[NASL PRESEASON] Teams are a week away from starting the 2012 NASL season. Offseason signings range from Chilean forward Reinaldo Navia and Honduran midfielder Danilo Turcios, a pair of thirtysomething veterans picked up by Atlanta, to 20-year-old prodigy Gale Agbossoumonde, now at Carolina, and former U.S. U-20 and U-17 defender Emilio Orozco, who joined Ft. Lauderdale from the
Tigres youth system in Mexico. For more on preseason signings and preparations ...
ATLANTA. The Silverbacks have signed 33-year-old Chilean forward Reinaldo Navia and 33-year-old Honduran midfielder Danilo Turcios, both players with plenty of international experience. Navia comes to Atlanta after spending the 2011 season with Nublense of the Chilean first division. He previously played for Mexico's Club America and Monterrey and Ecuadoran powerhouse LDU Quito. Turcios played 85 times for Honduras, including two appearances at the 2010 World Cup.
CAROLINA. In need of reinforcements following the loss of five players to MLS clubs, the RailHawks signed 20-year-old defender Gale Agbossoumonde. "Boss" has bounced around clubs in Portugal, Sweden and Germany and missed out on a chance to play with the USA in Olympic qualifying because of a toe injury. His contract is owned by Traffic. Also added was Ray Burse, a goalie with MLS experience who spent 2011 with the Puerto Rico Islanders. The RailHawks beat the USL PRO's Charleston Battery, 1-0, on Thursday. Their final preseason game will be Saturday against the Wilmington RailHawks.
FC EDMONTON. FC Edmonton's offseason signings include Canada under-23 goalie Michal Misiewicz, who was sensational in Canada's 2-0 win over the USA in Olympic qualifying. Other offseason signings include three Frenchmen: Serisay Barthelemy, Kevin Hatchi and Jonathan Joseph-Augustin. The Eddies swept WSA Winnipeg in two games, 7-0 and 3-1. Next up is a final preseason friendly against Minnesota in Blaine, Minn., on Monday.
FT. LAUDERDALE. The Strikers have signed former U.S. U-20 and U-17 defender Emilio Orozco, who has been in the youth system at Tigres in Mexico. Another former Tigres product, Leopoldo Morales, arrived at the end of the 2011 campaign. They also signed Jamaican defender Nickardo Blake from Connecticut. Toronto FC had selected Blake, 22, as the 14th pick of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft. Blake is reunited with Floridian Lionel Brown, who also joined the Strikers from UConn. The pair played JC ball together at East Central College. Next up: Tampa Bay Rowdies at the Lake Myrtle Sports Park in Auburndale, Fla., on Saturday.
MINNESOTA. The Stars have signed Edi Buro, a Bosnian-born, Minnesota-bred player who spent time recently in Bosnia with NK Travnik, Miguel Ibarra, who starred at UC Irvine and was picked by the Portland Timbers in 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft, and Martin Nunez, who was a finalist for the Rookie of the Year award in the USL First Division in 2008 with the Carolina RailHawks, moved to the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2009 before joining Miami FC/Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 2010. Trialists in camp have included MLS veterans Chris Cortez and Nick Noble.
Behind the scenes with the Stars in preseason:
PUERTO RICO. The Islanders have re-signed defensive midfielder Osei Telesford (Trinidad & Tobago) and forward Greg Richardson (Guyana). Also back are three Puerto Rico internationals: defenders Alexis Rivera and Richard Martinez and midfielder Noah Delgado. The Islanders won the Bayamon Preseason Cup after defeating Bayamon FC 5-1. They were led by two goals from Jamaican forward Nicholas Addlery.
SAN ANTONIO. The Scorpions have added two more players with MLS experience: Blake Wagner (FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake, Vancouver) and Wes Knight (Vancover). Other ex-MLS players on Tim Hankinson's roster include Greg Janicki, Kevin Harmse and Pablo Campos. San Antonio has sold more than 5,000 tickets for the home opener April 15 against the Islanders at 11,000-seat Heroes Stadium. The Scorpions announced plans for construction of a privately funded, 6,100-seat playing facility (that can be expanded to 18,000 seats) to be ready for the 2013 season.
TAMPA BAY. The Rowdies are undefeated in the preseason with a 5-0-0 record, outscoring their opponents 11-0. The most recent victory: 4-0 over St. Leo Wednesday night. Japanese veterans Takuya Yamada and Tsuyoshi Yoshitake had the first two goals. Four newcomers were in the starting lineup: defender Daniel Scott (Kitsap Pumas), younger brother of Seattle Sounders defender Zach Scott, former Scottish U-21 midfielder Stuart Campbell (Bristol Rovers), midfielder Dan O'Brien (Wisconsin-Green Bay) and Luke Mulholland (Minnesota Stars). Other signees include goalkeeper Andrew Fontein (2011 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year at UC Irvine) and defender Draymond Washington (who captained the PDL's Real Maryland FC in 2011).