The Minnesota Thunder announced today the signing of defender Marcus Watson to a three year contract, pending USSF approval. Watson, who has spent time with both the U20 and U18 US National Teams, has joined the team immediately in preparation for the Thunder’s season opener on the road against the Carolina Railhawks on April 11. The Thunder will play four games on the road before returning to Minnesota for the home opener on May 2 against the defending champions, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Watson signed a one year contract with Leicester City Football Club in England during the 2007-2008 season. As a member of the U18 Academy team, Watson was rostered in two reserve games while at Leicester City. The 19-year old decided to forego college to pursue his opportunities as a professional player.
“Marcus is a young, athletic and technical outside defender that likes to join the attack,” said Thunder head coach Donny Gramenz. “I believe he will adapt well to the professional environment and develop into a great player for the Thunder.”
Watson most recently participated in league and cup games with Hollywood United, a high level amateur team based out of Hollywood, California.
On Saturday, April 4, the Thunder will take on the UW-Green Bay at Como Park’s McMurray fields in their last preseason game before the season opener Saturday April 11, at the Carolina Railhawks. Tomorrows match has been adjusted because of injuries to the team and will be one 90-minute match slated to start at 3:00 p.m. which is also a change in time.
Injuries are still bothering the Thunder: Rod Dyachenko is out with a hip flexor, captian Jerimiah Bass (ongoing hamstring injury) , Lawrence Olum (IT band), Dale Weiler (ankle), and Nathan Knox (knee rehab from ACL surgery) are all out tomorrow. Head Coach Don Gramenz says that the team will only have 15 healthy players going into Saturday’s scrimmage.
Players have been reporting to IMS that they are getting pretty beaten up by playing so many games and practices on artificial surfaces.
Defender trialist Angel Garcia has been released from camp less than a week after coming from Mexico.
Central defender Mamadou “Futty” Danso who had looked promising was originally offered a contract by the Thunder but Gramenz reported that he has pulled the contract off the table due to undisclosed reasons.