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News from USL

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    Charlotte Eagles News Release -- www.charlotteeagles.com

    Thursday, April 10, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles will face the 2013 USL PRO Regular Season Champion Richmond Kickers this Saturday night at Queens Sports Complex at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets are available by visiting charlotteeagles.ticketleap.com, and all of the action will be streamed live on YouTube.

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    Photo courtesy Suz KitsteinerCharlotte fell in its season-opener against the Dayton Dutch Lions last Friday. Brock Granger scored the only goal in the match as Dayton earned a 1-0 victory over the Eagles. Eight new players made their debut for the Eagles against the Dutch Lions, including new goalkeeper Doug Herrick, who made seven saves in his pro debut.

    The Eagles will face a familiar face on Saturday as Samuel Asante returns to Charlotte as a member of the Kickers after playing for the Eagles in 2013. Asante, who played in 21 of the Eagles' matches last season, tallied one assist in the 2013 season before moving on in the offseason.

    Charlotte and Richmond's last meeting came in the semifinals of the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs, where the Eagles came out on top with a 2-1 victory over the Kickers through goals by Nathan Thornton and Christian Ramirez. The victory propelled the Eagles into the 2013 USL PRO Championship Game against Orlando City. 

    The Kickers are currently third in the league standings with four points after two games. After playing Charleston to a 2-2 draw away from City Stadium they returned home last Saturday and defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds 3-1 in front of 3,507 people.  

    Richmond, which has a partnership with Major League Soccer's D.C. United, currently has four players on loan from the club, including forwards Michael Seaton, Cristiano Francois, defender Jalen Robinson, and goalkeeper Joe Willis. Seaton took advantage of D.C. United's partnership with Italian Serie A club Inter Milan and trained with the Italian side during the offseason.

    The Kickers are led offensively by George Davis IV and Kyle Porter,who each have a pair of goals this season.


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    FC Tucson News Release -- www.fctucson.com

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    TUCSON, Ariz. -- FC Tucson, in partnership with Chapman Automotive, has unveiled the 2014 FC Tucson Open House Presented by Chapman featuring FC Tucson and the University of  New Mexico. The season kickoff match takes place on Saturday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. Fans who wear any FC Tucson gear or Chapman-branded shirts and jerseys, will get in for free. Tickets for the event are $5 and can be purchased at FCTucson.com. Fans who have purchased season tickets will already have access to this match.

    "Thanks to our beautiful new stadium, this year will be the best year yet for home matches and we want to give the entire soccer community a sneak peek of what to expect in 2014," said the FC Tucson ownership group in a joint statement. "We are excited to offer free admission to Upper 90 Club Members, any fan wearing FC Tucson gear or the Chapman Automotive logo, to recognize one of the best sponsors. We hope that this will be a great way to alert the growing FC Tucson fan base that the regular season is right around the corner and we need everyone to get behind this team as we start the campaign."

    The event will also include the following:

    - Select your seat in Section 104 for regular season tickets from 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm for fans who have not yet purchased season tickets.
    - Open-play mini-games on the stretch pad from 5:30 pm - 7:15 pm.
    - Youth mini-games behind the south endline
    - Concessions specials
    - First 100 fans through the door receive a free FC Tucson seat pad
    - Postgame autographs

    The University of New Mexico is led by Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein, who has reached the NCAA Tournament in 10 of his 12 seasons at the helm. In those 10 appearances, the team has reached the Sweet 16 five times since 2004 and reached the Final Four twice in 2005 and last season in 2013. In 2005, the Lobos reached the national championship game, before losing, and finished the year second in all four major soccer polls. New Mexico is also just one of three programs in the country to have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the last three seasons.


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    Pittsburgh Riverhounds News Release -- www.riverhounds.com

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Riverhounds begin their USL PRO home schedule on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium against the Wilmington Hammerheads. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff, and will be streamed live on YouTube.

    After two tough fixtures on the road against the 2013 USL PRO Champion, Orlando City, and the 2013 Regular Season Champion, Richmond Kickers, to begin the season, the Riverhounds are excited to open their home campaign this weekend in Station Square.

    "We are excited to return to the friendly confines of Highmark Stadium," said head coach Justin Evans. "It is the team's focus to maximize our points at home this season."

    The Riverhounds and Hammerheads met twice in 2013, seeing the home side earn victory in each contest.  Traditionally, the two clubs play different formations, leading to multiple attacking strategies. The Riverhounds build through the midfield and attack as a unit, while the Hammerheads play a more direct approach by applying pressure immediately on their opponent's back four defenders.

    Regardless of the formations and strategies displayed on the pitch, Saturday night's meeting will be an intense and physical battle as both sides are looking for their first win of this young USL PRO season. 

    Immediately following the match, a fireworks display provided by Highmark will light up the Pittsburgh Skyline for the first time in 2014. For more information on the Riverhounds, visit www.riverhounds.com.


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    Arizona United SC News Release -- www.arizonaunited.com

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    PEORIA, Ariz. -- Arizona United Soccer Club is set to make its USL PRO debut at home this Saturday against the expansion Oklahoma City Energy Football Club at the Peoria Sports Complex at 7 p.m. PT.

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    In conjunction with the match, Arizona United SC will hold a first responder and military appreciation night. Arizona United will offer two tickets when a first responder or active military ID is shown at the Peoria Sports Complex box office. Parking for all 14 of Arizona United’s 2014 home matches at Peoria Sports Complex is complimentary.

    Earlier this week the club announced the roster for the upcoming season. The squad features six players who have seen action in Major League Soccer: Bradlee Baladez, Matt Kassel, Tyler Ruthven, Jonathan Top, London Woodberry and Daniel Antúnez. Eight players have competed at the youth national team level: Kadeem Dacres, Charles Renken, Jacole Turner, Evan Newton, Kassel, Woodberry and Top have all represented the United States, and Widner Saint Cyr represented Haiti at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup in South Korea. Two players, Newton and Renken, were members of U.S. Soccer’s Residency Program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    Arizona United SC is led by head coach Michael Dellorusso, who joined the club after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland from 2010-2013. During his four-year tenure at Maryland, Dellorusso helped guide the program to four straight Sweet Sixteen and two Final Four appearances in the NCAA Division I men’s soccer tournament. Dellorusso’s staff includes assistant coach Austin Daniels and goalkeeper coach Cory Robertson. Daniels brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to Arizona United and is the Arizona Youth Soccer Association technical director.

    OKC Energy FC is in its first season in USL PRO. The Energy have split their first two matches this season, defeating Orange County Blues FC, 2-0, on April 5, and falling to L.A. Galaxy II, 4-2, last Monday. Kyle Greig, Peter Caringi, David Leichty and Moer Yhan De Doue have all found the back of the net for the Energy.

    Oklahoma City is led by head coach Jimmy Nielsen, the 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and the starting goalkeeper for Sporting Kansas City in their 2013 MLS Cup victory.

    Kickoff on Saturday is scheduled for 7 p.m. PT; gates open at 5:30 p.m. PT. For more information regarding Arizona United SC or to purchase tickets go online at www.arizonaunited.com. Fans and media can also follow the team on Facebook www.facebook.com/ArizonaUnitedSoccer or Twitter @AZUnitedSC.


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    Victoria Highlanders FC News Release -- www.victoriahighlandersfc.com

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    VICTORIA, B.C. – Victoria Highlanders FC are excited to announce the return of another player from last year’s Western Conference Championship roster in the form of midfielder Riley O’Neill (Vancouver, B.C.). O’Neill’s role on the pitch this season will be supplemented with additional responsibilities as he also assumes an assistant coach role with the squad.

    The 6-foot-3 striker was drafted by the Colorado Rapids of MLS in the third round of 2007. Following his rights being traded to Toronto FC, O’Neill was drawn to the spotlight and big stage of European soccer, eventually playing for several clubs that included a two-year stint with MYPA of Finnish Veikkausliiga, where he scored 12 goals over two seasons.

    Last season, the 28-year-old played in a leadership role with the Highlanders alongside captain Tyler Hughes both on and off the pitch, putting up three goals in the process. O’Neill will determine how his added role as assistant coach will play out as the season gets underway.

    “We’ll see once all the players start coming in how my role as assistant coach works with the team,” said O’Neill. “Tyler Hughes is still here, he’s been with the club since the beginning so he takes a big leadership role as well. I’m still playing so I don’t want to get too vocal or coach too much on the field, I still need to be a player as well.”

    During the PDL off-season, O’Neill worked as a coach with the Highlanders Youth Academy alongside Highlanders head coach Steve Simonson, developing local youth in all facets of the game depending on their age group while gaining valuable coaching experience at the same time. O’Neill currently holds a NCCP Level 3 coaching certificate and is currently in the process of completing Level 4 as well as his Provincial B coaching license.

    “It's been a great opportunity to be able to coach the wide variety of ages in the Highlanders,” said O’Neill. “Being able to help different players in those age groups with different aspects of the game. This summer will be another step in learning and a coaching opportunity that I look forward to. I hope to give back as much I can to help with the development of the Highlanders players.”

    Simonson commends the striker for what he does from both a playing and coaching perspective.

    “Riley was an on-field general last year, he helped us dictate tempo, organize things and he’s obviously a quality player as well,” said Simonson. “He’s been involved with us in the coaching ranks in the club as well and brings a real understanding of what we’re looking for as staff.”
     
    O’Neill and the Highlanders kick off their season, May 4 against Brett Levis and the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 squad at Royal Athletic Park. For tickets, player updates and club news, please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Friday, April 11, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio -- The Dayton Dutch Lions scored in stoppage as a 94th-minute goal by Joe Broekhuizen earned a 1-1 draw with the Rochester Rhinos at Beavercreek Stadium on Friday night. Samuel Petrone had given the Rhinos a first-half lead, but the Dutch Lions grabbed an equalizer to share the points in their home opener.

    “There was a moment when the speed of the ball was good, the tempo was high, and there was flares of what we wanted to play," Dayton coach Sid van Druenen said. "But there was too much long ball. The work ethic was fantastic but the soccer we showed today is not the soccer we want to show.”

    For most of the game the Rhinos managed to protect their early score, which came in the 28th minute on a cross from Onua Obasi, converted by midfielder Petrone.  The ball dipped into the net just out of the reach of Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams as the Rhinos capitalized on their best opportunity of the half.

    Although Dayton controlled possession and tempo early, Rochester responded well, and denied several Dayton scoring opportunities to hold onto their 1-0 lead at the half. 

    In the second half, Rochester came out of the gate hot, ready to defend their lead with a strong physical presence. Petrone came close to adding a second in the 46th minute, only for Willams to dive hard to make the save. Dayton had a good chance to tie the game just past the hour-mark as Eli Garner broke in on the left side of the penalty area, but on loan New England Revolution goalkeeper Luis Soffner tipped his effort over the crossbar to keep the Rhinos up.

    The equalizer would arrive late in five minutes of stoppage time, however, as Broekhuizen was able to get to a looped ball into the penalty area as he challenged Soffner at the top of the penalty area, and then put the finish away as the referee ruled his challenge on the goalkeeper a clean one. 

    Dayton will hit the road for its next contest as it visits the Harrisburg City Islanders (0-1-0) on Saturday, April 19 at the Skyline Sports Complex. The Rhinos will complete their three-game season-opening road trip to start the season on Monday, April 21 as they visit the Chicago Fire Reserves at 12 p.m. ET at Toyota Park.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Eagles rallied from a halftime deficit to claim a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers on Saturday night at the Queens Sports Complex. Michael Seaton opened the scoring for the Kickers with his second goal of the season, but the Eagles were able to claim their first win of the season as goals by Juan Guzman and a late winner by Jorge Herrera earned victory. 

    Former Charlotte 49er Giuseppe Gentile, on loan from the Chicago Fire, made his Eagles debut as he entered at the start of the second half, and proved influential in attack. The Eagles, who trailed 1-0, would get back on even terms in the 54th minute when Juan Guzman took a pass from Drew Yates 12 yards from goal and finished with a left-footed shot past Kickers goalkeeper Ryan Taylor.

    Gentile then almost tallied his first goal as an Eagle in the 73rd minute but his shot went just wide of the post. Both sides pushed forward in search of a winner in the final 15 minutes, but it would be Herrera that would find the winner in the 89th minute as he curled a left-footed shot past Taylor. Herrera took a pass from Yates before taking a touch and finishing calmly to give the Eagles the game-winner.

    The game opened with a lot of back and forth between the two teams, and the Eagles almost opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Yates took a turn but was denied by Taylor. Two minutes later it would be Richmond which got the first tally as Seaton tapped home from close range. Charlotte goalkeeper Doug Herrick initially deflected a cross from the right that clipped the crossbar, but Seaton's finish eluded him and trickled into the net. Charlotte was able to rebound, however, and earn a repeat victory as in their last meeting with the Kickers in the 2013 USL PRO Playoffs.

    The Eagles will return to action against the Chicago Fire Reserves on Friday, April 25th at UNC-Charlotte at 7 p.m. ET. The Kickers, meanwhile, return home to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds next Saturday night at 5 p.m. ET.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    PITTSBURGH -- The Wilmington Hammerheads got a pair of goals from Sammy Ochoa as they claimed a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night at Highmark Stadium. The Riverhounds saw a sellout, standing-room-only crowd in attendance for their home opener, but the Hammerheads would never trail on their way to their first win of the season.

    After a back-and-forth start to the game, Wilmington broke the deadlock in the 26th minute as Steven Miller took advantage of a lot of space from 21 yards, and sent a strike past Riverhounds goalkeeper Greg Blum.  

    The Riverhounds had a couple of nice chances in the first half, the first coming from the right side as Matt Dallman sent a ball right to Jose Angulo in the 15th minute that was broken up by a couple of Hammerheads defenders. The ball deflected out to Collins John, who sent a first-time shot that was punched out by Hammerheads goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.  

    The Riverhounds drew a number of fouls near their attacking third in the first half. Each time, Dallman couldn't convert. His best chance came in the 30th minute, from just out side the box from the left side he grazed the top of the crossbar. Then in the 35th minute, Joseph Odobai sent a nice ball over the top to Angulo, who's header was cleared away nicely by Roberts.

    The Hammerheads would double their lead in the 39th minute when Riverhounds defender Andrew Marshall was called for a handball just outside of the box, setting up Daniel Lovitz, for a free kick from 22 yards. Lovitz made the most of his chance, with a bending shot that found the upper right corner of the goal, to give the Hammerheads a commanding 2-0 lead going into the half.   

    The Riverhounds looked to the familiar combination of Jose Angulo and Matt Dallman cut the lead in half in the 55th minute and send the match into a wild, back and forth affair. Angulo converted on Dallman's corner kick with a header for his second goal of the season, cutting the Hammerheads' lead to 2-1.

    Wilmington responded almost immediately, as Ochoa scored on a header on a free kick from Miller in the 57th minute. The Riverhounds continued to mount pressure, and after a few more close chances, would cut the lead to 3-2, as Collins John knocked a loose ball past Roberts.  

    Again, with the crowd back into the match, Wilmington would strike again. After a foul just inside the left side of the penalty area, Ochoa calmly sent a penalty kick past Blum for the 4-2 lead.   

    The Riverhounds kept pressing, and would cut the deficit to one in the 85th minute, as late sub Kevin Kerr put in a first-time, left-footed shot from just on the edge of the penalty area that set up an exciting finish.

    In the 90th minute, on another corner from Dallman, the ball sailed just past Angulo who was unmarked on the far post. A minute later, Danny Earls made a nice run up the left side, passed it off to Joseph Ngwenya, who put it past Roberts. As the Riverhounds and fans celebrated, it was quickly waved off by the officials for offside, and the Hammerheads would escape Pittsburgh with three points.  

    The Riverhounds will be back on the road next weekend as they return to Richmond for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, March 19th. The Hammerheads, meanwhile, will return home to host the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, April 26 at Legion Stadium.


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  • 04/13/14--01:39: Blues Rally Past Sacramento
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. -- The Orange County Blues FC registered their first victory of the season with a 2-1 win against Sacramento Republic FC at Anteater Stadium on Saturday night. The Blues had to rally from an early deficit, but Stephen Okai's second goal of the season proved the difference as Republic FC finished the game with 10 men.

    Republic FC took just eight minutes to open as it took advantage of an early free kick from the left. Former Blues’ star Rodrigo Lopez whipped in a vicious free kick, which allowed center back Mickey Daly to outwit the Blues' outside trap and side-foot a volley past Blues’ keeper Patrick McLain.

    Orange County responded positively. Gibson Bardsley bulldozed his way into the right side of the penalty and was chopped down by a Sacramento defender. Blues captain Allan Russell stepped up to the spot and sent Sacramento keeper Jake Gleeson the wrong way to level the score in the 19th minute.

    The sides were evenly matched until the 69th minute when the game was turned on its head. Bardsley was again the catalyst as he split the Republic FC center backs and was dragged down just outside the box by Harrison Delbridge. Referee Tyler Ploeger showed the Australian a straight red card.

    Okai stepped up and curled a world-class free kick over the wall and just under Gleeson’s crossbar into the top-left corner of the net.

    The Blues were able to hold on as a resolute defense repelled everything sent into their box, hanging on for their first three points of 2014.

    “We played with more heart,” said Russell after the game. “For a lot of players it’s their first time being professional and are getting used to what it takes to play at a professional level. The very first thing is applying pressure and work rate which was far more superior than previous games.”

    The Blues have a week to recover before heading back up the 405 for a rematch against the LA Galaxy II at 7:30 p.m. P.T., next Saturday, April 19th, at the StubHub Center Track Field. Republic FC will also be on the road next Saturday as it visits Arizona United SC next Saturday, April 19 at 7 p.m. PT.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orlando City SC secured its second consecutive win on Saturday night as it took a 1-0 victory against the Charleston Battery at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. In his debut appearance, FC Dallas loanee Brian Span scored his first goal in purple and white and helped move City into first place in USL PRO.

    “Apart from a few isolated incidents, I thought that it would have been a travesty had we not won the game tonight,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “Overall I’m pleased with the win, and I’m pleased that Cobi [Span] got a goal because he’s been working very hard in training.”

    Both Orlando and Charleston are responsible for the past four USL PRO Championships and, as a result, a rivalry has been created. Over the years, the two sides have competed in multiple memorable matches, and tonight was no different. Saturday’s game didn’t feature a high-scoring affair that typically takes place when the two sides compete against one-another, but it was just as dramatic nonetheless.

    The beginning of tonight’s match featured a similar theme to the opening three games, as Orlando were once again the more dominant side in terms of possession but struggled to break-through due to Charleston bunkering in. With several crafty and technical players in the midfield for Orlando, possession seems almost routine, but the two players providing the majority of the chances for the Lions were full-backs Luke Boden and Tyler Turner. The two defenders spent more time in the final-third than in their own half and were instrumental in whipping crosses in the box.

    Due to Turner and Boden placing several dangerous balls in the six-yard box, the Battery were then forced to adjust- allowing Molino, Ceren and da Luz to get more involved in the attack. In the 12th minute, the Lions would nearly break-through when da Luz played a lovely no-look pass to spring Corey Hertzog in behind, but the striker was unable to notch his first goal since arriving to the City Beautiful. 

    Hertzog would have another chance in the 45th minute when Turner pinged a driven ball across the six, but the former Vancouver Whitecap was unable to latch on to it.

    Despite Orlando having most of the possession and chances, the Battery were also able to create a few nervous moments from set-pieces, including a near-chance that was cleared off the line, but Gallardo and the City defense were able to see the danger away. 

    The second half featured more direct play from the Lions, particularly after Span was brought on along with attacking players Dennis Chin and Adama Mbengue. Span joined City earlier this month on loan from MLS side F.C. Dallas and was brought on for the first time by Heath. The 22-year-old couldn’t have had a better debut, as the powerful midfielder was able to find the back of the net within 15 minutes of entering the match.

    After a long spell of pressure from Orlando City, Mbengue was able to get enough space on the left-side to pull the ball across the box to Span, who was all alone at the back post, and he fired his shot in from 12 yards out. 

    City would have two more opportunities to add to the score-line in the waning moments via Chin and Mbengue, but a great save by Cooper and a goal-line clearance prevented the Lions from securing a second.

    With a second victory secured, Orlando has momentum heading into their two-game road trip. Next week, the Lions will take on the F.C. Dallas Reserves on Tuesday night, and expansion side, OKC Energy FC on Saturday, April 26. Charleston returns home next Friday night to host the New York Red Bulls Reserves at Blackbaud Stadium.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, April 13, 2014

    CARSON, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC broke the LA Galaxy II's three-game unbeaten run in USL PRO as it took a 3-0 victory at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium on Sunday evening. Mickey Daly, Max Alvarez and Dakota Collins all scored for Sacramento who dropped the Galaxy II’s record to 2-1-1. Despite the defeat, Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers made his first appearance of 2014 as he went 40 minutes in the defeat.

    Sacramento pulled ahead in the 32nd minute as an Alvarez corner kick bounced in the penalty area and fell for Daly, who launched an overhead chip with his back to goal that sailed over Los Dos goalkeeper Brian Rowe and into the back of the net. The visitors nearly doubled their lead less than 10 minutes later when Alvarez launched a rocket shot that sailed just over Rowe’s goal.

    Alvarez would not be denied in first-half stoppage time when the Sacramento midfielder capitalized on a Galaxy II turnover that resulted in a breakaway that he easily fired past Rowe for the club’s second goal of the evening.

    With his team trailing by two, Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo made a succession of attacking substitutions, inserting Charlie Rugg, Andre Covarrubias and Rogers in the opening 10 minutes of the second stanza. The moves enabled Los Dos to get some offensive possession, but the USL PRO side would fail to register a shot on frame until the 70th minute.

    Although the Galaxy II tried to find their way back in the match, Sacramento added a third goal in the 75th minute after a failed clearance by Rafael Garcia in the penalty area fell perfectly for Collins, who slotted his shot from close range past Rowe for the final goal of the evening.  LA nearly got on the board in the 85th minute, but Kenney Walker’s rifled free kick was saved by Sacramento goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek.

    Galaxy II will look to return to winning ways next Saturday as they take on the Orange County Blues (1-2-0) at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. Los Dos defeated the Blues 3-1 in their inaugural match on March 22. Sacramento remains on the road next Saturday night as it visits Arizona United SC at the Peoria Sports Complex.


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    BYU Cougars News Release -- www.byusoccer.com

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    PROVO, Utah -- The BYU Cougars remained undefeated in preseason as they took a 3-1 victory against 2013 NCAA Tournament side the University of Denver on Saturday night. 

    "I am proud of the chances we created tonight,” said head coach Christopher Watkins. “Scoring three goals and beating a great team is an important step in our season.”

    Freshman Blake Frischknecht scored the Cougar’s first goal off a penalty kick in the 28th minute. In the second half two yellow cards were awarded to Ethan Meyer and Jonathan Junca of BYU.

    Blake Frischknecht scored BYU’s second goal off a cross in the 51st minute. Denver would pull a goal back in the 59th minute as Chandler Crosswait scored for the Pioneers after they were able to connect several passes in their attacking third.

    A pair of players were sent off in the 95th minute as Reid Hukari of Denver and Pedro Vasconcelos of BYU were dismissed for physical misconduct. A minute later, the Cougars wrapped up the victory as a sophomore from Sandy, Utah, Jerry Dearden, added the third goal.

    The Cougars will play Fresno Fuego on South Field on May 3, 2014 to open the 2014 PDL season. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for children. Season passes are available for $25.


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  • 04/14/14--17:14: Hodges Joins Sounders Women
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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash – The Seattle Sounders Women have signed defender Kelsey Hodges from the University of North Texas for the 2014 W-League season, pending league approval. Hodges, 23, scored nine goals for UNT during the 2013 season, totaling 32 goals in her career. She started in all 21 matches they participated in last season and ranks fifth in UNT history with 84 career starts.

    “Playing for the Sounders Women will help me to continue to grow as a soccer player and help me reach the next level of my game,” Hodges said. “Playing with girls from across the country that I haven’t played with before will be a great learning experience.”

    The 5’-foot-7 star was named Conference USA Preseason “Player to Watch” for 2013 and ranked second among position players in UNT history with 7,174 career minutes. During the 2013 season Hodges was selected to the Conference USA All-Tournament Team, was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, a NSCAA First-Team All-Region Selection, and to Top Drawer Soccer’s Team of the Week.

    “Wearing the Sounders jersey will be a unique experience for me," she said. "Growing up I’ve always played on a team in my hometown, including college, so this time it’s going to be different in a good way. I’m over the top excited and extremely blessed in getting the chance to wear the blue and green for the Sounders.”

    A Texas native, Hodges leads UNT with 10 career game-winning goals and is eager to continue her growth as a player and pursue her goal of playing at the professional level.

    “I’ve heard soccer fans in Seattle are completely awesome and 'die-hard' fans, which makes me that much more excited about coming to play there,” Hodges added.

    The Sounders Women will host their next exhibition game at 7 p.m. on April 25 against the University of Washington at Starfire. Tickets for the match are available on SoundersWomen.com.


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    PDL Feature

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    After his recent trade from the Montreal Impact, Andrew Wenger’s debut for the Philadelphia Union couldn’t have gone much better.

    The former Reading United forward, and native of Lancaster, Pa., not only scored in his debut, but also provided strong all-around play as he made a good first impression on his teammates and coaching staff.

    “I was pretty anxious,” said Wenger to CSNPhilly’s Ryan Bright. “If you saw my first touch of the game, it was pretty donkey. I actually gave the ball away, then fouled [Javier] Morales. It was good to get that one out of the way.”

    The only thing that was missing from the game was a win for the Union, as they shared the points in a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake thanks to a late goal by U.S. international Maurice Edu. The center back, who himself arrived in Philadelphia this offseason, was pleased with Wenger’s first appearance at PPL Park for the Union.

    “He showed a lot today,” Edu told Bright. “Not only did he score the goal but he worked his tail off, he was tracking back, making tackles and breaking up plays. He showed a lot of good traits today and we’re pleased he got that goal. He’s going to be a good asset for our team, we’re happy for him.”

    The reception Wenger received was a very different one from two weeks prior, when he had been part of the Impact side that earned a 1-1 draw at PPL on March 29.  Understandably, Wenger is much happier to have the support of the Sons of Ben, who chanted his name after his first goal in Union colors.

    “That was pretty damn cool,” said Wenger. “Much better than the F-words they were giving me last week.”

    HIGHLIGHTS


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    USL PRO Feature

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    For the second consecutive week, D.C. United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra was called upon to replace regular starter Bill Hamid, sidelined by injury.

    Photo courtesy USA TodayFor a second consecutive week, the 2013 USL PRO Goalkeeper of the Year for the Richmond Kickers produced a strong performance as United recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since October, 2012 with a 1-0 win against rival the New York Red Bulls.

    That Dykstra stepped up to the mark shouldn’t come as much surprise to those who have followed him in USL PRO. After helping the Charleston Battery claim the 2012 championship, Dykstra was sent on loan to the Kickers last season as part of the partnership between the clubs and proceeded to record a league-leading 0.863 goals-against average and 10 shutouts.

    Dykstra made four saves, including a big save on a close-range effort from Roy Miller, and also got a little bit of good fortune as Peguy Luyindula’s shot came back off the crossbar. The presence of VCU’s pep band, which stood next to the Barra Brava throughout the game, may have been a good-luck charm for the former Ram, who was unaware that they would be on hand prior to the game.

    “I came out to the field and thought, ‘That sounds really familiar’,” Dykstra told the Washington Post. “I had no idea they would be here. I had to get a little closer to see all of the VCU shirts.”

    Whatever the source of United’s breaks, the victory was a sweet one as it claimed victory in the first game of the battle for the Atlantic Cup, and put D.C. in a positive position ahead of its trip to Columbus next weekend.

    HIGHLIGHTS


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    Washington Spirit Reserves News Release - www.washingtonspirit.com

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    BOYDS, Md. – The Washington Spirit Reserves continued to build their 2014 season roster today by announcing the signing of Virginia Tech midfielder Katie Yensen to the growing squad.  Fresh off the most successful run in Hokie women’s soccer history last fall, Yensen returns for her third season at the Maryland SoccerPlex as a member of a Washington W-League team. 

    In addition to starting for the Spirit Reserves last season, Yensen was a member of D.C United Women in 2012.

    Hailing from nearby Falls Church, Virginia, Yensen spent her youth career as a member of the nationally acclaimed McLean Strikers.  Upon entering Virginia Tech in 2011, the dynamic midfielder wasted little time in making an impact, playing in all 23 games including 14 starts.  Yensen followed her statistical prowess up the following year, notching four goals and two assists in a 20-game span.

    However, Yensen’s most significant collegiate accomplishments to date include a seven-goal season performance leading to a NCAA College Cup appearance, the first ever for Virginia Tech women’s soccer.  Yensen’s commanding presence and rapid-fire decision making not only led the Hokies to the ACC championship match, but also drove the team on an unprecedented four-game win streak in the NCAA Tournament.

    Yensen capped off her brilliant junior year with the game-winning goal in a 3-0 victory against Duke to propel Virginia Tech into the NCAA College Cup final four.

    “Katie is a steady and reliable force in the midfield,” Assistant Coach JP Sousa said. “I'm impressed with her composure in the middle and she can also do good things in a wide position.”

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

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


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    USL PRO News Release

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO has announced a new partnership that designates Interplay-sports as “Official Video Analysis Provider of USL PRO” for the 2014 season.  Using the cutting-edge technology offered by Interplay-sports, USL PRO coaches will have the ability to analyze every aspect of their players’ on-field performance, resulting in real-time data that can be used to make well-educated tactical adaptations at halftime or following a match.

    “This agreement provides USL PRO teams with another important competitive element as the league’s level continues to grow, both on and off the field,” USL PRO Vice President Jake Edwards said. “Interplay-sports’ match analysis software makes it easier for coaches and managers to identify strengths, weaknesses and trends within their squads, providing an opportunity for improvement. We look forward to working with Interplay-sports as we continue to build upon USL PRO’s role as the strongest professional league below and in support of Major League Soccer.”

    The Interplay-sports video analysis software is the most advanced and unique software on the market due to the user's ability to analyze his team and the opponent live, allowing for retrieval of video files from multiple games in seconds. Coaches can tag individual players and link players to specific actions, capture games via two cameras while tagging in real time, or create special video projects taken from multiple games. Interplay empowers a team to educate players and scout opponents effectively.  

    As part of the agreement, Interplay staff will provide education and support to USL PRO teams utilizing the software.

    “Interplay-Sports is delighted with the partnership with USL PRO and is excited to be working with a modern organization with clear objectives to develop teams, coaches, players and the sport at the highest level,” Interplay-sports Founder & CEO Jan Tunli said. “This agreement fits well with Interplay-Sports’ intentions and goals for the future, and we believe it will produce great mutual benefits for all.”

    Based in Norway, Interplay-sports is on the leading edge of match analysis technology for soccer, ice hockey, basketball, tennis, lacrosse, and team handball. Interplay-Sports clients have included national teams from Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in various sports, the U.S. Women’s National Team, and many of the top professional soccer teams in the European Premier Leagues.  


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    Colorado Pride News Release - www.pridewleague.com

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Pride have added more high-level soccer experience to their already exciting 2014 roster with the announcement that former Colorado Rapids Women standout midfielder Erin Gunther has joined the team for the 2014 W-League season.

    Gunther, a four-year standout for Creighton University, has played in the W-League for five seasons and will be reunited with current Pride Head Coach Daniel Clitnovici after previous working together at the Colorado Force (W-20 & W-League) and the Colorado Rapids Women (W-League). Gunther adds not only W-League experience, but also an international professional experience after successful stints with Östersunds DFF and Kalmar IFK in Sweden’s first division in 2012 and 2013.  

    A versatile midfielder, Gunther played with the Colorado Rapids Women in 2012 and 2013 and started all but two games during their successful W-League existence.  During her time with the Rapids Women Gunther scored 13 goals and assisted on eight others. On several occasions Gunther turned in match-winning performances for the Rapids Women, being chosen as W-League Player of the Week.

    The Pride have added several high-profile players during the past few months leading up to the 2014 W-League season, and excitement is building throughout the community for their much-anticipated first home game on Thursday, May 22 against the Colorado Storm at Washburn Field in Colorado Springs.  Match time is slated for 7 p.m. (MT).

    The Pride will hold their final tryouts on April 19, and the W-League squad will be announced shortly thereafter.

    Please stay updated about the Colorado Pride at www.pridewleague.com and www.facebook.com/pridesoccerclub.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 4 of the 2014 season on Tuesday with Wilmington Hammerheads forward Samuel Ochoa being named Player of the Week as he scored a pair of goals and added an assist in his side’s 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on Saturday night.

    Ochoa, formerly of Seattle Sounders FC, played a role as the Hammerheads took the lead in the 27th minute as he held up play before passing to Steven Miller for a low finish. Ochoa then notched his first as a Hammerhead in the 58th minute as he flicked home a free kick by Daniel Lovitz to make it 3-1, and added a second from the penalty spot with 18 minutes remaining that proved to be the game-winner as the Hammerheads took victory.

    Ochoa is joined in the Team of the Week attack by Sacramento Republic FC’s Mike Fucito, who had a goal and an assist in his side’s inaugural victory, a 3-1 win against Chivas USA on April 7. Fucito, on loan from the San Jose Earthquakes, scored the opening goal and assisted on Justin Braun’s game-winner in a 3-1 win.

    Republic FC was also represented by Mickey Daly, who scored a pair of goals in Sacramento’s games against Orange County and the LA Galaxy II this past weekend. He is joined in the Team of the Week defense by Oklahoma City’s Kyle Miller, who scored his first professional goal in a 4-0 win against Arizona United on Saturday, and the LA Galaxy II’s Daniel Steres, who scored in his side’s 4-2 win against OKC on April 7. Orange County’s Seth Moses rounds out the quartet after a strong showing in the Blues’ 2-1 win against Sacramento on Saturday.

    Joining Moses in representing Orange County is Stephen Okai, whose goal proved to be the game-winner in his side’s first victory of the season. Orlando City’s Cobi Span also earned selection after scoring the only goal in the Lions’ win against Charleston, while OKC’s Adda Djeziri was named after a strong performance that was capped with a goal in the Energy’s win against Arizona.

    A pair of Charlotte Eagles rounded out the Team of the Week, as goalkeeper Doug Herrick was named after recording seven saves in a 2-1 victory against the Richmond Kickers, and Drew Yates earned selection as he provided the assists on both Eagles goals as they rallied for victory.

    The 2014 USL PRO season continues on Tuesday night as OKC Energy FC visits the FC Dallas Reserves at 8 p.m. ET. Friday night sees another interleague contest as the Charleston Battery play host to the New York Red Bulls Reserves at 7:30 p.m. ET at Blackbaud Stadium.

    Saturday night brings four games, with the Richmond Kickers set to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 5 p.m. ET before the Harrisburg City Islanders host the Dayton Dutch Lions in their home opener at 7 p.m. ET. The action concludes on the west coast as Arizona United SC hosts Sacramento Republic FC at 10 p.m. ET, and the Orange County Blues SC visit the LA Galaxy II at 10:30 p.m. ET.

    Every game of the 2014 USL PRO season can be seen live on YouTube, with live updates also available via Twitter (@USLPRO), Facebook and Google+. Stay up to date with news, previews and match reports from throughout the league via USLPROSoccer.com.

    USL PRO Team of the Week

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Honorable Mention – Arizona: Matt Kassel, Jonathan Top; Charleston: Odisnel Cooper, Zach Prince; Charlotte: Jorge Herrera, Matt Gold; Dayton: Joe Broekhuizen, Matt Walker; LA Galaxy II: Raul Mendiola, Jack McBean; Oklahoma City: Kyle Greig, Steven Perry; Orlando City: Adama Mbengue, Brad Rusin; Orange County: Allan Russell; Pittsburgh: Collins John, Kevin Kerr; Richmond: Collin Martin, George Davis IV; Rochester: J.C. Banks, Samuel Petrone; Sacramento: Dakota Collins, Max Alvarez; Wilmington: Daniel Lovitz, Paul Nicholson.


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    Washington Spirit Reserves News Release - www.washingtonspirit.com

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    BOYDS, Md. – The Washington Spirit Reserves announced the reacquisition of Hofstra University forward Amber Stobbs for their 2014 W-League squad today.  A native of London, England, Stobbs was a member of Chelsea Ladies FC before embarking on her collegiate career stateside and subsequent stint with Washington in 2013.

    As a member of the Spirit Reserves last year, Stobbs led the W-League in assists with nine, and finished seventh in totals points with an additional four goals.

    Prior to her time at Hofstra, Stobbs attended the Warlingham School in England where she was also a sprinter for the track team, competing in the 100- and 200-meter events. While still technically a youth player, Stobbs also played for historic soccer club Chelsea Ladies FC alongside two of her future college teammates, Emily Morphitis and Ruby Staplehurst.

    As a member of the Hofstra women’s soccer program, Stobbs scored six goals during her tenure with the Pride.  The energetic forward’s final collegiate tally proved to be the game-winner in a 2-0 victory against UNC Wilmington, propelling Hofstra into the CAA semifinals.  The quarterfinal win against the Seahawks saw Stobbs tally seven shots on the day, contributing to her garnering Student Athlete of the Week honors.

    “Amber is a dangerous threat on the flank,” Assistant Coach JP Sousa said. “She is quick, savvy with ball, and does a great job setting up teammates in front of the goal.”

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

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


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