It’s less than a month from the USL PRO opener for four league teams that kick off their seasons on April 2. In preparation for their upcoming season, FC New York have signed local product Karsten Smith, along with four St. John’s University products… Derby Carrillo, Kyle Hoffer, David Reed and Tadeu Terra. The Wilmington Hammerheads brought back Jyler Noviello and Chris Murray, and signed another Ventura County Fusion player, Jamie Scope. The Dayton Dutch Lions added Happy Hall and Dutch goalkeeper Jesper Leerdam. The Rochester Rhinos inked Ryan Kenny, defender Connor Tobinand midfielder Frank Alesci, while the Richmond Kickers welcome back David Bulow, who played in 2010 for the Real Maryland Monarch. The Antigua Barracuda FC of the USL PRO International Division also released a list of 29 players who are currently training with the club.
FC New York
The expansion New York club have added five more players this past week to their roster. Karsten Smith is a local player who attended Walt Whitman High School and played in the Long Island Junior Soccer League. The 6’3″defender attended American University, where he earned First and Second All Patriot League honors during his career and has trialed with French club FC Lorient and the Da Nang FC side in Vietnam.
The New York side are bringing in more players with local ties: four former St. John’s University Red Storm athletes who will be playing on the same Belson Field that they called home in college. Goalkeeper Derby Carrillo played at Cal State Dominguez Hills before transferring to St. John’s. The 6’4″ Salvadoran-American signed last season with the Seattle Sounders of MLS, playing in two reserve games and a few friendlies when the team travelled to Spain. Carrillo has also gained the notice of the Salvadoran National Team, and hopes that his opportunity in New York will give him a chance to play for El Salvador.
Brazilian Tadeu Terra is an offensive-minded midfielder who won second team All Big East honors in 2009. 6’1″ Kyle Hoffer played two seasons at St. John’s and is from Englewood, New Jersey , while 5’8″ defender David Reed was born in Teaneck, New Jersey and was part of the 2010 St. John’s side that led the country in shutouts.
The Hammerheads welcome back two players who’ve played for the team in 2008 and 2009. Jyler Noviello, 26, is a forward from Georgia who scored 8 goals in his prior tenure with the Hammerheads and played for Real Maryland in 2010. Chris Murray is a 5’7″ midfielder from New York who attended UNC-Wilmington before joining the Hammerheads in 2008. He made 37 appearances for the club in 2008 and 2009.
Besides having several former UNC-Wilmington Seahawks alumni on their club in 2011, the Hammerheads have also gathered up a contingent of former PDL Ventura County Fusion players. They added another this week. Defender Jamie Scope played college soccer at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio and played PDL ball for the Austin Aztex U-23 before joining the Fusion in 2010.
Dayton Dutch Lions
The Dutch Lions continue to build upon their relationship with the Netherlands, having brought in goalkeeper Jesper Leerdam, 23, who last played for VV Capelle in the Dutch 3rd division. For the prior four seasons he played professionally at Club Ado Den Haag. The Dutch Lions also signed Bahamian international Happy Hall, 23. The 5’10″ defender played college soccer at Appalachian State and has plied in his trade in Canada, England and most recently for club Ma Pau SC in Trinidad & Tobago. Hall has 10 national team appearances for the Bahamas since 2006, and has tallied an international goal.
“Happy is a strong defender who has been deployed at several positions. With his experience, even international, he is a gain for the Dayton Dutch Lions FC,” said Technical Director Cor van Hoeven.
The Rhinos have added three more players to a roster that looks to be very strong for the upcoming season. Californian Ryan Kenny is a 6’3″ goalkeeper from Sacramento State. Kenny spent time training with Real Salt Lake in 2010. Midfielder Frank Alesci played at Long Island University and earned PDL All-League honors with the Ironbound Express in 2010 after playing for the PDL Brooklyn Knights in 2009 and earlier for the Bakersfield Brigade.
Defender Connor Tobin brings professional experience as the 2009 graduate of the University of Vermont played in Norway’s second division. Signing with club Nybergsund IL-Trysil in February 2009, Tobin got 18 starts in 2010. According to Rhinos Coach Bob Lilley, “(Tobin) can play any of the positions in the back four. He is a hard no nonsense defender that reads the game well and is good with his distribution out of the back.”
Lilley looks to have a powerhouse team in USL PRO. Many of the players who helped the Rhinos achieve the best regular season record in USSF D2 last year are under contract for the upcoming season. According to Jeff Diveronica’s “Devo’s Direct Kicks,” the Rhinos have inked goalkeeper Neal Kitson, defenders Rich Costanzo, Jonathan Greenfield and Tyler Bellamy, midfielders T.J. Gore, Alfonso Motagalvan, Kenold Versailles and Max Ferdinand and forwards Isaac Kissi, Anthony Hamilton and Andrew Hoxie from last year’s squad. With the additions of Kendall Jagdeosingh from the Puerto Rico Islanders, midfielder Brad Stisser from AC St. Louis and Tobin on the backline, Lilley must be a very happy camper, although he adds that “we have other things in the works.”
Midfielder David Bulow, 31, returns to the Kickers after spending the 2010 season with the Real Maryland Monarchs. He has played 54 games in his previous stints with the Kickers, scoring 26 goals. The 5’11″ veteran has also played in Northern Ireland for the Dungannon Swifts FC club in County Tyrone.
Bulow has been part of championship sides with the PDL Cape Cod Crusaders in 2003 along with the Kickers in USL-2 in 2009. In addition to his on-the-field activities for Coach Leigh Cowlishaw’s club, Bulow will coach the Kickers youth team. Cowlishaw has the luxury of having his 2010 backline of Sascha Goerres, Henry Kalungi, Yomby William and Dave Hertel returning for 2011. The Kickers host ACC 2010 Champions the University of Maryland Saturday in a preseason match.
Antigua Barracuda FC
The only USL PRO team that is not part of the United States or its territories has released a list of twenty-six Antigua and Barbuda players, along with three players from other countries, who are now practicing with the team. According to an article by Neto Baptiste of the Antigua Observer.com, the list of players includes: goalkeepers Molvin James, Keita Decastro and Zeon Armstrong; defendersGeorge “Sowa” Dublin, Akeem “Leppy” Thomas, Dave “Little Man” Carr,Tash Harris, Alex Phillip, Karahja Mack, Roy “Ratty” Gregory and Hazeley Pyle.
Midfielders Omarie Daniel, Lawson “Boy Blue” Robinson, Tamarley “Ziggy” Thomas,Kemoy Alexander, Tavin Crump, Randolph “Etty” Burton, Eugene Kirwan and Quinton Griffith have also been named, while strikers Peter “Big Pete” Byers, Ranjae Christian, Jamie Thomas, Kerry “Arab” Skepple, Stephan Smith, Gayson “Bubbler” Gregory and Elvis Thomas are also part of the squad. Goalkeeper Miguel Baez of the Dominican Republic, midfielder Orlando Mitchum of St Kitts/Nevis and striker Corin Mathurin of St Lucia are the three non-national players involved thus far.
The Barracuda open at home on April 17 against the Los Angeles Blues at Stanford Cricket Grounds.
USL PRO Preseason Results
The Charleston Battery, 2010 USL-2 champions, started the preseason on the right foot, defeating Toronto FC 2-1 Wednesday at Blackbaud Stadium in the Carolina Challenge Cup. Toronto FC went ahead in the match on a Nathan Sturgis penalty before Dane Kelly equalized for the Battery in the 43rd minute and won the game on a second half penalty conversion by defender Mike Zaher. The Battery play the Chicago Fire Saturday in Challenge Cup action while Toronto FC take on DC United.
After beating two of three MLS sides they faced in the preseason, the Orlando City SC Lions lost to Swedish top division side BK Hacken last Saturday, 3-2. BK Hacken finished 8th in 2010 in the 16-team Allsvenskan table.
Orlando City took an early lead on a goal by Trinidad and Tobago international Devorn Jorsling in the 17th minute. The Lions surrendered three goals to the Swedish side before Lewis Neal found the back of the net from 30 yards out late in the game. After a flurry of matches against top competition, Orlando City and Coach Adrian Heath have some time off to concentrate on the practice field before a March 16th date against Rollins College.