Recapping USL PRO Roster Announcements (Sep 28 – Feb 11)
It can be difficult to follow all of the transfers and re-signings during the USL PRO offseason, especially during a year when the league expands by two teams. The Union Dues has decided to make it easier for USL PRO’s diehard fans. Below is a consolidated list of all the signings that have been announced by the teams. The name, position, most recent club, and nationality of each player is noted.
- Nicki Paterson, midfielder, Charleston Battery, Scotland
The reigning USL PRO champions resigned the 28 year-old Paterson to a 3-year contract. Paterson led the Battery in scoring in 2012 with 12 goals and 2 assist, and he was named to the 2012 USL PRO All-League First Team.
- Eric Reed, goalkeeper, Charlotte Eagles, United States
Charlotte’s captain returns for another season in the net following a solid 2012 campaign. Reed, 29, posted seven shutouts. His goals against average of 1.00 was good enough to tie for third in the league.
Dayton Dutch Lions
- Eli Garner, forward, Dayton Dutch Lions, United States
- Shane Smith, defender, Dayton Dutch Lions, United States
- Eric Kissinger, midfielder, Dayton Dutch Lions, United States
Some key members of the Dutch Lions will return in 2013. Garner was the second leading goal scorer for the Dutch Lions in 2012, and he spent some time on trial with the Columbus Crew at the conclusion of the season. Smith has been improving at left back. Kissinger has made the most of limited playing time at midfield.
- Bryan Burke, defender, Los Angeles Blues, United States
- Long Tan, forward, DC United (MLS), China
- Erik Ustruck, defender, Orlando City, United States
The addition of Tan to an attack that was among the most formidable in USL PRO in 2012 appears to be a case of the rich getting richer. Orlando’s Dennis Chin was USL PRO’s leading goal-scorer last season. Opposing defenses will have their hands full in 2013. Burke is a talented young defender, who will solidify the back line.
Phoenix FC Wolves
- Renan Felipe Boufleur, defender, Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (Belgiuim), Brazil
- Cyprian Hedrick, defender, Sporting KC (MLS), Cameroon
- Scott Morrison, defender, Ross County FC (Scotland), Scotland
- Joao Inacio de Jesus Cerqueria, midfielder, Santos FC (Brazil), Brazil
- Anthony Obodai, midfielder, Mağusa Türk Gücü S.K. (Turkey), Ghana
- Reid Schmitt, midfielder/defender, FC Tucson (USL PDL), United States
- Aaron King, forward, Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL), United States
- Darren Mackie, striker, Aberdeen FC (Scotland), Scotland
- Devon Grousis, defender, Charlotte Eagles, United States
- Diego Faria, midfielder, America T.O. (Brazil), Brazil
- Andrew Weber, goalkeeper, Seattle Sounders FC (MLS), United States
- Sheldon Parkinson, goalkeeper, New Jersey City University, Jamaica
- Elliot Weber, defender, Phoenix College, United States
- Joshua Bento do O, midfielder, Verrado High School, United States
- Donny Toia, forward, FC Tucson (USL PDL), United States
- Anthony Tokpah, forward, Valley Vista High School, United States
- Mason Robertson, forward, Pinnacle High School, United States
The front office in Phoenix seems to have taken well-rounded approach to filling out the team’s inaugural roster. On the list are several players with domestic and international experience. There are also plenty of young players from the American southwest.
- Alfonso Motagalvan, midfielder, Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL), United States
Josh Brokaw, contributor to the Union Dues, is of the opinion that Motagalvan has the potential to shore up the Riverhounds midfield with “passing precision… rough tackles… and [familiarity with] Rich Costanzo.” Constanzo and Motagalvan shared time on the pitch with the Rochester Rhinos.
- Shane Johnson, defender, Richmond Kickers, United States
- Joseph Haboush, midfielder, Virginia Commonwealth University, Lebanon
The front office was impressed enough with Johnson’s production in his rookie season to offer him a multi-year contract.
- Kristian Nicht, goalkeeper, Rochester Rhinos
- Troy Roberts, defender, Rochester Rhinos
- Georgios Kyriazis, defender Rochester Rhinos
- Lucas Fernandez, defender, Rochester Rhinos
- Tyler Bellamy, defender, Rochester Rhinos
- Brandon Miller, goalkeeper, Rochester Rhinos
- Tyler Rosenlund, midfielder, Rochester Rhinos
- Danny Earls, midfielder, Rochester Rhinos
- Michael Tanke, midfielder, Rochester Rhinos
These returning players were a part of one of the stingiest defensive units in the 2012 USL PRO season. Nicht was arguably the best keeper in the league last year with league-leading 11 clean sheets. His performance earned him a spot on the 2012 USL PRO First 11. The defensive prowess displayed by Troy Roberts resulted being named Rochester’s co-defensive player of the year along with Nicht. Opponents are once again going to find it tough to crack the Rhinos defense.
VSI Tampa Bay FC
- Kyle Hoffer, defender, Charleston Battery, United States
- Alex Horwath, goalkeeper, Wilmington Hammerheads, United States
- Richard Dixon, midfielder, University of West Florida, Jamaica
- Jarod Stigall, midfielder, IMG Academy Bradenton (USL PDL), United States
- Sebastien Thuriere, midfielder, VSI Tampa Bay FC (USL PDL)
- Karamba Janneh, forward, Ocala Stampede (USL PDL), Gambia
- Shawn Chin, midfielder, Minnesota Stars FC (NASL), United States
- Jamie McGuinness, defender, VSI Tampa Bay FC (USL PDL), United Kingdom
Kyle Hoffer and Alex Horwath are the familiar names in a list that is predominantly composed of young, local talent. Hoffer’s play for the the victors of the 2012 USL PRO playoffs earned him a selection on the USLPRO All-League Team. Horwath produced 7 shutouts in the net for the Wilmington Hammerheads.
- Paul Nicholson, midfielder, Wilmington Hammerheads
- Gareth Evans, defender, Wilmington Hammerheads
- Mark Briggs, midfielder, Wilmington Hammerheads
Three players return from the squad that advanced to the finals of the 2012 USL PRO playoffs.
Don’t fret if you don’t see a lot of activity associated with the club you support. Preseason camps are soon upon us, but there is plenty of time to make additions to rosters. The Union Dues will keep you updated on each of them.