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News from USL

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    USL PRO Game Report

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas Reserves held on for a 1-0 victory against OKC Energy FC in an interleague contest at Toyota Stadium on Tuesday night. Andrew Jacobson's 53rd-minute goal off a nice feed from returned loanee Cobi Span gave FC Dallas the lead while Raul Fernandez's 90th-minute save of a penalty kick earned Dallas a shutout win.

    FC Dallas looked as though it had taken a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute when Danny Garcia stole the ball off the foot of a OKC Energy FC midfielder and quickly knocked a pass to Andrew Jacobson. The Cal product walked the ball towards goal and fired a 30-yard shot towards the right post. Energy FC goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin did well to get down and make a diving save, but left a juicy rebound that was quickly deposited in the back of the net by FC Dallas’ first round SuperDraft selection Tesho Akindele. Unfortunately for Dallas, the assistant referee ruled that Akindele was in an offside position, negating the goal.

    OKC countered in the 22nd minute with a slicing through-ball played into the feet of forward Kyle Greig by midfielder Abraham Villon. Greig looked to be in alone against FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, but could not corral the pass. Trying to catch up to the ball, Greig collided with the onrushing Fernandez at the top of the area, drawing the first yellow card of the game from referee Pedro Trejo Jr.

    Trejo Jr. was forced into action again in the 36th minute, when Garcia walked the ball into the area and got the ball to Cobi Span, who went to ground in a scrum of OKC Energy FC defenders. After a long meeting with his assistant referee, Trejo Jr pointed to the spot. Span opted to take the penalty, firing a low, hard shot to Kempin’s right side, but the ‘keeper came up with an outstanding save to keep the match scoreless heading into halftime.

    FC Dallas Reserves took a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the second half after Span worked around an OKC defender on the left flank and sent a low cross into the area. The ball from Span split two additional defenders and ended up on the right foot of Jacobson, who finished high to Kempin’s left side with his first touch.

    OKC earned a free kick from a dangerous spot in the 79th minute when Ryan Hollingshead was whistled for a foul, 25 yards from goal. Michael Thomas stepped up to take the shot, but could only fire high off the wall and the ball was quickly cleared away from danger by an FC Dallas defender.

    Energy FC continued to press in search of a tying goal during the final 10 minutes. Greig, Thomas and Peter Caringi each got off shots from dangerous areas, but OKC’s best opportunity came in stoppage time when FC Dallas center back Nick Walker was whistled for a shove in the penalty area. For the second time in the match, Trejo Jr pointed to the spot. Thomas stepped up for OKC and went the same way as Span had earlier in the match, but Fernandez also read the mind of the shooter, making a diving save, low to his right side to preserve the 1-0 win for FC Dallas Reserves.


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

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    VICTORIA, B.C. – Victoria Highlanders FC are excited to welcome full back Ryan Ashlee (Victoria, B.C.) for the upcoming PDL season. Ashlee made immense strides during the 2013 PDL season with Victoria, emerging as one of the most consistent and reliable players for head coach Steve Simonson.

    The 2013 AUS Second Team All-Star recently completed his third year of eligibility with St. Francis Xavier University’s X-Men, starting in all 14 games during the 2013-14 season. Ashlee’s no. 4-ranked X-Men would see their season end in an AUS quarter-final match against recent Highlander signee Ian Greedy and the Cape Breton Capers.

    During the 2013 PDL season, Ashlee and Highlanders captain Tyler Hughes were the only Victoria players to play every minute of the season on the road to a Western Conference championship title.

    “Ryan was one of the biggest and most positive surprises for us last year,” said Simonson. “To be honest I didn’t know what kind of playing role he would have, and if I remember correctly he didn’t come off the park at all. He was steady and he grew in terms of how he played because we asked for things that were maybe a little outside of his comfort zone. I’m hoping and expecting that will remain this year and that he will be a big part of our back four.”

    The 6-foot-4 defender bolsters the Highlanders back line that now features the likes of Hughes as well as Canada West First Team All-Star Andrew Ravenhill.

    “I had an incredible experience with the team last year reaching the final four in the PDL and I’m coming back to help contribute to winning the league this year,” remarked Ashlee. “Last season benefited me greatly.  The experience of starting and playing in big games in front of people has calmed my nerves and prepared me for another huge season with the Highlanders.”

    Ashlee and the Highlanders kick off their season, May 4 against Whitecaps FC U-23. For the latest updates on Vancouver Island’s premier soccer club, please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com.


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  • 04/16/14--17:01: Cox Returns To Sounders U23
  • Sounders FC U-23 News Release -- www.soundersu23.com

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    TACOMA, Wash. – Following a year of professional soccer with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, Jamael Cox has signed for the Sounders U-23 for the 2014 PDL campaign. Cox is a Tacoma, Wash. native who played on the 2012 Western Conference Champion, Sounders U-23 side.

    “Development is a winding road, not a straight line when it comes to players,” Sounders U-23 Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “Jamael has had success at many levels and this summer should give him the platform to hunt the next level again.”

    In his last stint with the Sounders U-23, Cox was an instrumental member of the attack, scoring important game winning goals against rivals, Portland Timbers FC U-23. He also scored in the Western Conference Championship game against Ventura County Fusion.

    CLICK HERE for in-depth profile article on Jamael Cox

    Cox is also a product of Seattle Sounders FC Academy. He has spent time on trial in Scotland and Germany, in addition to his time with the Tampa Bay Rowdies for the last two years.

    Sounders FC U-23 is going into its third season and looks to continue its success on the field. Season Tickets for the 2014 Sounders U-23 season are on sale on SoundersU23.com for only $60. Instead of one ticket specifically associated with each match, with the Sounders U-23 Flex Pack, fans will receive eight tickets, and each of those tickets will be accepted at any match during the 2014 season. It's the ultimate deal in flexibility.


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    Charlotte Lady Eagles News Release - www.charlotteeagles.com

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Lady Eagles are excited to announce the signing of three players for the 2014 W-League season: Jaimey Etten, Natalie Swift, and Julie Parr. 

    A graduate of UNC Greensboro, Etten thrived in her playing career for the Spartans, earning a starting position in the latter half of her freshman season (2008). In 2009, Etten saw action in 19 games and notched her first career multi-goal game against Appalachian State University. In her junior and senior seasons, Etten was an Academic All-Southern Conference selection, and she finished out her senior season (2011), having started in 17 matches, earning three points with one goal and an assist.

    Swift is wrapping up her sophomore season at Point Loma Nazarene University in California. Swift started her college playing career at the University of Oregon and transferred to Point Loma Nazarene after her freshman year. In her first season at Point Loma (2012), Swift played in 19 games with 11 starts. She recorded three goals and three assists, and was named to the PacWest All-Academic Team.

    Parr is a graduate of the University of Illinois and is the assistant coach for the women's soccer team at Bethel University, located in St. Paul, Minnesota. During her playing career at the University of Illinois, Parr was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten member and two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipient.

    In her senior season she was named a Big Ten "Player to Watch" and a TopDrawer Soccer Top-20 Conference Player (#14).  She recorded a career high of five goals and two assists, including a game-winning goal against No. 11 Penn State in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament, which Illinois won 2-1 in overtime. Parr also trained in the 2011 season with the Chicago Red Stars of the Women's Professional Soccer League.

    "We talked with Julie last year and it just did not work out for her to come; yet, for it to work out this year is just great," Lady Eagles General Manager, Jeremy Auyer said. "With her playing and coaching background, she will be an asset to the Lady Eagles."

    The Lady Eagles will begin their season at 7 p.m. on May 17 versus the Atlanta Silverbacks Queens Sports Complex. To purchase tickets online, visit www.charlotteeagles.com. If you purchase your tickets in advance they are $7.50 for adults and $5.50 for children.


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    PDL Feature

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Having traded Steven Beitashour to Vancouver in the offseason, the San Jose Earthquakes attempted to fill the gap in their side at right back with German veteran Andreas Görlitz and longtime MLS player Brandon Barklage.

    With both battling injuries, including Barklage being forced off in the 53rd minute against Columbus on Sunday, Coach Mark Watson had to look to his bench for a replacement.

    Enter former Ventura County Fusion player JJ Koval. Although a midfielder throughout his time with the Fusion and at Stanford, the rookie stepped in and performed strongly for the remainder of the contest, allowing the Earthquakes to earn a 1-1 draw with the Crew.

    “My mentality from the beginning has been to work hard in training and contribute in any way possible to help the team,” Koval told MLSSoccer’s Geoff Lepper. “Whether I’m playing center mid, right back or center back, I’m here to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

    Sunday wasn’t the first time Koval has been used in a new position by the Earthquakes this season. With their back four decimated by injury and suspension ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Toluca, Koval started at center back and more than held his own, despite the Quakes’ elimination.

    That performance, and his overall work since his selection in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft this past January, is drawing praise from some of his more illustrious teammates.

    “He’s absolutely amazing,” U.S. international Chris Wondolowski said. “I think he’s done a fantastic job. He’s just a beast, anywhere you put him. He covers so much ground, is such a tough guy and so smart. At such a young age, he definitely has a veteran head on himself.”


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    Dayton Dutch Lions FC News Release -- www.dutchlionsfc.com

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio – The Dayton Dutch Lions FC are proud to announce the signing of Jesjua Angoy-Cruyff, the grandson of international soccer legend Johan Cruyff. 
     
    “Jesjua is a very talented player that will fit our style of play perfectly,” Dutch Lions head coach Sid van Druenen said. “He is a left-footed player that played in the youth academy of Barcelona in Spain and spent two years in England with Wigan, and so brings experience with him that not a lot of guys on our roster have. He will be another great addition to an already quality roster.”

    Despite being only 21 years old, Cruyff has already played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. From 2008-2011, he played for FC Barcelona’s youth academy, which is widely regarded as one of the top developmental programs in the world. Barca’s academy has produced the likes of Carlos Puyol,  Xavi Hernandez, Pep Guardiola, Victor Valdes, and of course Lionel Messi.

    Cruyff would eventually join English side Wigan Athletic, playing for their reserve team from 2011-2013.  His most recent stop was with Lausanne Sport in Switzerland’s Super League. 

    “I’m exited to see what the level of football is in the U.S.,” Cruyff added. “My expectations are to earn a spot in the Dutch Lions starting 11 and do my best. I want to get to the highest level I can.”

    Soccer is certainly a big part of his family history. Johan Cruyff was the epitome of the "Total Football" strategy, being named a three-time European Player of the Year in a career that sent him around the world. His time in the Netherlands included several years with Ajax and Feyenoord in addition to 48 appearances with the Dutch National Team. He would also feature in Spain with FC Barcelona and Levante UD before coming to the United States to play for the Los Angeles Aztecs and Washington Diplomats. 
     
    Johan Cruyff’s managerial career was equally impressive as he led Ajax and FC Barcelona to incredible domestic and European success in addition to service with the Catalonia National Team and Chivas Guadalajara. 
     
    In addition to grandfather Johan, his father Angoy played for FC Barcelona in La Liga. He would appear in nine games over five seasons with the Spanish giant.


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    Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    TUKWILA, Wash. – Former Sounders Women midfielder signed her first professional contact last week with the Houston Dash. The University of Washington graduate went on trial during the preseason with the Dash and earned a spot with the NWSL expansion team.

    Following her signing, SoundersWomen.com caught up with Elston:

    SoundersWomen.com: What does this mean to you, to sign your first professional contract?

    Elston: I still get chills thinking about when I signed my contract. I may have even saved the pen…! But in all honesty, when I step back and think about where I'm at, I couldn't be happier. I didn’t know what to expect when I got here and while it’s always scary to go outside your comfort zone. It was the best decision I ever made and proved that taking risks pays off. Working my way onto the Houston Dash was a long road, and I’m the first one who will say that the road is only going to continue from here. I still have a lot to prove and I plan on earning my place every time I step on the field.

    SW: How did playing with the Sounders Women aid you in your development? (Elston played for the Sounders Women from 2011-13)

    Elston: The Sounders Women was a great experience for me because I was thrown into a new environment with different coaches and players, which forced my game to grow. Being in a new situation prepared me for a similar tryout process when I came to Houston.

    SW: What role did the Sounders Women play in your career path to the pros?

    Elston: It was a big jump from college to the pros. The Sounders Women was a crucial stepping stone between the two. I love being the young one on a team because players with experience have so much to offer and I just can't soak enough of it up. When I was on the Sounders, I had so many incredible role models who taught me more than I could've ever known. With the Dash, I find myself constantly watching what the veterans do in practice and then try to implement it into my game. From little things based on crafty touches to bigger things such as how to hold your composure before a big game. I've grown so much over the years and I have a lot of people to thank, especially the Sounders.


    The Sounders Women take to the field on April 25 to play a special exhibition match against Elston’s former team, the University of Washington Huskies. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. at Starfire Stadium. Tickets are available on SoundersWomen.com.


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    Dayton Dutch Lions News Release - www.daytondutchlionsfc.com

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio
    – Dayton Dutch Lions FC is proud to announce the signing of three returnees for the 2014 W-League season: goalkeeper Brooke McCurdy, defender Abby Pearson and midfielder Brittany Charles.

    "I am delighted with how the squad is shaping up so far, and it is especially nice to be able to showcase the best of the talent from the local area,” Dutch Lions Head Coach Gavin MacLeod said.  “The buzz around the club in regard to the W-League team builds every week. With other major signings to announce shortly, I am very confident that we will be in a good position to build on last season’s success and give the Oranje Legion and the Dayton soccer community a W-League team to really get behind.”

    McCurdy is a Canadian goalkeeper out of Wright State University, where she was named Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year and Horizon League All-League First Team in 2013. She was also named to the Horizon League All-Tournament Team and Horizon League All-League Second Team in 2012 after finishing eighth in NCAA Division I in individual save percentage. 

    McCurdy has two years of experience with the Dutch Lions in addition to a season spent with the Ohio Galaxies.

    "I am elated to be playing for the Dayton Dutch Lions for a second season in a row and a third season altogether,” McCurdy said. “Last year was a great learning and playing experience and I am looking forward to repeating it again this summer."

    Pearson is a Xenia, Ohio native who attended Urbana University.  She was awarded NCAA D-II Daktronics All-Midwest Region Second Team honors in 2012, and was named to the All-Conference and All-Ohio First Team after leading the G-MAC in assists and serving as team captain.

    “I am excited to play another season with the Dayton Dutch Lions,” Pearson said. “Last year was such a great learning experience and I am ready to improve upon that and enhance my game even more. The success of last season really gives us a strong platform to build on and I can't wait to get back out on the field with everyone and see how far we can take it this year."

    Charles is a St. Bonaventure standout that hails from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  She started all 19 games for the Brown and White in 2013, registering 10 assists and one goal.  It was her third consecutive year leading the team in assists. In high school Charles earned All-America honors as a four-year letterwinner at Woodridge and Walsh Jesuit HS.

    “After the success we had last season I'm looking forward to playing for the Dutch Lions again and am happy to have the opportunity to play under Gavin this season,” Charles said.


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    LA Blues News Release - www.bluessoccerclub.com

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The LA Blues are excited to announce the addition of Taylor Smith to the roster for the 2014 W-League season. The speedy forward had a standout season at UCLA that ended with the NCAA championship in 2013.

    “We are excited to add another talented and versatile player to this year’s team,” Blues Manager Charlie Naimo said. “Taylor had a tremendous second half of the NCAA season and was a huge part in UCLA winning the national championship. At this level you need players who can play at a high level in multiple positions, and that is exactly what we get in Taylor. I’m really looking forward to working with her.”

    Smith, from Fort Worth, Texas, finished second on the team in points (20) as a freshman in 2012. She scored eight goals and added four assists. She was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team, and finished eighth overall in Pac 12 scoring.

    As a sophomore in 2013, Smith emerged as a key player in the Bruins’ run to the College Cup with the majority of her points coming in the second half of the season. She scored another eight goals and assisted on 10 others.

    Smith has been a member of US Youth National Team camps since the U-14 level. She has most recently participated in a U-20 WNT camp.

    “I'm really excited to play with the LA Blues this summer,” Smith said. “They have a reputation of being a highly competitive team and I’m very happy that I'll be playing with some of my current UCLA teammates and other high-level players as well. I think it'll be a good summer.”

    The Blues will begin the 2014 campaign on the road against the Sedona FC Strikers, and will play their first home game against the Strikers the following weekend on May 23 at Occidental College. Season tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit bluessoccerclub.com.

     


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    Charleston Battery News Release -- www.charlestonbattery.com

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Charleston Battery take on Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls Reserves on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. As part of the continuing partnership between USL PRO and Major League Soccer Friday’s match will count in both the USL PRO standings and in the MLS Reserve league standings.

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    Friday’s game is presented by MUSC Sports Medicine and the first 2,000 fans through the turnstiles will receive a free pair of MUSC sunglasses. Tickets are available starting at just $10; to purchase tickets or for more information please call (843) 971-GOAL (4625) or visit www.charlestonbattery.com.

    The Battery will play two interleague games this year against MLS reserve teams with the second match set for Monday, August 4 away against the Montreal Impact. In 2013 Charleston played the Houston Dynamo reserves in a pair of games winning both matches; 4-1 at Blackbaud Stadium and 1-0 in the return match in Houston.

    The New York Red Bulls Reserve side has played one previous inter-league match in 2014, and defeated USL PRO’s Dayton Dutch Lions 3-0 on March 30 in a game played at Red Bull Arena. New York scored three second-half goals to defeat Dayton with Michael Bustamante, Eric Stevenson and Mike Miazga all tallying.

    The Battery enter Friday’s game on the back of a 1-0 loss to Orlando City, Charleston’s first defeat of the 2014 USL PRO season.

    The match against the New York Red Bulls Reserves will be available via a live stream on the Charleston Battery website; there will be no live radio broadcast on Friday night.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    CHARLESTON, S.C. -- With a constant downpour the entire game, the Charleston Battery were able to withstand the rain and preserve a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls Reserves on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium. Michael Bustamante gave the Red Bulls Reserves the lead from the penalty spot, but Dane Kelly's first goal of the season earned the Battery their third point of the season.

    “Their keeper made two or three really good saves in the first half,” Battery head coach Mike Anhaeuser said. “They put the penalty away, but you have to credit our guys for coming back down. It was a good ball by Zach Prince, Heviel Cordoves whipped a great ball into the box and Dane Kelly finished it off. Unluckily, we didn’t get the second one to win.”

    The Battery dominated the chances in the first half of play in the wet conditions. In the 23rd minute, Kelly pressured New York defender Kevin Politz into a turnover just outside of the New York penalty area. After collecting the turnover, Kelly sprinted toward the goal and had his shot blocked by Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara. The ball ricocheted onto the foot of Battery forward Mamadou Diouf, whose shot was blocked and cleared quickly by New York.

    Late in the half, Kelly was able to intercept a pass about 30 yards away from the goal. Kelly stopped immediately and fired a shot on target that was bobbled and then controlled by Meara in front of the goal.

    The second half started slowly but the 66th minute saw the excitement of the match surge when Prince was called for a foul in the area and the Red Bulls were awarded a penalty kick. After some protest from Charleston, Bustamante stepped up and calmly buried the ball in the back of the net.

    The Battery were able to answer and tie the game in the 73rd minute. Prince played a through ball from just inside the Charleston defensive half and Cordoves tracked it down deep in the left side. Cordoves quickly fired a low cross in front of the goal mouth and Kelly slid in to knock the ball home.

    In a very physical match, tensions boiled over in the 76th minute and, after a brief scuffle between the two teams, Meara was sent off after receiving two yellow cards during the incident. Bustamante and Battery defender Colin Falvey were also given yellow cards for their involvement in the incident. Falvey would pick up a second yellow in the 89th minute and was also sent off.

    The Battery will next face the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Saturday, April 26 at 6 p.m.


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    Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium this Saturday, April 19 to host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at 5 p.m. The enhanced game day experience begins when the gates open at 4 p.m. with live music from Black Market Lunch Box, Family Zone, food trucks, draft beer trucks, corporate entertainment and fun for families and soccer fans alike. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    The Kickers and the Riverhounds meet for the second time in as many weeks with the defending USL PRO Regular Season Champions upending their northern rivals 3-1 at City Stadium on April 5. Kickers forward Michael Seaton opened scoring in the first half with midfielder Kyle Porter doubling the lead after the break. Pittsburgh forward Collins John pulled a goal back with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation but Porter buried his second goal of the night in stoppage time to send the visitors home empty handed.

    Most recently, the Kickers and the Riverhounds both dropped points on the road. Despite taking an early lead in Charlotte on a second Seaton tally, the Kickers conceded a pair of unanswered goals to lose 2-1 to the Eagles. Meanwhile, a frantic back-and-forth-affair in Wilmington saw the Riverhounds rally with three second-half goals, but the late effort could not overturn the 4-3 scoreline.

    Overall, the Kickers hold a 15-8-7 record against the Riverhounds, with the rivalry dating back to 1999 when the two franchises competed in the USL First Division. Following Saturday’s match-up, the two clubs swap home field advantage to close out the three-game series in Pittsburgh on June 22.

    Loveland Distributing will once again be the official sponsor of the outdoor bar area at City Stadium, located on the south side of the main concourse. The expansive area serves as a unique, gathering place for fans before and during games, offering a variety of food and beverage options, including the Kickers-specific craft beer, Kick It Hunny, and live music. 

    Players to Watch
    Kickers: In his second season on loan from D.C. United, seventeen-year old forward Michael Seaton notched his second goal in as many matches, opening scoring against both Pittsburgh and Charlotte. Signing with D.C. as a 16-year old, the Maryland native and homegrown player tallied five goals and one assist in Richmond last season. New Zealand/American midfielder Shay Spitz signed with the Kickers prior to the 2014 campaign after spending two seasons with the Orange County Blues. After making 27 appearances and posting four goals in a Blues uniform, he made his Kickers debut in the 2-2 draw in Charleston to open the 2014 campaign. In his sophomore season, homegrown goalkeeper Ryan Taylor made his first professional start at City Stadium against the Riverhounds on April 5. The Midlothian High School graduate and former FC Richmond player backstopped the Kickers to a 3-1 win.

    Riverhounds: The Riverhounds’ marquee signing of 2014 is former Kickers midfielder Joseph Ngwenya. The USL PRO All-League First Team honoree and MVP Finalist led the Kickers with 11 goals and six assists last season after spending eight seasons in MLS. Through the Riverhounds’ new affiliation with the Houston Dynamo, midfielder Brian Ownby landed in Pittsburgh on loan this season after spending the majority of the 2014 campaign on loan with the Kickers. The native of Richmond, Va. and former Richmond Strikers Academy player finished second on the team in scoring, notching seven goals and seven assists en route to the Kickers Regular Season Championship title.

    2014 Richmond Kickers Season Passes
    Richmond Kickers season passes offer unbeatable value, VIP benefits and incredibly low prices to all regular season home games. Guaranteed to see all regular season home games for the best possible pricing, Kickers games are a fantastic way to get together with friends, family and colleagues for an unforgettable entertainment experience - order now!


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    Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders will host the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday night for the Islanders' 2014 USL PRO home opener at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. The match will kickoff at 7 p.m.; gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for fans and media.    

    WATCH LIVE | TICKETS

    Saturday's home opener against the Dutch Lions marks the Islanders second match of the 2014 USL PRO season. The Isles settled for a 0-0 draw in their season opener against the Wilmington Hammerheads back on April 5 at Legion Stadium in Wilmington.

    The Dutch Lions come into Saturday's match with an overall record of 1-1-1, with their only loss coming from the New York Red Bulls Reserves squad on March 30. The Dutch Lions went on to defeat the Charlotte Eagles 1-0 on April 4 and scored a stoppage-time goal to post a 1-1 draw against the Rochester Rhinos on April 11.

    Historically the Islanders have fared very well against the Dutch Lions. Over the past three seasons the Islanders have defeated the Dutch Lions four times, tied with them once, and lost to them twice. In the 2013 season the Islanders and Dutch Lions split their matches, both winning at their home stadiums. The Islanders defeated the Dutch Lions 5-1 at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, while the Dutch Lions defeated the Islanders 3-1 at Beavercreek Stadium in Dayton. 

    "Dayton is off to a good start in league play after their first three games," said Islanders coach Bill Becher. "They are a very solid team that will present a challenge for us in our home opener. It's been two weeks since we last played so our guys are really looking forward to this game."

    The Islanders are captained by veteran midfielder Jason Pelletier. Pelletier was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week following his outstanding performance in Wilmington on April 5. The veteran leader is considered one of the best Islanders of recent time; he holds a top five position in numerous Islander All-Time statistical categories. On the pitch Pelletier is a commanding leader and has the authority to make his surrounding teammates better.

    Another key player to watch for the Islanders is forward, Clesio Bauque. The electrifying attacker was named an honorable mention on the USL PRO Team of the week for his performance against the Hammerheads. The Mozambique national is determined to put one in the back of the net on Saturday. 

    Key players to watch for the Dutch Lions include forward, Aaron Schoenfeld and goalkeeper, Matt Williams. Schoenfeld is a versatile attacker with MLS experience, who is with Dayton on loan from its MLS partner the Columbus Crew. He appeared in 19 matches for the Crew during the 2012 MLS season. Schoenfeld comes into Saturday's match currently tied for fifth place in USL PRO with most shots taken this season (7). Williams is another key player to watch in Saturday's matchup. Williams recorded a six-save shutout against the Charlotte Eagles back on April 4, and was voted to the USL PRO Team of the Week for his efforts.

    Saturday's match will consist of numerous Islander players making their Skyline Sports Complex debut. This list includes Bauque, Edinho Junior, Pedro Ribeiro, Raphael Cox, Neil Shaffer, Robbie Derschang, Richie Marquez and Danny DiPrima. 

    Saturday's home opener is sure to be a battle. The critical early season matchup between the Islanders and Dutch Lions will provide fans with tons of action-packed entertainment. Fans of all ages are encouraged arrive early for plenty of pre-game fun. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Capitol Blue Cross tote bag. Following the conclusion of the match young fans will be allowed on the field for player autographs.

    The Islanders home opener will also stream live via www.youtube.com/cityislanders.

    The Islanders next match is on Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. as they visit Orange County California to take on the Orange County Blues. For more information please visit CityIslanders.com or phone 717-441-4625 (GOAL).


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers rallied for a 2-2 draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at City Stadium on Saturday night. Former Kickers midfielder and Richmond native Brian Ownby opened the scoring and Jhonny Arteaga converted a second half penalty kick to give the Riverhounds a 2-0 advantage before Kickers midfielder Kyle Porter and forward Matthew Delicate tallied a pair of late goals to preserve the point.

    Looking to avenge an earlier-season loss in Richmond, the Riverhounds opened scoring in the 11th minute. A give-and-go between Matt Dallman and Jason Johnson on the right flank sprung Johnson free to whip a cross to the back post but Ownby’s header was cleared over the endline.  Dallman stepped up for the resulting corner with his well-placed inswinger finding Joseph Ngwenya six yards out. The former Kickers midfielder’s point-blank header was blocked against the crossbar by a leaping Ryan Taylor, but Taylor could not recover the rebound as Ownby flew onto the ball to finish with a diving header.

    The Kickers squandered their chance to level the score eight minutes later when a free kick at midfield found defender Taylor Kemp on the left flank. Carrying the ball deep into Riverhounds territory, he delivered a cross to the far post but Porter’s header spun just wide of the upright.

    Seconds later, Kickers midfielder George Davis IV broke free and raced through the midfield with Riverhounds defenders trailing. As he barreled towards the box with a 1-on-1 against Pittsburgh goalkeeper Matt Lisch in his sights, Mike Green caught up and forced Davis’ shot to the far post to skim just wide.

    Attempting to pull a goal back after the restart, Porter nearly drew the score even twice inside the first 10 minutes of the second half. First, he won the ball on the right edge of the box, and found Davis rounding defenders on the opposite side but his onrushing shot at the near post was denied by Lisch who made a daring kick save to hold the lead. 

    Then, he was back in action minutes later when midfielder Mike Callahan played him a lateral ball but his left-footed curler from 20 yards out was scooped up by the awaiting Riverhounds goalkeeper.

    Weathering the offensive pressure, the Riverhounds doubled their lead in the 61st minute when Ownby drew a foul in the box as he battled Kickers defender William Yomby for control of the ball. Arteaga stepped up to the spot and buried the ensuing penalty kick.

    The Kickers cut the deficit in half four minutes later when Kemp played the ball to Porter. This time, the midfielder was not to be denied as his distance shot rocketed into the upper-right corner.

    With less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the home side leveled when Callahan played a long ball across the field, connecting with Samual Asante on the right wing.  The swift midfielder sliced a cross through to Delicate at the near post, and the Kickers' all-time leading scorer slotted a low ball underneath the crouching keeper.

    Refueled after conceding the equalizer, the Riverhounds nearly struck again in the 85th minute. Dallman lined up a free kick 25 yards out, weaving through traffic only to be denied by Taylor who parried his determined shot just wide. Danny Earls delivered the corner kick but defender Anthony Arena’s header caromed off the crossbar, keeping the game level.

    The Richmond Kickers travel to the Dayton Dutch Lions next Saturday night before returning to City Stadium on Friday, May 2 to host the Rochester Rhinos at 7 p.m. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, returns home next Saturday night to host the Charleston Battery at Highmark Stadium.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Dayton Dutch Lions took their second road win of the season as they took a 1-0 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders in the Islanders' home opener on Saturday night at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. In front of a crowd of 1,711, Aaron Schoenfeld scored the only goal from the penalty spot late in the first half to extend the Dutch Lions' undefeated streak to three games. 

    The game's lone goal came in the 41st minute of the match when Schoenfeld, on loan from the Columbus Crew, charged into the Islanders penalty area and was upended by Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble. Noble was given a yellow card for his play which resulted in a Dutch Lions' penalty kick. Schoenfeld lined up the ball and buried it in the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead. 

    The Islanders had plenty of chances to tie the match, and outshot Dayton 11-8, but they struggled to connect with the net. Both Islanders Clesio Bauque and Jimmy McLaughlin led the charge; each had a handful of scoring chances in the match but were unable to capitalize. In the first half McLaughlin took three shots, bringing the crowd to their feet with hopes of an even score. In the second half, Bauque also had three shots which did not hit the mark for the Islanders.

    Dayton was led by the outstanding play of goalkeeper Matt Williams who recorded five saves on the night. His efforts in the net shut out the Islanders on every shot attempt. Schoenfeld and teammate Eli Garner commanded the offense with aggressive ball movement and physical play.

    The City Islanders' next match will be held Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. ET on the road against against the Orange County Blues. The Dutch Lions, meanwhile, will host the Richmond Kickers next Saturday night at Beavercreek Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.


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    USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy II battled back from a goal down to beat the Orange County Blues 3-1 at StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium on Saturday evening. Charlie Rugg, Chandler Hoffman and Laurent Courtois all scored for the LA Galaxy’s USL PRO affiliate to improve Los Dos’ record to 3-1-1 in their inaugural campaign.

    The Blues took the lead in the ninth minute when Jiovanni Santana capitalized on a defensive miscue to slot the ball past LA goalkeeper Cody Laurendi. LA Galaxy II almost equalized immediately after going behind after Raul Mendiola rounded the goalkeeper, then laid the ball off perfectly to Rugg, who could only hit his shot off the post. Despite several chances to equalize, Los Dos went into the second half down to their in-state rivals.

    Head coach Curt Onalfo’s side eventually found an equalizer in the 49th minute when a brilliant pass from captain Rafael Garcia put Rugg one-on-one with the keeper and he finished with aplomb.

    Jack McBean was introduced for the goal scorer Rugg in the 69th minute and he made an instant impact. Just four minutes after coming on, the Orange County-native headed down an Oscar Sorto cross perfectly into the path of Hoffman who finished easily from close range.

    The Blues nearly clawed their way back into the match five minutes later but William Prado missed wide after rounding Laurendi with the goalmouth gaping. Los Dos sealed the victory in stoppage time when substitute Laurent Courtois chipped a beautiful ball over McLain after another lay off from McBean.

    The LA Galaxy II return to action next Friday night when they travel to Phoenix to take on Arizona United in the club’s first ever road match. The game will take place at 7:10 p.m. PT at Peoria Sports Complex. The Blues will return to Anteater Stadium this Thursday night as they host the Harrisburg City Islanders at 7:30 p.m. PT.


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  • 04/20/14--01:58: United Claims First Victory
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Saturday, April 19, 2014 

    PEORIA, Ariz. – Jonathan Top finished a ball headed down in front of the goal in the 85th minute, which proved to be the winning goal in Arizona United SC’s 2-1 win over the Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night at the Peoria Sports Complex. It was Arizona United SC's first win as a franchise in the club’s second-ever match, and came with Sacramento playing with 10 men after a red card to defender Mickey Daly just before halftime.

    Top and his teammates celebrated by running behind the net to whoop it up with members of La Furia Roja, the club’s supporters group.

    “I was at the right place at the right time,” Top said. “Last week was upsetting for us and the goal was late and I was hoping we would be able to hold the result. So I wanted to go over and celebrate with the fans.”

    Arizona United SC couldn’t do a lot with a man advantage for much of the second half, but it secured its first three points after absorbing a 4-0 defeat to Oklahoma City Energy FC last week on its home pitch.

    United trailed 1-0 with Sacramento having taken the first six shots on the match, the visitors’ lead courtesy of a goal from midfielder Rodrigo Lopez in the 27th minute. Arizona United SC’s attack got going late in the half, however, and after Top just missed high with long-distance shot in the 36th minute, captain Matt Kassel delivered a cross from the right all the way to forward Brandon Swartzendruber in the left side of the penalty area, who had time to settle the ball and shoot.

    The ball got by Sacramento goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek in the 38th minute to tie the score, and ensured that Swartzendruber will be the answer to the trivia question as to who scored Arizona United SC’s first goal in franchise history.

    “We had a lot to prove tonight,” Swartzendruber said. “It was a little sloppy for a bit but I think once we got a little confidence under ourselves, we started trusting each and playing balls forward and we did a lot better.”

    Daly drew his second yellow card, and thereby received a red, in the 44th minute after a foul in the penalty area. Kassel took the penalty, but Jakubek stopped the shot.

    Arizona played the entire second half with a man advantage and attacked early, but Sacramento began to get chances as the half wore on. Arizona goalkeeper Evan Newton made two key saves in the 69th and 78th minutes, both on efforts by Thomas Stewart.

    “It was just one of those games that I feel we threw it away,” Sacramento head coach Preki said. “I thought we were the better team. We created most of the chances. Even when we were a man down we had three or four good chances to score. That’s football. Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve.”

    In the 85th minute, a pass into the penalty area from Kassel found the head of forward Kadeem Dacres, who headed the ball down for Top to put away. Dacres, a second-half substitute, was making his professional debut.

    “It’s a special night,” United head coach Michael Dellorusso said, calling the win a confidence booster. “At the end of the day though, it’s another step for us. It’s a process. We’re going through it. Obviously it’s a positive. Got better from last week and we’ll take it from here.”


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    Rochester Rhinos News Release -- www.rhinossoccer.com

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The Rochester Rhinos will be taking on the Chicago Fire Reserves this Monday afternoon at 12 p.m. ET at Toyota Park in Chicago.

    Rochester is finishing up a three-game road trip that kicked off their 2014 season. The Rhinos dropped their opening match of the season 3-1 to USL PRO Champion Orlando City on April 5th. JC Banks scored the Rhinos first goal of the season in the season-opening defeat. On April 11th, the Rhinos rebounded and earned their first point of the season in a 1-1 draw with Dayton. Samuel Petrone scored the opening goal off an assist from Colin Rolfe for Rochester before Joe Broekhuizen scored the equalizer in the 94th minute for the Dutch Lions.

    “I have a couple of different thoughts about the start to our season.” Rhinos head coach Bob Lilley said. “I think there have been periods of time in both of our first two games where we have actually played very well. However, we only have one point from our first two matches, so we need to be focused on trying to go into Chicago and take three points on Monday.”

    Rochester will be facing the Chicago Fire Reserves because of the USL PRO's groundbreaking affiliation with Major League Soccer. Last year every MLS Reserve side played two matches against a USL PRO club that counted in both the USL PRO standings as well as the MLS Reserve League standings. This year the LA Galaxy became the first MLS club to take the next step and commit their reserve team – LA Galaxy II – to compete in USL PRO for the entire season. The focus of the affiliation with MLS is to help develop younger players in the MLS at a competitive level. The affiliation will ultimately build long term ties for the leagues and improve the overall level of play which will expand the audience.

    “MLS Reserve teams provide an interesting challenge because you never really know what to expect.” Lilley said. “Regardless, Chicago has always historically had a good Academy and a good professional team, so it should be a strong test for us on Monday.”

    So far the Chicago Fire Reserves have only played one match of their 2014 MLS Reserve League schedule. In their season opener against the New York Red Bulls Reserves, Giuseppe Gentile scored two goals to put Chicago on top 2:1. In their other exhibition matches, the Fire Reserves also defeated Indy Eleven and Marquette University. The team scored a combined seven goals in the two matches.

    The Rochester Rhinos 19th home opener will be on Sunday, April 27th 2014 at 4 p.m. at Sahlen's Stadium against the Charleston Battery.

    Tickets for the home opener as well as any other match on the Rhinos home schedule will be available by by calling (585) 454-KICK (5425), by visiting the MVP Health Care Box Office at Sahlen's Stadium, or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Rochester Rhinos season tickets, flex packages and group ticket sales are also currently available.


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  • 04/21/14--12:55: Demize Add Newport To Squad
  • Springfield Demize News Release -- www.demizesoccer.com

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Springfield Demize Head Coach Ian Henry has announced the signing of center midfielder, Devon Newport. A native of Springfield, Mo., Newport most recently played for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, in Edwardsville, Ill.

    Photo courtesy SIU EdwardsvilleIn 2008, as a Glendale High School Senior, Newport was named First Team All-State and Missouri Offensive Player of the Year. He began his college soccer career at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, and was part of an A10 Champion team his freshman year and tied for leading goal scorer as a sophomore.

    After transferring to SIU-Edwardsville, his team finished as Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) regular season and tournament runner-up and he was named to the Second Team All-MVC as a senior. Newport was part of the U19 State Champion and Regional semi-finalist team in 2010 and National runner-up in 2011 as a summer college player with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club.

    “I’m excited to be playing for my hometown PDL team for the first time. Coach Henry is making an impact on the development of this team,” said Newport, “and the Demize is an organization where I will be challenged and develop to the next level. I’m excited to see what this team can do.”

    The Demize's season opener is on May 17 at 7 p.m., at Cooper Complex, Springfield, Mo., against the Des Moines Menace. Plan to attend and meet Newport and the other Demize players.


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  • 04/21/14--12:59: Gomez Returns To Highlanders
  • Victoria Highlanders FC News Release -- www.victoriahighlandersfc.com

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    VICTORIA, B.C. – Victoria Highlanders FC are excited to announce the signing of 27-year-old midfielder Manny Gomez. The 5-foot-9 product of Argentina grew up playing soccer in Victoria before leaving the country to play internationally at the age of 15.
     
    Photo courtesy Victoria Times-ColonistGomez’s experience includes being a member of the 2013 Canadian National Team roster. Gomez has also been a member of Canada’s U-15, U-17 and U-20 squads. His playing career received a boost after he was invited to Argentine’s Club Atlético River Plate, playing in their youth academy from 2002-05. From 2008-2011, he received significant playing time in Spain as a member of C.D. Binefar.
     
    “The decision to come back was to give something back to soccer in Victoria as well as my family,” said Gomez. “For the team, I just want to pitch in what I know on and off the field so we can achieve something big. I’m obsessed with winning titles and important things.”
     
    Highlanders FC general manager Mark de Frias and Gomez connected through Gomez’s father, who lives in Victoria. After several discussions, Gomez prepared to relocate to Victoria to begin a new chapter in his playing career.
     
    “It was clear Manny wanted to return to Victoria and get his foot in the door in North American soccer after playing in South America for so long,” said de Frias. “Players like Manny give our organization a unique opportunity to utilize veteran players that have real experience at a high level around the world and provide us with something we couldn’t get otherwise. Not only in terms of on-field play and ability, but to help support our young players on our team that we want to develop and help move on to the next level.”
     
    Highlanders head coach Steve Simonson looks forward to what Gomez can bring to the table, and also hopes it will benefit his younger players as well.
     
    “Manny has got a great technical ability and skill set, he’s great on the dribble and probably has the ability to unlock defenses on the go. In terms of our younger players, he came out of Victoria as a young player and has gone on to play in different areas, so I think he’ll be able to share experiences about what it’s like to try and play at the top-level.”
     
    Gomez’s addition provides the Highlanders with another member with experience at the international level, joining recent signee Riley O’Neill and captain Tyler Hughes, who have also spent time abroad.
     
    “We’ve always had the goal of using our experienced players to help out with the development of our younger players, they add quality but they also add leadership,” explained Simonson. “We’ve got good ability through the team this season and we’ve got more depth than we’ve had in years past so the pressure will be on us to put some good performances on the park. If we do that, I think we could have a good year.”
     
    Gomez and the Highlanders open their season against the Whitecaps on May 4 at Royal Athletic Park. For more information, please visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com.


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