NASL News and Notes: Strikers Add Two Attackers
Everything went well for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in their season opener last Saturday, except for the fact that they were outscored by FC Edmonton. To rectify the situation, the Strikers have added Jean Philippe Peguero and midfielder Yoximar Granados. In other NASL news, FC Edmonton adds to their Dutch braintrust, while FC Tampa Bay looks to take on the EPL and and an Islander begins blogging.
Peguero, 29 is a Haitian international who began his career in Haiti with club Don Bosco, where he won the league’s Golden Boot award and was awarded league MVP. Peguero moved to the Colorado Rapids in 2004, and joined the NY Red Bulls in 2006, scoring 22 MLS goals in 60 matches. Peguero transferred to Danish club Brøndby IF and scored twice in his first three games for the Copenhagen-based club before injuring his right knee, rupturing both the ACL and MCL. Peguero has had limited playing time since then, playing a handful of games for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009 and making a substitute appearance for the Haitian National Team in 2009.
Yoximar Granados is a Colombian who trialed with the Chicago Fire earlier this year and spent time with Argentine side Quilmes. Granados, who just turned 19, was listed as a right back in a Chicago Fire preseason preview of trialists and described as “speedy,” but also can play wide or as a withdrawn forward according to the Strikers’ news release.
“Yoximar is a very dynamic right wing player with great speed and skill who will add quality to our attack. Peguero is a player that can add leadership qualities to our team and will hopefully be another player who’s going to score goals for us,” said Strikers Head Coach Daryl Shore.
Meanwhile, the prognosis looks good for Strikers’ veteran forward Abe Thompson, who missed the opener due to injury. He is listed as “questionable” for the Week 2 match with NSC Minnesota, but team doctor Pieter Hommen expects Thompson back “in the near future.”
The Edmonton club, who surprised almost everyone on opening day with their quality of play, are adding to Coach Harry Sinkgraven’s staff. Team owner Tom Fath has stated to the Edmonton Sun that Dutch coach Edwin Petersen will be joining the team as an assistant on April 22.
“He (Petersen) has very high credentials,” said Fath of Petersen. “He has a similar background to the other coaches we’ve hired. We’re very happy to have him join our coaching staff.” Petersen has been involved with the Netherlands National Team, coaching the U-15 squad, and will coach Edmonton’s youth academy team in addition to his role as assistant. Petersen will return to his duties in the Netherlands after FC Edmonton’s season ends.
FC Tampa Bay
FC Tampa Bay is currently in negotiations with EPL club Everton to host the Liverpool side for a friendly match this summer, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the St. Petersburg Times/ TampaBay.com website. Everton are already contracted to visit the U.S. this summer, having already scheduled a match with MLS side DC United. Several other American teams are negotiating with Everton to host a friendly.
Everton, with USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard as one of its leaders, is a top team in the EPL and has been in the English upper flight for 108 seasons. They are a charter member of the Premier League, which was formed as England’s top division in 1992.
Puerto Rico Islanders
Young Steven Beattie was a rookie who I was looking forward to see play for the Puerto Rico Islanders this season. Beattie was named NCAA Division II Player of the Year the last two seasons, and scored 77 goals during his tenure at the University of Northern Kentucky, which also included a Division II National Championship.
Unfortunately for the Irish rookie, three days after signing his contract with the Islanders and 20 minutes into his preseason debut with the club, he suffered a serious knee injury that included a torn ACL and sprained MCL. Beattie has started a blog here since being injured to keep his spirits up and interact with other athletes who have been sidetracked by serious injury. I’m sure all NASL fans are looking forward to his full recovery and seeing him in an Islander’s uniform.