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Three NASL Teams Announce Roster Moves: Carolina, Minnesota and Tampa

2012 November 30

On Wednesday, the Carolina RailHawks, Minnesota Stars and Tampa Bay Rowdies all announced players they are re-signing who had option years on their contracts. A number of other players were also announced for the Rowdies who had signed new multi-year contracts.

Carolina RailHawks
The Carolina RailHawks will be bringing back the core of their team. The RailHawks squad had been gutted after the 2011 season with coach Martin Rennie leaving for the Vancouver Whitecaps and former Puerto Rico Islanders coach Colin Clarke replacing him. Many of the Carolina players were on new 1-year contracts and some had option years.

The club announced they will exercise the options on 12 players: defenders Austen King and Justin Willis; midfielders Austin da Luz, Floyd Franks, Breiner Ortiz, Tiyiselani Shipalane, Nick Zimmerman, Nick Millington and Jake Beckford; and forwards Brian Ackley, Brian Shriver, and Zack Schilawski will all be returning in 2013. The RailHawks did not announce players they did not renew contracts with.

Minnesota Stars FC
The Minnesota Stars, who had kept the core of their team together the last several years exercising options in contracts, also announced the players they will retain in 2013. The Stars will bring back 13 players: goalkeepers Mitch Hildebrandt and Matt VanOekel; defenders Justin Davis, Brian Kallman and Connor Tobin; midfielders Kentaro Takada, Miguel Ibarra, Michael Reed, Edi Buro and Kevin Venegas; and forwards Travis Wall and Nate Polak.

Minnesota also announced they will retain the services of defender Ernest Tchoupe who was believed to be formerly contracted by Traffic Sports and on loan to the Stars.

Other Stars mainstays over the last 3 seasons will need to negotiate new contacts with the team if both parties so desire. Most notably missing are players Kyle Altman, Simone Bracalello, Devin Del Do, Cristiano Dias, Martin Nuñez, Lucas Rodriguez, Amani Walker and player/coach Kevin Friedland. Altman in particular is a big question mark as he has deferred medical school for several years and now must make a choice to play or he will have to reapply to schools which includes extensive testing again.

The club also declined options on five players: defenders Evan Sassano and Gino Mauro and midfielders Shawn Chin, Fuad Ibrahim and Andy Lorei. Ten more players from the 2012 roster are currently free agents. Midfielder Neil Hlavaty recently announced a move to FC Edmonton.

Tampa Bay Rowdies
The Tampa Bay Rowdies also announced roster moves on Wednesday. Headlining the deals was a new 3-year contract for midfielder Keith Savage and new 2-year deals for midfielder Evans Frimpong and defender Draymond Washington.

The Rowdies also exercised its 2013 option for midfielder Shane Hill. The club declined an option for forward Fafa Picault.

The current 2013 Tampa Bay Rowdies roster is already looking solid as it is comprised of most of last year’s Championship squad: goalkeeper Andrew Fontein; defenders Frankie Sanfilippo, Daniel Scott, Draymond Washington, and Raphael Cox; midfielders Stuart Campbell, Luke Mulholland, Keith Savage, Shane Hill, and Evans Frimpong; and forwards Mike Ambersley and Carl Cort.


8 Responses
  1. Soccer Boy permalink
    November 30, 2012

    Shane Hill had is option exercised? Is this another IMS April Fool’s Day story? Oh yeah, he is the coach’s kid. Of course he is guaranteed to stay on dad’s team. I guess Coach Hill was Coach of the Year, so who am I to question his judgment.

  2. GumbyGrrl permalink
    November 30, 2012

    Early in the season, I would have said ‘coach’s kid,’ but Shane Hill really stepped up his game later on in the season.

    I’m happy to see so many options excersized on the Stars; hopefully a few more of the players will be signed by season’s start. I’m going to miss Hlavaty; I haven’t given up hope on the rest. 🙂

  3. Mac permalink
    November 30, 2012

    I wonder if the Stars salaries will go up some, now that they’re not locked into the lowest payroll in the league. Does anyone know if Hlavaty’s going to the Eddies was based principally because EFC was willing to pay more, or were there additional factors as well?
    Not that they are the only ones to do it by any stretch, but the Rowdies doing the two and three year deals is a good thing that hopefully becomes more standard operating procedure in the league over the next few years.

  4. November 30, 2012

    Mac, please explain why a two or three year deal is better? And better for who? Club or player? Most likely better for player but I don’t see how it is better for the club unless they are totally convinced that player will be a producer for years to come. To me, it’s a very risky proposition for clubs that are losing money each year.

    Hlavaty got offered a lot of money from Edmonton. As he stated, he liked MN but he had been here 3 years and it was probably time for him to move on.

  5. Dave permalink
    November 30, 2012

    Agreed. Two or three years deals for minor league clubs is bad business when they bleed money. So why not take advantage that most will sign short term deals with options because they have little shot of making MLS? Options are a minor league club’s best friend. I don’t understand why NASL players sign contracts with club options, but that is another story.

    It is also in the player’s best interest to never lock himself up to a minor league club. MLS doesn’t pay transfer fees so the only way a NASL player can move up and make more money is by being a FA.

  6. Mac permalink
    November 30, 2012

    Points taken on the longer contracts, given the nature of NASL. I principally follow Chicago/MLS and while a goodly number of players on a squad will continue to be year to year, for the sound reasons stated above, the continuity of locking some players down for a longer stretch (say the likes of a Segares, Johnson, and Nyarko) brings a stability to the team and supporter base that 25-30 guys with one year at a time deals can’t.
    As you say, the economic reality of NASL are different. I think I’m getting ahead of where NASL is, and am thinking of it in terms of where I hope the league will before too long.

  7. November 30, 2012

    @Dave MLS absolutely pays transfer fees. I know for a fact RSL paid the Strikers/Traffic for Paulo Jr., I believe it was some point during 2011. He went on loan there late in the 2010 season when we were still Miami FC, and then they bought his contract the next year (they then loaned him back for a short stint this past season). It doesn’t happen terribly often, but it does happen.

    I imagine in certain cases that’s why some NASL teams would sign players to a longer term(2-3 years) deal. With hopes of selling the player down the line if they produce.

  8. danwolf permalink
    November 30, 2012

    I’m glad to see Travis Wall stick with Minnesota. As a Crew fan i’d like to see him do well. At least in the NASL.

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