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Montreal Impact’s Matt Jordan Retires; Strikers Sign 2 Defenders and Silverbacks Announce Reserve Team

2011 February 3

Matt Jordon Retires; Takes New Role with Impact

From left to right: Nick De Santis, Matt Jordan and Impact owner Joey Saputo.

The Montreal Impact’s Matt Jordan has announced his retirement. The 35-year-old goalkeeper may be finished on the field but he’s not leaving the game. Jordan is heading in a new direction with the Impact as he turns in his keeper gloves for a desk job.

The Impact announced this week that Jordan is going to stay on with the team as Director of Soccer Operations. The team also announced Nick De Santis will move from technical director to sporting director as the team moves towards its first MLS season in 2012.

“I want to surround myself with people I can trust,” said De Santis. “Matt knows the team’s philosophy and knows what it will take to get to the next level and achieve success. He understands the league very well and adds even more credibility to our staff. Matt Jordan was the ideal candidate for this position.”

Jordan notched 42 shutouts in his 115 games played for the Impact. The Colorado native spent time with the Dallas Burn, Columbus Crew and the Colorado Rapids of MLS before moving to Montreal as the #1 keeper the last three seasons.

Strikers Sign 2 Defenders

The NASL’s Strikers announced this week the signing of two defenders from last season’s Miami FC squad, Aaron Hohlbein and English player Martyn Lancaster. In other NASL news, the Atlanta Silverbacks announced the 2011 debut of their new reserve squad.

Hohlbein, 25, joined Miami FC late last season on loan from the Kansas City Wizards of MLS.  Hohlbein had made forty appearances for the Wizards since 2007 following his Big 10 career at the University of Wisconsin. Hohlbein arrived in time for Miami’s last ten matches in USSF D2 play, contributing to the team’s late turnaround in which they went unbeaten in their last five league matches.

A thirty year-old native of Wigan, England, Lancaster began his professional career with lower-division side Chester City in 1998.  The 6’1″ defender also played in the USL with the Wilmington Hammerheads and Atlanta Silverbacks before returning to the UK to play a season for Queen of the South in Scotland’s 2nd division. Lancaster joined Miami FC in 2010, and appeared in 21 matches. The signings of Lancaster and Hohlbein brings experience to the Striker’s back line.

“We are happy to have both Martyn and Aaron back for the 2011 season. They both are leaders not only on the field but off it as well. We expect both of them to strengthen our defensive group as that is an important piece of the puzzle,” states Strikers Head Coach Daryl Shore. “A winning club starts with a strong team core and that’s what we are putting together here.” The Strikers had previously announced the signings of David Santamaria and former FC Tampa Bay forward Aaron Wheeler, along with renewing the options on 2010 players Matt Glaeser, Zach Kirby and Paulinho Le Petit.

Atlanta Names Reserve Team

The Atlanta Silverbacks announced that they will field a reserve team, the Atlanta Silverbacks Reserves, that will play in the National Premier Soccer League, a fourth-tier league, in 2011.  The team, owned by Chris Goeckel, has competed in the NPSL since 2007 as FC Atlanta and are now official partners of the NASL club. The FC Atlanta club won the NPSL’s Southeast region title in 2008 and qualified for the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Silverbacks Reserves will continue to be coached by Ricardo Montoya with assistance from Alejandro Pombo, Bert Leonard and physical trainer Juan Castellanos. The Costa Rica- born Montoya and Pombo, who hails from Uruguay, will be entering their fourth season together with the NPSL franchise. Teams in the NPSL play between a minimum of ten and a maximum of sixteen regular league games per season, and former professional players are allowed to compete in the league along with high school and college athletes.

We’re excited about the chance to become a part of the Silverbacks family,” said Goeckel. “The new relationship will give us a powerful way to develop players and the sport, while providing the Atlanta community yet another opportunity to watch great soccer.”  The Silverbacks will not only use their reserve team to develop young talent but will also be able to call up players from the reserves to the senior team.

16 Responses
  1. yankiboy permalink
    February 3, 2011

    De Santis as “sporting director” kind of makes me chuckle.

    I’ve only talked to the guy about a mintue in my entire life. He is a very intelligent guy. A really smooth, sophisticated guy. In my mind, he is “the Impact guy” if ever there was one.

    Maybe he can help teach his playes to show a bit more sportsmanship after being on the unhappy side of a bad result.

    After the debacle in Carolina last fall are they still allowed to enter to cross the North Carolina state line?

    Best of luck to Matt Jordan. I think that he has been one of the elite keepers at the 2ns division level over his career.

  2. yankiboy permalink
    February 3, 2011

    Very interesting move by the Silverbacks. I will be very curious to see how things work out with the reserve team.

    The USOC would be interesting. Something fun to think about. I don’t think that both clubs could participate seeing as they are offically affiliated.

    I’m a bit impressed.

  3. February 3, 2011

    You heard it hear first folks, I heard over a year ago that the NASL folks were talking to the NPSL folks about an affiliation. This was at the NSCAA convention in 2010.

    Last year the Stars sent some of there lower bench players back and forth between one of two local NPSL teams located here in the Twin Cities. I could see that sort of association working well if they are allowed to float players in this way.

  4. thesuperrookie permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I think this is a great idea. Any chance that Chatanooga FC might be interested in NASL someday? They get great crowds and have one heck of a logo!

  5. Strikers Return permalink
    February 3, 2011

    The NPSL affiliation isn’t unexpected at all. I’m a little surprised by the timing of it, considering I think there are other matters that should be taking precedence at the moment like marketing and ticket sales for the Silverbacks return after a two year hiatus and the challenge that presents them. But still, a long term smart move.

    You have to think it’s going to be a LONG time, if ever, before we see ANY sort of cooperation or affiliation between USL teams and NASL teams, so the NPSL is a natural fit for NASL teams to develop younger players I’d say.

  6. fotbalist permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I agree with everyone here. The NASL/NPSL affiliation is a great decision. I’ve been following the NPSL for only about 1.5 years now, and I am very impressed with them. They have a good philosophy with a great financial model, which includes low league entry & league operational fees. This is going to be their key. I hope they maintain this system.
    @ BQ – I do remember you hinting at this a year ago. Good work, BQ.

  7. Gerry Wittmann permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I think it’s a great move for the Silverbacks. With the rough and tumble physcial play in our U.S. lower divisions, it would seem quite practical for a team, down to 12-13 players for a short stretch because of knocks and suspensions, to be able to get a player or two from their affiliated NPSL club for a few matches to supplement their bench and give them a reasonable chance to compete. Especially nice if the club’s coaches are a bit familiar with the players on the NPSL affiliate and vice versa.

    Nor sure what the rules are concerning this type of player movement. I know there’s been a relaxation of rules governing college soccer players’ involvement with professional teams and their ability to maintain college eligibility, but not sure what that actually entails.

  8. Ultra permalink
    February 3, 2011

    Good move by ATL. Hopefully more relationships like this are formed with NASL and NPSL teams.

    As for the Strikers moves, stoked that Lancaster is back. He played great last year and was always great with the fans. Real class act. Hohlbein came in on loan and played well too. The returning back line of Lancaster, Hohlbein and Zach Kirby is gonna be fabulous. Now we just need some offensive firepower.

  9. Grant Stephens permalink
    February 3, 2011

    @ Ultra

    If Wheeler stays healthy, I think you’ll be happy with him in the attack. Big body and great in the air!

  10. Gerry Wittmann permalink
    February 3, 2011

    @ Ultra

    Seems like Hohlbein was a real difference maker for Miami FC’s backline last year. Good re-sign on both Hohlbein and Lancaster.

    @ Grant Stephens

    Agreed about Aaron Wheeler….good pick up for the Strikers.

  11. thesuperrookie permalink
    February 3, 2011

    @ultra @gerrywittmann @grantstephens

    sorry to spoil the Aaron Wheeler love fest, but he isn’t the best. for being such a big guy i would have expected much more production from him last year. i think it was a wise move for the Rowdies to pass him on down to the gold cost.

    have fun getting frustrated.

  12. Wayne permalink
    February 3, 2011

    Has anyone talked to a player who has signed with an NASL team yet? I would have the jitters a bit…being unsanctioned and all. Just wondering. Anyone?

  13. Soccer Boy permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I like the idea of a NASL/NPSL affiliation. I caught a number of the MN Kings matches this past season. The play had some rough spots, however, I found it to be fun, exicting (lost of scoring in some matches) and an overall good time. I live nowhere near a MLS team and my wife has forbidden Fox Soccer Channel at home. To me, I am 100% game to go watch an outdoor soccer match during the summer.

    BQ, any chance of the Stars partnering further on a formal affiliation with one of the two NPSL teams in the Twin Cities?

  14. fotbalist permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I hope the Stars partner with both MN Kings and St Paul Twinstars. I don’t know if the rules allow for dual partnership, but I can’t see why not!

  15. drebin permalink
    February 3, 2011

    I like to see more league affiliations like these. MLS clubs have recently experimented with this idea such as the partnership between Philadelphia Union and Harrisburg City which allows Union to loan players to the Islanders on a game-by-game basis for more playing time. Only difference is Harrisburg City most likely will not function exclusively as an Union reserve team since they play in another league and MLS is already resurrecting its reserve league.

  16. thesuperrookie permalink
    February 4, 2011

    Maybe Zlatan can speak a bit more about the need for the Stars to partner with the NPSL teams again and how that would work. I like the idea of small barnstorming teams going around the state to raise the profile of the team.

    It is a real shame the Rochester Thunder are not around any more. They were just what the NSC Stars needed in terms of development, friendly opponent etc…

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