it over the last few years,” said Heath. “We’ve had two or three really good games against Philly, so we don’t expect anything different.”

    Orlando heads into the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic with two preseason matches under their belt against MLS sides, Chicago Fire and Montreal Impact. The Lions fell 3-0 to the Fire and 2-1 to Montreal, as Heath continues to evaluate the multiple trial players currently within the team’s camp.

    Admission for the match against the Union starts at $20 and parking is available around the facility. The address of the complex is 700 S Victory Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747.

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    Houston Dutch Lions FC News Release --

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    MAGNOLIA, Texas -- The Houston Dutch Lions FC has announced that Marco Pruis will become the clubs new Head Coach for the 2014 PDL season. Pruis will be taking over the spot of former Head Coach Hans van Arum. The Dutch Lions are excited to play at their own brand new Soccer Facility having state-of-the-art artificial fields.

    The 26-year-old Pruis is the former assistant coach of last year's PDL team and the current Head Coach of the Texas Premier Soccer League Team. With his current team he became the 2013 Texas Cup Champions, while the team is currently on top of the League in the spring regular season were it has already secured a spot for the playoffs for the U.S. Open Cup.

    Pruis has high potential of becoming a great coach, President Martin Kroeze said

    "Marco is young, very motivated and acts very professional in our organization," Martin Kroeze said. "Marco has a great charisma and gained a lot of respect from his players. I'm very excited to see Marco Pruis in action as our new Head Coach for the PDL 2014 Season and wish him all the best of luck."

    "We are very pleased with our new Head Coach Marco Pruis," CEO Dennis Kroeze said. "Since 2012 he improved a lot in each aspect. From being the assistant coach last season of our PDL Team to being the Head Coach of our current TPSL Team, he implements the Dutch philosophy in a great way. Players and staff respect his vision and we believe that he would be a great asset as a Head Coach for our PDL team. Off the field he is recognized as an example to the Woodlands/Conroe soccer community as a coach and community member. We certainly believe that with Marco Pruis being the new Head Coach for the Houston Dutch Lions FC, we can compete against teams such as the Austin Aztex, Laredo Heat, Mississippi Brilla and the Midland/Odessa Sockers. I am looking forward to our 2014 PDL season at our own new Houston Dutch Lions FC Soccer Complex".

    Vice-President Robbert Kroeze is very confident having Pruis as the new head Coach of the USL PDL Team.

    "Marco is a Coach with a great personality on and off the field," Robbert Kroeze said. "Marco has shown that he can work with a lot of talent. He recently won the Texas Cup and is currently on top of the league with the Texas Premier Soccer League Team. This is already a great achievement for the club.

    "Marco Pruis is also part of our Management Team being the Technical Director of the club. Marco has shown over the years that he is a great asset for our club where the decision was not difficult to sign Marco Pruis as our new Head Coach. I am looking forward to the PDL 2014 season". Robbert Kroeze believes that with Marco's experience and returning players from last season added with some new talent we can be among the top teams in the league.

    ''I am truly honored by this great opportunity provided by Martin Kroeze, Robbert Kroeze and Dennis Kroeze," Pruis saiid. "I enjoyed coaching the Super 20's in 2012 and offered a next opportunity last year by assisting Head Coach Hans van Arum in 2013 at the club's PDL team. Despite the result not showing it last year I believe the Houston Dutch Lions FC has made great steps on and off the field. This year we will have the completion of the first two phases, besides these two beautiful artificial fields we are all very excited about the club house. For us coaches we are looking forward in having a meeting room for video analyses on the same location as our fields.

    "I look forward to our first try out round on Saturday, March 15th, we hope to find quality players in each line of the team. We have over 30 players signed up already for our try out so it is looking to be a busy day with lots of talent.

    "In 2013 we had great players with lots of potential; these players will have a platform to showcase their talents. With our Texas Premier Soccer League team and Houston Football Association team we have two teams with lots of players with great potential. We enjoy working with these players every week. Our summer teams (PDL, Super 20 and HFA) will be great for these players to showcase their talents on a higher level. We saw last year that current TPSL player Jose Alvarez benefited a lot from being on the training field, and game roster, on a daily base, he has improved so much compared to his start at the Houston Dutch Lions FC back in August 2012.  Besides our semi-pro team we also see lots of growth in our Youth Academy, the coaches and myself enjoy working with these talented boys and girls a lot."

    For more information about the PDL season please go to our website; . We hope to see all of our members and fans this summer cheering on all of our teams.

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    Orlando City News Release --

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In their opening Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic match, Orlando City SC drew Major League Soccer side Philadelphia Union 1-1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Forward Corey Hertzog scored the lone goal for the Lions, as Orlando remains undefeated all-time (1-0-3) against the Union.

    “We still have an awfully long way to go,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “That’s our third game in nine days, after a five-month lay-off, so we have a lot of work to do but I can never fault the guys for their terrific effort. Conceivably we had a couple of chances to win it at the end.”

    In their fourth contest in as many years against the Union, Orlando began the match as the more aggressive side in their opening Pro Soccer Classic game. After pressing the Union high up the pitch, Orlando forced a poor giveaway from Philadelphia and midfielder Kevin Molino pounced on it.

    The attacking midfielder drove the ball towards goal before laying it off for new signing Darwin Ceren, who had his powerful effort blocked by the Union defense. Despite Philadelphia dealing with the ensuing corner kick, Ceren’s early chance provided confidence for the USL PRO side.

    Moments later, in the 11th minute, City created another close chance when midfielder Austin Da Luz played a threatening ball in behind for Hertzog, who found himself free inside the area. Hertzog’s effort to pull the ball back across the six-yard box was deflected out for a corner, but proved to be another encouraging sign for City.

    Taking note of the Orlando attacks, the Union began playing a more possessive style of play, which ultimately allowed them to create more chances. One of those opportunities arrived in the 22nd minute, when midfielder Cristian Maidana gave Philadelphia their first real chance of the match.

    Stemming from a corner-kick, the ball fell perfectly for Maidana, just outside the Lions’ penalty area, and the midfielder hit a well-struck effort that skipped just inches past the far post.

    New signing Maurice Edu was also in the line-up for Philadelphia and came close to scoring his first goal since coming back to MLS. In the 26th minute, the former Stoke City midfielder blasted a dangerous effort from 22 yards. Edu’s strike was honing in on the top-corner, but Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo made an excellent finger-tip save to push his effort over the cross-bar.

    Nevertheless, the consecutive near-chances from the Union seemed to re-energize Orlando. In the 31st minute, left back Luke Boden floated a well-placed ball over the Union defense for Hertzog. After bringing the ball down with ample space and time, Hertzog calmly lobbed the ball over Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath to give the hometown side a 1-0 lead heading into the halftime break.

    In the 55th minute, local striker Dennis Chin entered for Hertzog and provided an immediate spark. Upon entering the game, Chin used his speed to find space down the right-hand side and drove a dangerous ball to the far post for Da Luz, whose effort was deflected back towards Chin inside the penalty area, only for his effort to be tipped just wide by MacMath.

    Moments later, Philadelphia replaced their entire starting line-up with their second unit, providing fresh legs for the visiting side. 

    Those substitutions made by Head Coach John Hackworth would work in their favor, when Leo Fernandes found the equalizer after a poor clearance from the Orlando defense. 

    City would come close to responding in the 77th minute, when Alvarez found Chin in behind with a piercing through-ball. Chin used his pace to outrun the Union defense and go around goalkeeper Brian Holt, but managed to hit the outside of the right post with his final effort.

    Despite both sides continuing to probe at each other’s goal, the match would finish 1-1 for the third consecutive year. Orlando’s next match is set for Saturday night against Toronto FC, who have notable key stars such as U.S. Men’s National Team player Michael Bradley and Brazilian international Julio Cesar.

    The match against Toronto is set to kick off at 8 p.m., and tickets start at $20. For more information, visit

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