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News from USL

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    USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    DAYTON, Ohio -- The Charleston Battery claimed their second win of the weekend as they defeated the Dayton Dutch Lions 2-0 on Sunday night at Beavercreek Stadium. Forwards Haviel Cordoves and Omar Salgado supplied the goals, Salgado's being his second in as many games, as the Battery moved into fourth position in the USL PRO standings.

    It was gritty performance by the Battery players who were playing a second match on the weekend after Friday's 4-0 win in Harrisburg.  Despite the heavy legs Charleston was the stronger team and defended resolutely throughout. Goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper faced nine shots and recorded three saves to earn his third shutout of the season.

    Charleston came close to scoring in the ninth minute when midfielder Aminu Abdallah clipped a weighted pass through the middle to forward Mamadou Diouf.  Under pressure from the defender Diouf managed to get a shot away but the strike missed wide of the right post.

    Cooper was called into action in the 23rd minute as Dayton swung a cross into the middle from the right side. Forward Aaron Schoenfeld met the cross but Cooper saved his headed attempt. Dayton came close again in the 34th minute when winger Eli Garner cut past Taylor Mueller onto his right foot 12 yards out. Garner drilled a shot at goal but Cooper dove to his left and tipped the ball around the post.

    The Battery broke the deadlock three minutes later after Dayton tried to play a square pass 30 yards out. Cordoves read the pass and nicked the ball away and then dribbled in on goal, rounded Dayton goalkeeper Matt Williams and slotted home from close range to give Charleston a 1-0 lead.

    After the break Charleston continued to cause problems for Dayton with Abdallah and Jarad van Schaik controlling possession in the midfield. In the 77th minute Abdallah almost scored the Battery's second after Maikel Chang set the ball back to him at the edge of the penalty area.  Abdallah lashed a shot at the goal but Williams just managed to turn it over the bar.

    Salgado,brought on as a second-half substitute, put the result beyond doubt in the 87th minute after he earned a corner kick. Zach Prince whipped the ball into the middle and Salgado snapped a header past Williams into the bottom corner of the goal.

    The Battery return to Blackbaud Stadium for their next outing this Saturday night as they host the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Dutch Lions, meanwhile, will host the LA Galaxy II on Saturday as they open their new home at DOC Stadium at 7 p.m. ET.


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  • 05/04/14--22:25: Chin Leads Lions Past Energy
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orlando City SC (5-0-2, 17 points) defeated OKC Energy FC (2-4-0, 6 points) 3-1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Sunday night to move into sole possession of first place of USL PRO. The win marks the fifth straight in league play for City, as the Lions remain unbeaten this season.

    Head Coach Adrian Heath was heavily critical of his side earlier this week, despite the Lions securing a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the opening match of the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer. Directly after the Rowdies match, the English manager stressed that the result wasn’t enough and demanded a better performance from his side.

    Although City didn’t quite get off to the quick start that Heath would’ve liked, the Lions settled in nicely as the first half progressed.

    “I’m pleased with the performance,” said Heath after the 3-1 win. “They’ve worked hard and responded to a lot of the things that we’ve been talking about. There are a few areas of our game that are still worrying me but I thought that we did more than enough to win the game.”

    The majority of the first-half featured both sides exchanging opportunities, with neither side able to breakthrough until Orlando’s first Major League Soccer (MLS) signing Kevin Molino created two quality chances towards the end of the first-half.

    In the 32nd minute, Molino received the ball on the right-hand side and floated a lovely ball in the area to Dennis Chin, who out-jumped the OKC center-halves to nod the ball past his former teammate, Jon Kempin. Chin’s finish was the final product of an efficient counter-attack, as City only needed three passes to find the back of the net.

    Less than two minutes later, Molino would get free on the right side again, after a poor giveaway from the Energy, and played a driven ball across the six-yard box for former Real Salt Lake City midfielder Yordany Alvarez who had a comfortable finish for the Lions' second goal of the match. The consecutive assists puts the Trinidadian tally at four for the season, as the midfielder inches closer to the club record, which stands at seven in one season.

    Despite the Lions’ strong play, OKC also managed to create dangerous chances themselves and came close to converting on multiple occasions. The majority of the Energy’s looks at the City goal came from set-pieces that forced two tough saves from Gallardo and a goal-line clearance from Adama Mbengue.

    However, OKC would pull one back in the 41st minute when Philip Lund scored from 12 yards away. The goal was the result of a dangerous ball that was played into the box and redirected by forward Steve Perry to Lund, who fired it passed Gallardo.

    Orlando would hit back quickly at the start of the second half when Chin outran the Energy defense to score his fourth goal in the past five USL PRO matches. The speedy striker went on a 40-yard run with the ball before slotting home the final goal of the match in the 47th minute.

    The Lions will now begin preparing for an upcoming two game road-trip, that includes back-to-back matches against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds this Friday night at Highmark Stadium, and the Rochester Rhinos on Saturday night at Sahlen's Stadium. Both matches will be live streamed via the Riverhounds’ and Rhinos’ YouTube channels.


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    PDL Game Report

    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    VICTORIA, B.C. – The Victoria Highlanders kicked off their 2014 PDL season with a dramatic 3-2 victory against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 on Sunday afternoon at Royal Athletic Park. In a nail-biter that saw both sides hold the lead, veteran Riley O’Neill posted the winning goal off a penalty kick in stoppage time to give the defending Western Conference champions victory.

    Cody Cook and Ali Musse netted goals for the Whitecaps, while Carlo Basso, Wesley Barrett and O’Neill answered for Victoria.

    Victoria’s scoring chances came early, as O’Neill fed a long ball to former Whitecap Cam Hundal, who then passed off to teammate Andrew Ravenhill. Ravenhill’s shot on net slipped behind ‘keeper Nolan Wirth before being cleared out of danger.

    Vancouver's first good chance came in the 25th minute, when Victoria’s Ryan Ashlee made a sliding challenge on the Whitecaps' Yassin Essa, who avoided the tackle and looked to be breaking in on goal before Highlanders captain Tyler Hughes cleared the ball out of danger. Four minutes later, however, Vancouver silenced the Highlanders' raucous home crowd after a Reynold Stewart corner found Cook to put Vancouver up 1-0.

    Victoria looked ready to even the match when O’Neill broke into the attacking zone, but a hard tackle by opponent Mark Baldisimo put O’Neill to the ground for several minutes while Baldisimo was issued a yellow card. The Highlanders continued to press on offence, and midfielder Cameron Stokes worked the ball inside the penalty area before he split two Whitecaps defenders and sent a cross-pass to newcomer Basso, who headed it into the net to even the match at 1-1 heading into the break.

    The Highlanders continued to press on offense in the second half, and Basso almost grabbed a second as he knocked a Tyler Hughes free kick just wide right off a header early in the second half. The Simon Fraser senior had a second opportunity to notch a brace after collecting a Sam Prette rebound in front of the net before firing it just over the crossbar.

    Head coach Steve Simonson made a change in his personnel following a beautiful goal in the 72nd minute by Vancouver's Ali Musse, as he inserted Wesley Barrett. The move immediately paid dividends as Barrett fired a screamer into the back of the net, leveling the game at 2-2 after subbing on just one minute prior.

    As the game entered stoppage time, an over-the-top through-ball to Basso ended with Wirth challenging the 6-foot-4 forward inside the penalty area. After the goalkeeper spilled, Basso was quick to the loose ball and was taken down by Wirth, resulting in a penalty kick for the Highlanders. O’Neill calmly stepped up to take the kick, slotting it in the bottom-left corner to seal the 3-2 victory.

    The Highlanders next face off in PDL action on May 17 against the Kitsap Pumas at Royal Athletic Park. For more information please visit www.highlandersfc.ca.


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    Laredo Heat Feature -- www.laredoheatsc.com

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    LAREDO, Texas – Through a three-game preseason stint, Laredo Heat forward Yair Hernandez has already matched his goal-scoring mark from last year. His three goals through three matches already stands eye-to-eye with the trio of goals he notched in 13 games last season.

    Photo courtesy Kiara Riojas/Laredo Heat SCThe under-23-year-old Mexican entered Heat camp as one of Laredo’s few sure-thing returners this year. With just five players returning to a team filled with new faces, the Heat open their 10th anniversary season as Hernandez joins midfielder Greg Mulamba, left back Adan Villavicencio, forward Danny Garza, and right back Frank Lara.

    So far, Hernandez has shown off a familiarity to coach Fernando Hernandez’s tactics, and he’s flourished.

    “I’ve been put in such good positions so far,” Yair Hernandez said through a translator. “The goals that have been scored are not about who scores them – whether its me or someone else. A goal is exciting, no matter if it comes from a set piece, the run of play or an opponent’s own goal.

    “I’ve been focused on working hard to help the team; everyone has that attitude and that’s why we are playing like we are.”

    He opened the scoring in the Heat’s preseason opener, netting Laredo’s only goal at NCAA Division II St. Edward’s on April 25. Down a goal against the Hilltoppers – Heartland Conference co-champions in 2013 – and on the road, Hernandez struck the equalizer at a vital moment. Thanks to his tally in the 28th minute, the match ended as a 1-1 draw, although Hernandez was already smoldering.

    One game, one goal.

    Two days later at NCAA Division I Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Hernandez shattered a scoreless match with a strike off a corner kick just before the halftime whistle. A Cardinals 52nd-minute equalizer knotted the game, but the Heat seized the victory with an 83rd-minute goal.

    Two games, two impact goals for Hernandez.

    In the finale of three friendlies, the Heat hosted Corinthians FC of San Antonio on Friday at the Texas A&M International Soccer Complex. The physical game featured former Heat players making their return as opponents, as well as a competition between two teams from rival developmental leagues; the powder keg was primed to explode on the pitch, and Hernandez stood center stage.

    In an illustration of déjà vu, Hernandez opened the scoring again, this time in the 13th minute. And again it demolished a scoreless draw off a precision-placed free kick.

    The Heat handled the kick from about six yards outside the penalty box near the right corner flag. Hernandez sprinted toward the penalty spot, completely unmarked, to shave home a 12-yard strike. He barely celebrated, save a slight smirk, because he knew it was coming – it was as sure a thing as could be.

    “We planned it; we wanted to make it happen, so we did it,” Hernandez said. “We constructed and practiced that play all week (after the Incarnate Word match). It only took one look from me to the free-kick taker, and just like that we had the goalkeeper out of position and the ball in the net.

    “It could not have been more perfect: to score like that at the home opener for our fans.”

    Three games, three goals.

    Hernandez says he hasn’t even thought about any individual aspirations for this season – he just wants the team to do well and to be in a position to win a trophy in either of the Heat’s two competitions this year.

    “We want to win, that’s all,” Hernandez said. “We want to please our supporters, our families and each other with the way we play. If we can do that, we’ll be in position to do special things. I think all of us want to go far in the (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup) and test ourselves against the nation’s best, and we want to get Laredo another (Premier Development League) championship.”

    The Heat have never missed the playoffs in the nine years they’ve been eligible. They’ve played in four PDL Finals – winning it all in 2007 – with the last coming in 2011.

    Laredo hosts a second round U.S. Open Cup match against the winner of the first round meeting between the Colorado Rovers and Red Force on May 14 at the TAMIU Soccer Complex. Three days later, Laredo hosts the Houston Dutch Lions in the league opener at TAMIU. Both matches kick off at 8 p.m.


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  • 05/05/14--13:52: Mullins Makes Mark In Return
  • PDL Feature

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    Since making his debut for New England on the opening day of the Major League Soccer season, former PDL standout Patrick Mullins had taken a seat on the sidelines.

    Photo courtesy USA Today/New England RevolutionOn Saturday in his return to action, Mullins made a case for much more playing time with the suddenly resurgent Revolution as he recorded his first professional goal to help his side take a 2-1 victory on the road against Toronto FC.

    “I think it shows our team mentality here in New England; if one guy gets called upon, you need to take your opportunity and make the most of it,” Mullins told RevolutionSoccer.net’s Jeff Lemieux. “I think that’s what I wanted to do today was just come out, show my stuff, contribute to the team and make sure I took advantage of the opportunity.”

    Mullins’ goal pulled the Revolution level with Toronto, and he also played a part in New England’s winner as his shot was handled in the penalty area by the Reds’ Doneil Henry. Lee Nguyen stepped up and converted from the penalty spot as the Revs claimed all three points and jumped into second place in the Eastern Conference.

    Mullins wasn’t the only former PDL standout to hit the target on Saturday as his fellow former Mid South Division rival Kekuta Manneh scored the opening goal for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their 3-2 win against the San Jose Earthquakes. The former Austin Aztex All-Conference selection continued to turn heads with his performance, and in particular his ability to strike from outside the penalty area.

    “Manneh is simply deadly when he gets into that left channel,” wrote MLSSoccer.com’s Matt Doyle. “There's not a defender in the league who can keep up with his first step, and unlike a lot of the league's other quickest players, he combines that first step with superb close control and a rocket of a shot.”

    With Kenny Miller now departed from Vancouver, the opportunity for Manneh to increase his playing time and his influence on what is proving to be a lethal Whitecaps attack, is only likely to grow.


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

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    WATERLOO, Ont. - Local product Maxine Murchie has re-signed with K-W United FC for the 2014 W-League season. A Kitchener, Ontario, native and transfer to Wilfrid Laurier University from the University of Central Florida this past year, Murchie will be a solid offensive force once again for United. 

    Last season, Murchie scored four goals and had 10 shots in 12 appearances with K-W United. She played a total of 919 minutes, second on the team behind captain Emily Adamic. Murchie also scored the first goal in K-W United FC history on May 22, 2013 against the London Gryphons.

    "I am very excited to be signing with K-W for a second season," Murchie said. "We are thrilled to have Stuart [Neely] as our coach this year and I can't wait to start the season."

    As for her university career, Murchie was red-shirted this past season after transferring to WLU from UCF. She trained with the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) provincial champions, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, for the entire year and will join their offense in September.

    In her first season with UCF in 2012, Murchie played 20 minutes in UCF's first win in four years against five-time defending C-USA tournament champion Memphis in a 2-0 quarterfinal victory. She also helped UCF to its first conference tournament championship. 

    Prior to UCF, Murchie represented her province at the U16 national championship in 2010. She emerged as a U17 Burlington Heat finalist in the 2011 Ontario Cup tournament and earned MVP honours in her freshman and sophomore years at Pere Rene de Galinee high school.

    "We began training last month with a small group of players and I was impressed with Maxine's energy and personality," Neely said. "I believe she will bring a different perspective to the team environment on and off the field. I am excited to her play in a couple of friendlies before the season starts."

    K-W United will begin its season on May 26 against the London Gryphons in London at 7 p.m.


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  • 05/06/14--01:46: Galaxy II Edge Past Eagles
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy II extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-1 victory over the Charlotte Eagles on Monday night at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. Charlie Rugg and Chandler Hoffman scored for Los Dos and Jorge Herrera scored the lone goal of the evening for the visitors. With the victory, the Galaxy II moved back into a tie for first place in USL PRO with defending champions Orlando City SC.

    Los Dos controlled the early stages of the match and were unlucky not to get on the board in the opening minutes when Raul Mendiola launched a shot from close range that forced Charlotte goalkeeper Brock Duckworth to make a quick reaction save. The Galaxy II were not to be denied, however as they opened the scoring midway through the first half. 

    With the Galaxy II pressing forward in the 28th minute, Mendiola took a shot from inside the penalty area that deflected off Chandler Hoffman and fell perfectly to Rugg, who smashed his effort past the Eagles’ goalkeeper. The goal was Rugg’s third of Galaxy II’s inaugural USL PRO campaign. 

    The lead would not hold, however, as the Eagles equalized in the 35th minute when Daniel Steres brought down Giuseppe Gentile in the penalty area. Herrera stepped up and slotted the spot kick past Laurendi for the equalizer to leave the game tied 1-1 at the break.

    Active from the outset of the second half, the Galaxy II doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Hoffman was able to capitalize on a Charlotte turnover and beat Duckworth for what would prove to be the game winning goal. The goal was Hoffman’s fourth of the season, placing him in a tie at the top of the USL PRO goal scoring charts.

    Galaxy II return to action on Saturday when they travel to Ohio to take on the Dayton Dutch Lions in the first of a brief two-game road trip. They will return home on May 14th when they host Cal FC in the U.S. Open Cup at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium.

    LA Galaxy II Season Ticket Memberships begin at just $6 per game. For more information on LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II memberships, or group and single tickets, visit www.lagalaxy.com or call 877-3GALAXY (342-5299).


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    Baltimore Bohemians News Release -- www.baltimorebohemians.com

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Bohemians announced their full roster today for the upcoming 2014 campaign. 

    The Bohemian offense will receive a boost from hotly tipped prospect Brandon Allen (Georgetown), a forward who was named as Top Drawer Soccer's Freshman of the Year and Big East Rookie of the Year in 2012. Allen has scored 27 goals in 47 appearances for the Hoyas and was a member of the U-20 US Men's National Team Pool. Joining him up top will be former Towson University forward Olakunle Banjo, who will be heading to UMBC this fall to play for the Retrievers. Colin Bonner (UNC-Wilmington), Jeremy DeGraffenreidt (Louisville), John Jlopleh (Villanova) and English recruit Connor Thompson (Loyola) will round out the attack.

    Former Archbishop Curley midfielder Ricky Greensfelder (Wake Forest) will join the Bohs this season in the center of the pitch, along with former Hartlepool United man Dominic Marshall (Loyola). Stephen Ho (UMBC) and Justin Burrell (Louisburg) will also line up in the midfield this season.

    On defense, Philippines international Philip Greatwich has signed with the club after stints at Brighton & Hove Albion, Burgess Hill Town, and Towson University. Georgetown defender Cole Seiler, who started 21 games for the Hoyas this past season, will join the Bohs in the back, along with Jacob Bender (Messiah) and another Hartlepool prospect, Ryan Tuck (Loyola). Goalkeepers Billy Heavner (UMBC) and Daniel Sheerin (Penn State) will join Harris in the net.

    Previously announced returning players include last year's captain Mamadou Kansaye (UMBC), and fellow midfielders Brian Graham (UNC-Greensboro), Malcolm Harris (UMBC), and Austin Martz (Georgetown). Defenders Marquez Fernandez (UMBC), Jacob Nelson (St. Joseph's) and Matt Shinsky (Columbia), as well as goalkeeper Andrew Harris (Wake Forest) will also return in the back.

    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 the Northern Virginia Royals.  Tickets and more information are available at baltimorebohemians.com.


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  • 05/06/14--14:16: 10 Cobras Return for 2014
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    Carolina Elite Cobras News Release - www.carolinaelitecobras.com

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Carolina Elite Cobras are happy to announce that 10 players from last year’s Southeastern Conference Championship team are returning for the 2014 W-League season.

    The returning players include India Trotter, Rose Hull, Blakely Mattern, Sarah Jacobs, Hannah Gmerek, Savannah Mcaskill, Kaleigh Kurtz, Rebecca Nelson, Stephanie Devita, Allie Johns, and Rachel Baer.

    "I am excited to have the core of our 2013 roster return this season,” Cobras Head Coach Sandy Burris said. “They are such a talented group of players that have defined the level of play and team attitude."

    Leading the returning players in goal this season will be Rose Hull, an 18-year-old from Furman University who started in all but one game for the Cobras last season. Hull earned All-Conference Honors and was a finalist for the W-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award last season.

    The Cobras will also return the W-League Defender of the Year, Blakely Mattern. Mattern was also named to the All-Conference and All-League teams last season.

    “Blakely has the most amazing attitude when it comes to leading her team,” Burris said. “They respect her work rate and the way she expects the best effort from herself as well as her teammates.”

    Looking to lead the offensive attack this year is the duo of India Trotter and Steph Devita.

    "Steph and India really came together at the end of the season last year and I think they have formed the bond that all great striker pairings need,” Burris said.

    Burris believes Trotter’s experience as a veteran national team player has helped Devita since her invite into the national team camp and says that their bond can be seen on the field.

    Jacobs, Mcaskill and Kurtz will make up the strength and depth in the midfield.

    “Sarah is the veteran of this young group since Kaleigh and Savannah were added last year,” Burris said. “They will continue to add speed and athleticism to the team despite the fact that they are the youngest members of the team.”

    Rounding out the returning players this season will be Gmerek, Nelson and Johns.

    “I am so happy to have these three returners because between the three of them they have played every position except for goalkeeper,” Burris said. “Hannah played such a big role in the air and on the backline for us last year and Rebecca and Allie are true team players who are willing to play anywhere they are needed on the field.”

    Burris will also add a new member to her coaching staff this year as Baer will serves as both a player and an assistant coach.

    "I am very excited to have Rachel in an assistant role for me this year. She has a great head for the game both as a player and a coach,” Burris said.

    The Cobras will kick off their 2014 season Sunday, May 18 against the Dayton Dutch Lions at 1 p.m. in Dayton, Ohio.


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    Ocean City Nor'easters News Release -- www.oceancityfc.com

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    OCEAN CITY, N.J. -- The Ocean City Nor'easters are delighted to announce the return of several of the team's 2013 Eastern Conference Champions, pending league and USSF approval, along with another from the Mid-Atlantic Division winning team of 2012.

    2013 Offensive MVP and All-Conference Selection Dwayne Reid is joined in returning by teammates Tyler Hilliard, Michele Pataia, Dennis Zoncher, Alec Golini, Mitch Grotti, Emmanuel Kollie, Frank Tweneboa, Abdul 'Oscar' Umar and Shawn McLaws.

    McLaws returns to Ocean City on the back of a particularly succesful college season which saw Coastal Carolina reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, a run in which his personal performances saw him named Big South Defensive Player of the Year.

    Also returning to the club after a year spent playing for Mid-Atlantic Division rivals Reading United is 2013 PDL All-League selection Jason Plumhoff. Plumhoff was a key member of the club's 2012 division title-winning side and also returns to the club after a succesful college year; being named Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year whilst playing for LaSalle.

    Special mention must also go to Frank Tweneboa, Dennis Zoncher and Emmanuel Kollie who all return for their third season in Ocean City. The consistently excellent performances put in by all three players have played a huge part in the team's success over recent years and everyone at the club is delighted to see them returning to the shore.


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    USL PRO News Release

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – USL PRO named its Team of the Week for Week 7 of the 2014 season on Tuesday as Charleston Battery goalkeeper Odisnel Cooper was named Player of the Week after he recorded a pair of shutouts in the Battery’s two road wins during the weekend.

    Cooper recorded eight saves in the two victories including six saves in a 2-0 win against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Sunday night. The Cuba native made a number of important stops with the game still scoreless against the Dutch Lions, which paved the way for the Battery to claim victory and jump to fourth place in the USL PRO standings.

    Joining Cooper on the Team of the Week is forward Omar Salgado, who had a goal in each of the Battery’s victories. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC loanee opened the scoring in Charleston’s 4-0 win against Harrisburg on Friday night as he deftly chipped a finish home, and then powered home the Battery’s second goal against Dayton to wrap up all three points late.

    Orlando’s Dennis Chin and Sacramento’s Adam Jahn were also named to the Team of the Week’s forward line as Chin continued his strong run of form for the Lions with a pair of goals in a 3-1 win against OKC Energy FC on Sunday. Jahn had his second goal in as many appearances for Republic FC, which lifted his side to a 2-1 win against the Orange County Blues FC on Saturday night.

    Last week’s USL PRO Player of the Week Kevin Molino earned a second consecutive Team of the Week selection after his pair of assists helped Orlando past Oklahoma City, and he is joined in the midfield by a pair of players from Arizona United SC. Kadeem Dacres and Bradlee Baladez both earned selection after their goals earned United a 2-1 win against the Charlotte Eagles. The quartet is completed by Richmond’s George Davis IV, whose late goal earned a point for the Kickers in a 1-1 draw against Rochester.

    Rochester defender Kyle Hoffer leads a trio along the back line after he put in a pair of solid performances as the Rhinos took a pair of draws on the road in Richmond and Wilmington. The Hammerheads’ Ashani Fairclough was also named as he played a key role in limiting the Rhinos’ opportunities in a scoreless draw on Saturday night, while Orange County’s Rauwshan McKenzie rounds out the side after a solid performance for the Blues in Sacramento.

    The 2014 USL PRO season continues on Thursday night as the Charlotte Eagles visit the Orange County Blues FC with both teams looking to bounce back from defeats in their last outings. Friday night sees Arizona United SC hit the road for the first time as they visit the Richmond Kickers, while the Pittsburgh Riverhounds play host to Orlando City at Highmark Stadium.

    Saturday night brings five contests, including the opening game of a home-and-home series between the Charleston Battery and Wilmington Hammerheads at Blackbaud Stadium. The Dayton Dutch Lions are set to open their new home at DOC Field as the LA Galaxy II visit Ohio, while the Rochester Rhinos will try to avenge their only loss of the season as Orlando City visits Sahlen’s Stadium.

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

    USL PRO Team of the Week

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Honorable Mention – Arizona: Matt Kassel, Scott Morrison; Charleston: Andre Lewis, Mamadou Diouf; Charlotte: Drew Yates, Jorge Herrera; Dayton: Ryan Finley, Aaron Schoenfeld; Harrisburg: Yann Ekra; Oklahoma City: Philip Lund, Kyle Greig; Orange County: Allan Russell, Jiovanni Santana; Orlando: Yordany Alvarez, Justin Clark; Richmond: Conor Shanosky, Collin Martin; Rochester: John McCarthy, Tyler Rosenlund; Sacramento: Thomas Stewart, Nemanja Vukovic; Wilmington: Quillan Roberts, Tom Parratt.


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    W-League Preview

    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The Atlanta Silverbacks and Charlotte Lady Eagles had long held sway over the W-League’s Southeast Division as they contended for playoff berths during the past seven years. The 2013 season saw somewhat of a change, however, as the Dayton Dutch Lions claimed the division’s regular-season title and the Carolina Elite Cobras advanced to the W-League Championship final four. With the addition of the Gulf Coast Texans this season, the division appears to be set for more strong competition throughout the summer.

    ATLANTA SILVERBACKS – After claiming the W-League Championship in 2011, the Silverbacks were edged out of the playoffs by two points again in 2013 as a 3-2 defeat against Dayton in their penultimate game of the season proved decisive. The Silverbacks will be eager to return to the postseason and the experience of Kristin Burton and Alexa Newfield should help, as well as the addition of former NWSL and England youth international goalkeeper Ashley Baker. With the return of 2013 All-League selection and U.S. U20 international Savannah Jordan unlikely, Atlanta needs to find a way to replace her eight goals and 19 points on offense.

    CAROLINA ELITE COBRAS – Having made their first postseason appearance, the Cobras return a good nucleus that will try to build on its success in 2013. Last season’s Defender of the Year Blakely Mattern is back to marshal the back four, as is goalkeeper Rose Hull, while former U.S. National Team member India Trotter also returns after scoring a pair of goals last season.

    CHARLOTTE LADY EAGLES – The Lady Eagles will look to start a new streak of playoff appearances after a five-year run was snapped last season, and will have returning leading scorer Erin Wingo to lead the club’s attack after she recorded five goals a season ago. A familiar face also returns to the side with Ashley Swinehart set to return after spending last season with Carolina, while Leah Fortune will try to add to her two goals and two assists from a season ago.

    DAYTON DUTCH LIONS – The Dutch Lions claimed the regular-season crown behind the goals of Emille Fillion and the assists of Juliana Libertin. Fillion has moved on, turning professional with Dayton’s partner club FC Twente in Holland, but they have added a strong replacement in 2013 Most Valuable Player and scoring champion Shan Jones. Goalkeeper Helena McCurdy is also set to return, as is Alex Warren to help lead the club’s defense.

    GULF COAST TEXANS – The newcomer to the division, the Texans will try to build on the success the club has had elsewhere in recent years. Among those to watch are defender Renee Hurd, who claimed a W-20 Championship with the Colorado Rapids Women in 2012, and forward Helen Lynsky, who this past fall was named the NSCAA NAIA Player of the Year after a standout season for Northwood University that saw her finish her career for the Lady Seahawks as the program’s all-time leader in goals (103), assists (55) and points (261).


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    Puget Sound Gunners FC Feature

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Puget Sound Gunners FC coach Jimmy Ball has spent nearly his entire life on a soccer pitch. 

    Whether it was learning from his father, English soccer legend and 1966 World Cup champion Alan Ball Jr., or sporting a kit himself, Ball’s soccer education began before he even realized it.

    “I’m extremely proud of my father and what he did,” Ball said. “I learned so much from being around him growing up. My whole life from an early age was just ensconced in soccer.”

    Ball, an Issaquah resident, has coached and managed for clubs across the world, including Ireland’s Shelbourne Football Club, Spain’s Ardiles Football Academy and England’s Portsmouth Football Club.

    Before that, he suited up for the Exeter City Football Club and the English Premier League’s Southampton FC.

    “Being able to impress and do well in that environment was such a thrill,” he said of his time in the EPL. “Running with the big boys, running with the EPL boys and loving every minute of it, that’s a moment I’ll never forget.”

    Ball’s next task is coaching players that have aspirations to one day reach the highest levels of professional soccer as the head coach of the Gunners' PDL side.

    “The challenge is an exciting one and I’m looking forward to it,” Ball said. “I’m relishing the opportunity to help these players develop further.”

    Ball also serves as the Issaquah Soccer Club’s director of football and holds a UEFA B Coaching License and an FA Coaching Diploma.

    Alex Silva, Emerson De Oliveira and Gwynne Williams round out the PDL Gunners’ staff as assistant coach, goalkeeper coach and general manager, respectively. Silva coached the North Sound SeaWolves, now the Puget Sound Gunners FC, for the last three years. He was previously with the Yakima Reds in the PDL from the end of 2009 to 2010.

    Originally from Brazil, Silva has experience playing for various teams including Vila Nova FC, Anapolina, Goiania EC and Inhumas EC. Silva started his coaching career at Overlake School with Bob Bristol in 2004. He is a USSF licensed coach.

    "I look forward to the season,” Silva said. “Every year our goal is to help develop these young players to the next level. The success will come with the hard work and quality football."

    De Oliveira is entering his fifth year working with the goalkeepers at Highline College and was recently promoted to associate head coach. He holds the NSCAA Advanced National GK License and a USSF C Coaching License.

    As a player, De Oliveira starred at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School before playing at the University of San Francisco, during which the team won the West Coast Conference. He transferred to Seattle University, where he was one of the nation’s top goalkeepers.

    “My goal is to create a competitive and intelligent training environment in which a highly talented group of keepers can find the razor-sharp form needed to succeed not only in the PDL, but also in the next stage of each respective player's career,” De Oliveira said.

    Williams was named the Issaquah Soccer Club’s executive director in May. Before that, he was an assistant coach with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution and spent more than a decade on the Bermuda Football Association’s national team staff.

    “My role as the GM is to support the program in all aspects,” he said. “Whether I’m supporting the coaching staff, the administration or the players, I will be running around doing whatever needs doing.”

    The Gunners will open their season May 17 with a 1 p.m. home game against the Portland Timbers U-23 at Mount Si High School (8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E., Snoqualmie). The rest of the team’s home games will be played at Issaquah High School (700 Second Ave. S.E., Issaquah).


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    PDL News Release

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The 101st edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicks off on Wednesday night, with five PDL teams set to compete in the First Round. The Western Mass Pioneers, GPS Portland Phoenix, Vermont Voltage, Ventura County Fusion and LA Misioneros will all be in action aiming to make their way into next week’s Second Round.

    Western Mass will host Mass Premier Soccer in U.S. Soccer’s ‘Game of the Round’ at Lusitano Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed live on ussoccer.com as the Pioneers make their first Open Cup appearances since 2011. Players to watch include goalkeeper Warren Gross, who recorded one of the Top 10 goals-against averages in the PDL last season, and Brazilian forward Alencar Junior, who had nine goals for the club in 2013.

    Fellow Northeast Division side GPS Portland is also set to host as it welcomes FC LVU Sonic to Deerfield High School. The Phoenix advanced to the second round of the tournament in their first appearance last season and will look to match that this time around.  Vermont, meanwhile, travels to play the New York Red Bulls U-23s as the Voltage make their first appearance in the Open Cup in club history.

    On the west coast, the Ventura County Fusion host CD Aguiluchos at 10 p.m. ET at Ventura College looking to recapture the magic of 2012 when the club advanced to the tournament’s third round before it fell to Chivas USA.

    The LA Misioneros will make their second appearance in the tournament on the road as they visit PSA Elite at 10:30 p.m. ET. The side, which includes returning captain Angel de Alba, is hoping to claim its first victory in the tournament with its lone other appearance coming in 2008.

    The remaining 14 PDL teams that earned berths in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, including defending PDL champion the Austin Aztex, will open their campaigns in the historic competition in next week’s second round.


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    W-League Feature

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    After earning All-America selection, and playing a role in the most successful spell of University of California Santa Barbara’s women’s soccer program, Laurie Hill was willing to go wherever the game would take her.

    As it turned out, the place where she would find the biggest satisfaction was close to home. A native of California, Hill was a standout for the Southern California Nitemares as a teenager. When she returned home after playing for a year in Japan, with the Nitemares set to compete in the inaugural season of the W-League in 1995, the chance to reunite with some of her old teammates and friends was a easy decision.

    “What I remember most about that year is the passion and energy I had to play the game and play it well,” Hill said by email recently. “I had just returned in April from playing in Japan and I was very anxious to play with some of my old teammates and friends.  We had amazing talent in Southern California from a decade earlier and a lot of those players were still around. 

    “Though my year in Japan was one of immense personal growth, the soccer was not at the standard that I had been used to playing at UCSB.  So I came back to California almost driven to play high quality soccer again and I think that showed on the pitch.”

    Indeed, Hill shone throughout the season as she led the Nitemares to top spot in the Western Division. The side’s free-scoring attack, which averaged more than three goals-per game, edged it ahead of the San Francisco Wings through the league’s bonus-point system. For her efforts, Hill was named the first Most Valuable Player in W-League history.

    “It means a great deal to me to have been voted league MVP,” Hill said of the honor. “I have always tried to give 100 percent in training and matches and in everyday life with whatever I do, but I think that year I just had that something extra to give.”

    The Nitemares would fall one win short of capping their remarkable season with a championship as they fell 2-0 to the Long Island Lady Riders in the championship game, but Hill’s performance put her on the radar for international duty. She twice came close to selection for the U.S. Women’s National Team, but with the 1999 World Cup drawing near, and a place on the U.S. team not forthcoming, Hill took an alternate route to be part of the event. With her mother a native of Mexico, Hill became part of El Tri’s national team, and was eager to compete at the highest level.

    Unfortunately, her dream quickly turned sour.

    “For most people, playing in a World Cup would be the peak of their soccer experience,” Hill said. “For me, it was different.  To be honest and frank, it was not a very positive experience but probably one of the most challenging and difficult times of my soccer career.

    “Within the team I found there to be a lack of dialogue, respect, and professionalism.  My strongest memory, unfortunately, is of warming up before our first World Cup match in New York and finding out about an hour before the match began that I wasn't starting.”

    Hill would earn playing time at the tournament, bring brought on at halftime of the opening game against Brazil, starting against Germany, and coming on again as a substitute against Italy as El Tri failed to advance from its group. There was a silver lining to the experience, though, as Hill was invited to compete against the U.S. in a series of indoor exhibitions following the United States’ victory in Pasadena.

    “That was an amazing time and I met and played with some really fabulous people,” Hill said. “The folks helping run the tour across the nation were really good folk.”

    Hill continued to remain active in the game, but as she entered her 30s, real life began to take precedence over soccer. Drafted by the Philadelphia Charge in the 15th round of the inaugural WUSA draft, Hill arrived at training camp with her mind elsewhere.

    “At this point, I had just met my future husband, had started nursing school, and was moving on to the next chapter in my life,” she said. After spending some time at training camp with the Charge, Hill left the team before the start of the league’s inaugural season.

    “My heart was not in it 100 percent. I was ready for my next adventure in life. I married Johnny in the summer of 2001 and we moved to Ireland soon after.”

    Ireland remains home for Hill and her family to this day. Now the mother of three children, she continues to work in nursing having completed a Master's degree in Health Promotion at University College in Cork. Soccer also remains part of her life to this day as she works as a volunteer coach at the local soccer club.

    “I am excited to give back and pass on to others some of my knowledge and skill,” Hill said, “But most importantly, I hope to share my passion and feelings for the game of soccer.

    “My former collegiate coach, Tad Bobak, has had the greatest impact on me regarding soccer and life.  He always told us that we, as players, were out on the pitch to put on a performance for the crowd/fans and to enjoy ourselves while doing it. It is even hard to put into words, but he brought feeling and magic to the game and I hope I can do the same with my coaching.”

    Twenty years on from her summer in the sun, Hill is now opening the pathway for others to follow in her footsteps, the same way that the league she starred in continues to do.


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    PDL News Release

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The PDL announced its Team of the Week for the first week of the 2014 season on Thursday, with BYU Cougars forward Blake Frischknecht named as Player of the Week after he recorded a goal and an assist in his side’s 3-1 victory against the Fresno Fuego on Saturday night.

    The Cougars trailed the Fuego at the break in the opening game of the season for both sides, but Frischknecht led a second-half comeback that saw him provide the assist on Garrett Gee’s 58th-minute goal, which proved to be the game-winner, and then wrap up all three points with the Cougars’ third nine minutes from the end.

    Frischknecht was joined in the Team of the Week’s attack by Victoria’s Carlo Basso, who had a goal and an assist as the defending Western Conference champions opened their season with a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23. Las Vegas’ Emmanuel Ayim also earned selection after scoring the first goal in Mobsters history as they took a 1-0 victory against the Albuquerque Sol F.C.

    The OC Pateadores Blues led the way with three selections to the Team of the Week, as Tre Hayes, Thomas Janjigian and David Elias were all named to the side after a 3-0 win against the Ventura County Fusion. Hayes led the Blues offensively as he recorded a pair of assists, while Elias saved a penalty as part of a four-save shutout and Janjigian performed solidly in defense to help his side make a positive start to the new season.

    Other players named to the Team of the Week include Victoria’s Wes Barrett, who came off the substitute bench to spark the Highlanders to their comeback victory against the Whitecaps U-23. He is joined in the midfield by Vancouver’s Cody Cook, who put the Whitecaps U-23 early against Victoria, and Albuquerque’s Zachary Lawrence, who put in a solid performance in the Sol’s inaugural contest.

    The PDL season continues this weekend with 16 games on the schedule and includes the debut of 2013 champion the Austin Aztex, who host the Houston Dutch Lions on Saturday night. Other notable games include the debuts of Floridians F.C., which visits the SW Florida Adrenaline, the San Jose Earthquakes U23, who face the Ventura County Fusion in their inaugural contest on Friday night, and the Cincinnati Dutch Lions, who welcome two-time World Player of the Year Ruud Gullit as their guest as they host the River City Rovers.

    PDL Team of the Week

    Pos

    Player 

    Team

    Highlights

    GK

    David Elias

    Orange County

    Had a four-save shutout, including a penalty save, in opening victory

    D

    Dennis Garcia

    Las Vegas

    Solid defensively as Mobsters earned shutout in first contest

    D

    Emmanuel Lartey

    BYU

    Helped contain Fresno’s attack as Cougars rallied for victory

    D

    Thomas Janjigian

    Orange County

    Strong performance helped Blues shut out solid Fusion attack

    M

    Wes Barrett

    Victoria

    Sparked Highlanders comeback with goal moments after entering

    M

    Zachary Lawrence

    Albuquerque

    Solid throughout as Sol fell in inaugural contest against Las Vegas

    M

    Cody Cook

    Vancouver

    Had the opening goal, only for Whitecaps U-23 to fall in Vancouver

    M

    Tre Hayes

    Orange County

    Pair of assists were key to Blues’ victory against Fusion

    F

    Emmanuel Ayim

    Las Vegas

    Had first goal in team history, which proved enough to beat Sol

    F

    Blake Frischknecht

    BYU

    Goal and assist led Cougars’ second-half rally against Fresno

    F

    Carlo Basso

    Victoria

    Had a goal, assist as Highlanders got season off to winning start

    Honorable Mention – Albuquerque: Travis Campbell; BYU: Garrett Gee, Pedro Vasconcelos; Fresno: Jose Cuevas, Gaston Cignetti; Las Vegas: Lewis Wilcox, Francky Halley; Orange County: William Raygoza, Dersu Abolfathi; Vancouver: Ali Musse, Yassin Essa; Ventura County: James Kiffe, Kennedy Chongo; Victoria: Riley O’Neill, Cameron Stokes.

     


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    U.S. Soccer News Release

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    CHICAGO – The third-round scenarios and locations have been announced for the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

    Home teams are determined by a random selection process among those clubs that have applied to host and whose venues meet the minimum tournament requirements.

    The U.S. Open Cup Third Round kicks off May 28 and features the 24 second-round winners and eight North American Soccer League clubs. Teams are matched geographically to play the winner of a specific second-round pairing. The winners of the remaining 16 second-round matches not paired with an NASL side will play against each other.

    ussoccer.com will resume its “Game of the Round” coverage of the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup when the Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) face Richmond-based RVA FC (NPSL) on Wednesday, May 14. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. ET at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, Virginia.

    Below are the potential third-round pairings.

    Wednesday, May 28
    Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) / Reading United A.C. (PDL) winner at Rochester Rhinos (USL PRO), 7:35 p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium; Rochester, N.Y.

    or Greater Binghamton FC Thunder (NPSL) / Reading United A.C. (PDL) winner at Western Mass. Pioneers (PDL)     7:30 p.m. ET        Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Mass.

    Brooklyn Italians SC (NPSL) / Jersey Express (PDL) winner at New York Cosmos (NASL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Belson Stadium (St. John’s Univ.); Queens, N.Y.

    Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) / RVA FC (Richmond Virginia FC) (NPSL) winner at Ocean City Nor’easters (PDL), 7 p.m. ET, Carey Stadium; Ocean City, N.J.

    or New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at Richmond Kickers (USL PRO), 7 p.m. ET, Richmond City Stadium; Richmond, Va.

    or New York Greek American Atlas (USASA) at RVA FC (Richmond Virginia FC) (NPSL), 7 p.m. ET, Sports Backers Stadium; Richmond, Va.

    Icon FC (USASA) / Baltimore Bohemians (PDL) winner at FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic (NPSL), 7:05 p.m. ET, Whitehall H.S. Soccer Stadium; Whitehall, Pa.

    or Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) at Baltimore Bohemians (PDL), 5:30 p.m. ET, Calvert Hall College High School; Towson, Md.

    or Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) vs. Icon FC (USASA), TBD, TBD

    RWB Adria (USASA) / Michigan Bucks (PDL) winner at New York Red Bulls U-23s (NPSL), TBD, TBD

    or RWB Adria (USASA) / Michigan Bucks (PDL) winner at Pittsburgh Riverhounds (USL PRO), 7 p.m. ET, Highmark Stadium; Pittsburgh, Pa.

    Carolina Dynamo (PDL) / Charlotte Eagles (USL PRO) winner at Carolina RailHawks (NASL), 7:30 p.m. ET, WakeMed Soccer Park; Cary, N.C.

    Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Wilmington Hammerheads (USL PRO), 7:30 p.m. ET, Legion Stadium; Wilmington, N.C.

    or Atlanta Silverbacks (NASL) at Chattanooga FC (NPSL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Finley Stadium; Chattanooga, Tenn.

    Jacksonville United FC (NPSL) / Orlando City U23s (PDL) winner at Charleston Battery (USL PRO), 7:30 p.m. ET, Blackbaud Stadium; Charleston, S.C.

    or Panama City Beach Pirates (PDL) at Jacksonville United FC (NPSL), 7:30 p.m. ET  

    or Panama City Beach Pirates (PDL) vs. Orlando City U23s (PDL), TBD, TBD

    Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Orlando City (USL PRO), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN Wide World of Sports; Kissimmee, Fla.

    or Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) at Ocala Stampede (PDL), 7 p.m. ET, Trinity Catholic High School; Ocala, Fla.

    Red Force (USASA) / Laredo Heat (PDL) winner at Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), 7:45 p.m. ET, Lockhart Stadium; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Dayton Dutch Lions (USL PRO) / Schwaben AC (USASA) winner at Indy Eleven (NASL), 7:30 p.m. ET, Carroll Stadium; Indianapolis, Ind.

    NTX Rayados (USASA) / Austin Aztex (PDL) winner at San Antonio Scorpions (NASL), 7:30 p.m. CT, Toyota Field; San Antonio, Texas

    Minnesota United FC (NASL) at Des Moines Menace (USASA), 7:30 p.m. CT, Valley Stadium; West Des Moines, Iowa

    Real Colorado Foxes (PDL) at Minnesota United FC (NASL), 7 p.m. CT, National Sports Center; Blaine, Minn.

    Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL PRO) / Tulsa Athletics (NPSL) winner at Portland Timbers U-23s (PDL), 7 p.m. PT, Providence Park; Portland, Ore.

    or Arizona United SC (USL PRO) at Tulsa Athletics (NPSL), 7:30 p.m. CT, Tulsa Athletics Stadium; Tulsa, Okla.

    or Arizona United SC (USL PRO) vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC (USL PRO), TBD, TBD

    Orange County Blues (USL PRO) / Fresno Fuego (PDL) winner at Sacramento Republic (USL PRO), 7:30 p.m. PT, Charles C. Hughes Stadium; Sacramento, Calif.

    or Orange County Blues (USL PRO) / Fresno Fuego (PDL) winner at Ventura County Fusion (PDL), 7 p.m. PT, Ventura College; Ventura, Calif.

    PSA Elite (USASA) / San Diego Flash (NPSL) winner at LA Galaxy II (USL PRO), 7:30 p.m. PT, StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium; Carson, Calif.

    or Cal FC (USASA) at PSA Elite (USASA), 7:30 p.m. PT, Irvine Stadium; Irvine, Calif.

    or Cal FC (USASA) at San Diego Flash (NPSL), 7 p.m. PT, Mira Mesa High School; Mira Mesa, Calif.


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  • 05/09/14--01:23: Eagles End Road Trip On High
  • USL PRO Game Report

    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. – The Charlotte Eagles ended their three-game west coast road trip on a positive note as they took a 2-0 victory against the Orange County Blues on Thursday night at Anteater Stadium. Drew Yates and Ben Newnam scored either side of halftime for the Eagles, who handed the Blues a third consecutive defeat.

    The Blues started the brighter of the two sides getting forward, but created few chances, with Chris Cortez's early header easily saved by Eagles goalkeeper Brock Duckworth. Charlotte grew into the game and took the lead in the 33rd minute as Yates turned inside at the top of the penalty area and smashed the ball into the left corner of the net beyond Orange County goalkeeper, Patrick Mclain.

    Blues Head Coach Daryoush Yazdani  rang in the changes either side of halftime. Four changes were made before the 48th minute as Gibson Bardsley, Gabriel Gonzalez, Cesar Rivera and Jiovanni Santana breathed new life into the Blues’ attack. Just as the Blues looked the more likely side to get back on level terms, however, Newnam curled in a wonder-strike against the run of play in the 58th minute. Newnam hit his finish first-time from the left corner of the penalty area, and it looped into the right corner of the net. 

    The Blues continued to push numbers forward to try and get back into the game, but the Eagles remained compact in defense and were able to see out the match as Duckworth recorded his second shutout of the season.

    The Eagles will next return home to host the PDL's Carolina Dynamo in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup next Wednesday night at the Queens Sports Complex. The Blues will head to the midwest to take on OKC Energy FC on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, and then return home to face the PDL's Fresno Fuego in the Open Cup, also on Wednesday night.


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  • 05/09/14--16:14: Aztex Open PDL Title Defense
  • Austin Aztex News Release -- www.austinaztex.com

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    AUSTIN, Texas -- For the first time in the organization’s history, the Austin Aztex will open their season schedule at home when they take on the Houston Dutch Lions Saturday evening at House Park. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. CT.

    To date, matches between the Aztex and the Dutch Lions have been a one-sided affair. The Aztex are 6-0 in the series since 2012.

    That is the past. Both squads have changed since the PDL season came to a close in 2013.

    The Aztex are now coached by Manuel Buentello, former assistant coach, while former captain Zack Pope hung up his cleats replace Buentello as the lead assistant coach. The Dutch Lions have named Marco Pruis as head coach and technical director of the club, replacing former head coach Hans van Arum. Both first-year coaches will be eager to start the season with three points.

    However, the Aztex have also lost key players. PDL MVP Kris Tyrpak joined MLS squad Chivas USA, and defender Leone Cruz signed with the San Antonio Scorpions.

    Buentello said the team will resemble last year’s squad with a similar up-tempo style that defined the Aztex style of play during the first two seasons. That continuity is further maintained with Pope on the sideline, and 14 returning players on the Aztex roster.

    Bolstering the Aztex squad are newcomers including Danny Frid and Adam Black, a duo from last year’s Oklahoma City FC squad. During the preseason, Frid impressed in the holding midfielder role held by Zachary Garcia in 2012 and 2013. Adam Black scored 11 goals in 12 games during his all-conference season for OKC FC in 2013. Another addition that has impressed the Aztex coaching staff through the preseason is Kalen Ryden, a defender from Midwestern State University.

    Newly-appointed team captain Andres Cuero said the team has trained hard through the preseason and ready for the challenge of the season.

    “We know that both squads will want to start this season off with the three points,” Cuero said. “We are focused on training hard and preparing well, and our focus is on Saturday’s game.”

    Meanwhile, the Dutch Lions enjoyed a strong offseason. The organization advanced to the championship game in the Texas Premier Soccer League before winning seven games in their PDL preseason. Led by team captain Cameron Free, the Dutch Lions will  look to end their skid versus the Aztex.

    One familiar addition to the Dutch Lions roster for Aztex fans is Emmanuel Frias. Frias manned the goal for the Laredo Heat for the previous three seasons.

    The Aztex will be without Travis Golden, who was ruled out after sustaining a hip injury during training earlier in the week. In addition, midfielder Alesi Osorio is ruled out as he is recovering from a mouth injury sustained during preseason.


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    W-League Feature

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    TAMPA, Fla. – The Washington Spirit Reserves emerged from the Northeastern Conference to reach the W-League Championship last season, but will likely be challenged not only by the returning Long Island Rough Riders and New York Magic, who had a resurgent season thanks to Brittany Pfaff, but also by newcomer the Braddock Road Stars Elite. With an influx of quality players across the board, the battle at the top of the standings should be strong throughout the summer.

    BRADDOCK ROAD STARS ELITE – Two names that jump out from Braddock Road’s inaugural squad are those of U.S. U20 internationals Kaliegh Riehl and Carlyn Baldwin, both of whom are in contention for this summer’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Canada. Members of the Stars’ outstanding Academy, the duo will also have the support of former Seattle Reign player Kristen Meier, and N.C. State standout Jackie Stengel, who led the Wolfpack with nine goals as a freshman last fall.

    LONG ISLAND ROUGH RIDERS – The Rough Riders took third in the division last season, powered in part by the goals of All-Conference selection Grace Hawkins. While Hawkins may not be back to lead the attack, the Rough Riders do return All-Conference defender Gabby Charno, who played every minute of  the season in 2013, and Amanda Epstein will look to add to her three goals to help maintain the Rough Riders’ scoring output.

    NEW JERSEY WILDCATS – The Wildcats’ defensive struggles that left them at the foot of the standings overshadowed a standout season by Jessica Fucello in 2013 as the forward earned All-Conference honors with nine goals. Fucello is set to return this season and the Wildcats will hope to address their defensive issues with the addition of Rutgers’ Tori Leigh, while midfielder Samantha McDonough will look to add to her pair of goals a season ago.

    NEW YORK MAGIC – After some impressive moments, including victory against the Spirit Reserves, the Magic will aim for more consistency this season if they are to challenge for their first playoff berth since 2002. Among the new faces looking to provide that is Butler’s Serina Kashimoto, an All-Big East selection as a freshman last fall, while Danish forward Laerke Michaelsen arrives as an NAIA All-America Honorable mention.

    NORTH JERSEY VALKYRIES – The Valkyries’ offense struggled for much of 2013 as the side finished with the fewest goals in the conference. The return of Florida State University Freshman All-ACC selection and U.S. U20 Women’s National Team member Nickolette Driesse should help address the offensive issues. Midfielder Stefanie Scholz also returns to the side after recording three goals a season ago, while the team has also added Connecticut’s Gabriella Cuevas after a strong redshirt freshman season for the Huskies.

    WASHINGTON SPIRIT RESERVES – The Spirit Reserves are set to have a pair of major contributors back with the side as All-Conference selections Meghan Cox and Amber Stobbs return. Stobbs finished tied for the league lead in assists with nine a season ago and will look to supply Ashley Herndon with more opportunities after a six-goal season in 2013. The Reserves have also added goalkeeper Adelaide Gay, a member of the Portland Thorns in 2013, while Kelsey Pardue and Jennifer Skogerboe also return to defend the conference title.


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