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Articles on this Page
- 05/01/14--09:59: _Orlando Takes Victo...
- 05/01/14--16:42: _Energy Add Gabeljic...
- 05/01/14--13:07: _Bohemians Announce ...
- 05/01/14--13:24: _Toronto Loans Hamil...
- 05/01/14--15:21: _Richard, Busque Sig...
- 05/01/14--16:25: _USL PRO Announces S...
- 05/01/14--18:46: _PDL Preview: Southe...
- 05/02/14--08:41: _Super-20 Alignment,...
- 05/02/14--13:41: _City Islanders Prep...
- 05/02/14--13:30: _Sounders Sign Engla...
- 05/02/14--13:40: _Kickers Welcome Vis...
- 05/02/14--22:12: _Kickers, Rhinos Pla...
- 05/02/14--22:27: _Battery Blast City ...
- 05/02/14--20:13: _Spirit Reserves Ret...
- 05/02/14--20:16: _Sounders Add Canadi...
- 05/03/14--22:49: _Hammerheads, Rhinos...
- 05/02/14--20:18: _PDL Preview: Wester...
- 05/04/14--02:09: _Republic FC Take Fi...
- 05/04/14--01:52: _United Takes Victor...
- 05/04/14--11:53: _Highlanders Open vs...
- 05/01/14--09:59: Orlando Takes Victory vs. Tampa Bay
- 05/01/14--16:42: Energy Add Gabeljic To Squad
- 05/01/14--13:07: Bohemians Announce Eight Returnees
- 05/01/14--13:24: Toronto Loans Hamilton To Wilmington
- 05/01/14--15:21: Richard, Busque Sign With Laval
- 05/01/14--16:25: USL PRO Announces St. Louis Expansion
- 05/01/14--18:46: PDL Preview: Southern Conference
- 05/02/14--08:41: Super-20 Alignment, Schedule Announced
- 05/02/14--13:41: City Islanders Prepared For Battery
- 05/02/14--13:30: Sounders Sign England YNT Attacker
- 05/02/14--13:40: Kickers Welcome Visiting Rhinos
- 05/02/14--22:12: Kickers, Rhinos Play To Dramatic Draw
- 05/02/14--22:27: Battery Blast City Islanders
- 05/02/14--20:13: Spirit Reserves Retain Veteran Pair
- 05/02/14--20:16: Sounders Add Canadian National Baxter
- 05/03/14--22:49: Hammerheads, Rhinos End Scoreless
- 05/02/14--20:18: PDL Preview: Western Conference
- 05/04/14--02:09: Republic FC Take First Home Win
- 05/04/14--01:52: United Takes Victory Against Eagles
- 05/04/14--11:53: Highlanders Open vs. Whitecaps U-23
Orlando City SC News Release -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In the first match of the 2014 I-4 Derby, Orlando City SC secured a 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The victory against the Rowdies on Wednesday night continues the Lions’ undefeated run (4-0-0) against Tampa, dating back to 2013.
“Anything that’s important enough for our supporters is important enough for me and it should be for our players,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath after the 3-0 victory. “I’m happy for the fans that we got the win in the end, but I still thought that there was a lack of desire on our part.”
Since Orlando City’s arrival to Florida in 2011, an intense rivalry has been formed between the two clubs’ supporter groups, eventually leading to both sides agreeing to a home and away derby in 2013.
The Lions got the better of Tampa last season as Orlando claimed 3-2 victories both at the Citrus Bowl and at Al Lang Stadium. This year’s home match, however, proved to be a more difficult test as Tampa is closer to regular season form, with the Rowdies already having played three regular-season games.
Midfielder Brian Span and forward Dennis Chin were catalysts for the initial two chances created by the Lions in the first 10 minutes, but the majority of Orlando’s opportunities later in the first half came from the left side.
The quality chances began prior to the 20-minute mark, with left back Luke Boden providing the Lions’ first clear-cut chance of the match. In the 18th minute, Adama Mbengue found the Englishman all alone inside the Rowdies’ area, and the left back’s effort looked destined to find the back of the net but ricocheted off the post instead, keeping the score level.
Tampa Bay also had a few solid chances in the first 45 and the visitors came close to moving ahead in the 24th minute when Lucky Mkosana’s effort bounced off both posts before being collected by Gallardo.
“The first half could’ve easily been 4-4 because none of our players wanted to do the dirty work,” added Heath. “None of our players wanted to get back and make the tackle that was needed, and I won’t stand for that.”
Nevertheless, the Lions regained composure and found the back of the net roughly three minutes later via Mbengue. After collecting a pass inside the area from Span, Mbengue employed a bit of trickery to create space for himself before firing the ball into the back of the net past Rowdies’ Goalkeeper Ryan Thompson.
Span was also involved for City’s second goal of the half, but this time created an opportunity for his fellow teammate through his initial strike on target. Span skipped past his defender and forced Thompson to parry the ball into Chin’s path, who calmly dinked it over the ‘keeper.
City’s second-half play featured less of an emphasis on going forward as the Lions aimed to maintain a clean sheet.
On the other hand, the Rowdies were in search of a crucial away goal and made three key changes at halftime. One of the substitutions made by Tampa Head Coach Ricky Hill included forward Brian Shriver, who had a near-chance in the 50th minute from a Rowdies’ counter-attack, but a well-timed tackle from Defender Justin Clark kept Gallardo out of harm’s way.
The Rowdies’ strong push forward eventually led to another City goal in the 90th minute when Brian Span added the final dagger deep into stoppage time.
With the home win secured, City will head into the away leg on July 6 with a comfortable cushion as Orlando aims to secure a second consecutive I-4 Derby Championship.
The Lions' next USL PRO match will take place at home on Sunday, May 4, against OKC Energy FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
For more information, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com.
OKC Energy FC News Release -- www.energyfc.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – OKC Energy FC signed forward Adnan Gabeljic, General Manager Jason Hawkins announced today. Gabeljic was selected 38th overall by Sporting Kansas City in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
“We’re excited to have Adnan here,” said Energy FC Head Coach Jimmy Nielsen. “He performed well with Kansas City during the preseason. We saw him at Sporting KC’s camp and soon as he got released from SKC, we knew we wanted him here. We’re happy we were able to come to an agreement to have Adnan join us in Oklahoma City.”
Gabeljic played for the Saint Louis Billikens for four years and started a career-high four games in 16 appearances as a senior. Had three goals and one assist as a senior, while posting seven goals and five assists as a junior to lead the team in points. He appeared in 13 games as a sophomore and tied for the team lead as a freshman with three goals and one assist. He was also an academic all-district honoree.
Gabeljic was the 2009 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year for the state of Missouri. He was also named the Missouri 3A Offensive Player of the Year. He was an NSCAA all-America selection with 23 goals and eight assists as a senior at Mehlville High School.
“It is an honor to have this opportunity to begin my professional career with Energy FC,” Gabeljic said. “The city has already shown great support for the team, and I am excited to be a part of that. Jimmy has proven to be a great leader at Sporting KC, and he will be a great coach to play for and to learn from.”
Gabeljic was born in Zagreb, Croatia and lived in Stuttgart, Germany before immigrating to Saint Louis at age seven in 1999.
Baltimore Bohemians News Release -- www.baltimorebohemians.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Bohemians announced today that eight players will return from last season’s squad.
Amongst the returning players is last year's captain Mamadou Kansaye (UMBC), who started 20 games for the Retrievers this season, scoring three goals and notching seven assists. Fellow midfielders Brian Graham (UNC-Greensboro), Malcolm Harris (UMBC), and Austin Martz (Georgetown) all return to Baltimore’s roster this year.
Shoring up the defense will be Bohs veteran Marquez Fernandez (UMBC). He made 16 appearances this season at UMBC, scoring three goals. Jacob Nelson (St. Joseph's) and Matt Shinsky (Columbia) will also be back to help in the back. Goalkeeper Andrew Harris (Wake Forest) will also be returning between the pipes.
The Bohemians’ full squad will be announced next week.
Baltimore's season kicks off on Wednesday May 14 at home in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against Icon FC. Their first match of the PDL regular season is Saturday May 17 at home against Northern Virginia Royals.
Tickets and more information are available at baltimorebohemians.com.
Wilmington Hammerheads FC News Release -- www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
TORONTO -- Toronto FC announced Thursday that the club has assigned forward Jordan Hamilton on loan to its USL PRO Club affiliate, Wilmington Hammerheads FC.
Hamilton, 18, signed with Toronto FC on January 9, 2014, becoming the ninth player in club history to sign for the first team from the Academy. Hamilton was named to Toronto FC’s 18-man squad three times this season. He made his Toronto FC and Major League Soccer debut on April 12 against Colorado, coming on as a substitute in the 89th minute.
Hamilton joins Quillan Roberts, Manny Aparicio and Daniel Lovitz who were also loaned to Wilmington from Toronto in March as a result of the club’s affiliation.
For more information regarding Wilmington Hammerheads FC, please contact (910) 777-2111 or visit online at www.wilmingtonhammerheads.com.
Laval Comets News Release - www.lavalcometes.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
LAVAL, Quebec - The Laval Comets announced the signing of Canada Women's National Team midfielder Melissa Busque and 2013 W-League Goalkeeper of the Year Geneviève Richard for the 2014 W-League season.
Busque, who made her debut for senior national team in 2013, will bring the speed and the character Comets this year. The 2013 W-League All-Western Conference selection can play in the middle or outside and will be a constant threat to opposing defenders. Busque played for the Seattle Sounders Women in 2013, recording three goals and an assist in 10 games.
"Melissa is fast and has a lot of determination, and that is what we have needed in the past," Laval CEO Philippe Ciarlo said. "Melissa is a go-getter; she wants the ball in the box and that's a good thing. Our goal is to mentor young players with experience who have won in their careers."
Richard returns to the Comets intent on earning a trip to the W-League Championship for a second consectuive season. She was dominant in 2013 as she allowed only six goals in 11 games with six shutouts.
"Genevieve was with us last season and it was a special season," Ciarlo said. "She was a major factor in our success in 2013. The fact that she is only 22 gives us hope that we will have her for several seasons, unless she turn pro."
Both signings are pending W-League approval. For more information about the Laval Comets visit www.lavalcometes.com.
USL PRO News Release
Thursday, May 1, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO is pleased to announce the return of professional soccer to St. Louis, Missouri by awarding an expansion franchise to SLSG PRO LLC that will join the league starting in the 2015 season. Longtime St. Louis business executive and soccer advocate Jim Kavanaugh will serve as CEO of SLSG PRO, overseeing the operations of the franchise.
Kavanaugh is also the CEO of World Wide Technology which he co-founded 1990. WWT is one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has grown into a global systems integrator with more than $6 billion in annual revenue and more than 2,400 employees worldwide.
St. Louis is the third USL PRO expansion team announced for 2015, joining Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and Tulsa Roughnecks FC, with additional announcements expected in the coming months.
“We are thrilled to welcome St. Louis into USL PRO starting with the 2015 season,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “St. Louis, more than any other U.S. city, has significantly contributed to the development and growth of American soccer on all levels – youth, collegiate and professional. Through the years, St. Louis players, coaches and soccer executives have greatly impacted not only the game of soccer, but the history of American soccer itself.
“The individuals involved with the St. Louis USL PRO franchise have unquestionable integrity and credibility with both the soccer and business communities. Undoubtedly, St. Louis’ USL PRO team, coupled with the storied Scott Gallagher organization, has the formula for making St. Louis one of the most successful clubs in the league.”
USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). Focused on league stability and franchise performance longevity, USL PRO features 14 teams in 2014, including expansion teams in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento. In January 2013 USL PRO entered into a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO.
“Our organization is constantly searching for ways to further our mission: To build the best club in the country – a club that positively impacts the development of our players on and off the field and positively impacts our community,” Kavanaugh said. “We view the return of professional outdoor soccer through USL PRO as a meaningful way to aid the development of area youth soccer players and positively impact our community. We believe the time is right for St. Louis to re-take its place on the national soccer landscape.”
The St. Louis franchise will compete at the 5,000-seat Soccer Park in Fenton, Mo. The team will be led by head coach Dale Schilly, who has nearly 30 years of coaching experience at every level.
“The St. Louis area has waited patiently for the return of professional outdoor soccer,” Schilly said. “It has been gratifying to watch the professional game blossom across the country, yet frustrating for the St. Louis soccer community to not be a part of the growth on the professional level. With the new agreement in place between the MLS and USL PRO, there could not be a better time for St. Louis to be a part of the enthusiasm and passion that comes with this great sport. We have been working diligently in preparation for a team, and the organization is excited about this opportunity.”
St. Louis has begun development on a team name, logo, colors, and uniforms, which will be announced in the coming months.
Thursday, May 1, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The Austin Aztex became the first Southern Conference side to claim the PDL Championship since the Laredo Heat in 2007 last season. The defending champions will have some adjustments to make after the departure of PDL Coach of the Year Paul Dalglish to Real Salt Lake and league MVP Kris Tyrpak to Chivas USA, and the competition will be hot on their heels looking to grab their conference title.
Floridians F.C. – A new addition to the league, Floridians F.C. will look to draw from the outstanding young talent in South Florida. Set to be coached by Joaquim Francisco Filho, who previously worked as a youth coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, the side will be looking to make an immediate impact in a competitive division.
IMG Academy Bradenton – IMG has been a consistently dangerous side in the Southeast Division, but enters the season looking for its first playoff berth since 2009 when it won the Southern Conference. Scott Dean will again have a strong squad to work with, can they find the consistency needed to be in contention at the end of the season?
Ocala Stampede – The Stampede have claimed back-to-back division titles in the club’s first two seasons, and have a strong returning squad that will aim to break through in the postseason this summer. Jack Bailey returns to the side after eight goals in nine games, as does Creighton goalkeeper Alex Bolowich, who had five shutouts in eight games last season.
Orlando City U23 – The Lions finished in third place in the Southeast Division a season ago, and will remain a playoff contender with the PDL’s second-leading scorer in 2013, Tyler Blackwood, back with the side looking to add to his 15-goal summer last year. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez also returns after posting a 1.090 goals against-average in 2013, as does defender Michael Millay.
Panama City Beach Pirates – After reaching the playoffs for the first time last season, the Pirates will look to grow in their third season. Goalkeeper Sean Lewis returns to the side having posted a 0.785 goals-against average last season, while Coach Greg DiVito will be hoping for a little more scoring punch after the Pirates finished tied for the second-fewest goals scored among all playoff participants (20).
SW Florida Adrenaline – After a steep learning curve in the club’s inaugural season, the Adrenaline will look to make their mark on the Southeast Division under the leadership of Coach John Robinson. A former Welsh international, Robinson will have some experience returning to the side, with David Antunez and Quade Marinell both back to help lead the club’s attack.
MID SOUTH DIVISION
Austin Aztex – A number of key players are set to return to Austin to defend the PDL Championship, most notably All-Conference selection Devin Cook in goal and PDL Championship MVP Sito Seoane. What’s notable about new coach Manuel Buentello’s side is the pieces he has been able to add, with Super-20 Championship MVP Buba Jobe and former Oklahoma City standout Adam Black added to provide firepower to this side.
Houston Dutch Lions FC – The Dutch Lions have seen a number of players move into the pro ranks this offseason, a testament to the development side of the program, but Marco Pruis will be looking for the team to find more success as it enters its third season in the league. A defense that gave up 34 goals last season will be helped by the addition of former Laredo goalkeeper Emmanuel Frias, which should give the Dutch Lions a chance to add to their three wins from last season.
Laredo Heat SC – The Heat enter their 10th anniversary season with a run of eight consecutive playoff berths, and they will likely challenge Austin for top spot with a squad that returns Daniel Garza, who had seven goals a season ago, and solid defender Francisco Lara. Goalkeeper Jorge Ortega, an addition from Monterrey, is set to take over in goal from the departed Emmanuel Frias, and he is joined by center back Alan Reyna.
Midland/Odessa Sockers FC – With a new look, and new name, the Sockers also have some new faces as they look to bridge the gap between the bottom and top halves of the division this season. A notable new face is Scott McCoubrey, who had four goals and three assists for SW Florida last summer, while new head coach Matt Barnes as also added the University of Tulsa’s Byron Knowles-Ramirez, who started all 19 games for the Golden Hurricane.
Mississippi Brilla – Having made the jump from the Southeast Division, the Brilla will try to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years as they look to build on a solid 2013 campaign. Coach Drew Courtney returns, and has a strong returning group to continue to develop as leading scorer Phillip Buffington and Bruno Mbamala are both back with the squad.
Super-20 League News Release
Friday, May 2, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The Super-20 League, the longest standing and most sophisticated U20 men’s North American amateur league, announced its divisional alignment and schedule for 2014 today, with the 196-game schedule getting underway on Saturday, May 17.
The 2014 Super-20 League season will see 44 teams divided among seven geographic divisions – Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic, Mid South, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest and South Atlantic. Teams will play 8-10 games during the regular season while competing for a spot at the 2014 Super-20 League Championship presented by Nike, set for July 17-20 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Twelve teams will earn a trip to the event, with playoff allocations based on the number of teams in each division.
Among the changes for 2014 are a “no re-entry” substitution policy that has been instituted to align the Super-20 League more closely with the professional standards employed by the PDL and USL PRO.
“There is a great deal of anticipation heading into the 2014 season as the Super-20 League becomes more closely aligned with the PDL, both operationally and competitively,” PDL & Super-20 League Senior Director Ryan Brooks said. “As the emphasis on player development for 17- to 23-year-olds continues to grow throughout North America, the Super-20 League is uniquely poised to grow in its role as the development leader for the U20 age group.”
The longest standing and most sophisticated U20 men’s North American amateur league, the Super-20 League was founded in 2006 and serves elite players from ages 17-20 as they advance beyond the youth level to the senior professional and amateur development leagues.
The league was designed to cater to the top of the youth ranks in the U.S. and Canada for players aspiring to play professionally. It also serves as a reserve division for PDL teams, which are able to add Super-20 teams to expand their development goals as well as their player pool for the senior team.
“We have competed at a high level in the PDL and want to continue to build our development structure in our club,” Ocala Stampede Executive Director Cheyne Roberts said. “The Super-20 League provides our club a chance to continue to develop players and evaluate talent that has the potential to compete on our PDL team in the future."
The Super-20 League features reserve squads for 12 PDL clubs in 2014 as well as teams affiliated with USL PRO’s Harrisburg City Islanders and the Chicago Fire of MLS.
A pair of PDL-affiliated teams will be in action on the season’s opening day on May 17 as the Westchester Flames welcome F.A. Euro. The season wraps up on Sunday, July 6 with 18 teams in action as the chase for championship berths concludes.
Harrisburg City Islanders News Release-- www.cityislanders.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City islanders will host the Charleston Battery on Friday night in a crucial USL PRO match-up. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Islanders hope to build off their 2-1 victory against Sacramento Republic FC last Saturday night. Hughes Stadium was packed with an energetic crowd of a 20,231 fans, setting a USL PRO regular-season attendance record. Harrisburg started the match strongly when midfielder Robbie Dershang netted his first USL PRO goal in the fifth minute off a pass from Yann Ekra. Republic FC tied the match in the 32nd minute when Adam Jahn headed past Islanders goalkeeper Nick Noble. The Islanders broke the tie early in the second half when Morgan Langley drove through the Republic FC defense and ripped a shot past Republic goalkeeper Dominik Jakubek. The Islanders held on to claim their first win of the 2014 season, making their overall record 1-2-1.
The Battery come into Friday's match against the Islanders with an overall record of 0-2-4 after losing to the Rochester Rhinos 1-0 on Sunday afternoon in Rochester. The Battery are still looking for their first victory of the 2014 season. Watch for forwards Mamdou Diouf and Dane Kelly to come up big for the Battery against the Islanders. Both players have scored once this season, and will be looking help the Battery's attack break out of a cold streak that has seen the side score only once in its past four games.
Key players to watch for the Islanders in Fridays match include Langley, and midfielder Mathew Bahner. Both Langley and Bahner were selected to the USL PRO Team of the Week for their outstanding play in the Islanders' trip to California last weekend. Langley netted the game-winning goal in the Islanders victory against Republic FC on Saturday. The Hawaiian native has eight shots on the year and has recorded 348 minutes of playing time. While Bahner has not recorded a goal this season his outstanding defense and leadership has kept the Islanders close in every match. Cristhian Hernandez netted the Islanders' first goal of the season last Thursday in their match against the Orange County Blues. The talented young midfielder has used his agility and ball skills to weave through defenders and create scoring opportunities for the Islanders.
Friday's match between the City Islanders and Battery is set to continue a long-standing rivalry between the two teams, and both are hungry for a victory. In 2013 the clubs split their match-ups, both winning on the road. The Battery claimed a 2-1 victory in Harrisburg while the Islanders tallied a 2-1 victory in Charleston.
Fans can take advantage of the 4 for $ 44 offer. This deal includes four tickets, four slices of pizza and drinks as well as four applesauce's for $ 44. The first of five craft beer nights kick off this Friday with Sam Adams on special.
The City Islanders next match comes on Saturday, May 10 when they host Arizona United at the Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg. For tickets and information on Fridays match and all 2014 City Islander matches please visit CityIslanders.com or call us at 441-(GOAL).
Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com
Friday, May 2, 2014
TUKWILA, Wash. – The Sounders Women announced today the signing of former England youth national team attacker Emma Follis for the 2014 W-League campaign. Follis comes to the Sounders after 14 years in the club system for Aston Villa Ladies, in Birmingham, England.
Follis, 22, can play out wide or through the middle as a second striker. She played for the England U19s for two seasons, and graduated through Aston Villa's girls centre of excellence.
The Sounders Women continue to build their roster, with the next exhibition slated for Friday, May 9 against Western Washington. The match will be held as the first half of a doubleheader, to be followed by the Sounders U-23 vs. Bellingham United men’s teams in Bellingham, Washington.
The next home match is May 16 against longtime rivals the Vancouver Whitecaps. For tickets and details, see SoundersWomen.com.
Richmond Kickers News Release -- www.richmondkickers.com
Thursday, May 1, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers host the Rochester Rhinos at City Stadium this Friday night at 7 p.m. ET. Happy Hour begins with live music from The Centipedes, food trucks and the Kickers official craft beer, Kick It Hunny, in the stadium’s outdoor bar area when the gates open at 5:30 p.m. ET, Happy Hour tickets including admission for two and two beers or lemonades are on sale now for $20 at RichmondKickers.com.
The Kickers return to City Stadium after all-time leading scorer, Matthew Delicâte, led the club to a 5-1 win over the Dayton Dutch Lions on the road last weekend. After conceding a goal in the fourth minute, the Kickers rallied behind a George Davis IV equalizer four minutes later. Delicâte answered with a pair of goals with Shay Spitz and Luke Vercollone rounding out the scoreline in the second half.
With a rivalry dating back to 1999, the Kickers meet the Rhinos for the first time this season after leading the two-game series 1-0-1 during the 2013 campaign. The two clubs last met in Rochester last July when a 90th-minute equalizer spoiled a late-game lead for the Kickers to finish with a 1-1 draw. Earlier in the season, the Kickers handed their longtime rivals a 4-1 defeat to narrow the Rhinos’ all-time series record advantage to 9-7-7.
The Rhinos are 2-1-1 to start the season, most recently edging the Charleston Battery 1-0 in their home opener last weekend. Forward JC Banks gave the Rhinos a 19th minute lead while goalkeeper John McCarthy posted his second shutout in as many games.
Following Friday’s match-up, the two clubs swap home field advantage to close out the home-and-away series in Rochester on May 30.
Players to Watch
Kickers: Forward Matthew Delicâte has notched three goals in his last two appearances, most recently leading the Kickers to a 5-1 win in Dayton and earning USL PRO Team of the Week honors. Notching 74 goals over eight seasons in Richmond, the club’s all-time leading scorer also holds the franchise record in points with 167. Defender Conor Shanosky returns to Richmond for his second season on loan from the Kickers official MLS affiliate, D.C. United. A key contributor during the Kickers 2013 Regular Season Championship run, the 6-foot-4 native of Sterling, Va. made 14 appearances and added two goals 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 Orange County, he tallied his first goal in a Kickers uniform and added an assist during the Kickers 5-1 win in Dayton last week.
Rhinos: Forward JC Banks scored his second goal in as many games as the Rhinos defeated the Chicago Fire Reserves and the Charleston Battery last week. After seeing limited playing time in 2013 after being sidelined through injury, the prolific goal scorer returns to the starting line-up for his fourth season with the Rhinos. Joining Banks on this week’s USL PRO Team of the Week, rookie goalkeeper John McCarthy posted back-to-back shutouts last week. The LaSalle University product backstopped PDL sides Reading United and Ocean City Nor’easters before signing his first professional contract with the Rhinos prior to the 2014 season. Midfielder Alec Sundley joins the Rhinos on loan from the club’s MLS affiliate the New England Revolution. Drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft out of California, Sundley anchored the midfield in both of the Rhinos’ most recent victories.
2014 Richmond Kickers Season Passes
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USL PRO Game Report
Friday, May 2, 2014
RICHMOND, Va. – The Richmond Kickers battled the Rochester Rhinos to a 1-1 draw on Friday night at City Stadium. A defensive battle left the two sides scoreless until a last-minute flurry saw Rhinos forward Alex Dixon tally an 89th-minute goal before Kickers midfielder George Davis IV responded with the equalizer one minute later.
With just seconds remaining in regulation, Rhinos defender Lance Rozeboom intercepted the ball on the left wing and played it into the penalty area, and found JC Banks at the near post. He fed the ball back to an awaiting Dixon at the top of the 18-yard box, and the Rhinos midfielder made no mistake with his low, determined strike just inside the left post.
The Kickers retaliated immediately following the ensuing kickoff as Conor Shanosky served a long ball into the Rhinos' penalty area. Matthew Delicate attempted to win the header, but it dropped to Jason Yeisley at the penalty spot. Yeisley's bicycle kick was slightly deflected wide to Davis, who buried the ball into the far-right corner to draw the score level just before the final whistle.
Earlier in the contest, the Kickers had nearly broke the ice in the 15th minute when Alex Lee drew a foul deep in Rochester's half. Midfielder Collin Martin whipped in the resulting free kick and connected with William Yomby at the back post, but the Cameroonian’s header soared just over the crossbar.
Rochester turned the tables five minutes later when defender Pat McMahon fed a through-ball to forward Minh Vu at the right touchline. He served a cross back through the box, searching for Donnie Smith, but the Rhinos midfielder could not elude Lee as they battled for a header that sailed wide.
The Kickers forced Rochester goalkeeper Luis Soffner into action just before the halftime break when Martin collected the ball at the top of the penalty area and slipped past the defense. He lined up a left-footed curling shot to the left corner, but Soffner leapt to his right to parry the ball. Lurking at the back post, Davis collected the rebound and laid it off to Kyle Porter, who fired a shot from 10 yards, but Soffner denied the point-blank blast.
Rochester's next chance came when Smith served a corner kick to the penalty spot and connected with an onrushing Tony Walls. His volley took a fortuitous bounce in front of Kickers goalkeeper Joe Willis, but rattled the upright before bounding wide.
The Kickers answered back in the 79th minute when Porter played a long ball into the penalty area and found Davis at the right post, but his diving header spun just wide.
When the Rhinos scored what seemed to be the game-winner 10 minutes later, Davis was not to be denied a second time when he blasted home the equalizer to salvage the hard-fought point.
The Richmond Kickers return to City Stadium on Friday night to host Arizona United at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at RichmondKickers.com.
USL PRO Game Report
Friday, May 2, 2014
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Charleston Battery claimed their first win of the season as they took a 4-0 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders on Friday night at Skyline Sports Complex. The Battery got goals from Omar Salgado, Zach Prince, Andre Lewis and Mamadou Diouf as they doubled their goal total for the season.
The Battery opened the scoring in the 25th minute as Vancouver Whitecaps loanee Omar Salgado scored his first goal for Charleston off an assist from Quinton Griffith, who sent a long ball over the Harrisburg defense that the former MLS SuperDraft No. 1 selection was able to run onto. Salgado's effort kissed the top of the crossbar and fell into the net just out of the reach of Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble.
Just before halftime, Charleston added another goal by Prince, who controlled a flicked header in the left side of the penalty area and shot low into the right corner of the net to put the Battery on top 2-0. The Battery's goals were a reflection of the flow of much of the half, as they outshot the City Islanders 7-1.
The City Islanders performed better in the second half, but were unable to find a way past Odisnel Cooper in the Battery goal. Charleston added to its lead in the 65th minute when Lewis scored off a feed from Diouf to extend the lead to 3-0. A comeback for Harrisburg was then dealt a further blow when a minute after the goal, defender Ethan White received a red card to reduce his side to 10 men.
Harrisburg's Clesio Bauque had a pair of attempts on goal toward the end of the second half, but it would be the Battery that wrapped up the scoring in second-half stoppage time as a late piece of pressure saw the ball come to Diouf in the penalty area for Charleston's fourth of the night.
The Battery will conclude their weekend road trip on Sunday as they visit the Dayton Dutch Lions at 7 p.m.ET. The City Islanders will return to Skyline Sports Complex for their next contest on Saturday, May 10th at 7 p.m. ET to take on Arizona United SC.
Washington Spirit Reserves News Release - www.washingtonspirit.com
Friday, May 2, 2014
BOYDS, Md. – On the eve of their final open tryouts, the Washington Spirit Reserves announced the re-signing of midfielder Kelsey Pardue and defender Jennifer Skogerboe to the 2014 W-League roster. With more than six years combined of USL experience between them, Pardue and Skogerboe bring high leadership expectations and solid consistency to the Reserves lineup for the summer.
In addition to starting for the Spirit Reserves last year, Skogerboe served as outside back for D.C. United Women in 2012. Prior to the 2013 season in Washington, Pardue suited up with the Fredericksburg Impact for two years following a youth stint with the Richmond Kickers.
Hailing from Henrico, Virginia, Pardue garnered numerous collegiate accolades during her four-year span at Longwood University. The dynamic playmaker started all 78 of her career matches with the Lancers, scoring 24 goals and earning 22 assists. Pardue ended her final season at Longwood in exceptional fashion, earning Big South Conference Championship All-Tournament Team and Virginia SID All-State Team honors.
A mainstay on the Huskies backline, Skogerboe helped the McLean Dragons nab two State Cup titles before heading to the University of Connecticut. The unyielding defender appeared in 70 games at UConn while also managing to score seven goals during her collegiate career. Skogerboe grabbed early recognition nationally as a member of the Region 1 Olympic Development Team from 2006 to 2009.
Skogerboe and Pardue both spent their spring in the NWSL professional Spirit training camp before returning to finish school.
“Kelsey and Jennifer were very important players during last season and we know they will be key players and leaders this year,” NWSL Spirit Head Coach Mark Parsons said.
“Jennifer is a very technical and intelligent player who can play anywhere you ask her. It is very important to have her creativity in any team,” Parsons continued. “Kelsey is a tenacious midfielder that will provide great ability going forward while offering superb balance and organization defensively.
“Both players did very well in pre season with the pro team and if they continue their progress, we expect to see both make appearances in the NWSL this season."
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.
Seattle Sounders Women News Release - www.sounderswomen.com
Friday, May 2, 2014
TUKWILA, Wash. – The Seattle Sounders Women signed forward Brittany Baxter (formerly Brittany Timko) from Canada’s Women’s National Team for the 2014 W-League Season, pending W-League and CSA approval.
Baxter, 29, joined Canada’s National Team in 2002 and has since scored five goals, started in 79 matches and made 123 appearances. In 2011, she became the seventh woman to make 100 appearances for Canada.
Baxter was called back into the Canadian National Team this week for the rivalry matchup on May 8 against the United States in Winnipeg, MB.
“We are delighted to add a talented player like Brittany to our squad. As an international with over 100 caps for her country, she brings technical quality, and experience to the group," Sounders Women Head Coach and GM Hubert Busby Jr. said. "Her knowledge of the game will also benefit the young players that we have in the team.”
Baxter played in the 2011 World Cup in Germany, and most recently featured for the Canadians in their bronze medal Olympic run, including the thrilling semifinal match versus Team USA in London.
Baxter made her debut for Canada when she was 16, winning a silver medal at the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Progressing in her soccer career, Baxter assisted Canada in a fourth-place finish at the 2003 World Cup, reached the quarterfinal phase at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and won the 2011 Cyprus Cup.
Busby noted the mutual benefit for Baxter and the Sounders Women.
“With the world cup on the horizon, our environment will allow for Brittany to remain match sharp in preparation for next year,” he said.
Baxter began her professional career in Australia for Melbourne Victory in 2008 before applying her trade in Sweden and briefly in the NWSL before moving back to Vancouver, B.C. with her husband.
Baxter graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007 where she was named Big 12 Player of the Year and Third-Team NSCAA All-American both in 2004 and 2005.
The Sounders Women continue their preseason exhibition matches against Western Washington University at 6 p.m. on May 9 at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash.
USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, May 3, 2014
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Wilmington Hammerheads FC and the Rochester Rhinos played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night at Legion Stadium as the Rhinos extended their undefeated streak to five games. Both sides had chances, but Wilmington's Quillan Roberts and Rochester's John McCarthy both recorded shutouts as honors ended even.
The Hammerheads started the first half with an improved pace from the previous weekend coming off a defeat against the Charlotte Eagles that ended their undefeated start to the season. Midfielder Daniel Lovitz had the Hammerheads' first attempt of the night in the seventh minute off a cross from forward Cody Arnoux that was saved by Rochester's McCarthy before his defense could clear the rebound.
As the game continued both teams fought to gain control, and in return each team received three yellow cards in the second half alone. As the game neared its conclusion, Hammerheads midfielder Steven Miller had a shot that McCarthy was able to tip just over the crossbar. Not long after, a shot was followed by a header from forward Jordan Hamilton off a corner kick that was also saved by McCarthy.
Hamilton is the fourth player to be loaned to the Hammerheads from their Major League Soccer affiliate Toronto FC. Hamilton produced another shot in stoppage time to conclude his debut match with the squad, but the Hammerheads were held without a goal for their third consecutive home game to start the season.
The Hammerheads are scheduled to travel to Blackbaud Stadium on Saturday, May 17 to take on the Charleston Battery for their next match. The Rhinos, meanwhile, return home to host Orlando City on Saturday, May 10 at 7:05 p.m. ET in their next contest.
Friday, May 2, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL’s Western Conference has a new look for the new season, with a third division added and a number of teams set to make their debut. The Victoria Highlanders FC claimed the conference title for the first time last season, but will again face a strong test from the rest of the Northwest Division, while the Fresno Fuego will look to remain on top of the Southwest.
Kitsap Pumas – After missing the playoffs for the first time in club history a season ago, the Pumas will look to rebound under new coach Andrew Chapman. The club’s leading scorer a season ago, Neil Shaffer, has moved on to join USL PRO’s Harrisburg City Islanders, but some good pieces remain including Sebastiaan Jansen, who had three goals and two assists last season, and former Michigan Bucks All-League selection Tommy Catalano.
Lane United FC – A newcomer to the division in Eugene, Ore., Lane United has had a strong build-up off the field in anticipation of their first season. Head coach John Galas also appears to have put together a solid squad, which includes Oregon State goalkeeper Matt Bersano and Gonzaga’s Connor Bevans, who had four goals and four assists last fall as a sophomore.
Portland Timbers U-23s – The runner-up to Victoria a season ago, the Timbers U-23s have retooled after the departure of All-Conference goalkeeper David Meves, but look set to have another strong season. Michigan State’s Fatai Alashe will be a player to watch, while North Carolina’s Brendan Moore arrives as a candidate to replace Meves after recording 10 shutouts in 20 appearances for the Tar Heels last fall.
Puget Sound Gunners FC – Formerly the North Sound SeaWolves, the Gunners will be led by Jimmy Ball as they look to make a move up the division standings. Ball will have some strong pieces to work with, including former Washington Crossfire goalkeeper Spencer Richey and returning midfielder Brady Ballew, who had four goals to finish tied for the team-high a season ago.
Sounders FC U23 – The Sounders claimed arguably the biggest signing in the division when they added U.S. U20 international and former Sounders Academy standout Jordan Morris to their squad this season, but the side has a lot of depth and will likely challenge for the division title. N.C. State defender Clement Simonin arrives after previously playing for the Carolina Dynamo, and will provide a threat at set pieces after his four goals and three assists for the Wolfpack last fall.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 – The Whitecaps U-23 fell on penalties to the Timbers U-23s in last season’s playoffs, and will hope to make another run at the division title with a strong returning squad. Niall Cousens led the side with eight goals and four assists a season ago, and the Whitecaps U-23 have also added 2013 All-Conference selection Brett Levis from Victoria to add to their scoring punch. One other player to watch is Ali Musse, formerly of WSA Winnipeg, who arrives for the new season.
Victoria Highlanders FC – The defending conference champions have returned many of the key pieces from last season’s roster, with Jordan Hughes back in the fold after finishing tied with the departed Brett Levis with nine goals in 2013. Cam Hundal makes the reverse trip to Victoria from Vancouver after four goals and four assists for the Whitecaps U-23 last summer, while Blair Sturrock returns for another season.
Washington Crossfire – The Crossfire were competitive throughout the 2013 season, but struggled for goals at times to finish only about North Sound. Christian Roldan returns for the new season, however, and could be looked to for an offensive boost after he scored three goals in his six appearances last season. Robbie Tice, who arrives from Ocala, should provide assistance after helping the Stampede to a division title a season ago.
Albuquerque Sol F.C. – The Sol have put together a solid roster for their inaugural season, and are set to have five former members of the Colorado Rapids Academy join them as they compete in the newly-formed Mountain Division. Travis Campbell brings PDL experience from FC Tucson, while former New Mexico midfielder Lawrence Robledo will likely be a key player.
BYU Cougars – The Cougars could contend for the playoffs for the first time since 2007 in their new division, with a number of key players returning to Chris Watkins’ side for the new season. Among them is Blake Frischknecht, who had two goals and five assists last summer, while Colby Bauer will look to help tighten up his side’s defense after making 12 appearances last season.
FC Tucson – After a strong first season that saw its make the playoffs, Tucson fell back in 2013 to finish fifth in the Southwest Division. The side does return a number of good players, however, with Louisville’s Ricardo Velasco back with the side after leading the Cardinals with seven goals and nine assists last fall. Goalkeeper Dallas Jaye also returns after posting a 0.857 goals against-average a season ago.
Las Vegas Mobsters – The Mobsters have drawn from local talent to build their inaugural squad, with experienced coach Tony Asquith having players such as UNLV’s Salvador Bernal and Julian Portugal set to suit up in Las Vegas this summer. Bernal and Portugal were the key playmakers for the Rebels last fall, as Bernal finished the season with four goals and five assists, and Portugal a team-high six assists.
Real Colorado Foxes – A power in the Central Conference’s Heartland Division, the Foxes make the jump to the west with another strong squad. Veteran Lorne Donaldson returns to the side, as does goalkeeper Miguel Rosales after a 2013 season that saw him record a 1.083 goals against-average. The big question for the side will be to replace the scoring of All-Conference selection Oliver Gore, but if that can be managed, another playoff berth should be in the offing.
Fresno Fuego – The defending division champions had another outstanding summer at Chukchansi Park, but saw their playoffs end at the first hurdle as they lost to the Portland Timbers U-23s. Scoring standout Paul Islas is back with the side after earning All-Conference honors a season ago, and the team will also be boosted by the return of attacking midfielder Jose Cuevas.
LA Misioneros FC – The Misioneros made a strong jump forward with their third-place finish a season ago, and will hope to contend for a playoff place this summer. Defender Jose Ortega returns after a strong summer in 2013, but the key to making the next step will likely be improving an offense that scored only 16 goals last season.
OC Pateadores Blues – The Blues finished bottom of the Southwest Division a season ago, but have boosted their squad with the addition of North Carolina’s Andy Craven and Elon defender Nathan Diehl, who made 22 starts for the Phoenix, recording three assists, this past fall.
San Jose Earthquakes U23 – A new addition to the league, the Earthquakes U23 have a strong roster as they look to contend immediately for a playoff berth. Among those on the squad are Cal’s Seth Casiple, who helped Austin claim the PDL championship a season ago, Georgetown’s Tom Skelly, and UC Davis’ Matt Sheldon, who had six goals this past fall.
Southern California Seahorses – The Seahorses will look to improve on a season that saw them take only two victories, and have a number of new faces on their roster for the new season. Among them is Whittier College’s Francis Maxwell, who had 12 goals to lead his side this past fall, and will be expected to provide a boost to the Seahorses attack this summer.
Ventura County Fusion – The Fusion were denied a second consecutive division crown, but will be well equipped to make another trip to the playoffs this season with a side that includes former Nottingham Forest Academy product Peter Gregory. Cal Poly’s Chase Minter returns to the side after three goals and four assists a season ago, while UCLA’s Jordan Vale joins the side for the new season.
USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, May 3, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento Republic FC claimed its first win of the season as they took a 2-1 victory against the visiting Orange County Blues FC in front of 17,414 at Hughes Stadium on Saturday night. Adam Jahn scored his second goal in as many games for Republic FC after Allan Russell had brought the Blues level early in the second half.
Republic FC had much the better of the first hald, and after numerous unsuccessful opportunities in the first half-hour Stewart was able to break through and score in the 42nd minute. Stewart, in what appeared to be a cross, sent a ball into the penalty area from the left side. The ball floated to the far post, and deflected into the net off the upright past Blues FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain and into the net.
The Blues hit back early in the second half as Orange County showed its resilience and was rewarded with a 48th-minute goal. The goal came off the head of Allan Russell, who crept in behind the defense and put away a far-post cross from the left by Jiovanni Santana with a diving header.
Republic FC got back in their first half form and Jahn netted what proved to be the game-winner with 20 minutes to play. The headed strike came from a cross off the foot of defender Nemanja Vuković that glanced off the crossbar and found Jahn. The Blues had a few scoring chances in the final 15 minutes, but Republic FC Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson came up with a couple of big saves to allow his side to hold on for victory.
“I wasn’t really worried”, said Republic FC Head Coach Preki, “I know what we have in the locker room and the guys are working really hard and they are playing exactly the way we want to play.”
Republic FC will host the third of three straight home matches on May 17 against the LA Galaxy II. The match will be played at Hughes Stadium and is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. PT.
USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, May 3, 2014
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Arizona United Soccer Club defeated Charlotte Eagles 2-1 and extended their undefeated match streak to three on Saturday night at the Peoria Sports Complex in front of 2,755 spectators. Kadeem Dacres and Bradlee Baladez found the back of the net for United before Jorge Herrera pulled a goal back for the Eagles.
Arizona enjoyed a strong first half, and scored its first goal as halftime approached. A ball played to defender Matt Kassel along the right wing from midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo sprung a United counter-attack in the 42nd minute. Kassel cut inside a defender and curled in a cross with his left foot. The ball bounced around in the penalty area before it fell to Dacres, who hammered in his first professional goal in only his second start of the season to give United a halftime lead.
After the restart, United continued to assert its dominance, and its persistence paid off in the 64th minute when defender Scott Morrison sent a cross into the penalty area from a free kick. The ball was headed to the back post by a Charlotte defender, where an unmarked Bryan Gallego waited. He took a touch and sent in a low cross through the six-yard area that was redirected into the back of the net by Baladez for his first goal of the season.
The two-goal deficit sparked new life into Charlotte as they looked more assertive over the final 20 minutes. The Eagles cut Arizona’s lead in half in the 76th minute when an aggressive attack up the middle of the pitch saw a ball that was deflected over Arizona United SC’s back line after a 50-50 challenge, and into empty space. Herrera ran up, collected the loose ball, and calmly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Evan Newton.
Charlotte continued to force possession into Arizona ’s half in the final 15 minutes, but some timely saves by Newton and clever clearence by DelPiccolo in the dying seconds allowed United to hold onto the 2-1 lead as the final whistle blew.
Arizona United SC will take their three-match undefeated streak on the road this upcoming weekend as they face Richmond Kickers on Friday, May 9 before heading to Pennsylvania to take on Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday, May 10. Charlotte continues its west-coast road trip on Monday as they visit the LA Galaxy II at the StubHub Center Track Stadium.
Victoria Highlanders FC News Release -- www.victoriahighlandersfc.com
Friday, May 2, 2014
VICTORIA, B.C. – The defending 2013 Western Conference Champions Victoria Highlanders FC kick off their 2014 PDL season on Sunday afternoon against Northwest Division rival Vancouver Whitecaps U-23 at Royal Athletic Park at 2 p.m. PT. Several high-profile off-season signings including former Whitecap Cam Hundal complement a strong mix of veterans and returning players from last season’s roster.
Leading the Victoria-based squad is captain Tyler Hughes, who returns for his fifth season with the club. Hughes’ experience is supplemented by returning veterans Riley O’Neill, Blair Sturrock as well as recent signing Manny Gomez. The Highlanders also feature seven local players from the University of Victoria Vikes, as well as several of the top collegiate-level players from across the country.
After finishing the 2013 PDL season in third-place, the Whitecaps U-23 squad will hope a returning core of young talent will lead them to the top of the Northwest table as they look to dethrone the defending conference champion Highlanders. Whitecaps 2013 leading scorer Niall Cousens returns for another season after leading his team with eight goals and four assists during last summer’s campaign. Vancouver’s offense should also receive a boost as they welcome former Highlander Brett Levis to the fold for the upcoming season.
“I know the roster they’ll draw from,” said Highlanders head coach Steve Simonson. “Specific players that will play is obviously something we won’t know until game time but they are going to have a good side with a lot of talent and a lot of offensive threats for sure, so we’ll have to be prepared for that.”
Vancouver and Victoria opened last season’s three-game series with a 3-2 victory in Vancouver before engaging in a shootout at Royal Athletic Park, with the ‘Caps outlasting the Highlanders in an eventful 5-3 shootout. Victoria’s Jordie Hughes earned a brace, while Levis added the third goal for Victoria. Whitecaps Cousens, Aminu Abdallah, Gagandeep Dosanjh and Harry Lakhan posted goals for Vancouver. In the second tilt between the two sides, both teams shored up on defence, playing to a 1-1 draw off goals from Levis and Whitecap Sasa Plavsic. As a result, Vancouver captured the Juan de Fuca Plate for the second-straight season.
The Highlanders recently filled out their roster for the season, signing Mid-Isle Highlander and Vancouver Island University midfielder Jordan Degraaf, University of Victoria Vike Dominic Colontonio and Highlander development products Jyotish Khanna, Callum Montgomery and Hamish Walde. Together for just a couple weeks, the team recently completed their fourth and final exhibition match in Vancouver in anticipation of the upcoming season.
“Definitely each game we’ve gotten more with comfortable with each other,” said Simonson. "We’ve worked on different elements of our game, focusing on possession, outright attack and placing good focus on defensive shape—it’s all going really well.”
The 2014 PDL season kicks off Sunday at 2 p.m. PT at Royal Athletic Park against Whitecaps FC U-23. It is also marks the first game of the home-and-home Juan de Fuca Plate series. For tickets, please call 250-590-8432 and visit www.victoriahighlandersfc.com.