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Toronto FC Is Going Dutch "Ajax" Style With New Head Coach Winter, Bodes Well For Dayton Dutch Lions Partnership, Ent/Schwartz/Silooy Deals

In the past six months, the Dayton Dutch Lions of the USL-Pro league and Toronto F.C. of MLS have become well-acquianted with one another. In fact, it could be said that Toronto F.C. may be enamored with the Dutch style.. And even that this fascination started with meeting the Dutch Lion owners, Dutch Lion Head Coach Sonny Silooy, and watching the Dutch Lions in July and culminated in signing a Head Coach/Technical Director in Aron Winter today who is not much different at all from Dutch Lions former Head Coach Sonny Silooy.
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Dayton Dutch Lion Opponent Included In "Cult Football" Book

In the footie book The Rough Guide to Cult Football there contains different sections on the pecularities and legendary figures of the world's game. Well, one player that actually played against the Dayton Dutch Lions was included in this new book underneath The Legends section. That was German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel. Last April, The 37 year old Pfannenstiel took time off from his new Nambian club- Ramblers FC (yes, I said Nambian club) to play against the Dayton Dutch Lions.
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Former Head Coach Silooy, Former Right Back Schwartz Headed To MLS?

That's according to MLS-Rumors, as they first stated on Friday that Toronto F.C. was not only interested in Ent but the Dutch Lions whole right side from the 2010 season; both Ent and overlapping Dutch Lions right back Evan Schwartz.
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Dutch Lions Seal Partnership With Top PDL Club Baton Rouge, May Have Deal Coming With TFC?

The Dayton Dutch Lions already have one sister club in Dutch champions F.C. Twente. The Dutch Lions might be going for the partnership treble this offseason... Yesterday the Dutch Lions announced a partnership with a very successful PDL club- the Baton Rouge Capitals. The Baton Rouge Capitals were founded in 2007, and have a strong English influence- with nearly all of their international spots taken up by English players similiar to how the Dutch Lions keep most of their international spots open for Dutch players.
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Clarence Seedorf's Cousin Tries Out For Dutch Lions

One of the featured players by Radio Netherlands was Regillio Seedorf, newphew of famous Dutch, A.C. Milan player Clarence Seedorf. The 21 year old Regillio hasn't had as remarkable of a career as his cousin yet, with only stops in the Second Division of Belgium and the Netherlands. But, with a nice goal strike at the end of this video, who knows his career might take off stateside starting with the Dayton Dutch Lions
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12/1/2010: Former Dutch Lions Striker Den Ouden Says Goodbye To Football In Testimonial Match, Dutch Lions Moens and Tammer On Hand

10:08 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Dutch Lions former striker den Ouden, scored his final goals with the Dayton club this Summer, announces retirement in testimonial match that took place on Tuesday, November 30th.

12/1/2010: Former Dutch Lions Striker Den Ouden Says Goodbye To Football In Testimonial Match, Dutch Lions Moens and Tammer On Hand

This Tuesday, on a frigid cold afternoon at Woudestein Stadium in Rotterdam, former Dayton Dutch Lion striker Geert den Ouden said goodbye to professional football. The 34-year-old den Ouden had a very nice strike rate for the Dutch Lions in the PDL with 8 goals in 10 matches during the 2010 season, and the club missed him up top during their playoff run last season.

Den Ouden had to part ways with the Dayton club early, before the end of the 2010 season, due to family issues back in Holland. But, den Ouden did make a splash in Dayton, his departure came during a hot streak for the Dutch veteran- as den Ouden scored 3 of his 8 Dutch Lion goals in his last two games.

The veteran striker was visibly moved in his last Dutch Lions game; as den Ouden was close to tears when Sonny Silooy substituted him for a final round of applause, from the Dayton fans, back in June 2010 (video below). The striker hinted towards retirement during his Dutch Lions season but officially called an end to his career today, playing in two games in which family, friends, and former colleagues came onto the pitch.

In the last of two testimonial games, den Ouden scored the final goal in a 4-2 victory. Many big names of the football world took part in the game. Feyenoord coach Mario Been was in charge of former professionals Oscar Moens, Kees Luijckx, René van Dieren, Tommie van der Leegte and Henk van Stee. Also, Dutch Lions owner Erik Tammer, Bart Latuheru, Sander Keller, Damiën Hertog and Daniël Rijaard took part in the game.

Over his career, den Ouden scored 116 goals in 326 professional outings for clubs such as the Dayton Dutch Lions, Excelsior, Djurgårdens IF, ADO Den Haag, Willem II, De Graafschap and FC Valletta. The match at Excelsior's Woudestein stadium, took place where it all began for den Ouden in 1998 with Eredivise (Premier club)Excelsior, where den Ouden had his most caps (128) and most goals (45).

den Ouden's last professional goal in his last game with the Dutch Lions (go to 1:18 to start the den Ouden's goal sequence), den Ouden scored in the 55th minute helping the Dutch Lions to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire:


den Ouden also had the game winning assist in the 89th minute setting up Dutch Lions winger George Davis IV, before being substituted in the 90th minute to a round of applause (all of that can be seen above later on in the footage as well).

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12/1/2010: Video- Dayton Dutch Lions 2010 Recap & Look Ahead To USL Pro 2011

9:16 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses


Dayton Dutch Lions 2010 Recap & Look Ahead To USL Pro 2011:

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11/26/2010: Dutch Lions Fan Favorite & Top Performer Oscar Moens Signs On With Sparta Rotterdam

12:43 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

The 37 year old Moens receives opportunity back in Holland with Sparta Rotterdam, looks to bring recently relegated club back to Dutch Premier Division.

11/26/2010: Dutch Lions Fan Favorite & Top Performer Oscar Moens Signs On With Sparta Rotterdam

According to multiple Dutch reports, 37 year old former Dutch Lions keeper Oscar Moens will takeover as goalkeeper immediately in replacement of Andre Krul for Sparta Rotterdam. Moens has been signed on for the remainder of the Erstedivise (Dutch Second Division) season that runs until May.

It is hoped that Moens can bring some stability in the nets of Sparta, who have been struggling with Krul in their goal. Sparta Rotterdam are hoping that some stability in the back can help return the club to the Dutch Premier Division as well; As Sparta were relegated from the Dutch Premier Division after returning last season.

Dayton Dutch Lion fans will probably have a mixed reaction to the news; As ownership and fans concurred that Moens was one player that they would definitely like to have back for the USL-Pro season. However, the deal for Moens is only until May, so hopefully the keeper will return to the Dutch Lions after his spell with Sparta Rotterdam. Further good news is that Moens will be fit and in form if he decides to return after his Dutch season.

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11/26/2010: Top Talent in Burgzorg, Kobussen, & Copier Try Out For Dutch Lions

10:21 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Action from the try outs (left picture) as Dutch Lion owners Erik Tammer and Mike Mossel look on with Caretaker manager Ivar van Dinteren (seated).

11/26/2010: Top Talent in Burgzorg, Kobussen, & Copier Try Out For Dutch Lions

A year to get their name out to players, a jump up two divisions, and the news of an adventure to America that may end up with a contract offer from MLS (as former Dutch Lions player Bas Ent is in a process of inking a 3 year deal with MLS club Toronto F.C.) must of helped the Dutch Lions prospects in this year's trial.

As according to the Dutch Lions, 120 players showed up for the trial at the Sportpark Berg & Bos Stadium, where A.G.O.V.V. Appeldoorn competes in the Dutch Second Division, on the afternoon of November 24th. The try out may have taken place in Second Division surroundings, but there was credible First Division talent on hand for the Dutch Lions. Most notably, young Eredivise players Mitchell Burgzorg and Glenn Kobussen and Austrian U-21 player Mettin Copier.

The age of all three aforementioned talents is promising news for the Dutch Lions considering both Kobussen and Copier are 21 and Burgzorg is 23. The Dutch Lions would do well to bring these sort of young talents over for the USL-Pro season compared to some of the more well known 33 to 36 year old Dutch players, with bigger names in Holland, that the Lions have gone with before. These young players will be hungry (similiar to Bas Ent) to make a name for themselves while an older player usually has little or nothing to prove, can consider America a vacation, and could take a game off every once in a while.

It's a good sign that the Dutch Lions ownership is under the same mindset, since the try-out recap on the Dutch Lions website highlighted mostly younger names. Here's a little on some of the players trying to gain a contract with the Dutch Lions, most sound like players that a MLS squad would have no problem giving a look at and then some.



Mitchell "Priest" Burgzorg
Nationality: Dutch
Age: 23
Position: Right back
Current/ Former Clubs: None currently. Last played for Eredivise (Premier Division) side N.E.C. Nijmegen from 2008 to Summer of 2010 with
26 overall appearances for Premier Division N.E.C., best run was as a starter for half of the season in the 2009 to 2010 season with 20 appearances. 38 appearances as a starter with Dutch (Second Division) Haarlem from 2006-2008 as well before joining N.E.C.
Contract: Out of contract with N.E.C. since the Summer of 2010, Burgzorg almost signed with English League Two Barnet and Greek Premier side Panserraikos but those negotiations failed. Since then, Dutch (Second Division side) S.C. Cambuur have wanted to sign Burgzorg but financial issues have stopped the Dutch Frisian club from being able to do so. However, Burgzorg trains with Cambuur currently and Cambuur hopes to offer Burgzorg a contract in January according to multiple Dutch sources.

Interesting about Burgzorg: Mitchell is a mildly successful rapper in the Netherlands that goes by Priest or Priester. Mitchell raps in his spare time or rather as a second career. Hopefully Burgzorg is not trying to make it his priority for coming to America as a first career, but going to America is where any inspiring rapper worldwide would probably like to go. If Burgzorg can help the Dutch Lions defense at right back and help his rapping career at the same time, and that gets him to the Dutch Lions instead of Cambuur, more power to him.

Also I have a feeling looking at the first video that Mr. Burgzorg/Priester might be a marketing coo for the Dutch Lions if they can bring him on board. As fans, especially American fans, always want to root for interesting personalities.

Some Burgzorg Videos:





Glenn Kobussen
Nationality: Dutch
Age: 21
Position: Right midfield
Current/ Former Clubs: Kobussen's former club was Feyernoord where he was with their youth teams since 2005. In 2009 Kobussen worked his way up to the first team and debuted for Premier side Feyernoord in the 82nd minute of a league match against Sparta Rotterdam. Unfornately, that would be his only time with Feyernoord. In the Summer of 2009, Kobussen signed on with his hometown side Go Ahead Eagles. Kobussen has been with Go Ahead for a year and a half and only has worked his way onto the field for four appearances. The youngster is used mostly as cover in midfield as he improves his game.

Interesting about Kobussen: Definitely appears to be a guy hungry for some first team time with some club. Definitely has talent to be in the youth program of Feyernoord for so long and to work his way up to the first team. Kobussen appears to be a kid with talent just looking for the right opportunity.

Possibly Erik Tammer, who also played at Go Ahead Eagles, will be giving Kobussen that opportunity.



Mettin Copier
Nationality: Austrian, 3 Call Ups to Austrian U-21 team. Started in a 2-1 win over Italy's U-21 in March 2009
Age: 21
Position: Defender
Current/Former Clubs: Top Oss, of the Topklasse (3rd Division) that Bas Ent played in most recently with Katwijk. Previously was with Dutch Premier club AZ Alkmaar where Copier worked in the youth ranks under now Bayern Munchen coach Louis van Gaal and also earned a first team contract with Gaal in 2009. Did not make any appearances with Alkmaar in 2009-2010, so was loaned to Telstar of Dutch Second Division where Copier made 4 appearances. Then transferred in August to Top Oss of the Dutch Third Division.

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11/24/2010: How USL-Pro Is Shaping Up, Team Capsules, & Favorites For Winning In 2011

6:24 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses


How USL-Pro Is Shaping Up

USL-Pro is expecting to be the "highest level of competition in the United States outside of Major League Soccer" according to USL CEO Alec Papadakis. But, more than likely, in 2011 at least, the USL-Pro Division will be considered by U.S. Soccer as a stabilization of U.S. 3rd Division soccer. While the NASL (with more established clubs- such as the Puerto Rico Islanders and Montreal Impact) will be considered Division 2 soccer in 2011.

This is not set in stone. However, that appears to be the proposed setup of U.S. Soccer in 2011 considering the tougher standards that have been set to be considered a Division 2 club; as well as the fact that the 8 teams looking to compete in the NASL have a better overall shot of reaching that standard. Seven out of the eight teams qualify as D2 clubs in 2011, with the Puerto Rico Islanders likely to receive an exemption in 2011; even though the Islanders do not meet all the standards this season.

In comparison many of the newly formed clubs in USL-Pro would have a difficult time reaching that standard (such as FC New York, the Puerto Rican clubs- Sevilla FC Puerto Rico and River Plate Puerto Rico, Barracuda FC, the returning Wilmington Hammerheads, etc.).

Also, the USL-Pro's most established clubs consist mainly of former 3rd division clubs anyways (USL-2), such as the Charleston Battery, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Richmond Kickers, and Wilmington Hammerheads. Further, with former USL-1 clubs such as Vancouver and Portland moving to MLS in 2011 and the Puerto Rico Islanders moving to the NASL, the only USL-Pro teams that were 2nd division club's last season are the Rochester Rhinos and newly formed Orlando City (which competed in USL-1 as the Austin Aztex from 2008 to 2010). Additionally, the Dayton Dutch Lions, who were ready for and announced a move up to USL-2 (3rd division soccer) in the Summer of 2010 ended up in USL-Pro when that league was dissolved.

So, it is likely that U.S. Soccer will classify USL-Pro as the 3rd Division in 2011. Not that this won't make for exciting and interesting soccer, as despite the classification the USL-PRO League should be as compelling, if not more compelling than the NASL League in 2011. As USL-PRO, will have twice the ammount of expected teams in 2011 (16 compared to the NASL's 8). Further, USL-Pro may have more compelling matchups overall, with possible playoff matchups such as Sevilla Puerto Rico (who play a Spanish style) possibly squaring off with the Dayton Dutch Lions (with their Dutch philosophy) at the end of the 2011 season.

Here's a breakdown of the USL-Pro's 13 Current teams and 3 proposed teams. As well as what to expect from each club:


Orlando City SC
New 2011 club, relocated from Austin as the Austin Aztex to Orlando as Orlando City
Owners: One of the better funded clubs with respectable ownership-
English majority owner Phil Rawlins is a board member of English Premier League club Stoke City.
Another English owner, Brendan Flood, is a board member on English Championship club Burnley.
A third owner, Dan Williams, is a successful American businessman.
Affiliate/Partner club: Stoke City of English Premier League
Team Manager: Adrian Heath. More than likely the best manager in USL-Pro in the 2011 season. The midfielder had a successful club career in the top flights of England (especially with Everton, Stoke City, Manchester City, and Burnley) with an overall 559 caps and 112 goals.

Heath has also managed English clubs Burnley, Sheffield United, and Coventry City before taking over with Austin Aztex/Orlando City. So, Heath has some wonderful managerial experience as well.



Adrian Heath in his Everton days

League in 2010: USSF-2 Pro League, Division 2 in American Soccer Pyramid
Finish in 2010: 2nd in USSF D-2 Pro League, Quarterfinal Playoff Finish. Which made Austin Aztex/Orlando City one of the top clubs in 2nd Division American soccer last season. A drop down to mainly 3rd division, and worse opponents like the proposed Carribbean clubs should make Orlando City a top competitor in 2011.
Attendance in 2010: Austin Aztex/Orlando City had a healthy attendance of 3,733 in Austin in 2010 that a lot of their other USL-Pro opponents would kill for. Which makes you wonder a little about the move to Orlando City, especially considering soccer's failures in the state of Florida previously. Hopefully the decision does not bite Phil Rawlins and company in the behind.

Florida is known for Disney World, the beach, spring training, and Miami clubs. It's not known for it's sports enthuisasts.

Players: Looks like the Austin Aztex will keep their team mainly intact in the move to Orlando City. Forwards Jamie Watson and Maxwell Griffin(who both tallied 10 goals a piece in 2010) return to anchor the front. The defense is anchored by talented players such as Leonard Griffin (who played in MLS), and Haitian national player Mechack Jerome as well as Jamaican national player Kieron Bernard, the midfield is run by a young Brazilian miastro Sullivan Silva, and in net is a solid keeper in former Tigres product/ Mexican international Miguel Gallardo. Jay Needham is also another solid American defender with 50 appearances with a first division Norwegian club. So, Orlando City should have one of the better, established lineups in 2011's USL-Pro season.


Orlando City's solid lineup will include the Brazilian Sullivan Silva and the MLS seasoned Leonard Griffin.

Expected Finish in 2011's USL-Pro: 1st or 2nd. Have to be one of the favorites with a solidified roster, solid ownership group, and an experienced coach on and off the field.


Rochester Rhinos
Owner: Rob Clark
Affiliate/Partner club: None
Team Manager: Bob Lilley, Managed Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps from 2002-2007. Scored 73 goals in 173 appearances in indoor leagues with the Harrisburg Heat
League in 2010: USSF D-2 Pro League, 2nd Division
Finish in 2010: 1st in USL division of USSF D-2 Pro League and 1st overall
Attendance in 2010: 6,464 average attendance, wonderful soccer specific stadium probably helps with attendance. The Rochester Rhinos are one of two clubs with a legitimate soccer specific stadium in the USL-Pro league.


The Rhinos have strong attendances and a nice home advantage at Marina Auto Stadium

Players: A strong roster includes experienced central defender and captain Frank Sanfilippo holding down the defense with nearly 200 USL-1 caps since 2005. The midfield includes talents such as Jamie Franks, former Toronto F.C. player Tyler Rosenlund, and former F.C. Dallas regular Aaron Pitchkolan (who had 68 appearances and 5 goals for the MLS club from 2005-2009).


MLS experienced Pitchkolan will lead the Rhinos midfield into the USL-Pro 2011 season.

Expected finish in 2011's USL-Pro: 1st or 2nd. The champions of the USSF Second Division regular season and USL conference champions have much easier competition to contend with this year overall. Therefore, a repeat placing should be expected.



Charleston Battery
Owner: Englishman Tony Bakker
Affiliate/Partner Club: None
Team Manager: Michael Anhaeuser, former Battery player with 115 caps for the club in the mid- 90's. Retired after a bad ACL tear in 1999. Came on as an assistant in 2004 and has had the head job with the Battery since 2005.

League in 2010: USL-2, Third Division in U.S. Soccer
Finish in 2010: 1st in USL-2 regular season and playoff champions.
Attendance in 2010: 3,641 average in 5,113 soccer specific Blackbaud Stadium


Blackbaud Stadium and the Battery play host to three MLS teams in a tournament at their stadium every preseason. Last year's opponents included D.C. United, Toronto F.C., and Red Bull New York.

Players: The Charleston Battery have been led by South African Stephen Armstrong since 2006 in the midfield. The former Watford, D.C. United, Kansas City Wizard, and Columbus Crew player has been a veteran rock in the Battery midfield. Armstrong has 111 appearances and 25 goals for the Battery. Other players of note include Irishman Colin Falvey who has made a career in the leagues of Ireland and New Zealand before joining up with the Battery. Mike Zaher is a good young American defender who played well for the Battery in 2010 and has 10 appearances with MLS San Jose.

Expected finish in 2011 USL-Pro Season: 1st-3rd. I would expect the Battery to finish behind a team with a little more punch in their roster like Rochester and Orlando City. But, the Battery are the only USL-Pro team that won everything they set out to win before their season, as they won both the regular season and their playoffs. That kind of focus might put them on top.




Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Owner: Former team manager Gene Klein
Affiliate/Partner Club: Everton F.C. of English Premier League
Team Manager: Former Riverhounds player and first ever player drafted by the Riverhounds in 1999, Justin Evans. Evans played in Poland, made 30 appearances in MLS, then finished out his career in second division U.S. soccer with over 80 appearances for the Battery and 33 for the Riverhounds before becoming assistant and than head manager of Pittsburgh.

League in 2010: USL-2, U.S. Soccer 3rd Division.
Finish in 2010: 3rd in USL-2 and Semifinal appearance in playoffs where they just lost out to the eventual champions, the Charleston Battery.
Attendance in 2010: Around 900 average. But, averaged around 1,500 for their playoff games (pictured below)


Pictures from the Semifinal game against Charleston

Players: The Riverhounds are led by some award winners in 2010. Japanese midfielder Shintaro Harada was a MVP finalist and won most valuable defender of USL-2, forward Jeremy Deighton won rookie of the year in USL-2 with six goals in 13 appearances, and Hunter Gilstrap won goalkeeper of the year in USL-2. The Riverhounds are led in defense by Yugoslavian Nikola Katic and captain Nathan Salsi.


Harada leads the Riverhounds from his defensive midfield position. Harada has played in the J-League with many caps for clubs such as Yokohama Marinos and ALO's Hokuriku.

Expected finish in 2011 USL-PRO Season: 3rd or 4th. The Riverhounds have a young team that will just get better. In a new division that won't be that much different skillwise from USL-2, I would expect the Riverhounds to find themselves around 3rd place again.



Dayton Dutch Lions F.C.
Owners: Mike Mossel & Erik Tammer. Tammer was a former striker, mainly in the Dutch Erstedivise, with 314 overall appearances with 153 goals. Mossel was a former player as well. Both own Dutch Sport Managing businesses in Holland.
Affiliate Club: FC Twente, Dutch 2010 League Winner & Champions League club in 2011
Team Manager: None currently. Was former Ajax legend and Dutch national player Sonny Silooy. But, a bumpy and sometimes inconsistent season that found the PDL favorites finishing in 3rd place in their division and out of the PDL playoffs probably led to the club and Silooy parting ways. The Dutch Lions 2010 finish was slightly disappointing considering that the Dutch Lions were the only team in their division with professional players (Oscar Moens, Hans van de Haar, Geert den Ouden, among others) on their roster opposed to the rest of their PDL Great Lakes division opponents in 2010, who had entire roster's consisting of college players.

After the Silooy departure, it will be interesting to see if the Dutch Lions (who at times like to be flashy) decide to go with another big, expensive name to lead the team into the USL-Pro 2011 season or if they go in house with Ivar van Dinteren. van Dinteren, who played with the Dutch Lions in 2010, has led the Dutch Lions youth program since Silooy parted ways with the club and some rumors tap him as a more affordable replacement. van Dinteren has play 279 professional games, with most of them coming with Erstedivise sides FC Zwolle and Helmond Sport.

League in 2010: Professional Development League, U.S. Soccer's 4th Division
Finish in 2010: 3rd behind Forest City and Michigan Bucks, Great Lakes Division of PDL.
Attendance in 2010: 1,274 average (6th best in PDL), Dutch Lions will look to build on their attendance with more knowledge on promoting and a more competitive and interesting schedule.

Players: The Dutch Lions are likely to return Oscar Moens, the former Dutch national team keeper and PSV player was a rock in goal for the Dutch Lions; Moens was one player worth the dosh. Other players that were overwhelming consistent include George Davis IV and Bret Jones, both could likely expect to be called back in. Some other Dutch Lion, Dutch players who could find their way back in are possibly Johan Wigger and possibly a couple others. Bas Ent would be on the Dutch Lions wish list, but Dutch reports have him inking a 3 year deal with Toronto F.C.

I expect most of the 2010 Dutch Lions roster to get an invite to camp to at least battle for their spots, but I also expect a decent ammount of changes in 2011.

Expected finish in 2011's USL-PRO League: 3rd-5th. The Dutch Lions likely have a bit of rebuilding to do. But, their owners are ambitious, they'll add more talent to their roster, and should compete in USL-Pro right away regardless. Depending on who they bring in from Holland they could jump up to 1st or 2nd.



Richmond Kickers
Owners: Rob Ukrop, heir to Ukrop Supermarket Chain and professional soccer player, mainly indoor but included a stint in 1996 with the New England Revolution.
Affiliate club: None
Team Manager: Englishman Leigh Cowlishaw who played his entire footballing career in Richmond, Virginia. First with the University of Richmond and then for the Richmond Kickers with 152 caps and 20 goals since 1993. Cowlishaw is still rostered and the 39 year old still makes the oft appearance for the Kickers. Cowlishaw has been the player/manager for Richmond since 2001.

The Richmond club which has been around longer than all MLS teams, is known for their stability.

League in 2010: USL-2, U.S. Third Division.
Finish in 2010: Second in USL-2 regular season, reached the final and lost against Battery in playoffs.
Attendance in 2010: 2,022 average at The City Stadium, pictured below. The Kickers use the ground solely at the moment, therefore it could be considered soccer-specific in some manner.



Players: Richmond is led in defense by German defender Sascha Gorres with 139 appearances and 14 mainly header goals. Brazilian playmaker Gerson dos Santos anchors the midfield. Richmond is led up top by a couple of Brits in Englishman Matthew Delicate (who has been on fire since rejoining the Kickers in 2009 with 24 goals in 39 appearances) and Scot Ross Mackenzie who usually does the feeding for Delicate.


Matthew Delicate has had the Delicate touch for the Kickers as of late, bagging 24 goals in 39 appearances since 2009.

Expected finish in 2011 USL-Pro Season: 3rd-6th. Kickers have a strong lineup but lack a little pizazz and creative punch; other than the Brazilian Dos Santos. I see the Kickers finishing either right in front or right behind the Riverhounds in 2011.



Charlotte Eagles
Owners: Pat Stewart, the Charlotte Eagles are also a division of Missionary Athletes International (MAI), an organization which undertakes sports ministry to share the message of Conservative Christianity through the environment of soccer. Hence, the cross in the crest.
Affiliate/Partner Club: None
Team Manager: Mark Steffens, head coach since 1997

League in 2010: USL-2, 3rd Division in U.S. Soccer
League Finish in 2010: 4th in USL-2 and did not qualify for playoffs.
Attendance in 2010: 911 on average

Players: Columbian Jorge Herrera, formerly of Hurcan and Millionarios, is the Eagles creative force in midfield with 22 goals in 61 appearances. Herrera can link up with new Uruguayan forward Gustavo Bentos (who only has over 500 caps and over 200 goals at the age of 33). Zimbabwe striker Patrick Daka leads things up top as well with over a 100 caps.


Columbian Jorge Herrera is the creative force in the Eagles midfield, that will need more creativity to compete in USL-Pro.

Expected finish in 2011 USL-Pro League: 7th or 8th, maybe as low as 10th. A weaker club overall out of the USL-2 group. Not real ambitious, not putting a lot of money into attracting crowds, a good finish every few years. Probably have had the same coach for too long as well, since 1997, despite only three good seasons.



Harrisburg City Islanders
Owners: Eric Pettis
Affiliate/Partner Club: None
Team Manager: Bill Becher

League in 2010: USL-2, 3rd Division in U.S. Soccer
Finish in 2010: 5th, since arriving on the scene the Harrisburg City Islanders have never finished better than 3rd in the 3rd division. But, have made a lot more noise than a lot of other 2nd Division or 3rd Division teams in the most important competition usually for these clubs- the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In 2007, 2009, and this past 2010 season the Harrisburg City Islanders have knocked off a MLS club to reach the quarterfinals of that competition.
Attendance in 2010: 1,711 average attendance



The most well-known City Islander, Cepero played for Red Bull New York in an MLS Championship against the Columbus Crew in 2008.


Players: Danny Cepero is the highest profile player on the City Islanders. The goalkeeper played for Red Bull New York in their MLS Cup final against the Columbus Crew and scored a goal from 80 yards away on the Crew earlier in that season (video below). 29 year old Englishman and Blackburn Rovers youth product David Schofield anchors the City Islanders midfield with 112 caps and 6 goals since joining the club since it's inception in 2004. Other than those two, not a lot of significant names on the Islanders



Expected finish in 2011 USL-Pro League: 8th to 10th, the City Islanders finished last in USL-2 last season, and the addition of a couple more tougher squads from the second division along with the Dayton Dutch Lions won't help their standing. It isn't good when your highest profile player is your goalkeeper. However, the City Islanders have been giant killers against some MLS clubs taking a nap. If some of the tougher clubs in USL-Pro take a nap against them as well, they could get results.



Wilmington Hammerheads
Owner:
Bill Rudisill, one of two investors from North Carolina and the other from Chicago, Illnois that bought the club and are looking to re-instill it's success in 2011. The club had to take a year off last year because of the USL barring Wilmington under owner Chuck Sullivan, who wasn't meeting the requirements of USL such as not playing players since mid-season.
Affiliate/Partner Club: None
Team Manager: Englishman David Irving, former Everton and Oldham Athletic player. Also played for the NASL Ft. Lauderdale Strikers

League in 2010: None, but formerly of USL-2 in 2009
League Finish in 2009: 1st in USL-2 and Semifinal playoff finish.
Attendance in 2009: 2,000 fans on average a game, 5,000 for playoff games.



Players: A bit unknown after a year off in 2010. Many of their former players have moved on to other clubs and it will be tough for Wilmington to reacquire most of them. Therefore, the Hammerheads have to rebuild again.

Expected finish in 2011 USL-Pro League: 10th to 12th. This could go really good for the Hammerheads after a year off if they could get a lot of their players back. If so I see them finishing ahead of less ambitious Charlotte and Harrisburg City. However, I don't see that being so easy. So, I think Wilmington struggles a little bit in their first year back and get it together in 2012.




Sevilla Puerto Rico
Owner: Spanish businessman Alberto Santiago Vega
Affiliate/Partner Club: Sevilla of La Liga
Team Manager: Michael Megaloudis



League in 2010: Puerto Rico Soccer League, Not part of U.S. Soccer
League Finish In 2010: 2nd
Attendance in 2010: A few hundred. Apparently trying to build a new stadium of 13,000 in the small town of Juncos with only 40,000 people. Here is the rendering below. Don't know how these clubs will operate in U.S. 3rd division, outside of Puerto Rico's only big market (San Juan- 2.5 million people) where even Puerto Rico Islanders struggle to get 5,000 people.



For more information on the stituation on the new USL Puerto Rico clubs, click on this story. Better hope Sevilla Puerto Rico is getting cash from Puerto Rico Spain.

Players: 32 year old Cuban striker Alberto Delgado is the only notable face with a short stint in Colorado in 2004 with 13 caps and 1 goal.

Expected Finish in USL-Pro 2011 League- 11th to 14th. They might be better than the one true U.S. expansion club, F.C. New York. Have had the most success out of the Puerto Rican clubs being possibly gained.



F.C. New York
Owners: Jo-Ellen Trieber and Doug Petersen
Team Manager: Englishman Matt Weston, former Ispwich and Manchester United player


Jo-Ellen Treiber, Doug Petersen, and company revel in new franchise.

Team news: New franchise, will play at Hofstra University's 13,000 stadium in Nassau County even though the team's emblem is representative of Queens; Where the club was intended to play.

Expected finish: Will do better than most of the Puerto Rico clubs just because their an American club, with a better pool of players and more resources.



Barracuda FC of Antigua
Owner: Antiguan Gordon Derrick
Team Manager: Scot Billy McEwan; who played for Hibernan, Blackpool, Peterborough United, and Rotherham United. And managed Sheffield United, Rotherham United, and Derby County before coming to Barracuda F.C.

Attendance: Had one team match in April 2010 against Puerto Rico Islanders that drew 1,000 fans to their stadium below.




Team News: Also had two friendlies scheduled with the Montreal Impact in 2010 that they had to cancel because of financial difficulty. Respected Montreal Impact owner- Joey Saputo, whose club is MLS bound in 2012, accused the Antiguan club of a serious lack of professionalism for cancelling the friendlies.

Good omen there for Barracuda joining USL-Pro.

Expected Finish in USL-Pro 2011 League: Who knows, 12th to 15th.




Club Athletico River Plate Puerto Rico
Owner: Argentinian Steven Alvarez
Affiliate/Partner Club: River Plate of Argentina Primera
Team Manager: Argentinian Walter Zermatten, former Argentinos Juniors player and became River Plate Puerto Rico coach after playing for the club in 2009.

League in 2010: PRSL, Not in U.S. Soccer
Finish in 2010: 1st
Attendance in 2010: Best attendance ever was 3,000 but probably 500 to 1,000 in San Juan play in Estadio Sixto Escobar (below)




Very nice website for the club, seems like River Plate funds them well.

Players: 34 year old Argentinian striker Juan Sara leads River Plate's attack. The former Dundee United, Gallipoli, Huracan, FC Locarno man has 4 goals in 2 games since joining recently. He's joined by Argentinian/Guatemalan Claudio Rojas who at 36 has played for River Plate of Argentina and many Mexican clubs. Rojas also has 24 national caps for Guatemala.

Expected finish in 2010: 6th to 10th. River Plate is plus 27 in goal differential and leads the PRSL with 18 points at the moment to the Islanders 13 and Sevilla's 10. They could make some noise in the USL-Pro if they keep getting Argentine's from River Plate.


Other clubs expected to join:
Indios de Mayaguez of Puerto Rico


Pali Blues of Pacific Palisades, California

Puerto Rico United of Puerto Rico


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11/23/2010: Former Dayton Dutch Lions Player Bas Ent Signs 3 Year Deal With Toronto F.C.

1:26 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

23 year old Bas Ent impressed MLS clubs Toronto F.C. and the Columbus Crew during his time in America with the Dayton Dutch Lions. Ent trialed for Toronto for a week and played 45 minutes for the Canadian club against EPL side Bolton Wanderers. Then Ent got a week trial with the Crew after impressing in a friendly matchup against the Crew (above). However, Toronto will nab the young Dutch winger over Columbus.

11/23/2010: Former Dayton Dutch Lions Player Bas Ent Signs 3 Year Deal With Toronto F.C.

Dutch Topklasser League website, Topklasser.nl, which is the league website of Bas Ent's Dutch side, Katwijk, reported today that 23 year old Bas Ent has signed a three year deal with MLS side Toronto F.C.; A popular Dutch soccer website, VoetbalPrimeur.nl, has also picked up the story. Both of these stories confirm what I've personally heard (used to work at DDL F.C.) from a former Dayton Dutch Lions co-worker a week ago, who said that Ent has signed a three year deal with Toronto F.C.

The Columbus Crew battled Toronto F.C. this Summer a little over Bas Ent; as both TFC and Columbus invited Ent to week long trials. Nevertheless, it looks as if TFC won the battle. Ent will not be a part of the Crew's youth plan; after the other Ohio footballing club declined to re-sign veterans such as Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Frankie Hejduk.

Ent in Columbus would have been preferred for some Dutch Lion fans, who could easily make the hour trek to see former Dutch Lion player Ent play in Columbus. But, Dutch Lions fans will still get a chance to watch Bas when he visits Columbus with Toronto during the 2011 MLS season.

Ent had to say the following on his previous experience at playing at BMO Field for Toronto F.C.:

"Playing in the Toronto stadium for so many fans is the greatest moment of my career so far. I must admit I was a little bit nervous in the beginning. But that feeling was gone as soon as I first touched the ball, and right away I felt confident. I got to keep the jersey, which I will keep in a special place."


Ent better get rid of that nervousness, as it seems that Bas will be making a lot of darting runs on the wing in front of many fans in Toronto, for many years to come, as long as he seizes the opportunity.



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