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News from USL

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    Laval Comets News Release - www.lavalcometes.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    LAVAL, Quebec – The Laval Comètes recently reached a partnership agreement with two regional clubs for the 2014 season: Delta de Laval Soccer Club and Les Étoiles de l’Est Soccer Club.

    The agreement will allow the Comètes to work closely with the two clubs and serve as a top-quality option for players of the clubs. Delta and Les Étoiles de l’Est will also benefit from the Cometes' presence in their clubs during the upcoming summer season, as special events (training sessions, game day dedicated to the club, etc.) will be organized through the new partnership.

    “This is a great day for the Comètes, and we are truly proud to announce these partnerships,” Comètes General Manager Philippe Ciarlo said. “These agreements are the result of extensive discussions with soccer representatives in Laval, and I wish to thank the two presidents and their clubs for believing in our structure and embarking on this adventure with us. Our mission has always been to develop Quebec talent and I hope that this partnership will encourage the young athletes in these two clubs to pursue their soccer career at the highest level. The idea behind these two agreements will hopefully spread and, maybe in the future, we’ll be able to say that we are showcasing all the talent Laval has to offer.”

    Each member of the Delta de Laval Soccer Club and of the Étoiles de l’Est Soccer Club will also become a “super fan”, as he or she will receive a 2014 W-League season pass for the Laval Comètes.

    “This new partnership with two local soccer clubs will have an enormous impact on the development of women's soccer in Laval and on the visibility of the Comètes,” Ciarlo added.

    “I’m very happy about this partnership with the Comètes,” said the President of the Delta de Laval Soccer Club, Benoit Brabant. “This agreement will not only allow every Delta player to receive a season pass to go see the Laval Comètes, a top-level women's soccer team, but will also provide Delta with several exclusive activities, such as a practice session at St-Antoine Park and a day of festivities during a game at Bois-de-Boulogne.”

    “This agreement with the Comètes gives the players at the Étoiles de l’Est a chance to attend high-caliber games in our region for a ridiculously low price,” said the President of the Étoiles de l’Est Soccer Club, Jean-Robert Patry. “Like the young boys in our club that can admire the play of older players in our senior men’s team of the Quebec Elite Soccer League [AAA], this partnership now enables our girls to look up to athletes playing in a top-level women’s team. The club management is proud to show our young players that even after their youth career, playing opportunities still exist at a high level in our region, for boys and girls alike.”


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    Tulsa Roughnecks News Release -- www.uslprotulsa.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    TULSA, Okla. – The wait is finally over! Tulsa’s newest, professional soccer team now has a name, and it will be a familiar one to many long-time soccer fans. The city’s new USL PRO franchise will be called the Tulsa Roughnecks.

    The name was selected by fans in a Tulsa World Media Company Name Your Team Contest. The name Roughnecks was the overwhelming choice from four selections in the final round of the contest.

    The name Roughnecks received nearly 50 percent of the total votes, almost as many votes as the other three names combined. Tulsa Strike finished second in the voting with 25%, FC Tulsa was third with 16% and Oil City FC was fourth with 9%.

    The new team’s official name with be Tulsa Roughnecks FC.

    “We want to have soccer fans strongly involved with this team,” said Mike Melega. “That is why we wanted to do a Name Your Team Contest, so we could see what fans wanted and preferred in their team’s name.

    “Throughout the voting process, it became clear that the nickname Roughnecks has come to be the name that soccer fans associate with Tulsa professional soccer. It is our city’s soccer identity here and throughout the country and we are excited to bring it back.

    “We realize the name may be unpopular with some fans and also realize that it comes with lofty expectations.  We are not trying to present this team as the past Roughnecks, because we have so much to prove as both a team and an organization. But, like that franchise, we do want to work to build a club and an operation that everyone in the city can be proud of.  We hope the name will help introduce the game and the city’s soccer history to a new generation of fans.”

    The original Tulsa Roughnecks began play in the North American Soccer League in 1978 when Texas businessman H. Ward Lay moved the franchise from Hawaii.  The team played in the NASL, the United States’ top flight league at the time, from 1978-1984, capturing the NASL Championship in 1983.

    “Jeff and I’s father, Went Hubbard, made a commitment more than 25 years ago to operate a quality, professional baseball franchise in the city of Tulsa,” said Roughnecks majority owner Dale Hubbard. “We are very excited to now expand that commitment to the beautiful game of soccer with the long overdue return of a professional franchise to our city. We look forward to being involved in the soccer community as we are with the baseball community. There is a lot of work to do in the next 12 months, but we cannot wait until the first game comes to ONEOK Field.”

    The organization will now begin work immediately on developing team colors, team logos and uniforms. Those items will be released later this spring or summer.

    USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO.  It is expected that the Roughnecks will have an affiliation in place by the time they play their first game in March of next year.

    The Roughnecks will play their home games at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa. Season tickets for the inaugural season are now on sale with fans able to secure a priority position for selecting seat locations by placing a $25 per seat deposit.

    Below are comments written by fans during the Name Your Team process.

    “It only makes sense to revive the Roughnecks name and enable a new generation of fans to wear it proudly on jerseys and scarves and to sing it loud in supporter’s songs during games in downtown Tulsa.  A revised Tulsa Roughnecks logo/shield could also incorporate a single star, signifying the win in the 1983 Soccer Bowl as a means of recognizing the city’s history in a manner appropriate with soccer clubs around the world.” – B. Parker, Tulsa

    “The Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps chose to continue their NASL legacy, so should Tulsa.  I directed most of the Roughneck away games for Channel Eight and continue directing soccer, including ten years of MLS network coverage for ESPN and ABC Sports, Women's World Cup and the US Men's National Team matches.  To this day, the US soccer community knows Tulsa as the home of the Roughnecks.” – D. Wren, Tulsa

    “The name Roughnecks will probably be the most submitted, and it should be.  There is history here, and we shouldn't ignore it, but build on a solid foundation. The term Roughnecks also has strong ties to the area, with our lengthy history and commercial legacy tied with oil and gas. We should embrace our history, and move forward with it.” – A. Holdsclaw, Tulsa

    “It's our name!!   Its relevance needs no explanation! – J. Crain, Tulsa


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  • 02/26/14--14:30: Former Strikers Join Blues
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    LA Blues SC News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The LA Blues are delighted to announce the addition of 2013 LA Strikers standouts Tanya Samarzich, Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Jamie Bell, and Shanna Hudson to the roster. The move adds more Strikers fan favorites to the new LA Blues squad led by Charlie Naimo and Tracey Kevins, former coaches of the Pali Blues and LA Strikers, respectively.

    Samarzich, from Upland, Calif., is a forward at USC who played her first season of collegiate soccer in 2013. She is also a member of the U-20 Mexican national team, and recently impressed at the U-20 CONCACAF Championship, which serves as the U-20 World Cup qualifying tournament. She netted six goals for Mexico and won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.

    “Tanya is a young prospect with an eye for goal who only recently showcased her goal-scoring abilities by winning the Golden Boot whilst representing Mexico in World Cup qualification,” Kevins said. “We are excited to have her join us this year.”

    “I'm really excited to be part of the LA Blues,” Samarzich said. “Being with the Strikers last year was a fun experience. I'm excited to meet the other players and play in our first game, and hopefully become champions.”

    Prudhomme, another Southern California native from Aliso Viejo, is a starting goalkeeper at Oregon State University where she was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team in 2012. She averaged 5.78 saves per game in 2013, the highest in the Pac-12. She currently stands in the top five at Oregon State for saves in a season and career shutouts.

    “Sammy Jo is an outstanding goalkeeper whose shot stopping is second to none,” Kevins said. “Alongside Audrey Bledsoe, we now have two incredible goalkeepers on our roster.”

    “I am incredibly excited to be playing with the LA Blues this upcoming season,” Prudhomme said. “It's a great opportunity for me, being a younger college player, to play with and against some of the best in the nation and gain some of their knowledge of the game along with experience. I played with the LA Strikers last year and it was amazing, so I'm looking forward to playing with some of my old teammates and getting to know the new players.

    "The W-League is one of the top leagues in the nation and I can't wait to get back and compete.”

    Bell, one of the Strikers’ top scorers in 2013, is also returning to play for Kevins. Prior to signing with the Strikers Bell played professionally in Russia with Energiya Voronezh in 2010. Bell was also a standout at Loyola Marymount from 2004 to 2007 and ranks in the top six for all-time career points.

    In 2013, Bell scored two crucial goals against the Pali Blues - most importantly her game-winner in a 2-1 victory late in the season that hurt Pali’s chances of making the postseason.

    “Jamie had an excellent season and had a knack of scoring important goals,” Kevins said. “Her work rate and attitude was first class, and I am excited to work with her again”

    Hudson, a defender from Venice, Calif., played collegiately at USC and Cal State Northridge. She is no stranger to the W-League’s Western Conference having played for the Pali Blues in 2012 and the Strikers in 2013. Hudson is also a member of the Haiti women’s national team.

    As the team captain, Hudson led the Strikers to the club’s first winning record of 8-5, plus their first appearance in the Western Conference Championship last year.

    “I’m excited to return to the Blues to be part of something special,” she said. “Charlie and Tracey together are the perfect match. They will create an exceptionally professional environment anyone would want to be a part of. Both Charlie and Tracey have run successful teams in previous years. I know that at the close of season I will be a better player.”

    “Shanna is a tenacious, uncompromising defender who will add even more strength to a tough looking defense,” Kevins said.


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    FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    TUCSON, Ariz. -- FC Tucson's Dan Antoniuk was responsible for some of the club's best scoring chances during the first two match days of the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. He just couldn't convert them.

    But on Wednesday night he finally earned himself a tally in FC Tucson's 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake.

    "It was rewarding to get that goal," Antoniuk said. "I did have a bunch of chances I wasn't able to put away. So to finally be able to put one away felt great."

    In the 59th minute, Saeed Robinson set up FC Tucson's lone goal by running up the the right flank, behind the defense, and crossing the ball into the box. Antoniuk then found the back of the net, a spot that eluded him in two previous matches of the tournament.

    "We were teasing him a little bit about missing some easy goals early on," said FC Tucson Head Coach Rick Schantz. "And to see him go flying in there, kind of throwing his body, it was a good goal. Everything about it was good and it was a moment of relief for him, as well as myself because he's a great guy."

    Antoniuk is a microcosm of the FC Tucson club that participated in the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup for the very first time. Many of the team's players came from all over the country and with varying backgrounds.

    Antoniuk came from the St. Louis Ambush, a Major Indoor Soccer League club, as did Andres Acosta, who joined him in FC Tucson's starting XI.

    Other players like Robinson, Eli Galbraith-Knapp, Michael D'Arrigo and Greg Carter, were former FC Tucson players who had just finished their college careers.

    And others like Reid Schmitt, Ryan Gracia and Kareem Smith, were long past college careers, and between professional contracts, looking for the opportunity to catch on with another professional club.

    "I think we did amazing considering we put a team together in two weeks without even knowing each other," Acosta said. "It definitely shows the quality of players we have."

    Prior to the Antoniuk goal, the match was all Real Salt Lake. In the 11th minute, the club had two excellent chances back-to-back but D'Arrigo saved both shots. Then in the 14th minute, D'Arrigo denied Real Salt Lake again with a leaping save to his left.

    But the pressure did not stop and in the 24th minute, Alvaro Saborio finally slipped a shot passed D'Arrigo to give Real Salt Lake a 1-0 lead.

    Neither team had great chances the rest of the half but in the 44th minute Real Salt Lake's Aaron Maund headed a ball passed D'Arrigo to make it 2-0. Just a minute later, Saborio scored his second goal when he deflected a free kick into the net.

    Despite the 3-0 halftime lead, Real Salt Lake couldn't add to their goal total and Schantz was happy with his teams performance in the second half.

    "Today I was really proud," Schantz said. "I thought that it was tough. We gave up three really good goals and they didn't put their heads down too much and they came out fighting in the second half. We talked about winning in the second half and they did so I was proud of them."

    FC Tucson will now drop out of the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup Tournament and make way for "Los Futuros de Chivas de Guadalajara," who will play the Chicago Fire in the tournament final at 6 p.m. Real Salt Lake will play Chivas USA at 1 p.m. and the New England Revolution will play the Colorado Rapids at 3:30 p.m. 

    The Fire reached the tournament final by amassing the most points in the tournament (six). The other two matches were arranged to help avoid rematches among the remaining four clubs.


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    Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Defender Drew Ruggles scored in the 90th minute to give the Charleston Battery a 1-1 draw with D.C. United of Major League Soccer on a wet and rainy Wednesday night at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C. in the 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup.

    Both teams were held scoreless during the first half despite Battery forward Dane Kelly having several good chances. Kelly’s best opportunity came when he broke free behind the defense but D.C. United keeper Andrew Dykstra, the 2013 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year for the Richmond Kickers, got a foot on the shot to prevent Kelly from scoring.

    After 70 minutes of play United head coach Ben Olsen made wholesale changes removing all 10 outfield players, made up of mostly reserves, replacing them with his first-team players.

    The changes paid immediate dividends as D.C. United opened the scoring in the 71st minute after Battery midfielder Miguel Teos committed a foul that gave United a free kick just outside of the box on the left side. D.C. United midfielder Luis Silva took the free kick, which bounced into the goal after it was deflected by midfielder Davy Arnaud.

    Charleston seemed destined for defeat as time wound down but a late corner provided all the opportunity they would need to equalize. With the clock ticking toward full time, Charleston forced a corner that was headed home by Ruggles. The final whistle was blown on the ensuing restart to give the Battery the draw.

    Houston Dynamo 1, Seattle Sounders 1: The Houston Dynamo and the Seattle Sounders also played to a draw in the first match of the night, setting up a de facto championship game on Saturday as the Sounders face United in the final matchday.

    Houston netted the first goal of the game in the 14th minute when midfielder Tony Cascio controlled the rebound of a shot before passing the ball across the box to teammate Brad Davis, who finished into the right side of the goal.

    Seattle was able to pull level with the Dynamo in the 44th minute with a goal from forward Obafemi Martins. Former Battery standout Lamar Neagle created the opportunity with a cutting run into the penalty area before he flipped a cross over the defense to enable Martins to put his head on the ball and send it into the back of the net.

    Both teams were stifled offensively for the most part in the second half, with the best chance coming to the Dynamo when midfielder Alexander Lopez headed a ball wide of the goal in the 85th minute.

    Challenge Cup concludes Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium
    The 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup concludes Saturday as Seattle Sounders FC (1-0-1) take on D.C. United (1-0-1) at 5 p.m. followed by the Charleston Battery (0-1-1) vs Houston Dynamo (0-1-1) at 7:15 p.m.  Tickets are available starting at $15, to purchase tickets or for more information please call 843-971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.


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    Orlando City News Release -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orlando City SC drew 4-4 with Major League Soccer (MLS) side Columbus Crew Wednesday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in the Lions final group game at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. With a draw against Columbus, the Lions will play in the third place match at 6 p.m. on Saturday night.

    Photo courtesy Mark Thor/Orlando City“We’re still growing and are trying to put this next group of players together,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Everyone’s still not on the same page with their roles and responsibilities but some of our play was excellent.”

    Columbus kicked off the match with a mixed line up of starters and reserve players that did not feature designated player Federico Higuain but included speedster Dominic Oduro. The Ghanaian, who scored 13 goals for Columbus last year, had an early near-chance in the third minute but saw his volley sail over the bar.

    Similar to the past two matches, Orlando would settle into the game after dealing with the opposition’s early opportunities and begin dominating possession. Newly appointed player/coach James O’Connor, who made a return to the starting line-up for City, was instrumental in the Lions’ ability to maintain time on the ball.

    “James has been a great player. We’re talking about a guy who has played over 500 league games in the top two leagues in England,” said Heath on O’Connor’s contribution. “He’s been a great player and a consistent performer for us, so the way that he played today doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

    The tenured Irishman provided a constant option in the center of the park, allowing Molino and Alvarez the opportunity to be a bit more creative in the final third. Left back Luke Boden also appeared to be getting closer to regular season form, as the veteran was active down the left-hand side and managed to produce several quality crosses.

    After finding their rhythm, Orlando generated its first quality chance of the evening when Molino slipped striker Corey Hertzog in behind the Crew's defense. The former Vancouver Whitecap made a great run, but was unable to hit the frame as he pulled his effort just wide of the target.

    On the other hand, Columbus struggled to maintain possession and instead looked to play a strategic counter-attack game by employing Oduro’s lightning-quick pace. In the 18th minute, the Crew nearly went ahead when Valentino and Howard attempted to draw the Ohio-based club offside on a broken play. Crew striker Ryan Finley found himself in behind but, fortunately for City, was unable to hit the target.

    After back-and-forth attempts on goal from both clubs, Orlando would receive a bit of good fortune in the 30th minute when Oduro tripped over the ball in a dangerous area of the pitch. Boden, who was lurking nearby, collected the ball and pulled it across the box for Molino. With limited time and space, the Trinidadian set a lovely one-touch pass for Darwin Ceren who slotted home his first goal while wearing purple and white.

    Following Ceren’s goal, Orlando came close to scoring again when they were awarded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the area, after Molino was tripped up by the Columbus defense. However, the ensuing free kick from Alvarez was disappointing, as the Cuban’s low-effort was deflected by the wall.

    Moments later, the Crew generated their best chance of the half when Ben Speas found Oduro all alone inside the six-yard-box. The speedy striker’s final header was weak, however, and Gallardo was able to make an easy save.

    Building on that momentum, Columbus would create another chance in the 42nd minute that allowed them to level the match. Justin Meram whipped in a dangerous ball that saw Ryan Finley re-direct it past Gallardo.

    With five changes made by Heath during halftime, Orlando began the second half on the front-foot. In the 51st minute, Boden would venture up the left side and float a cross in that came off the inside of the right post and out to Molino, who drove home a finish to give the Lions the advantage.

    Following the second Orlando goal, Columbus began playing with more energy and started putting more pressure on the Lions' back four. In the 76th minute the Crew's pressure would pay off when rookie Joseph Toby brought down Ethan Finlay inside the area, allowing the midfielder to level the match from the spot.

    Returning midfielder Adama Mbengue was included in the five changes made by Heath at halftime and would make solid contributions for the Lions in his first match of the 2014 campaign. In the 83rd minute, Dennis Chin found the Senegalese midfielder inside the six-yard-box and set him up for his first goal in 2014.

    After Meram tied the match again in the 86th minute, Chin would also score his first goal in 2014 to give Orlando another late lead. However in the waning moments, Columbus increased their pressure and a sloppy defensive play from the City backline allowed Finlay to finish his second goal of the match.

    With the draw against Columbus, Orlando (0-0-3) remains in second place in its group behind Columbus (2-0-1) and will play either the Montreal Impact or the New York Red Bulls in Satuday's third-place match, pending the Impact’s result against Sporting Kansas City.

    Tickets for the third place match will start at just $20.

    For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com.


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    Orange County Blues FC News Release -- www.ocbluesfc.com

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. -- Orange County Blues FC is pleased to announce the re-signing of midfielder Gabriel “Gabi” Gonzalez. A native of Nayarit, Mexico, Gonzalez has lived in Oxnard, Calif. since 1996. He attended Hueneme High School, where he is currently coaches. His college career took him to Oxnard College and Cal Baptist, where he earned MVP of The Golden State Athletic Conference in 2008.

    Gonzalez, 26, scored a total of six goals and added four assists in 24 matches last season with the LA Blues. “We have chemistry and great friendships. I believe we can win a lot of games this year,” said Gonzalez, who’s looking forward to the New Blues Era, the inaugural season with OC Blues FC, where he is glad to be reunited with many familiar faces from last season.

    “Signing Gabi Gonzalez brings us another starter from our squad in 2013," said Blues General Manager Jon Spencer. "He is an important piece to our midfield. His size and athleticism will be important to our squad. He was one of the players that showed a continual progression throughout the season and has full potential and ability to help us compete for a Championship.”

    OC Blues FC’s first home match at Anteater Stadium at UCI is set for Saturday, April 5th, as the Blues welcome expansion franchise OKC Energy FC. The Blues' 2014 season begins on Saturday, March 22nd at StubHub Center in Carson, for a match against the newly formed LA Galaxy II.

    2014 Season seats for OC Blues FC are on sale now. Join the family and be guaranteed to be a part of the inaugural season of professional soccer in Orange County. For more information on how to become a Season seat holder, call (714) 871-0484, email seats@bluessoccerclub.com, or visit www.ocbluesfc.com.


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  • 02/27/14--10:45: Energy Make Three Signings
  • OKC Energy FC News Release -- www.energyfc.com

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC has announced the signings of Jennings Clark, Kyle Greig and Max Gunderson, General Manager Jason Hawkins announced.

    Gunderson played defense for the Austin Aztex of the PDL during the 2013 season. The Aztex won the 2013 PDL Championship. He earned all-conference honors in 2013. He was a three-year member of the Laredo Heat, also earning all-conference honors there in 2012, in addition to being a finalist for the league’s Defender of the Year award.
     
    “I’m really excited to start my professional career with such a well-run organization,” Gunderson said. “It’s been a dream since I was a kid to play in the pro ranks.”

    Gunderson was a four-year starter at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio from 2008-11. He played 77 games as a defensive midfielder and earned first team all-Heartland Conference in 2008 and 2009. He was a second team all-Lone Star Conference selection in 2008. The Cardinals won the 2008 Heartland Conference title and made two appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs.
     
    “Max was impressive at our recent combine with his energetic performance,” said Spendlove. “He’s a fantastic defender in 1v1 situations and has a winning mentality.”

    Greig previously played for USL PRO’s Wilmington Hammerheads and was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Benedictine College, during the 2012 season. He also played for the PDL’s Kansas City Brass during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He also spent time with the Sporting Kansas City reserves during the summer of 2011.
     
    “I’m honored to have signed with Energy FC,” Greig said. “It’s a great opportunity to be a part of a new and excited clubs. I’m excited to represent the city and club on the field to the best of my ability.”
     
    Greig played for Benedictine (Kan.) College from 2008-11. He earned all-conference honors from the Heart of America Athletic Conference three times, including first team honors in 2009 and 2010. He played in 74 games and had 43 goals, including 14 his senior year.
    “We are thrilled to have Kyle lead the line for us in our inaugural season,” Spendlove said. “He has proven he can score goals in this league and has all the tools to take his game to new heights.” 

    Clark, a local product out of Norman High School, attended Energy FC’s invitation-only tryout earlier this season. The goalkeeper earned all-conference honors at Midwestern State. He previously played at Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma City Community College and the University of Tulsa. Clark redshirted his only season at the University of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma in Chickasha.

    "I've dreamed about playing professional soccer since I was little,” Clark said. “Now getting to fulfill that dream here in my hometown is amazing."
    Clark was an all-conference selection and named all-city three times while at Norman High School. He also earned all-state honors as team captain.
     
    “Jennings is a talented local goalkeeper, and really impressed us with his attitude and performance,” said Energy FC Assistant Coach Chris Spendlove. “He’s hungry to learn, and he has the potential to climb the ladder and be a great goalkeeper at this level.”
     
    Season tickets for OKC Energy FC are available by calling the Energy FC office at 405-235-KICK (5425).

    Energy FC is led by former Sporting Kansas City goaltender and 2013 MLS Cup champion, Jimmy Nielsen. Nielsen was a two-time MLS All Star, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and goalkeeper for the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open championship club.


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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash. – Sounders Women 2013 defender Shannon Woeller is going to Norway to play for IK Grand Bodø after signing her first professional contract. IK Grand Bodø play in Toppserien, the top division of Norwegian women’s soccer.

    “I am really excited and honored to have signed my first professional contract," Woeller said.  "This is a great opportunity for me to play in a top league in Europe and I think I will learn so much from this experience.”

    Woeller played in eight games for the club last season, netting one goal and one assist. She finished with the second most points among Sounders’ defenders.  The Canadian National Teamer was a rock in the back for the Sounders until she sustained a fracture in her ankle, ending her W-League season.

    “Shannon has shown tremendous dedication and perseverance to overcome her injury last year," Sounders Women Head Coach and General Manager Hubert Busby Jr. said. "Her commitment to being the best every time she steps on the field will put her in good stead, as she embarks on a pro career. We are proud of her accomplishment.” 

    “The Sounders Women was a good step in my development,” Woeller said. “They have a professional environment and approach to running the club which helps prepare you for the next level.”

    Season Tickets for the 2014 Sounders Women season are on sale on SoundersWomen.com for as low as $100. The Season Ticket Flex Pack includes 12 tickets for the 11 home matches this season. The 2014 Season Ticket Flex Pack eliminates the risk of missing games. Instead of one ticket specifically associated with each match, with the Sounders Women Flex Pack, fans will receive 12 tickets and each of those tickets will be accepted at any match during the 2014 season.

    Have to miss a game? No problem, just use that ticket for a friend at the next one. Flex tickets may also be combined for multiple admissions to the same match -- for example you can bring multiple friends to one game, or any other combination of friends to multiple games.  It's the ultimate in flexibility.

     


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    K-W United News Release -- www.kwunitedfc.com

    Thursday, February 27 2014

    WATERLOO, Ont. -- English midfielder Jack Warburton will return to K-W United FC for the upcoming 2014 PDL season. Previously playing for Hamilton FC, Warburton continued with the team through its re-franchising to K-W United FC in the 2013 season. 

    Growing up playing under the Watford Football Academy, Warburton continued on to play for English professional club, Leicester City. He also has international experience having been named to the Northern Ireland National Team from 2008 to 2012. 

    The 2013 PDL season ended on a high for Warburton, who captained the teams final six games in which they went undefeated, just missing playoff qualification. 

    "I'm delighted to be coming back to K-W this season," Warburton said. "I feel its only right to return to K-W and go that extra step to the playoffs, which we narrowly missed out on last year. Theres a great feel about this club including all the staff members, players and the exceptional fan support we got last year. Just hoping we can start from where we left off last season."

    Known for his consistent performance, he was also awarded two honours, Player's Player of the Year and MVP, which are awarded annually by the club. Warburton was named man of the match for three games and was also recognized with an honourable mention by the USL PDL for the week of June 27th following the game against Toronto.

    "I felt I had a strong season and was happy to collect the awards, but that was 2013," Warburton said. "This year is a complete new start with new additions to the squad so I'm sure we will all work together to gel as quick as we can and try to bring K-W all the success it deserves." 

    K-W United opens the PDL season on the road on May 18th against the Toronto Lynx at Sheridan College. Game time is 4 p.m.

    For more information, photos, or video, please contact Shelby Blackley at sblackley@kwunitedfc.com or 519-575-6002.


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    Super Y-League News Release

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. – The 2014 Super Y-League Boys Olympic Development Program National Camp opened on Thursday afternoon at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy with more than 150 players from throughout North America set to receive training from elite youth and college coaches and participate in the IMG Cup College Showcase.

    On the same day that former Super Y-League ODP alums Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo and Cody Cropper were selected by Jurgen Klinsmann for the U.S. Men’s National Team contest with Ukraine next Wednesday, USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor and his assembled staff put the group of players aged 13 through 16 through training.

    “We are very pleased with the standard of players that have accepted their invitations to The camp," Mellor said. “We believe this weekend will offer them the chance to improve not only their skills and tactical awareness on the field, but also their knowledge of how to prepare to play at a consistently high level thanks to the off-field seminars they will participate in.”

    In a new feature this year to the camp, all of the players will compete in the IMG Cup College Showcase, which attracts many top college coaches from throughout the country looking for potential prospects. The players in the two age groups, U14 and U16, will compete against other teams from throughout the United States in front of scouts from such colleges as Akron, Indiana, Creighton and Portland.

    “Giving the players a chance to not only train, but also compete during the event will give them the chance to put into practice the new techniques and ideas they are being introduced to as part of the instruction,” said Mellor. “It will also give them exposure to a number of top college programs, for which the IMG Cup is an important date on the recruiting schedule.”

    The 2014 Super Y-League Boys ODP National Camp continues through Sunday, with IMG Cup College Showcase games set to be played on each of the next three days.


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    USL PRO Feature

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – While 2013 was the first season for the groundbreaking partnership between Major League Soccer and USL PRO, the long-time partnership between the Philadelphia Union and Harrisburg City Islanders could certainly be looked at as the model on which the league-wide agreement was based.

    Established in 2010, the partnership between the two teams has provided Union players with valuable playing time while on loan. The most recent players to benefit from their time on City Island were a pair of Homegrown products, with Cristhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin both featuring as the City Islanders had another strong season in 2013.

    For McLaughlin, who had five goals in 23 appearances, the experience of not only playing with a talented group, but having success added to the development aspect of the playing time he was able to garner.

    “It was great,” he said. “All of the guys on the team are really great guys, and we made some really good friends. Going in there and succeeding as a team is always awesome, and I think the group really meshed together and we all worked hard for each other, and we had a lot of talent on the team as well. It was cool to be part of that and to see the fans come to the games, and seeing their enjoyment always makes it a lot better.”

    Both aged 20 as they enter the new MLS season, McLaughlin and Hernandez remain among the youngest players on the Union’s roster, with only 19-year-old Zach Pfeffer their junior. Both were standouts for the Union’s academy side, with Hernandez being named the USSF Development Academy’s U18 Player of the Year in 2011. Making the jump from the academy to the MLS first team, however, is a big step, and Union coach John Hackworth is grateful for what the club’s partnership with Harrisburg offers.

    “I think when you have young players that are trying to make a big step from being a youth player, and a very good youth academy player, to make that jump to the first team, but literally to the first division, is a massive jump,” Hackworth said. “Being able to have an affiliation like we have with Harrisburg allows those guys to play in meaningful games, and that’s so important to their development.”

    Hackworth also has the aim that Harrisburg will become a place that will allow the Union’s academy players to challenge themselves before they either sign with the club as a homegrown player, or head to college and the Union’s PDL affiliate Reading United to continue their development. With the implementation of new academy rules by USL PRO a season ago that closely mirror those of the MLS Reserve League, Union U18 players would have the chance to train and compete for the City Islanders while maintaining their college eligibility.

    “That should be our testing ground,” Hackworth said. “No longer should we sign players straight from our academy without first testing them at the USL level. That’s going to be so important. I think players will get tested, players will get pushed, players will develop and then that allows the first team to make much better decisions on those homegrown players.”

    For Hernandez, who had four goals and four assists in Harrisburg last season, the chance to play as part of a very talented City Islanders lineup helped him fit into what the club was hoping he would be able to add. An attacking midfielder, Hernandez created good chances for his teammates, and also took his chances with aplomb when they presented themselves.

    “Once we got training, soccer is soccer, on and off the pitch,” Hernandez said. “We all played the same game, and it was just easy to play with Lucky [Mkosana], Sainey [Touray] and Yann [Ekra], all those guys were great players and it was a lot easier to play with them.”

    Getting the chance to be part of a group of players on loan was also a help, according to McLaughlin. In addition to himself and Hernandez, Greg Jordan spent most of the season in Harrisburg, while others such as Aaron Wheeler and Leo Fernandes also stopped in for shorter spells of time before returning to the Union.

    “I think it’s definitely much easier going over with a couple of guys that you’re good friends with and already really familiar with,” McLaughlin said. “Getting thrown into a brand-new team is never easy, and I think going over with them made the whole transition a lot easier for all of us.”

    Now the hope for the Union is that both McLaughlin and Hernandez can make the transition to the first team. With the addition of U.S. international Maurice Edu and Christian Maidana this offseason, the amount of playing time Hernandez and McLaughlin might see this season could again be limited, which could mean more time in Harrisburg.

    “It’s a tough team to play for, the Philadelphia Union,” Hernandez said. “We have a lot of good players, and Hack is always trying to give you and opportunity, that’s why we were down in Harrisburg.”

    If that’s the case, however, the youngsters will certainly be looking to add to their contributions from last season and make sure that when opportunity knocks at PPL Park, they’re ready to answer.

    “Right after the USL PRO season ended last year and we came back to the Union for the last two months or so, personally I felt much sharper and I felt my confidence was much higher from playing those minutes, and succeeding and doing well,” McLaughlin said. “I think it really helped me mentally and physically, and I see it in this preseason as well, and I know it’s the same for Christhian as well.”


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  • 02/28/14--16:49: Davis IV Signs With Kickers
  • Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers are pleased to announce the signing of former Orange County Blues forward George Davis IV, pending USSF approval.

    "We have long been an admirer of George's talents,” said Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer. “We are positive he will be a great addition to the squad as he is comfortable playing in any of the attacking positions, has extensive experience in USL PRO and will fit our style of play perfectly. We look forward to George joining the team for pre-season in the coming days."

    Davis signed with the Dayton Dutch Lions in 2011 and led the team with seven goals and two assists for 16 points, earning USL PRO All-League Second Team honors in his rookie season.  Following his stint in Dayton, he signed with the Orange County Blues, making 36 appearances and notching seven goals and five assists over two seasons. He briefly joined Orlando City on loan in 2012 where he made seven appearances and added one assist before returning to Orange County in 2013 where he earned his second USL PRO All-League Second Team nod.

    The 5-foot-8 native of Lima, Ohio began his collegiate career at Bowling Green State University before transferring to the University of Kentucky prior to his junior year where he made 25 appearances, posting two goals and three assists. He spent the 2010 season with the PDL’s Dayton Dutch Lions where he played 16 games while contributing five goals and seven assists.

    Don't miss a minute of Kickers Pro action as they kick off their 22nd season on Saturday, April 5. Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see all regular season home games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!


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    Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Rochester Rhinos have agreed to terms with Steven Pinau, Minh Vu, and John McCarthy for the 2014 season. Pinau and Vu are the latest attacking players Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley has added to the roster and McCarthy is the newest goalkeeper on the Rhinos roster after the club sold Alex Horwath’s rights to Ljungskile SK of Sweden earlier this month. All three contracts are pending league and Federation approval.

    Photo courtesy Penn State/Mark Selders“With Alex Horwath moving on a transfer overseas to LSK of Sweden we were able to come to terms with John McCarthy which has shown well both in Seattle’s MLS camp this year and at the PDL level last year.” said Lilley. “As for Vu and Pinau, they both had an excellent tryout camp last month and their past history solidified their positions on our roster.”

    Pinau was most recently playing overseas with Clermont FC in France before signing with the Rhinos, he played in 11 games for Clermont and scored two goals. Earlier in his career, he was with Genoa FC of Italy from 2008-2012 and was loaned to Hibernean FC of Scotland and Bayonne FC of France during that time. Bayonne FC was where he was most successful, scoring 12 goals over two years in 29 matches.

    Vu comes to Rochester from a successful career at Penn State University. In 2011, Vu led the team with four goals and three assists for 11 points. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after his debut and went on to score the game-winning goal in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament being honored as the Big Ten Tournament MVP and named to the Big Ten Tournament All-Tournament Team. In 2012, he scored two goals and added three assists for seven points in only 13 matches as a senior. At Pima Community College (AZ), Vu was a two-time All-American selection who recorded 86 points in his two-year career.

    Reading United AC (PDL) and La Salle University helped produce a successful goalkeeper in McCarthy. With Reading United, he only allowed 11 goals over 1,110 minutes over 12 games (0.890 goals against average). With La Salle, He led the A-10 and ranked sixth nationally in saves per game in 2013.  McCarthy was ranked 63rd nationally in 2013 Top Drawer Soccer in its Postseason College Soccer Player Rankings. McCarthy made first-team Atlantic-10 All-Conference, was an ECAC All-Star selection. During his career, he was named Soccer 6 Defender of the Week seven times. He also managed a 1.26 goals against average against 314 shots his senior year. McCarthy will be reporting to camp after having a successful preseason camp with Seattle where they were willing to consider him for a position on the squad as an alternate.

    “It’s great to have the season right around the corner and we are looking forward to returning to our winning ways” said President and COO Pat Ercoli “Bob’s been working very hard at finding the right pieces to the puzzle and I’m sure his fruits of labor will pay big dividends.”

    The Rochester Rhinos open preseason on Monday, March 3rd at 9:30am with a training session at Sahlen’s Stadium weather permitting, in the event of bad weather sessions will be at TSE in Gates.  Their first preseason game is on Friday, March 7th at 3PM against Syracuse University (NCAA) at Sahlen’s stadium.

    Rochester Rhinos season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are currently available, and they can be purchased by calling (585)454-KICK (5425) and  by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com.


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    OKC Energy FC News Release -- www.energyfc.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC has announced the signing of Tarek Morad, General Manager Jason Hawkins announced today. The signing of Morad brings the total to 14 players signed.

    Morad, a defender, started all 23 matches as a senior at UC Irvine. He led all field players with 2,136 minutes played and captained the backline to 10 shutouts en route to the Big West Championship. The Anteaters advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s third round as Morad earned honorable mention All-Big West and second team all-region honors.

    “I'm very happy to have signed with Energy FC,” Morad said. “From the coaching staff, to the city and the fans, there is so much potential for success, and I'm just eager to get started with the team. I'm confident this will be a great place for my development as a player and as a person. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization.”

    Morad previously played with Chivas USA’s U23 team, helping it win the Coast Soccer League state title.

    He started all 15 matches as a junior, scoring two goals and played in 23 matches in his first season at UC Irvine after transferring from Mt. San Antonio College. He earned second team all-conference honors while at Mt. SAC.

    Morad was a two-time Sierra League champion at Chino Hills (Calif.) High School and earned league most valuable player as a junior. He played six years of club ball for Arsenal FC.

    “We had Tarek on our list very early in the team building process,” said Energy FC Head Coach Jimmy Nielsen. “He has a good understanding of the game, he’s very comfortable on the ball and brings a lot of versatility to our team. We’re very happy to have him.”

    Energy FC is led by former Sporting Kansas City goaltender and 2013 MLS Cup champion, Jimmy Nielsen. Nielsen was a two-time MLS All Star, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, and goalkeeper for the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open championship club.


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    Southern West Virginia News Release -- www.wvkingswarriors.org

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    BLUEFIELD, W.V. -- Dr. James Blume Jr. and the Nehemiah Group are pleased to announce today the signing of a multi-year, major corporate partnership to begin at the start of the 2014 season between the Southern West Virginia King's Warriors' PDL team and Sheetz. Michael Mara, the Director of Community Relations for the King's Warriors, and Daniel Schultheis, District Manager of Sheetz, signed the agreement today, making the partnership official.

    In addition, Kathy Strubel, store manager of one of the two Sheetz Princeton locations, was also in attendance today along with leaders of the local Chamber of Commerce as well as various community leaders.

    Above all else, Sheetz is about providing kick-up convenience while being more than just a convenience store. Sheetz is a mecca for people on the go. If you need to refuel your car or refresh your body, Sheetz has what you need to keep you moving on to whatever comes next. 

    Road warriors. Construction workers. Soccer moms. They all have a special place at Sheetz. We know you don't have time to run all over town for the things you need. Sheetz has what you need, when you need it. And, they're open 24/7/365. Even on Christmas Day.

    "Sheetz is a perfect partner for the King's Warriors," said Mara. "Sheetz has several stores in the area, employs a number of local people, provides fantastic food 'made to order,' as well as many other things all at very competitive prices. They seek to expand in our area and have a strong commitment to this region and community. We love that they want to support the region's youth, see sports opportunities expand, and seek to help the community to grow and prosper as do the King's Warriors."

    The corporate partnership will combine numerous areas of involvement between the King's Warriors and Sheetz including promotion, advertising, interactive fan participation at King's Warriors' games, game-day activities and entertainment, food giveaways at games, youth camp sponsorship, and extensive immersion in community activities and events.   

    Sheetz family spokesman Ryan Sheetz discussed the mutual benefits of the partnership. "We at Sheetz pride ourselves on connecting with our communities in meaningful ways, as well as being driven-to-win 24/7, 365 days a year," he said. "It is truly an honor to connect with the King's Warriors' Soccer Team on this key partnership, and we look forward to helping both of our teams win in, what is certain to be, our collectively bright futures."

    The King's Warriors will begin their third season in the 64-team PDL, and will enjoy their first season playing in Bluefield in 2014. The King's Warriors will be playing all 2014 home games at the East River Soccer Complex in Bluefield. All home games will begin at 7:00 p.m., with the team's home opener set for Friday, May 16 against the South Carolina United Bantams. The King's Warriors home opener has also been dubbed "Sheetz Night."

    Ticket prices for the King's Warriors' 2014 season will go on sale shortly, and will be priced as low as $5.00. Numerous corporate sponsorship vehicles are still available for the team's 2014 season and beyond. Potential corporate and business partners may call Michael Mara at (304) 466-9080 to discuss available opportunities. 

    Those interested in volunteering for the King's Warriors this season may call Joshua Shimmel at (304) 466-9080.


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    Orange County Blues FC News Release -- www.ocbluesfc.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. -- Orange County Blues Football Club has officially signed Gibson Bardsley, a forward previously with Dayton Dutch Lions. Bardsley played at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. before beginning a bright career in USL PRO.  He turned professional in 2011 when he signed with Charlotte Eagles, and made his professional debut on April 29 in a game against Charleston Battery.

    Gibson, 24, had a great season in 2013 with Dayton, leading the team in goals and assists. Bardsley tallied 25 points, nine goals and seven assists in the 2013 season with the Lions, and was named to the USL PRO All-League Second Team.

    “I’m pretty stoked. I was originally born here in San Clemente, so it was an opportunity that arose, and I said, why not come back to where I was born and raised.” said Bardsley, about his recent signing with OC Blues FC. “From the get-go, the Blues talked about pushing for a championship, and getting into the playoffs. That is one of my goals as a player, and there’s no better way to do that than winning a championship, so I wanted to come to a team with a similar mentality.”

    “When he was introduced to me, I sensed his motivation for success, and this is one of the great attributes that we expect all of our players to have for our upcoming season if we want to win the league,” said Head Coach Daryuosh Yazdani.

    OC Blues FC’s first home match at Anteater Stadium at UCI is set for Saturday, April 5th, as the Blues welcome expansion franchise OKC Energy FC. The Blues 2014 season begins on Saturday, March 22nd at StubHub Center in Carson, for a match against the newly formed LA Galaxy II.

    2014 Season seats for OC Blues FC are on sale now. Join the family and be guaranteed to be a part of the inaugural season of professional soccer in Orange County. For more information on how to become a Season seat holder, call (714) 871-0484, email seats@bluessoccerclub.com, or visit www.ocbluesfc.com.


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    USL PRO Feature

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As Orlando City enters its final season in USL PRO, there remain expectations to be met.

    Photo courtesy Joe Petro/Orlando CityThose expectations are not only for the team, which will try to defend its title and claim its third championship in four seasons, but also for the players who hope to join the club as it joins MLS in 2015.

    One of those players is Rob Valentino, who arguably has been the Lions’ most consistent performer in his three seasons with the club. An All-League First Team selection all three years, the only Lions player to accomplish the feat, Valentino has been a standout on the club’s back line and a leader in the locker room.

    Despite all of the accolades he has accumulated, however, it’s not yet guaranteed that the former New England Revolution and Colorado Rapids player will be joining Orlando City in MLS. Valentino, however, is aiming to make Coach Adrian Heath’s decision as easy as possible.

    “I think I need more consistency and better decision-making with the ball and without the ball,” Valentino said recently. “We’ve talked in the offseason with Adrian [Heath] and Ian [Fuller] about what I need to do to get myself there. As far as the season before, two seasons before, they thought I was a lot better than I was last year, so I need to get back to doing what I’m in the team for, and as long as I’m doing that I think I’ll get a fair shot.

    “At the end of the day it’s nothing I can control, so I’ll just work my butt off and they make the decision. I’ll try to make it easy for them, though.”

    For Heath, the season offers a balancing act of putting the best available team on the field while also offering the opportunity for players who could join the Lions in MLS the chance to impress. As has already been seen this preseason, with the departure of fan-favorite Jamie Watson, there will be tough decisions to be made at the end of the year. Heath, though, appreciates the growth he has seen in Valentino’s game during his time with the club.

    “I think so, and I think he also understands the role as the captain for us, and he understands the system that we play, and he’s a very important part,” Heath said. “I think his quality on the ball has improved; I think we’ve given him a lot of confidence to play around the back and come and play through midfield, he’s been an incredible player for us over the last three years and hopefully he has a great season this year and goes with us next year.”

    Valentino himself is quick to credit Heath and his coaching staff, and also the players that he has played alongside, for giving him the opportunity to shine. After his spells with the Revolution and Rapids saw little opportunity for competitive action, Valentino has made 65 appearances in USL PRO for the Lions, something to which he credits his development as a player.

    “I’m just more mature now,” Valentino said. “I’m more seasoned; I’ve played more games; the experience I’ve gotten has been incredible. I’ve gotten to play week-in and week-out and I didn’t get that when I was in New England or when I was in Colorado. I didn’t play anything the first two years and that was terrible - it was an awful feeling - and I wasn’t developing as a player, so to come down here and get games has been very important for me as a player, so that’s really what it was, getting the games and getting to play.”

    As with a number of players Valentino has been embraced by the club’s passionate supporters. For his part, the native of Illinois has come to think of Orlando as his home.

    “I found myself calling this place home a lot and calling myself part of this family, and I think we’ve really established something great here,” he said. “It’s just been something really special to me. I don’t know if I would have had opportunities in MLS after the past couple of years here, but I’ve never really wanted to go anywhere.

    “This place means a lot to me and to be able to go and fight for my goal - since day one when they said they wanted to go to MLS - my goal was to make my debut with them in MLS, and I hope I can make that dream come true.”

    If that dream is to be realized, Heath is looking for Valentino to maintain the consistency he has shown in the past three seasons.

    “He’s got a level and he’s been very, very consistent the last three years,” Heath said. “He has to maintain that now and obviously we have to see where we are this time next year, but fingers crossed he’ll have a great year and he’ll be with us next year.”

    Should Valentino achieve the consistency both he and Heath are looking for, the chances are not only will Valentino be joining the Lions in MLS, but he will also help the club achieve its goals in its final USL PRO season.

    “It’s our last season in USL PRO so I think we’ve all said we really want to leave a stamp on this league,” Valentino said. “The league’s been great to us - it’s gotten better every single year - and I really want to leave a lasting impression on this league, go out three out of four years having won championships. That’s what I’d really like to do.”


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    Sacramento Republic FC News Release -- www.sacrepublicfc.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC issued the following statement regarding Cal Expo Board of Directors' unanimous vote at today’s board meeting to approve the agreement between California Exposition & State Fair (Cal Expo) and Ovations Fanfare, LLC:

    “Today’s vote by the Cal Expo Board of Directors approving the creation of a multi-use sports facility on its grounds, not only enables Sacramento Republic FC to host one of the largest soccer pitches in the country, but also provides this region as a whole with the opportunity to enjoy an additional civic amenity,” said Sacramento Republic FC President Warren Smith. “This private-public collaboration among Cal Expo, Ovations and Sacramento Republic FC provides a means to generate incremental revenue for Cal Expo, more jobs through Ovations and a home pitch for our indomitable city and club."

    The 2014 Inaugural USL PRO Home Opener taking place on April 26 will be held at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College. During the past few weeks, Ovations and Republic FC officials met with numerous engineers, contractors and vendors to explore all potential options to accelerate construction timelines. Based on a variety of factors and the revised timelines for completion of the Cal Expo facility, it was concluded that the first home match would take place at Hughes Stadium with subsequent additional matches to be announced as details become available.


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    Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Friday, February 28, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery take on Major league Soccer’s Houston Dynamo on Saturday evening at Blackbaud Stadium in the final game of the 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup; kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.  MLS’s Seattle Sounders FC and D.C. United square off in the first game of the doubleheader at 5 p.m.

    Tickets to the games on Saturday are available starting at just $15 and include both matches.  To purchase tickets or for more information please call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.

    Charleston scored a stoppage-time goal on Wednesday night to earn a 1-1 draw against D.C. United. United scored in the 71st minute and appeared to be headed to victory before Battery defender Drew Ruggles equalized with almost the last kick off the match, converting a Charleston corner kick.

    Charleston lost 2-1 in its first game of the tournament last Saturday night against Seattle Sounders FC.  Former Battery midfielder Osvaldo Alonso opened the scoring for Seattle in the 21st minute before Charleston’s Colin Falvey equalized three minutes later. U.S. Men’s National Team defender Brad Evans converted an 88th-minute penalty kick to lift Seattle to victory.

    In the other game on Wednesday night Seattle Sounders FC kept their unbeaten preseason streak alive with a 1-1 draw versus the Houston Dynamo.

    The result means that only D.C. United and Seattle Sounders FC can win the 2014 Carolina Challenge Cup with the Battery and the Dynamo both able to achieve a second-place finish.

    Carolina Challenge Cup Matchday 3
    Seattle Sounders FC vs D.C. United – 5 p.m.
    Charleston Battery vs Houston Dynamo – 7:15 p.m.
    Blackbaud Stadium, Daniel Island
    Saturday, March 1 – Gates 4 p.m.
    (843) 971-GOAL (4625) / www.charlestonbattery.com.


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