USL Moves: Rhinos add three players for season opener

Rochester, preparing for its USL season opener on Saturday, has announced three player signings. Defenders Raymond Lee and Todd Pratzner and forward Jochen Graf will be added to the team roster, pending league and USSF approval.

Lee, 23, is a product of Saint Louis University, for which he played 75 games, scored 14 goals, and logged six assists primarily as a midfielder. Philadelphia claimed him in the fourth round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft; he played two games for Harrisburg City Islanders on loan that season, and in 2016 made 19 appearances for Tulsa Roughnecks.

“Ray has very good pace for an outside back,” said Rhinos Head Coach Bob Lilley. “He's a great 1v1 defender. He already has experience in the league, and should improve our strength on the left side with his size and athleticism.”

Graf, 27, is a Texas native coming back to America after playing three seasons in the lower Swedish divisions for Lidkopings FK, Carlstad United and Oskarshamns AIK. He played his college ball at Bradley, for which he scored 15 goals and registered 14 assists, and spent two seasons with PDL club Ventura County.

“He's a grinder,” said Lilley. “He's going to work defenders, fight for every ball, and he has the mentality to pop up in the right spots.”

Pratzner, 22, is a native of Lancaster, Pa. who came through the Philadelphia Union academy teams and played 70 games for Xavier University. In college, he scored three goals, including two last fall in his senior season.

“He's a hard worker, very smart, and has adapted pretty quickly to what we want,” said Lilley. “He's a strong kid who's good in the air who likes being a center back.”

Rochester starts the 2017 season Saturday at Bethlehem Steel. The home opener is April 22 with defending league champion New York Red Bulls II.    
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