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News from USL

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  • 03/07/14--09:34: Eagles Sign Geno, Greer
  • Charlotte Eagles News Release --

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are pleased to announce the signings of forward David Geno and defender J.J. Greer.

    Photo courtesy SoundersPhotos.comGeno, 22, a Kingsport, Tenn. native played four years with East Tennessee State University. In his four seasons with ETSU he set a school record in goals (26) as well as assists (19), surpassing the mark set by current MLS player Aaron Schoenfeld. While on the team Geno assisted in making ETSU two-time Atlantic Sun champions.

    After his four years with East Tennessee State, he spent the summer of 2013 with the Sounders FC U23 in the PDL, but suffered an injury after two games. Geno scored four goals in a 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game, the only amateur ever to do so.

    Greer, 23, a Memphis, Tenn. native, played collegiately for the University of Memphis for five seasons and finished his last season playing all 18 games and starting in 17 of them. He posted 15 points over his five years at Memphis and played in 72 games. He played more than 90 minutes in at least 14 games of the 2013 season.

    Greer also played with the Portland Timbers U-23s following his career at Memphis. He played in 12 games for the Timbers' U-23s in 2013. Greer also participated in the 2013 USL PRO Combine.

    The Eagles will kick off their 2014 USL PRO season against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday, April 4th at Queens Sports Complex. Tickets can be purchased by clicking HERE.

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    Super Y-League News Release

    Friday, March 7, 2014

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

    “After the success of last week’s boys camp, we are very excited by the quality of player that has come to attend this week’s girls camp,” USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor said. “The ability that I’ve seen in the opening practices is extremely high, and I hope these players can take their game to a new level with the experience they will gain this weekend.”

    Among the coaches leading teams at the weekend’s event are the University of Maine’s Scott Atherley, Gardner-Webb Head Coach Mike Varga and the head coach of the PDL’s SC United Bantams Gary Winchester, who also serves as the head coach of Erskine College’s Women’s program. The 12 squads are set to train and play three games during the weekend, which will offer the chance to apply the coaching they are receiving in live action against teams including the Gulf Coast Texans and IMG Academy.

    “The addition of scrimmages against quality opposition in the IMG Cup College Showcase offers a big opportunity for the players,” Mellor said. “There is nothing like the pressure of competition, with college coaches looking on, to help raise a player’s level as they look to make the jump to college soccer.”

    The 2014 Super Y-League Girls Olympic Development Program National Camp runs through Sunday at IMG Academy, with Select Teams set to be named following the conclusion of the event.

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  • 03/07/14--15:21: Pride Sign Australian Duo
  • Colorado Pride News Release --

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    COLORADO SPRINGS -- Colorado Pride today announced that Australian W-League players Ashley Spina and Tara Andrews have joined their W-League team for the 2014 season.

    Spina is an established Australian W-League player, having played in the Australian top flight since 2011 with both Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets. Spina with Brisbane Roar has been both a league champion in 2011 and championship final runner up in 2012. The tenacious midfielder is a key part of Australian National Training center for soccer and is part of the Australian national team squad pool. Spina was awarded the 2013 Australian W-League ‘Goal of the Year’ for an extra time game winner for Brisbane Roar.

    “Ashley is a versatile player and can play in a number of positions in a consistent manner," Pride Head coach Daniel Clitnovici said. "She is both footed and her work rate is unmatched, it’s a great signing for Colorado Pride which adds to our already strong roster."

    Andrews, at only 19 years of age, is a veteran W-League player, being first capped at the professional level at just 15 years old. Andrews is the current Australian U20 National team captain and is currently also in the Senior Australian National team pool. She has also been capped numerous times by Australia at U17level. The 5-foot-11 center forward holds an Australian W-League record with most goals scored in a single game; 4 Goals scored in 2012 versus Adelaide. Andrews also led the Newcastle Jets in scoring for he 2013/14 season.

    “Tara is a young player with a lot of experience, she is a traditional center forward and likes to play with her back to goal and that’s rare in the women’s game," said Clitnovici. "She has good size and looks to use it, She will fit in well with our system”.

    The Colorado Pride will be hosting their final W-League tryout on Saturday April 19th at Colorado College Turf Soccer Field from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. This date falls within all NCAA compliance and players are encouraged to attend and register via email to head coach Daniel Clitnovici – . Cost for the tryout is $30 per player and all players will need to register prior to the tryout. Registrations will NOT be accepted on the date of the tryout. Please stay updated with Colorado Pride W-League team via and

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  • 03/07/14--20:46: Orange County Adds McLain
  • Orange County Blues FC News Release --

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. -- Orange County Blues FC has officially signed goalkeeper Patrick McLain. The Eau Claire, Wisc. native comes to Orange County after spending the past two seasons with MLS side Chivas USA.

    Before signing with Chivas USA, McLain played for four years at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he was named to the All-Big West Conference Second Team during his sophomore, junior, and senior years (2009-2011).

    “I’m very excited to join the OC Blues. I’m going to do everything I can for the team and the organization to help us win a USL PRO championship,” said McLain.

    General Manager Jon Spencer is glad to welcome McLain to the Blues: “Pat comes to us with some great experience in MLS with Chivas USA. He’s excited to come here and showcase himself on a week in, week out basis as a top goalkeeper in USL PRO. We are very fortunate that we are able to sign him, and hope we can help him further his career. We feel that he is someone that can help us win in USL PRO this year and years to come.”

    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) 738-8011, email, or visit

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    Charleston Battery News Release --

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. – As part of the official affiliate partnership, Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today that the club has loaned five players to the Charleston Battery. Striker Mamadou Diouf and midfielders Aminu Abdallah and Andre Lewis will join the Battery from Whitecaps FC’s Major League Soccer roster, in addition to U-23 striker Marlon Ramirez and U-18 defender Jackson Farmer.

    Each player joins the Battery on season-long loans, pending receipt of their International Transfer Certificates and United States work permits and visas.

    "Our partnership with Charleston provides a fantastic opportunity for our young players to progress in their development at a great club,” said Carl Robinson, Whitecaps FC head coach. “Each of these players will be given the opportunity to earn regular first-team minutes at a high level, which will only help as they continue in their careers.”

    Abdallah, 20, joined Whitecaps FC in May 2013 after five years with Ghanaian club International Allies FC. The native of Accra, Ghana started 13 of his 14 appearances with Whitecaps FC Reserves in 2013, scoring one goal and recording one assist.

    In PDL play, Abdallah scored one goal in 10 appearances with Whitecaps FC’s U-23 side. Before joining Vancouver, Abdallah trained with several major European sides, including Italy’s Juventus, Russia’s CSKA Moscow, and the Netherlands’ PSV Eindhoven.

    Internationally, Abdallah has been part of Ghana's U-20 player pool.

    Diouf, 23, will begin his professional career with the Battery after getting selected by Whitecaps FC in the second round (30th overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The Dakar, Senegal native recorded an assist in his lone appearance with the ‘Caps during the preseason.

    Prior to joining Whitecaps FC, Diouf spent four seasons with the University of Connecticut Huskies of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) American Athletic Conference. In total, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound striker scored 36 goals and added 10 assists in 74 career appearances with the Huskies.

    Lewis, 19, joined Whitecaps FC as a youth international on January 16 after being selected seventh overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The Spanish Town, Jamaica native made three appearances with the ‘Caps during the preseason, scoring the game-winner in a friendly against the University of Victoria.

    Previously, Lewis played for Jamaican National Premier League side Portmore United F.C. and was a standout for the Jamaican U-17 and U-20 men’s national teams.

    Farmer, 18, will begin his professional career with the Battery after three successful seasons developing in the Whitecaps FC Residency program. During the current 2013-14 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season, Farmer started all 12 of his appearances with the Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency squad, contributing offensively with one goal.

    In addition to his time with the Residency program, the 6-foot-2 centre back also made two starts for Whitecaps FC Reserves, playing the full 90 minutes in each match.

    On the international stage, Farmer earned his first cap for the Canadian senior men’s national team in a friendly match against Mauritania on September 8, 2013. The Edmonton, Alberta native has also had numerous call-ups to the U-18 national team.

    Ramirez, 19, goes to Charleston after coming to Vancouver in the summer of 2013. The Honduran made four appearances with Whitecaps FC Reserves last year, while also making two appearances with Whitecaps FC U-23 in PDL play. Prior to joining the ‘Caps, Ramirez played in Honduras’ top-flight with C.D.S. Vida.

    Internationally, Ramirez has represented his native Honduras at the U-20 and U-21 levels. The midfielder won a gold medal with the U-21 squad at the 2013 Central American games, scoring one goal in three appearances.

    Whitecaps FC announced a one-year partnership with Charleston Battery on January 23, 2014, making the Battery the club's official USL PRO affiliate.

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    Super Y-League Feature

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. – Cassie Symonds was already a standout player for Seacoast United. The past four months have just come to confirm what a lot of people already knew.

    “It’s been really fun; I’ve had a very good year,” Symonds said.

    Back for a second consecutive year at the Super Y-League Olympic Development Program National Camp, Symonds arrives as an All-Tournament selection after helping her side claim the Girls U16 championship at the SYL North American Finals, a high school champion with Windham HS in Maine, and the Gatorade Maine Girls High School Player of the Year.

    Alongside her, almost every step of the way, has been her younger sister, Maggie, who is also at IMG Academy this weekend. Set to join her sister at Windham HS in the fall as a freshman, Maggie played up with her sister for Seacoast’s U16s this past year, and takes inspiration from the influence Cassie provides.

    “Playing with my sister, that was really important to me, to be able to play with her,” Maggie said. “I look up to her a lot, so that was really nice.”

    While she played up with her sister in the Super Y-League, Maggie is part of the U14 division at IMG Academy this weekend. With all that Cassie has achieved in the past six months, the younger sibling certainly feels the expectation that she live up to her sister’s achievements in the future.

    “I definitely have huge shoes to fill,” Maggie said. “She got Gatorade Player of the Year recently, and she got the Portland Herald Player of the Year as well, so there are a quite a few things that I get to look up to.”

    Cassie, though, sees the potential that Maggie shows. The middle sister of three – the eldest, Jordan, just completed her freshman season the Florida Insitute of Technology – Cassie is hoping she can be for her younger sister what Jordan was to her.

    “I would personally think she’s going to be even better than I was,” Cassie said. “It’s great that she has the opportunity to play up with us. … It’s fun to watch her improve. She pushes herself so hard to be as good as the older girls. Even when she gets frustrated sometimes, because she thinks she isn’t doing as well, but it’s fun to watch her grow and play.”

    For Cassie, there’s now more to pursue. In addition to the accolades, she recently committed to play at Holy Cross in 2015, and is aiming to continue the progression her game has shown at this weekend’s events. Then, it will be back to Maine, and the opportunity to defend their championship, something she is looking forward to greatly.

    “I’m very competitive, and I love playing, and I love the team aspect of it,” Cassie said. “I’ve been with my club team for a very long time, and it’s just great.”

    With Maggie and her teammates alongside her again, the next 12 months should be just as successful.

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    Southern West Virginia King's Warriors News Release --

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    BLUEFIELD, W.V. -- The Southern West Virginia King's Warriors are pleased to announce today that Scott Reitnour will return as Head Coach for the 2014 season.

    The long-time and very successful Head Coach of Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., Reitnour will continue to build the King's Warriors, a process which began in the team's inaugural 2012 season. 

    Reitnour has gone 8-20-2 in his first two seasons with Southern West Virginia, and looks for the King's Warriors to take a big step up on the pitch this season. The King's Warriors under Reitnour's guidance also captured the West Virginia "Coal Cup Clash" trophy in 2013 by winning the season series against their in-state rivals, the West Virginia Chaos.

    "We're delighted that Scott will continue to build the King's Warriors into a USL Premier Development League South Atlantic Division contender," said Dr. James Blume Jr., the President and Founder of the King's Warriors' ownership group, the Nehemiah Group. "It's difficult to start a team from scratch like we did two seasons ago, and Scott has been diligent in his recruiting while continuing to make contacts for us in the global soccer community. Most importantly, I'm excited that Scott will also continue his excellent job of discipling and mentoring the young players under his watch who come to Southern West Virginia each spring and summer, and continue to intensely involve them in the community."

    "I am thrilled to return to the King's Warriors for a third straight season and thankful to Dr. Blume and the organization for the opportunity," Reitnour said. "With our soccer culture of servant-leadership firmly established, our returning players and coaches are going to focus on loving each other and sharing a message of hope with the Southern Western Virginia community. We are also confident we will see results on and off of the field in year three." 

    During his 11-year coaching career at Wesleyan, the Trojans have captured six Piedmont Athletic Conference of Independent Schools Conference Titles, enjoyed five State Finals appearances, and won three PACIS State Championships, (2005, 2011 & 2012) while posting an outstanding 174-47-26 record.

    This past season Reitnour led the Trojans to another solid 18-4-3 overall record. He took Wesleyan Christian Academy to the North Carolina Independent Schools state semi-finals before losing to the Charlotte Country Day Buccaneers 1-0.  

    Reitnour's career record in 13 seasons in the high-school game is 253-74-29 (Boys), 60-18-7 (Girls), and 313-92-36 (Overall). In 2011 and 2012 the "Men of Troy" captured the 3A North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association State Title - Wesleyan Christian Academy's 11th and 12th state championships.

    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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    Dayton Dutch Lions News Release --

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio -- The Dayton Dutch Lions FC are proud to announce that the club has signed forward Yannick Smith. A Hillsborough, N.J. native, Smith was a standout at Old Dominion University before turning professional in Finland’s Second Division with Narpes Kraft. 

    "I am extremely excited about joining the Dayton Dutch Lions and hope I can get settled and help the team immediately,” Smith said. “I hope we can play an attractive game and also compete in USL PRO. I look forward to getting in and meeting the staff, players, and fans. I cannot wait to get started in Dayton."

    Smith was a prolific scorer overseas, registering 13 goals and nine assists in just 23 games.

    He had similar success as a four-year starter at ODU, tallying 23 goals and 14 assists. He received a number of awards, including being named NSCAA All-America, All-CAA, VASID Virginia Player of the Year, All-NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region, and a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist. 

    "We are very excited to bring in Yannick,” Dayton Dutch Lions head coach Sid van Druenen said. “He has great speed, good ball control and had a fantastic strike rate when he was in Finland.  He brings something different up front which will allow us to switch schemes up front from game to game."

    Smith can be found on Twitter @yanaldinho4.

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  • 03/09/14--14:38: SYL Girls ODP Camp Concludes
  • Super Y-League News Release

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    BRADENTON, Fla. – The 2014 Super Y-League Girls Olympic Development Program National Camp concluded on Sunday at IMG Academy, with Select Teams being named in both the U16 and U14 divisions after an exciting weekend of training and competition.

    Thirty-six players from the more than 150 assembled in Florida were honored, including those who earned SYL North American Finals All-Tournament selections last December. According to USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, however, the camp saw good progression from all of the players and teams brought together during the event.

    “The weekend has gone very well; each day the girls have grown and become more comfortable with each other and started to perform to their technical and tactical abilities,” Mellor said. “It’s good to see, and again it’s great to see the younger players showing a lot of promise and potential for the future.”

    Selected to the U16 Team were a pair of players from the Seacoast United side that claimed a championship last December, with forward Jenna Soucy and midfielder Cassie Symonds both earning a place on the Select Team. They were joined by MPS Crusaders U15 standout Nicole Geraghty, a U15 All-Tournament selection, and Super Nova’s Taylor Chapman, who earned the Golden Boot in the U15 Division last December.

    The U14 Select Team included West Pines United standout midfielder Chyanne Dennis, and Alliance Academy defender Raegan Radaz, who helped her side claim the U13 championship last December. Radz’s teammate with Alliance, Madison Donley, who earned the U13 Golden Boot at the Finals, was also selected. The technical and tactical ability shown throughout the event, however, was what impressed Mellor most as he praised the work done throughout the year by the Super Y-League’s clubs.

    “It shows that a lot of our clubs are doing the right things in their development programs for these younger players,” Mellor said. “Of course in those early ages it’s not just the technical part of the game, which is the building block for your game, but it’s also understanding the tactical role within your team depending on what position you are.”

    Mellor added that he hoped the players learned valuable information that can be used as they now return to their clubs for the upcoming 2014 Super Y-League season, set to kick off in May.

    “They’ve had a rounded experience of what it takes to move to that next level,” Mellor said. “Not just on the field, but off the field with the mental conditioning and nutrition seminars, which were excellent presentations by IMG, and then of course the fact that there have been a lot of college coaches here watching them, and hopefully sooner or later they will be getting calls.”

    2014 SYL Olympic Development Program Select Teams

    U16 Select Team
    GK – Elisa Lapadula, Toronto Lynx Jrs.
    GK – Michele Lammers, Long Island Rough Riders
    D – Olivia Kobayashi, Virginia Alliance
    D – Alayna Rosener, Rage SC
    D – Becky Leese, Ottawa Fury
    D – Alexandra Rost, FC America
    D – Addison Wright, Rage SC
    D – Brittany Morales, Parsippany SC
    M – Emily Hunter, FASA
    M – Cassie Symonds, Seacoast United  Mariners
    M – Nichole Geraghty, MPS Lady Crusaders
    M – Sam Grove, Ottawa Fury
    M – Taylor Chapman, Super Nova
    M – Caitlyn Dabagian, Nordic Soccer Club
    F – Heather Tostevin, National Soccer Academy
    F – Abby McGarel, Knoxville Soccer Academy
    F – Jenna Soucy, Seacoast United Mariners
    F – Pilar Elias, Seacoast United Mariners

    U14 Select Team
    GK – Taylor Fox, FC America
    GK – Gracie Leese, Ottawa Fury
    D – Raegan Radaz, Alliance Academy
    D – Sophia Terzes, Kalamazoo Kingdom
    D – Audrey Fleming, Alliance Academy
    D – Shannon Gosule, Space Coast United SC
    D – Elaina Eckert, Force Football Club Academy
    M – Gabriella Jodzis, Alliance Academy
    M – Magalie Mavie Kayrouz, Ottawa Fury
    M – Milan Roberts, Ottawa Fury
    M – Maggie Symonds, Seacoast United Mariners
    M – Chyanne Dennis, West Pines United FC
    M – Breanna Mitchell, Virginia Alliance
    M – Brooke Van Dyke, Indiana Invaders
    F – Madison Donley, Alliance Academy
    F – Dejah Cason, West Pines United
    F – Alexandra Vandergrift, West Pines United FC
    F – Madison Myers, Kalamazoo Kingdom

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    USL PRO Feature

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    After two seasons of narrowly missing the USL PRO Playoffs, the 2013 season brought big changes to the Charlotte Eagles.

    How big? Well, only two members of the side’s final starting 11 of the 2012 season took to the field for the club’s opening game the following spring. Goalkeeper Eric Reed had an entirely new back four to work with, while Juan Guzman was the only player to retain his place.

    You might think that a change that drastic would cause a team to lose chemistry, and part of its identity. According to defender Matt Gold, however, the changes served to allow the club to begin a new chapter.

    “I think whenever you have a very new group, it creates a unique environment where guys don’t feel like they have to fit into something that was already there,” Gold said. “Everyone feels more comfortable; at least that was the case for me. It was a very easy place to transition into.”

    By contrast to the slow start the Eagles had made in the previous two years, which cost them at the end of the season, Charlotte’s new-look lineup opened 2013 with a seven-game undefeated streak. Throughout the season, the Eagles were one of the toughest sides to play against in USL PRO, with only regular-season champions Richmond and Orlando suffering fewer defeats that their five.

    The Eagles’ toughness, particularly on the road where they recorded a 3-2-7 record, proved a handful in the USL PRO Playoffs as well. Charlotte recorded upsets of Harrisburg and Richmond on its way to the championship game, where it twice held the lead against Orlando City before falling 7-4 in a final very few who saw it will forget.

    “It was just a roller coaster,” Gold said. “I don’t even know how some of those goals went in. I think [Adrian Heath] put it best at the end of the game when he said we were up by three goals and we weren’t sure it was going to be enough. It was just one of those games; to be honest I’ve probably only been in one or two games like that in my life. I don’t even know how to describe it, it was just one thing after the next, completely unexpected.”

    Now for Gold and his returning teammates, the challenge is how to build on their success. For players like Gold, Drew Yates and Stephen Okai, more will be expected as they add both veteran experience in the form of former Chicago Fire player Wells Thompson and youngsters like JJ Greer and David Geno.

    “It’s something that we’ve talked about here and there in the offseason, and it’s something we’re aware of that there will be a different expectation for some of us who were maybe first-year players last year and will step into more leadership roles on the field and off the field this year with the ministry and coaching that we do as well,” Gold said. “I think that’s why a lot of guys go there - they go there knowing that’s a big part of what they do - and I think guys like me and Drew Yates and Brock Duckworth and even Ben Newnam, who’s a younger guy, and some of the other guys who have been there longer, that’s something we get excited about.”

    Players like Thompson, Greer and Geno arrive in Charlotte because of some departures from the squad, most notably Fejiro Okiomah, who formed a strong center back tandem with Gold last season. Okiomah is now in MLS with Chivas USA, one of a number of former USL PRO players to join the Goats this offseason, and Gold is excited to see a player he has known for a while get his chance on the big stage.

    “I go way back with his family, because I used to play youth soccer with his older brothers, and he was the younger kid running around on the sidelines, and then we ended up playing alongside each other four or five years later,” Gold said. “He’s never been one to doubt his ability, I think he has a really unique blend of confidence, but coachablity. He listens very well, and he picks up things quickly, he learns well, but at the same time he doesn’t have the nervousness that a rookie or a young player might have stepping into a starting position. The mental part of it aside, he’s just a physical specimen, an athletic freak, so I think putting those two things together will provide well for him down the road.”

    As for Gold, he’s looking forward to providing more leadership for the Eagles this season, and for the team to build a progressive style of play that will allow it to control the tempo of more games. With a good number of pieces returning, especially in comparison to last season, the Eagles should remain a dangerous side in 2014.

    “We don’t want to be a team that plays on the counter and kicks the ball long up the field, we want to be a possession-oriented team, and for me I think the biggest thing is creating a good vibe and a good culture early on in the season,” Gold said. “Whenever you get a lot of new guys in, the quicker you can trust each other, the quicker you can be successful.”

    “The coaches do a great job of keeping us accountable, making sure we’re working hard at training, so to be honest I like to try and focus on the relationships when we step off the field, because I feel like if you’re working hard the stuff on the field will take care of itself.”

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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release --

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are thrilled to announce the re-signing of forward, Yann Ekra. The Ivory Coast native returns to Harrisburg for his third season with the club. The electrifying forward looks to build off a highly productive 2013 season with the Isles. 

    The 5-foot-11,155-pound forward played in 24 matches, tallying 1,804 minutes on the pitch in 2013. The 23-year old also netted four goals and dished-out three assists during his time with the Isles in 2013. 

    Ekra spent the beginning of his professional career with numerous clubs in Europe. Ekra has played with French club Olympique Lyonnais' reserve team, English club Hull City A.F.C. and Greek club, Panionios F.C. After his time in Europe, Ekra signed and played with both the Philadelphia Union and City Islanders.

    "We are extremely excited to have Yann back for his third season with the Islanders. He has been one of our best and most consistent players over the past couple years," said Islander Head Coach Bill Becher. 

    With the 2014 USL PRO season right around the corner, the Islanders are preparing for another competitive and exciting season in the USL PRO.  The Isles will kick-off their 2014 campaign on April 5th against the Hammerheads in Wilmington, N.C. The City Islanders' home opener is slated for April 19th against the Dayton Dutch Lions at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. Season tickets and group packages are on sale now.  To purchase tickets please visit our website at or contact our office at 441-GOAL (4625).

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  • 03/11/14--07:57: Gullit To Visit Dutch Lions
  • Dayton Dutch Lions FC News Release --

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio -- International soccer legend Ruud Gullit will be coming to Cincinnati and Dayton in May thanks to a partnership with the Dutch Lions FC.

    Gullit will attend the home opener for the Cincinnati Dutch Lions (PDL) as they face the River City Rovers on Friday, May 9th.  He will participate in pregame, halftime, and postgame activities. The halftime show will consist of a “kick the crossbar contest” that will include local professional athletes. The game will take place at Xavier University’s Corcoran Field, the home field of the Cincinnati Dutch Lions.

    The second stop of Gullit’s tour will be at the Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) home match on Saturday, May 10th. He will again be part of pregame, halftime, and postgame activities as the Dutch Lions face off against the LA Galaxy II. 

    The final stops includes youth soccer clinics in Dayton and Cincinnati on May 11th. Each clinic will be led by the global soccer superstar with assistance from Dutch Lions players and coaches. 

    “Ruud Gullit coming to Cincinnati and Dayton is something amazing,” Dutch Lions Group BV President Mike Mossel said. “We will have one of the world's all-time greats right here in Cincinnati to open our new club. He is also going to do a clinic with local soccer players so kids and parents can meet and learn from him. He is a perfect match with what CDL FC envisions, which is to bring top level soccer to Cincinnati. The PDL team will offer the best local players a chance to become professionals and the youth will benefit from soccer clinics with former star players like Gullit.”

    Gullit is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game.  Gullit played for the top teams in Europe, including Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, Sampdoria, and Chelsea.  The Amsterdam, Netherlands native has won every major individual honor including the European Footballer of the Year (1987) and the World Player of the Year (1987, 1989).  He captained the Dutch National Team that was victorious at Euro 88 and was also a member of the squad for the 1990 World Cup, all part of 70 appearances at the international level.

    His brilliance on the pitch is evidenced by over 450 professional appearances and an incredible 175 career goals. 

    Gullit made headlines when he dedicated one of his awards to Nelson Mandela in 1987, a man he deeply respected.  He would go on to build a personal relationship with the anti-apartheid activist, even interviewing him in 2006 as part of a talk show on Dutch TV. 

    He became an accomplished manager after his playing career ended, leading the likes of Newcastle United, Chelsea, Feyenoord, LA Galaxy, and Terek Grozny.  These assignments put the world’s best players, including David Beckham and Landon Donovan, under his expert tutelage.

    Gullit continues to be highly sought after by global networks, seeking his expert commentary and respected opinion.

    Please visit to sign up for the clinics or for more information about these exciting events.  Additional information will be released at a later date.

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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release --

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders are pleased to announce the re-signing of veteran goalkeeper Nick Noble and defender Colin Zizzi. The standout goalkeeper returns to Harrisburg for his third season with the club. Noble's experience and skill delivers an anchor in the Isles defense, while Zizzi returns for his third season with the club.  

    Noble, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound West Virginia native, returns after another impressive season in net for the Islanders in 2013. During the 2013 season, Noble played in all 26 matches, notching 2,340 minutes on the pitch, and earned USL PRO All-League Second Team honors. Noble led the team in minutes played and boasted five shutouts.  His career-high 105 saves in 2013, moved him into the top spot of the Islanders all-time saves record, with 175. In fact, Noble's 2013 season moved him up into multiple all-time goalkeeping records for the Islanders, including games played by a goalkeeper, minutes played by a goalkeeper, wins by a goalkeeper, and tied for first place with 13 career shutouts. Noble's return to the Islanders provides the club with veteran leadership and familiarity.

    Prior to his time with the Islanders, Noble played professionally for multiple teams, including the Chicago Fire, LA Galaxy, Austin Aztex, and Ljungskile of Sweden. Noble also had an outstanding collegiate career at West Virginia University, where he was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2006.

    Zizzi, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound defender, played in 23 matches during the 2013 season, tallying 1,994 minutes of playing time.  Zizzi also registered one assist and took three shots. Zizzi boasts the versatility to play at both the defensive and midfield position. 

    Prior to joining the Islanders in 2012, Zizzi had an outstanding collegiate career at American University in Washington D.C. While at American, Zizzi excelled both on the field and in the classroom. He was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll all four years at American, and was named the team MVP during his senior season in 2011.


    Zizzi's re-signing with the Islanders marks the clubs second defensive re-signing this month. The Islanders recently re-signed the talented defender Coady Andrews. The re-signing of Zizzi solidifies a core group of defensive players for the Isles in 2014.

    With the 2014 USL PRO season right around the corner, the Islanders are preparing for another competitive and exciting season in the USL PRO.  The Isles will kick off their 2014 campaign on April 5th against the Hammerheads in Wilmington, N.C. The City Islanders' home opener is slated for April 19th against the Dayton Dutch Lions at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. Season tickets and group packages are on sale now. To purchase tickets please visit our website at or contact our office at 441-GOAL (4625).

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    LA Blues News Release -

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    LOS ANGELES,Calif. – The LA Blues are pleased to announce that they have added forward Cheyna Williams and defender Kirsten Crowley from Florida State University for the 2014 W-League season.

    Williams, a transfer from Vanderbilt, will play her first season at FSU this upcoming fall as a junior. While at Vanderbilt Williams emerged as a top offensive force and left the program with the best offensive statistics the women’s soccer program has seen since 2000. As a freshman in 2012, Williams led the Commodores with six goals and six assists. She was named to the NSCAA South Region Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team.

    In 2013, Williams poured out 16 goals and five assists for 37 points, and was named to the SEC First Team. She left the program tied for second on the all-time single-season scoring list and fifth in the all-time single-season points list.

    “We are very pleased to add a talent like Cheyna to our great group of forwards,” Blues Manager Charlie Naimo said. “She is very focused on getting to the next level and posses the strength and athletic ability to get there. Teaming up with players like Katie Stengel and Mele French could be very dangerous.”

    Crowley, a College Cup finalist with the Seminoles last December, is a defender who has played one season at FSU. Crowley was instrumental in the Seminoles’ path to the College Cup final, helping her team to five shutouts in six post-season games. The team’s total shutouts were 15 during the season. Crowley and the rest of the defense limited the goals against to 16 during the season, and helped establish a school-best goals-against average of 0.55.

    “Kirsten had a tremendous year at FSU,” Naimo said. “She played 90 minutes in almost every game with a very educated backline. That experience makes her a tremendous option for us as a central defender as well as an outside back. She will be a great contributor.”

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    Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC News Release --

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    COLORADO SPRINGS – The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced today that Steve Trittschuh has been selected as the first Head Coach in club history, set to launch in 2015. The announcement was made at St. Francis Medical Center, the team’s first local title sponsor.

    “Steve Trittschuh came highly recommended by the USL PRO league offices and virtually every reference we called,” said Switchbacks President Nick Ragain. “Tritt has been at the center of soccer growth in America for the past 30 years including his play in the successful World Cup qualifying match in 1989 after a 40-year USA drought. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and relationships to our club that will attract talented young players to help us compete.”

    Trittschuh was a High School All-American from Illinois, a scholarship athlete at Southern Illinois University, a U.S. Olympic athlete competing in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, a starter on the 1990 U.S. National Team that competed in the FIFA World Cup in Italy, the first American to play in the European Cup, played seven years in Major League Soccer and competed for an MLS Cup with the 1997 Colorado Rapids. Trittschuh was an assistant coach with the Colorado Rapids from 2001 to 2006 and won one MLS reserve title. For the past several years, Trittschuh has coached with the top youth clubs in the State of Colorado, most recently for the Colorado Storm, and has performed duties for MLS and U.S. Soccer, and is a member of the Colorado Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame.

    “I feel it is an honor and a privilege to be the first coach of the Switchbacks and to bring professional soccer to the Colorado Springs area," said Trittschuh. "I am excited to put together a competitive and exciting team that will play a style of soccer that will be fun to watch. I look forward to seeing everyone at the stadium for the 2015 season.”

    The Switchbacks FC continue to build out their franchise by hiring local marketing firm Vladimir Jones to orchestrate the brand, working with Populous Architects on improvements to Sand Creek Stadium, and opening offices downtown Colorado Springs in the Alamo Building. Season ticket deposits are available for purchase at

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    Rochester Rhinos News Release --

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. – As part of their official affiliate partnership, the New England Revoultion have sent goalkeeper Luis Soffner and midfielder Alec Sundly to the Rochester Rhinos on season-long loans. The agreement is contingent on the approval of pending loan documentation by the league and Federation.

    “I have had the opportunity to begin working with the New England Revolution this season, and it has been a very positive experience.” Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley said. “I have had frequent discussions with [Revolution Head Coach] Jay Heaps and his staff. Our affiliation is a great step forward for player development in this country, and the Revs have been great partners.”

    Soffner is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound goalkeeper who starred collegiately with Indiana University. Soffner was a four-year starter with the Hoosiers from 2009 to 2012. He finished his career with a 47-26-11 record in 84 matches (83 starts). Soffner recorded a career goals against average of 0.93 and kept 32 clean sheets.

    In 2012 Soffner was a part of Indiana University's National Championship team, and he earned Most Outstanding Defensive Player honors at the College Cup. He posted a 16-5-3 record with a 0.72 goals-against average and 12 clean sheets in 24 matches.

    Soffner was selected by the New England Revolution in the Second Round (36th overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

    Sundly was the New England Revolution's Second Round (31st overall) selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The 22-year-old had a standout senior season with the University of California – Berkeley. He finished the season as the Bears' second leading scorer with nine goals and two assists as a defensive midfielder. 20 points in 20 games started was good enough to earn Sundly Second Team All-Pac 12 honors. The 6'0”, 170 pound midfielder scored 14 collegiate goals and added three assists in 73 games played (55 games started).

    “We're very fortunate to have access to some of New England's young and talented players.” Lilley said. “We expect both Alec and Louie to push for significant playing time this season."

    The Rochester Rhinos and New England Revolution jointly announced that they had extended the groundbreaking player development partnership they had established in 2013 on February 18, 2014. The affiliation agreement calls for a minimum of four players to be sent from New England to Rochester on a season long loan. New England can recall the loan agreements at any time during the season.

    The rest of the loan contingent is expected to arrive in Rochester closer to the start of the Rhinos 2014 campaign in Orlando against the defending USL PRO champions on Saturday, April 5th.

    Training has been moved indoors on Thursday, March 14th due to inclement weather.  It will be at Total Sports Experience on 880 Elmgrove Road from 11AM to 1PM.

    The Rochester Rhinos next home preseason match is on Friday, March 14th at 6PM at a location to be determined against Niagara University. The match is open to the public, and admission is free of charge.

    Rochester Rhinos 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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    Charlotte Eagles News Release --

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles are pleased to announce the signing of former New England Revolution forward Zak Boggs.

    Boggs, 28, is a native of Vienna, W.V. and finished his collegiate soccer career at the University of South Florida in 2009.  In his two seasons with the Bulls he scored nine goals and recorded six assists. In 2008 he was named to the Big East All Tournament Team as well as being named the Big East Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Bulls also recorded their first Big East Championship along with reaching the Elite Eight that season.

    Previous to the University of South Florida, Boggs also attended the University of Central Florida and the University of West Virginia. At West Virginia he was second on the team in scoring with five goals and one assist. While at UCF he led the Knights in scoring with five goals and one assist.

    While in college, Boggs also played for the Bradenton Academies in the PDL scoring 49 goals in 80 games.

    Boggs was selected with in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. Although he only appeared in nine games in 2010, he scored twice on only six shots. He appeared in 16 games for the Revs in the 2011 season and recorded one goal and one assist. Boggs was also named the MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2011.

    Boggs stepped away from the game of soccer in 2012 to accept a Fulbright Scholarship for medical sciences at Leicester University in England. Boggs was one of only 35 people selected for the prestigious award. When he wasn't studying cancer treatments at the University, he was keeping up his soccer skills by playing futsal.  He had no intention of retiring from the game in 2012 when he accepted the Fulbright Scholarship and is looking forward to getting back on the field with the Eagles in 2014.   

    Zak joins Bilal Duckett and Wells Thompson as former New England Revolution players on the 2014 Eagles squad.  

    Charlotte will open the 2014 USL PRO season on Friday, April 4th at 7 pm against the Dayton Dutch Lions.  Tickets for the match can be purchased HERE.

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    USL PRO News Release

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO announced today that the franchise rights for Phoenix, Arizona have been acquired by Arizona United Soccer Club, LLC, an entity owned by local advertising executive Kyle Eng.  Eng is the Founder and Owner of Peoria-based Arrowhead Advertising.  Arizona United SC will assume the existing schedule previously prepared for Phoenix FC Wolves.  It is anticipated that the team will enter into an agreement with the City of Peoria to host its matches at the Peoria Sports Complex Stadium. 

    “Longtime Peoria resident Kyle Eng brings decades of experience as a successful executive and proven sports business leader, and with the full support of his agency and other partners has all of the tools to realize his vision for Arizona United SC to develop into a model club in USL PRO,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said.  “This is an exciting day for the local sports community and a reward to loyal USL PRO supporters, such as LFR, that continue to exhibit a passion so important to the future success of a professional soccer club.” 

    Kyle Eng, a graduate of Arizona State University, founded Arrowhead Advertising Agency in October 2003 and has led its growth to become one of the largest full-service advertising agencies in the Southwest. Arrowhead’s client list includes major companies such as Hyundai and Nationwide Vision, and the company has received numerous recognitions and awards for its excellence interactive marketing and social media campaigns.  Prior to launching Arrowhead, Eng was a marketing and P.R. executive at the Golf Channel and Fox Sports, including serving on the original launch team of Fox Sports Arizona in 1996.

    “My team and I look forward to playing a part in continuing to grow this great game in the Valley to unparalleled levels.  We believe we can do this by putting a quality product on the field and giving our fans a great experience at our matches,” Eng said.  “It’s exciting to be given the opportunity to serve the entire Arizona soccer community as the owner of Arizona United Soccer Club.”

    Earlier, USL PRO discontinued the franchise rights previously held by American Soccer Marketing, LLC and the further participation of Phoenix FC Wolves. 

    Front office and coaching staff announcements will be made in the coming days.  More information about Arizona United Soccer Club can be found at

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    Lane United FC News Release --

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane United FC introduced on Wednesday four players who will play for the Reds for the club's inaugural season in the PDL in 2014, pending league approval. The announcement comes after two previous blocks of recruiting commitments were finalized, one in February and one at the end of January. The total number of players committed to play for Lane United in 2014 now stands at 15.

    Three of the four highlighted players are internationally born and raised but are current student-athletes at American Division I universities. Germans Christian Dietrich and Martin Lukaschik play for Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, while Briton Pierce Kiembi, pictured, currently attends the University of Texas at Brownsville. The fourth player, Mikhail Doholis, plays for Oregon State and hails from Vancouver, Washington.

    Lukaschik, according to head coach John Galas, was recommended by another college player that Lane United was targeting (who then ended up drafted by an MLS team). Galas called Lukaschik a "box-to-box central midfielder with the engine to get up and down the field for 90 minutes." He started nearly every game for Fairleigh-Dickinson in 2013 and finished tied for second on the team in goals.

    Lukaschik's countryman and college teammate Dietrich was also a regular starter at Fairleigh-Dickinson, averaging 70 minutes per game. "A lot of his work doesn't show up in the box score," said Galas, "but as a solid outside midfielder he will complement our style of play and has great tactical understanding of the game." Dietrich grew up training in the FC Union Berlin youth system in Germany.

    Kiembi, the Brit, "reached out to us," Galas mentioned, "and said he wanted the challenge and responsibility of helping a new club grow." Since initially moving to the U.S. to begin school and play soccer at Bryan College in Tennessee, Kiembi has transferred to UT-Brownsville and in the meantime has played a season with the PDL side River City Rovers in Louisville, KY. Galas called him "a big, strong, athletic player who can be put anywhere in the midfield." Kiembi was a regular starter for Brownsville in 2013.

    Galas complimented the final recruit, the Northwest native Doholis, on his technical ability as an attacking midfielder and made reference to the fact that he started all but one game for the Beavers as a sophomore in 2013. He also enjoyed significant playing time as a freshman the year before. In high school, he played with fellow Lane United recruit Brenden Anderson in Gresham, OR, on the national championship-winning ESUFC Liverpool club side.

    All 15 of Lane United's currently committed and introduced players may be found on the roster page of our site.

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    Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release --

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have re-signed six players who will be key to the success of the team’s 2014 USL PRO season and its quest for a championship title, and added a pair of new faces to the squad. The returning veterans are Mike Seth, Rob Vincent, Mike Green, Greg Blum, Seth C’deBaca, and Sterling Flunder, while former Phoenix FC midfielder Anthony Obodai and Orlando City defender Brian Fekete join the squad for the new season.

    “These six re-signings show our commitment to building a core of younger players that have grown and will continue to grow with our organization as we move toward our ultimate goals,” said Head Coach Justin Evans.

    Veteran forward Mike Seth returns for his fifth season with the Hounds. Seth played in 22 of 26 games last season, tallying three goals and one assist and earning him a spot on the USL PRO “Team of the Week” for Week 18 and an honorable mention during Week 3.

    Evans had praise for Seth’s professional drive: “Mike’s work ethic and willingness to get better every day has culminated in another contract extension for him.”

    Midfielder Rob Vincent returns to the Hounds after an impressive rookie year in 2013. Vincent tallied three goals and one assist and earned recognition throughout the league with a spot on the USL PRO “Team of the Week” for Week 21, as well as honorable mentions to the Week 14 and 20 Teams.

    “Robbie Vincent has had the most impressive off-season body of work that I have seen in a very long time,” Evans said. “I am excited to see how this work will translate onto the playing field throughout the season.”

    Mike Green returns for his third season with the Club. Green is a versatile player and can see time anywhere across the back line or step up into the midfield. Green played in 21 games in 2013 and was named to the USL PRO “Team of the Week” for Week 20.

    Goalkeeper Greg Blum showcased his potential last season by recording 20 saves in five games and earning an honorable mention on the USL PRO “Team of the Week” for Week 20, after a spectacular performance in net on a road trip in Florida.

    Midfielder Seth C’deBaca returns for his third season with the Hounds after playing in 18 games last season and earning an honorable mention on the USL PRO “Team of the Week” for Week 3. C’deBaca is one of many talented midfielders who will battle for a position on this year’s starting lineup.

    Sterling Flunder, now entering his fifth season with the Hounds has agreed to a two-year contract extension. In 2013, Flunder played in 23 games and was an integral part of the Riverhounds defense.

    Obodai, a 31-year-old native of Accra, Ghana spent the 2013 season in Phoenix, where he made 24 appearances for the Wolves. The former Ghanaian international, who earned four senior caps for Ghana between 2003 and 2005, made a strong impression in his first season in USL PRO.

    “Anthony is a world-class player who has played alongside the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. To have a player from Ajax suiting up in a Riverhounds kit is a true honor for our Club and a sign of our direction,” said Riverhounds CEO Jason Kutney.

    Obodai signed with Dutch powerhouse Ajax of Amsterdam in 2001, playing on loan at Belgian side Germinal Beerschot during the 2002–03 season. Obodai moved to Sparta Rotterdam from 2005-2007, and also made four appearances for the Houston Dynamo of MLS in 2010.

    Kutney believes that Obodai will bring a physical element to the Riverhounds middle-third.  “He’s a tenacious ball-winner who controls the flow of a game. I watched him play in 2013 and became an instant fan.”

    Fekete, a 23-year-old three-time All-American while at the University of Tampa, spent last season with Orlando City where he made seven appearances.

    “He did really well on trial for us down in Houston, so we decided to bring him up to Pittsburgh and sign him,” said Evans. “He’s a solid defender, and an athletic player who loves to get forward.  He’s a player that’s very capable of helping us at the left back position.”

    Fekete began his professional career with the PDL’s IMG Bradenton Academy in 2010, continuing on through the PDL with GPS Portland Phoenix. He was an All-Eastern Conference selection in 2011 after totaling 1,213 minutes played with the Phoenix.

    The Riverhounds’ 2014 season officially begins on March 29 in Florida, against defending USL PRO champions Orlando City. The Hounds’ home opener at Highmark Stadium is set for April 12 against the Wilmington Hammerheads. For tickets and stadium information, go to

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