NASL News: Silverbacks Sign Two Strikers, Scorpions Add Five Players
The Atlanta Silverbacks have already made two offseason moves to bolster their defense, signing Martyn Lancaster from the Strikers and Brazilian backliner Rilla, and have now added two veteran strikers, while the expansion San Antonio Scorpions have added five new players to their roster for the 2012 NASL season.
Silverbacks Add Navia and Ademolu
Recently the Silverbacks have made a move to improve their attack, signing two experienced strikers with international experience, former Club America forward Reinaldo Navia and Canadian international Stephen Ademolu.
Navia, 33, is a native of Chile who represented his country 40 times, scoring 10 goals, in international competition between 1999 and 2007. He played in 2011 for Chilean team Deportivo Ñublense, scoring three times in nine matches. The 5’7″ striker began his career with Santiago Wanderers in his homeland in 1995 before heading to the Mexican Primera Division in 2001, where he scored 73 goals in 138 matches for Tecos UAG, Monarcas Morelia and Club America in his first four years in Mexico. At America he was part of the squad that won the 2005 Mexican Apertura.
Navia suffered a knee injury in 2005 and has since bounced around with several clubs, continuing in Mexico with Monterrey, San Luis and Atlas; in Argentina with Racing Club and in Ecuador with LCU Quito. In the last three seasons at Chilean clubs Santiago Morning and Ñublense, along with Mexican second division side Irapauto, Navia totaled eight goals in 32 matches. He also won a bronze medal with the Chilean team in the 2000 Summer Olympics and played in the 2008 Club World Cup final for Quito against Manchester United.
“We’re very excited that Reinaldo will be on our front line,” Silverbacks Director of Soccer Rodrigo Rios said. “There is a reason why he has played with some of the biggest clubs in the world – he is a tremendously skilled player.”
Ademolu, 29, was born in Windsor, Ontario of a Nigerian father and Jamaican mother. He played college ball at UNC Pembroke and at Cleveland State University. He signed his first professional contract with Trelleborgs FF in Sweden and was named team MVP for the 2005 season. He transferred to Norwegian club Tromsø IL in 2005 and also played for Løv-Ham in Norway and FK Ekranas in Lithuania. Between 2004 and 2011 the 5’10” striker featured in 140 matches, scoring 43 goals. Ademolu also gained European experience participating in the UEFA Cup with Tromsø IL against clubs such as AS Roma, FC Basel and Galatasaray, and has earned five caps for Canada between 2005 and 2009.
“Stephen has been playing at a high level his entire career, both for European clubs and his national team,” said Silverbacks Head Coach Alex Pineda Chacón. “We’re excited to have him here, and we think his speed and finishing abilities will be a great asset to our front line.” Ademolu played in 2011 for the Windsor Stars of the Canadian Soccer League. His brother OJ Atogwe is a former St. Louis Ram safety who now plays for the Washington Redskins, and cousin Michael Carter played safety in the CFL.
Scorpions Sign Five More Players
On Monday the Scorpions announced the addition of five players to their roster, giving the expansion club eleven players now under contract for next season. Goalkeepers Patrick Hannigan and Daryl Sattler; forwards Hans Denissen and Euan Purcell along with Luiz Tiago, a midfielder/winger, are now part of Coach Tim Hankinson’s squad for 2012.
Both new goalkeepers have D2 experience. Daryl Sattler played the last two seasons with FC Tampa Bay, featuring in 28 matches, and was in great form early in the 2011 season before injury sidelined him for the remainder of the campaign. Sattler, 31, was born in Nashville, attended Western Kentucky University and has also played for the Wilmington Hammerheads and Atlanta Silverbacks, along with the Nashville Metros and Memphis Express. Patrick Hannigan, 29, has quite a background playing indoor soccer. Currently on the MISL Rochester Lancers, also has played indoor with the Philadelphia Kixx and New Jersey Ironmen. Hannigan played 45 matches for Miami FC in USL-1 and has been with Bray Wanderers in Ireland. The 6’3″ keeper attended his hometown Temple University and, after sitting out 2010, played five matches for the PDL Ocean City Nor’easters in 2011.
Forward Hans Denissen is a 27-year-old from the Netherlands who has played the last two seasons at FC Essen in the Eerste Divisie (Dutch second tier), scoring 13 goals in 40 matches. The 5’11” attacker began his career with his Willem II Tilburg in 2003 and has also played professionally in Cyprus and Finland. Euan Purcell is an Englishman from Bolton who will be joining former Fort Lewis College teammate Jeff Jennings on the Scorpions. Hankinson coached at Fort Lewis College in 2007 and 2008.
Luiz Tiago, 24, is a Brazilian with professional experience in his native country for Coritiba, Atletico-PR, Ondrina and Cascavel CR.
The five join Jennings, MLS vets Greg Janicki and Kevin Harmse, along with Walter Ramirez, Karsten Smith and Dominic Papa on the Scorpions roster.