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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.

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.

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.

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.

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

3/23/2011: Dutch Lions Evan Schwartz Returns For Second Season, Bolsters An Already Markedly Improved Backline

11:12 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Evan Schwartz, 23, will return to his right back position for the second season in a row.

Schwartz brings with him two successful offseason workouts with the Colorado Rapids and the Chicago Fire of MLS. Evan impressed greatly at both with his speed and ability to get forward from his right back position. In fact, Schwartz was almost signed by the Colorado Rapids, but Colorado elected, late in their offseason, to sign their draft pick Eddie Ababio as the Rapids right back depth. Schwartz also was in talks with Toronto F.C. in December and January.

Schwartz has learned quite a lot working with MLS professionals for most of his offseason and is excited to bring that experience back to the Dutch Lions. The young, attacking right back expects to work hard and help the Dutch Lions achieve greater success in their inaugural season in USL-Pro, in hopes of attracting more opportunities next MLS offseason.

In addition to returning, Schwartz recommended the Dutch Lions to his friend and former teammate, the Bahamian international Happy Hall. Hall, who most recently played in the Trinidad & Tobago Pro League with Mau Pau SC, was recently signed by the Dutch Lions. Hall was the Captain of the Bahamian National Team during 2008 World Cup qualification.

Schwartz also is bringing a second IGM Academy alum, Luke McGill, with him on the ride to preseason training in Dayton, OH. All three are arriving in Dayton together from their southern locales this Friday.

Dutch Lions Back Line Looks Much Improved

Just look at the experience of the Dutch Lions expected starting four for this 2011 USL-Pro season~

Mettin Copier LB grew up in the AZ Alkmaar program and has two caps for the Austrian U-21 national team, including a 2-1 away win against Italy where Copier played a crucial part in proceedings.

Joe Tait CB/LB Played before for Hartlepool United in England, won PDL Defender of The Year in 2010 with Baton Rouge. Strong, 6'4 tall defender.

Happy Hall CB grew up in the IMG Academy system, has played in England as well as with Trindad top side Mau Pau SC (same league that includes Joe Public that knocked New England out of the Champions League before). 10 caps with Bahamian national team and also captained the national team in their World Cup 2008 qualifying efforts.

Evan Schwartz RB Spent entire offseason either working out with a MLS team (such as the Colorado Rapids or the Chicago Fire) or flirting with a MLS contract (as with Toronto F.C. and the Colorado Rapids once again). Also a former IMG Academy prospect, who has also spent time playing professionally in Iceland.

Overall, it appears that the Dutch Lions are looking to leave their attack to their Dutch internationals, along with a few Americans; While putting their defense in the hands of an American, an Englishman, a Bahamian, and an Austrian. Probably not a bad idea since the Dutch are known more for their attacking players (and attacking prowress) and not usually for their defensive talents.


3/14/2011: Dutch Lions Sign Eredivise Youngster Marvin Van der Pluijm

1:18 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Marvin Van der Pluijm, a 22-year-old attacking right winger with NAC Breda of the Dutch Eredivise (Premier League), was announced this weekend to be signed by the Dayton Dutch Lions on various Dutch sporting websites.

Van der Pluijm started his professional career with FC Den Bosch (Dutch First Division- The Second Tier of Dutch Football Below The Eredivise). At FC Den Bosch, Van der Pluijm made 12 appearances (most during his 2009 season) where he impressed scouts from NAC Breda.

In the Summer of 2010, Van der Pluijm made the move to Premier League outfit NAC Breda; At Breda, as at most Dutch Premier League clubs, Van der Pluijm had to bide his time and work his way up on the training ground to get on Breda's first team.

On January 22nd 2011, Van der Pluijm received his Eredivise debut as a substitute in the second half against rivals NEC Nijemen. With his team down 2-1, with whistles raining down from the home NEC fans with just seconds remaining, Van der Pluijm's strike in the 93rd minute (plus 45 seconds) took an advantageous deflection into the back of the rivals net for NAC Breda to steal a 2-2 tie.

Van der Pluijm described his goal to the Dutch press, a goal that gained his Eredivise club a vital point less than two months ago:
"We came back from 1-0 down as the game was under pressure. Then I warmed up and we tied the match at 1-1, I thought: 'Now what can possibly happen?" Then NEC went up 2-1 and I thought: "Now I come in there and I must do something. That happened."

That goal, Van der Pluijm's best moment as a young professional, can be seen below (goal sequence starts at 8:05):

Despite scoring on his debut, Van der Pluijm surprisingly never received a second appearance with NAC Breda in the next two months. Nac Breda's loss, Dutch Lions gain; As now the youngster looks to bring his pace to Dayton when the Dayton Dutch Lions face off against USL Pro opponents this season. That season starts quickly for Van der Pluim; as the Dutch youngster is scheduled to be in town on March 26th to prepare for the DDL F.C. season. A season that begins just a few weeks later on April 16th, when the Charleston Battery come to town for the home opener at Miami Valley South Stadium.

From this video of Van der Pluijm's time with FC Den Bosch, it looks like Marvin will be the Dutch Lions replacement for Bas Ent this season:

The Dutch Lions have recently made an official announcement on some other signings as well. A few of those players were speculated months ago to have been signed such as Mettin Copier (Austrian U-23 Player) and Joe Tait (Former Hartlepool United player), as well as some new names such as Bahamian international Happy Hall and American Kolby LaCrone. Tomorrow, I'll have up a look at the Dutch Lions 2011 lineup so far, with players officially announced and others known to be joining, try to get a look at what the formation looks like so far.


2/22/2011: Former Dutch Lions Manager Silooy Joins D.C. United Staff

12:06 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

After parting ways with the Dayton Dutch Lions in August 2010, Sonny Silooy has landed back in America with a new job as a trainer in the United States. The 47-year-old former Ajax player will now be in charge of the youth academy for DC United.

Silooy today officially signed a contract for two seasons with D.C. United, historically one of the most successful clubs in MLS. Silooy will not work as a head coach (which is the job of former D.C. player Ben Olsen), but as a youth academy coach. Silooy's contract begins next month.

Silooy explains the job details to Dutch soccer website Voetbal International:

"The intention is to have more structure in the D.C. Academy. They
want in the future to have more and more youth players passed up to the
first team. While I have signed for two years, in December
(2011) we will evaluate and look whether we can continue on the
same path. "

Silooy worked last year as manager and youth academy director at the Dayton Dutch Lions. Silooy left the Dutch Lions when the front office and Silooy couldn't agree on a similiar path for the future of the youth academy. However, both sides remain good friends and the Dutch Lions were looking to possibly bring Silooy back on staff, before this opportunity presented itself for the Ajax legend.

The move is another positive story for those related with the Dutch Lions, as the Dutch Lions may want to change their slogan from "Gateway to Professional Soccer" to "Gateway to MLS" as players Ent and Schwartz have been flirting with MLS contracts, and now the former Dutch Lions manager has landed one.


2/21/2011: Dayton Dutch Lions Sign Dutch Players Seymour, van Eijmeren, & Leerdam

4:11 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

The Dutch Lions have signed 27 year old winger Lucien Seymour from 4th division Dutch club RVVH, according to The signing of Seymour was likely a recommendation of Cor van Hoeven, the new Dutch Lions technical director, who coached recently at RVVH.

The Dutch Lions have also signed Dick van Eijmeren. Van Eijmeren is a 21 year old Dutch defender who is reported to be signed with the Dutch Lions according to Van Eijmeren was in the NAC Breda system as a reserve player from 2008 to 2010, but was unable to break through the NAC Breda (Dutch Erstedivise) squad's first team.

Most recently, van Eijmeren has been plying his trade with VV Capelle who he has helped promote to the Dutch third division.

Van Eijmeren will be following VV Capelle teammate Jesper Leerdam to the Dayton Dutch Lions in 2011. The 23 year old Leerdam was a goalkeeper for Capelle who helped that club to the Topklasse and has made seven starts this season.


2/16/2011: Dutch Lion Former Back Evan Schwartz With Chicago Fire

11:22 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Schwartz is just to the left of Corey Gibbs in the above picture, and in between the two players on the right picture.

Former Dutch Lions right back Evan Schwartz has joined the Chicago Fire in Ave Maria, Florida near Naples for the Fire's preseason training camp. Schwartz had a few options with the Colorado Rapids and Toronto F.C. as well, but eventually elected to go with the Chicago Fire after he was invited to their preseason training camp.

Appears to be a wise choice since the Fire are looking for young, talented players to fill the void of big names, and not just more big names to fill the holes left by the McBride's, Blanco's, Ljunjberg's, and Castillo's. Instead the Fire appear to be looking for less risk adverse talent (basically the opposite of Nery Castillo) as stated below by Fire Manager de los Cobos:

“I am very excited because we are trying to build a different team, if you compare to what we had last season. We have young players, players with different skills, the players are working hard and are trying to understand my concepts.”

A further quote in that Naples News article gleans the Fire are prescribing to a different formula for success than their big DP purchases in past years:

Gibbs is perhaps the best-known addition to the (Fire) that lost veterans Brian McBride and Freddie Ljungberg after last season. Rather than searching for big-name replacements, the club is hoping that players already on the roster can help fill the void those players left behind.

Schwartz, wasn't already on the Chicago Fire roster as of last season; But, Evan is well-known by the Chicago Fire as he played for the Chicago Fire Super 20's before heading over to play in Iceland.

Further, after returning from Iceland, Schwartz played against the Chicago Fire's PDL club twice, as he suited up for the Fire's PDL Great Lakes divisional rival, the Dayton Dutch Lions. This allowed the Fire to keep tabs on their former prospect who impressed in that tough PDL conference.

Now Schwartz's career, which began with the Fire's U-20's, looks to come full circle; as Schwartz has the chance to impress and win a spot on the Fire's senior MLS squad over the next few weeks.

Schwartz will look to impress in Florida during the Fire's two weeks of two-a-days, as well as in a match against Florida's Gulf Coast University this Thursday, and culminating with a doubleheader against the New York Red Bulls on February 23rd.

After Corey Gibbs speaks in the below video, you can also see Evan passing in the background:


2/14/2011: Julius Wille Hopes For Dayton Dutch Lions Return

8:52 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

According to Dutch Lions midfielder Julius Wille wants to return to Dayton for the 2011 USL-Pro season.

Julius Wille is open to a temporary move back to the United States. The midfielder has with AGOVV, an option in his contract where he can transfer back to the Dayton Dutch Lions for their 2011 season. Last year, the midfielder also played for several months for the Dayton club.

Julius Wille was one of the more technical players for the Dutch Lions in 2010 and has been on great form for AGOVV in the Dutch Second Division this season.

Wille has scored in his last two games, he scored the opening goal for AGOVV two days ago (20 seconds in) in a 2-2 tie with FC Den Bosch:

Then in the previous week Wille had a cracker of a goal, (1:13 in), to gain AGOVV a 2-2 tie with Telstar:

With Wille's current form, AGOVV probably won't be keen to let him join the Dutch Lions until after their season. But, if Wille can keep up his current form there should be an interest on the Dutch Lions end to get him back in the Orange uniform, ASAP.


2/8/2011: Bas Ent Released From Toronto F.C. Camp, Could Ent Return To Dayton?

3:19 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

The Bas Ent to Toronto FC eight month odyssey that began in July of 2010 with his first trial (that included 45 impressive minutes with TFC against EPL side Bolton) is now over.

After almost being signed by a Toronto F.C. ran interimly by Nick Dasovic and Earl Cochrane, the new TFC guard of Aron Winter and Paul Mariner decided today that Ent wasn't in their plans on the wing.

As Ent was released today from the Antayla, Turkey camp and will likely return home to the Netherlands.

Ent still has plenty of options as a Greek club, Cypriot club, and a few Asian clubs have contacted the winger about a contract. Further, Ent may go back to his 3rd division Dutch club Katwijk, where he was on a good run of form before leaving Katwijk to try to make Toronto's squad.

But, the option that most Dutch Lion fans would like most is a return of Bas Ent to Dayton. The winger would easily be considered a starter on opening day in April for the Dutch Lions.

Further, with the Dutch Lions now in the American 2nd division, compared to the 4th, Ent will have a chance to make a bigger impression on MLS and international clubs in the future.

In fact, I would not be surprised if the Dutch Lions front office has already contacted the winger.


2/8/2011: In The Mix: Best Goals Worldwide (For 2/1 to 2/8/2011)

2:26 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Just a new weekly video i'm putting on my soccer websites, from my sister website I'm extending it to more leagues like MLS, Bundesliga, etc. in coming weeks. As well as USL-Pro and the Dayton Dutch Lions :-). Music mixed as well by me, just something fun weekly for those that don't have a hour to browse for goal highlights..

Crewture: In The Mix
"World Is Yours" Mix for 2/1 to 2/8

Take Over Control- Afrojack ft. Eva Simons
South American- Tom Sawyer vs. Dj Beatbreaker
Pass Out- Tinie Tempah vs. Bomfunk MC's
World Is Yours- Sidney Sampson


1/31/2011: Former Dutch Lion Player Bas Ent In Turkey With Toronto F.C.

10:23 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Dutch Lion former winger Bas Ent, 7 assists and 3 goals with the Dutch Lions in 2010, is officially on trial with Toronto F.C. again, this time in Antayla, Turkey (Ent is pictured above, far right).

Bas is one of eight players, including two other Dutch forwards, looking to win a contract on this preseason trip to Turkey.

Dutch Lion defender Evan Schwartz was expected to make the trip as well, but Toronto F.C. doctors wanted Evan to work and build up his right quad a little more, and were worried he may pick up an injury in Turkey. Schwartz was surprised by the decision, as he was in perfect health training with the Colorado Rapids prior to going to Toronto. The Toronto F.C. doctors put Schwartz on a workout plan in Florida and invited him to rejoin TFC again on February 13th when the club returns from Turkey. Evan therefore can either rejoin Toronto F.C. when they return from Turkey, or can go with preseason options to continue his training with the Colorado Rapids (where GM Paul Bravo was very impressed with Evan in training) or the Chicago Fire (where Evan counts as a homegrown player).

Ent will thus solely represent the Dutch Lions in this Toronto F.C. preseason camp. This camp will be quite an opportunity for Bas, as he will get a chance to pull on the Toronto top against the likes of Partizan Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb. Bas will add the two international fixtures to his international friendly accolades with Toronto F.C.; as Bas has already sprinted down the line for TFC against English Premier League side, Bolton Wanderers.

Despite being an exceptional opportunity, Bas may be a little disappointed to have to go through a trial again with TFC, seeing that Ent already successfully trialed for Toronto F.C. this past Summer. Ent and his agent also thought they already had a deal with Toronto F.C. in place and were slightly frustrated to hear that Ent would have to go through the process again for new manager Aron Winter. But, Ent decided to put this behind him and still take on such a great opportunity.

The Orange Legionnaire was aware of Bas's contract issue with TFC but decided not to divulge the information as contract talks were delicate. Ent and TFC have put that behind them, and Ent has only one focus- impressing Winter in this camp.

The11 explains the Bas stituation in detail:
Ent's status as a trialist has to lead to the conclusion that the three-year deal is off the table, for now at least. The club announced Saturday that Ent is one of five more trialists to join the team for its camp in Turkey. Ent, former Ajax Academy prospect Javier Martina, Ghanian midfielder King Osei Gyan, who had a spell in the Fulham side but never got into a game, Uruguayan forward Santiago Gonzalez Areco and 23-year-old Dutch striker Nick Soolsma join the three Canadian trialists named on Friday.

It’s hard to blame new TFC technical director Aron Winter for deciding to put Ent through the paces again rather than honouring the promise of a contract made by a previous regime. Ent had trialled for the Preki-Mo Johnston brain trust and was promised the contract by interim GM Earl Cochrane. Like the Dwayne De Rosario contract saga, Winter inherited a series of promises made by people before him.

Ent looks unlikely to let it all affect him, focusing on the football he looks good in camp in this video on (making a run at the 1:54 mark, Ent is assigned the number 22 jersey in this camp):

Here's Day 1 as well:

Ent's games with Toronto F.C. are on February 2nd, 6th, and the 10th. If there is a video feed for these games I'll post that information on here.

Best of luck to Ent! Proost!


1/31/2011: Former Dutch Lion Player Ivar van Dinteren Takes Over As Manager In 2011

9:02 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Today the Dutch Lions announced to the Springfield News-Sun and the Dayton Daily News that the club's new manager will be former player Ivar van Dinteren. Ivar has experience in the top division of Holland with FC Groningen, RKC Waalwijk, and FC Zwolle. Van Dinteren also has coaching licenses and played a big role in the Dutch Lions youth academy this season (pictured below). Van Dinteren was only expected to help with the youth academy in the Summer of 2010, but ended up taking over and flourishing in the position at the departure of Sonny Silooy.

The decision to go with van Dinteren may be a bit of a surprise, as the 31 year old from Bussum Netherlands, is likely to be younger than four or five players on the Dutch Lions in 2011; As veterans Oscar Moens, Geert den Ouden, and Hans van de Haar were all in their mid-30's during the 2010 campaign and it wouldn't be a surprise if the Dutch Lions select a Dutch veteran or four for their 2011 campaign.

Yet, the Dutch Lion player who made 13 appearances and scored two goals in the 2010 season, often times sounded like a coach from the bench when injured during the 2010 season and in practice, van Dinteren always sounded like a natural for the job. Van Dinteren also has a lot of energy and the Dutch Lions are hoping that energy can translate to results and trophies. Think of van Dinteren as the Dutch Lions version of a managerial signing similiar to the 35 year old Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin; which has led to one Superbowl ring, now possibly two, in the last four years for the Pittsburgh American football club.

Owner Mike Mossel, who was impressed with van Dinteren's work with the Youth Academy and energy came to the same conclusion:

“Ivar did a great job coaching his two (academy) teams and fully understands what we are trying to build as an organization. He has been a valuable asset for us in the transition from the first team to the youth academy. He is still young but very hungry and ambitious, same as our club. And very important, we are exactly on the same page as far as our desired style of play and behavior.”

Another key to the Ivar signing is Ivar's awareness of what to expect in an American soccer league. For new Dutch players and coaches, moving to Dayton, Ohio and traveling by mini-bus to games in Kalamazoo, Michigan can be a bit of a culture shock. Van Dinteren has been on that bus, has played for the club, and can relate and know what to expect with the players in 2011.

Van Dinteren stated to the Dayton Daily News that he was very happy and excited to get going in his first managerial job. The decision making for van Dinteren starts next Saturday, as Ivar will have to select eight more American players for the senior roster in a trial next weekend.

Getting to know Ivar...

Career highlight- Van Dinteren scored quite possibly his best career goal in his 2004 Eredivise season with FC Zwolle below to tie up a game against Go Ahead Eagles at 2-2.

Businessman- Van Dinteren also owns and runs Transfer Footballers, a Dutch website where not well-known players post information and videos about themselves hoping to get a trial at a European club.


1/27/2011: Bas Ent Headed On Toronto F.C. Preseason Trip To Turkey As Well

1:20 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Bas Ent will be joining fellow Dayton Dutch Lion Evan Schwartz at the start of Toronto FC's preseason preparations in Antayla, Turkey tomorrow. I received confirmation of this last night, as both will leave tomorrow to join Toronto F.C. in Antayla.

It's not known if a deal has been reached between Bas Ent and Toronto F.C.; But, it's likely that a deal either has been reached or will be reached soon.

It's safe to say that Toronto F.C. has an extreme interest in making both permanent members. This is because it will cost Toronto F.C. a pretty penny to take each TFC player to Turkey for three weeks.

It would be surprising for Toronto F.C. to pay over $20K to take both over to Turkey without eventually signing both; As that alone would help pay for one minimum salary player on their roster.

Both will get a shot to show their worth and represent the Dayton Dutch Lions, as they'll get time on the field against Paritzan Belgrade, Dinamo Zagreb, and a third unknown opponent.

Around 30 contintental European first division clubs are expected in Antayla around the same time as Toronto F.C. and the two former Dutch Lion players. Ent's first opponent, Paritzan Belgrade, participated in the group stages of this year's UEFA Champions League.


1/24/2011: DDL Updates- Dutch Lions Sign Joe Tait, Schwartz With A Couple Opportunities In MLS, & Ent's TFC Deal Could Stall But Many Offers Elsewhere

11:04 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Tait, 2010 PDL Defender of The Year and former Hartlepool United Reservist, joins the Dayton Dutch Lions. Hartlepool, not known for their senior side, are known for their impressive academy from the 1970's up until the present day. Tait also played on HUFC's academy squads.

*On December 22nd 2010, The Orange Legionnaire reported on this website that the Dayton Dutch Lions were interested in signing Joe Tait. Yesterday I received confirmation that this deal is in fact done.

Tait, the 2010 PDL Defender of The Year, came to the Dutch Lions attention as part of a new partnership formed by the Dutch Lions with Tait's PDL club, Baton Rouge.

Tait is quite a steal for the Dutch Lions. The Englishman played for Hartlepool United's reserve team from 2007-2009 (pictured above), playing nearly every game and leading HUFC to a Reserve title during the 2007-2008 season.

Tait, not satisfied with being a reservist, made the move stateside in 2009 where he started in central defense for NAIA powerhouse Lindsey Wilson in both the 2009 & 2010 seasons. Lindsey Wilson is the college of Columbus Crew starting left-back Shawn Francis and at least 10 other MLS'ers

Always looking to improve, Tait also started this past season for the Baton Rouge Capitals of the PDL, where Tait led the Capitals to the PDL playoffs placing third. His performances in 2010, including his dangerous heading ability that led to a hat trick in one game with Baton Rouge, landed Tait the honor of PDL Defender of the Year in 2010.

The 6'4, 175 pound center back, a periennal starter and winner wherever he goes, now sets his sights on strengthening the Dutch Lions defense in 2011. The 20-year-old Tait will definitely fill a need; as the Dutch Lions central defense was questionable at times in 2010, due to injury and not enough focus possibly on that position.

*Dutch Lions right back Evan Schwartz (also a former starter of the Chicago Fire's Super-20's and Icelandic cup winners Breidablik) looks destined to land somewhere in MLS. The former IMG Academy prospect (growing up with the likes of Freddy Adu) is headed to Turkey with Toronto F.C. at the start of February.

In Turkey, Schwartz will receive an opportunity to win a spot as Toronto's right back as the club faces off against Balkan powerhouses, FK Partizan Belgrade on Feb. 2nd and Dinamo Zagreb on Feb. 10th. Schwartz seems poised to impress, but if Toronto FC does not make an offer, it appears that the Colorado Rapids or the Chicago Fire will swoop in for the right back.

Schwartz, just ended a successful three-day training session with the Colorado Rapids, who have reportedly invited the right back to join their pre-season camp in Phoenix in February, if Schwartz and TFC cannot agree to terms.

Likewise, the Chicago Fire (who Schwartz played for in the Super-20's) have kept tabs on the right back and are also likely interested in bringing Schwartz to their camp in Florida.

Bas Ent (on the top of a Dutch Lions goal celebration above in 2010) has had his contract talks with Toronto F.C. cool down a bit. The two sides have yet to come to an agreement, although with a week before the trip to sunny Antayla, both sides have yet to rule out Bas taking the trip or an agreement being reached before then.

However, with the two sides coming close to an agreement multiple times over a four month period (the signing of Ent by TFC was reported by his Dutch club in October), Ent may already be looking at other options.

Reportedly Ent is not only gaining interest from Toronto F.C.; But, also has a Greek First Division club, a Cyprus First Division club, and a couple of Asian clubs looking at the pacy winger.


1/19/2011: Dayton Dutch Lions & Twente Extend Partnership For 5 More Years

1:02 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Cheers to five more years.

In 2010, F.C. Twente sent an Academy advisor, Rene Hake, to help advise the Dayton Dutch Lions. That Academy advisor helped the Dayton Dutch Lions jumpstart their Dutch Lions Academy (as Hake judged youth players and helped sort infrastructure) in the Summer of 2010. As a result of Twente's help and the Dutch Lions coaches, players, and staff's laboring, the Dayton Dutch Lions Academy was a great success in their first year; And now the two clubs want to follow that successful start, with more interaction and more information sharing in their partnership in 2011 and for years to come.

As a result, a few days ago, reported that the two clubs have extended their relationship for five more years to come.

The Dayton Dutch Lions' owners, both Mike Mossel and Erik Tammer, were in Twente F.C. headquarters this past weekend to sign papers on the agreement. The Dutch Lion owners were also there to discuss how to strengthen their relationship with Twente in 2011, with Twente Technical Director Cees Lok and Financial Director Gert-Jan Nijweide.

It appears that both sides are not only on the same page, but on the same paragraph and in the same sentence when it comes to what they want to achieve together.

Twente Technical Director Cees Lok on the partnership:

"FC Twente has a lot of confidence in founders Mike Mossel and Erik Tammer. Their philosophy and vision on top professional player development matches our beliefs. I am convinced that their efforts will lead to more results and make the Dutch Lions FC a leading institute in the American Leagues and I certainly do not rule out the possibility of a top player of the Dutch Lions playing professional soccer for FC Twente in the future."

Dutch Lions owner Mike Mossel on the partnership:

“On one side we have access to the expertise of one of the top soccer institutes in Holland and Europe, on the other hand FC Twente is well on the way to become a global player and we offer them an option to tap into a market with tremendous opportunities. The US dominates almost every sport except for soccer but have the most active soccer players in the whole world. We believe that with the help of FC Twente we can combine the best of both worlds in our Youth Academy and create a Gateway to professional soccer for US players. The fact that we signed a five year agreement also shows we are both in it for the long term and want to invest in our relationship and the US.”


1/19/2011: Former Dutch Lion Evan Schwartz To Join TFC For Preseason Trip To Antalya, Turkey; Ent May As Well

9:27 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

According to sources close to the Dutch Lions, former Dutch Lion right back Evan Schwartz has been invited by TFC boss Aron Winter to a preseason camp in Antalya, Turkey.

In that preseason camp, Schwartz and his new TFC teammates, will play three preseason friendlies against top European competition. Toronto F.C. will start out the camp against Partizan Belgrade on Feb. 2nd, their second match will be against a team to be named on Feb. 6th, and TFC will finish up competition against Dinamo Zagreb on Feb. 10th.

It is still up in the air whether Dutch Lion winger Bas Ent will be joining Schwartz in Antayla; as negotiations are ongoing between Ent's representatives and Toronto F.C.

For Schwartz, and possibly Ent, Toronto F.C. could be just one of many eyes on them in the beautiful Antayla; as more than 20 clubs from the first divisions of the German, Dutch, Austrian and Russian leagues trained in Antalya in 2010, with more expected in February 2011.

Who would blame them (take a look below).

English, Italian, and Spanish leagues play through the Winter. While most Contintental, European leagues spend their January and Febuary's in places such as Antayla (above) and wait until the middle of February or beginning of March to resume league play. Antayla has been a hot Winter destination for Contintental European clubs, as well as European tourists. Now it appears to be a Toronto F.C. destination as well, at a costly $22,000 to $25,000 per player. Another sign (after Winter, Mariner, deKlerk) that in 2011 TFC are spending the real money.

With this being a European club destination during winter breaks.. This camp is not only a great opportunity for Schwartz to gain a place with Toronto F.C., but great exposure for the right back to catch some eyes in Europe.

Further, these games will be an excellent education for all involved from TFC, as both Partizan Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb are storied European, Balkan clubs. In fact, Partizan Belgrade (known nowadays as FK Partizan) were in this year's Champions League where they finished bottom behind Shaktar Donestk, Arsenal, and Braga of Portugal in Group H play.

Stay tuned for more news on Evan Schwartz and Bas Ent's negotiations with Toronto F.C.; I have heard that Schwartz is definitely going (currently training with the Colorado Rapids for three days) and Ent is still negotiating with TFC and may go as well.

Antayla's Ataturk Stadium


1/12/2011: Video- Bas Ent 2010 Career Highlights

12:18 AM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

Here's all the highlights (assists, goals, near misses, and ball skills) from Bas Ent in 2010. A lot of his ball skills and near goals and assists were from two games, and in many other games Bas did the same but my video was starting to get too long. So possibly there may be a Part II. Includes footage from his Dutch club Katwijk and his friendly game with TFC against Bolton Wanderers as well. Look for more of these videos of other Dutch Lion 2010 players in the coming weeks as well:


1/10/2011: Dutch Lions To Discuss Partnership With Winter's Toronto, Ent Signing In Final Stage, Schwartz Interest As Well

9:56 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

What was reported here on The Orange Legionnaire on January 3rd (as far as Ent headed to Toronto F.C. to train and officially sign, Schwartz to train with TFC, and the Dutch Lions to pursue a partnership with TFC) was all but confirmed in a Dayton Daily News article that interviewed Mossel and Ent on January 7th. The following are notables from the article written by Dayton Daily News soccer beat writer David DiCenzo.

On the Bas Ent Toronto signing:

Bas Ent’s bags are literally packed. The 23-year-old Dutch winger is in the Netherlands at the moment waiting to hear from Toronto FC. Ent was offered a three-year deal by the MLS club, though he has yet to officially sign a contract.

“It’s not all settled,” says Ent, who played over the winter with Dutch side, Katwijk. “I’m just waiting for that moment to sign with TFC.”
On compensation for Ent, looking most likely to come in the form of a partnership:

If Ent does sign, the Lions, who have moved up to the USL Pro division for the upcoming 2011 season, will receive compensation. DDL FC co-owner Mike Mossel says that might not necessarily be a financial agreement but perhaps come in the form of a partnership between the clubs. He reiterated that he in no way wants to stand in the way of Ent’s opportunity so assuming TFC still want the speedy winger, an agreement will be reached.

“We would like to sit down with Aron and see what his plans are and if we can fit in there,” says Mossel.

Confirmation on Schwartz joining Ent, for preseason with Toronto F.C.:

If Ent does end up in Toronto, he might see a familiar face. DDL teammate Evan Schwartz could get a shot at making TFC in the upcoming preseason. According to Mossel, the 23-year-old right back from Colorado Springs is expected to participate in the first few days of the MLS pre-season.

Mossel on why Evan Schwartz would be a good addition along with Ent at Toronto F.C.:

“Evan has the speed to recover and he also used it up front overlapping,” says Mossel. “That’s a big asset for a guy in the back. He did that well with Bas on the right side.

“He also has a great mentality. He wants to win. He pushes it 100 per cent and he never complains about injuries or pain. Evan is very ambitious. He wants to play at the highest level.”

Now if you would of just checked out this website, The Orange Legionnaire, you would of known all of this news a week in advance. :-)


1/9/2011: Dutch Lions Giallombardo and Davis To Participate In USL Pro 2011 Combine

5:27 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

USL-PRO last Thursday released a list of 101 players invited to attend the USL Pro 2011 Player Combine. Two of those players will be influential former Dutch Lions, both George Davis IV (5 goals, 7 assists in 1383 minutes in 2010) and Andrew Giallombardo (1 goal in 817 minutes in defensive midfield in 2010) were invited to attend the combine- after their applications were accepted for the combine by USL-Pro.

The Combine will be held from January 20th to the 23rd at the Charleston Battery's Blackbaud Stadium and both USL Pro scouts as well as MLS scouts (from each team) are likely to attend.

Both Giallombardo and Davis IV, who were under a one-year contract for the Dutch Lion's 2010 PDL season, are both out of contract now. Both are likely in the Dutch Lions sights again; but as free agents the duo are plying their trades in the combine for the best contract and the best option (be it the Dutch Lions, MLS, or another USL Pro team that wants them more).

When The Orange Legionnaire talked to Giallombardo recently, a former Southampton reserve and U.S. U-18 captain on a side with Jozy Altidore, Giallombardo stated that he would have a definite interest in returning to the Dutch Lions. But, Giallombardo commented that he hasn't heard anything substantial yet, at this early point in the offseason, and he is keeping his options open with a few teams he has talked to and the combine (with MLS scouts); Giallombardo is also looking to go back to Europe.

The same is likely for Davis, who was looking to go to Europe in the Dutch Lions offseason but that didn't materialize at that time. Also, Davis talked about returning to the Dutch Lions in 2011 in a postseason interview with Dutch Lions here. He's likely in the same boat as Giallombardo, looking for the best option in 2011- whether that's with the Dutch Lions, MLS, or Europe remains to be seen.

And both should have a lot of options in 2011.

Both Giallombardo and Davis IV were a big part of the Dutch Lions midfield in 2010, a midfield that already has one player (in Bas Ent) headed to Toronto F.C. on a three-year contract.

In 2010, Giallombardo did most of the distrubuting to Ent and Davis who were on the wings. Davis was a real surprise in 2010, as the former Kentucky University player started half of his senior games at Kentucky, but made a huge impact for the Dutch Lions straight away in 2010. His 5 goals and 7 assists (17 points) were only bested by Dutch veteran Geert den Ouden's late goal scoring run and 8 goals and 2 assists (18 points) for the Dutch Lions in 2010. Great statistics, especially since den Ouden cost the Dutch Lions much more in 2010.

Davis could also be considered right up there as an attractive option with Bas Ent for a MLS U-24 spot (each MLS team have 6 spots that don't count against the cap in 2011 for players under 24); As Davis's 17 points was a bit more productive on the scoresheet than Ent's 10 points for the Dutch Lions in 2010, at a similiar position.

Therefore, look for both Giallombardo and Davis to show well for the MLS scouts at this combine. Both should be able to show the scouts something that they'll like and the Dutch Lions should have some healthy competition in getting the pair back in the Orange in 2011.

But, the Dutch Lions also should have an edge, over other USL-Pro teams, in the fact that both Giallombardo and Davis had a positive experience and great season with the Dutch Lions in 2010.


1/3/2011: Toronto FC Is Going Dutch "Ajax" Style With New Head Coach Winter, Bodes Well For Dayton Dutch Lions Partnership, Ent/Schwartz/Silooy Deals

2:55 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

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.

Toronto wanted a coach with experience in Ajax's style, "and they've come to the right man," Winter said today to USA Today after signing on with Toronto F.C..

Winter and Silooy's histories are nearly identical. Both players have over 230 caps for Ajax, both are in their mid-40's, both played for the Netherlands NT team, and both started their coaching careers as a Youth and Assistant coach at Ajax. Therefore, with two former Dutch Lion players likely headed to Toronto F.C. and TFC taking nearly the same Head Coach/Technical Director approach as the Dutch Lions did last year.. It may not be long until TFC are calling themselves Dutch Lions Toronto and painting their jersies "Orange." *sarcasm* (perhaps)

In fact, with the inclusion of Winter in Toronto, I have heard murmors that Silooy might end up declining offers from D.C. United and Philadelphia Union's academies, to join the coaching staff of Winter in Toronto now. As Winter and Silooy not only have much in common, but the two are also best friends.

The connections between Toronto F.C. and Dayton Dutch Lions F.C. over the last six months have been downright numerous... A thousand stories have connected Dutch Lions winger Bas Ent to the Canadian club over the past few months, and now Dutch Lions right back Evan Schwartz looks likely to be headed to the club as well.. So, with the inclusion of Dutch coaches Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk in the top offices of TFC, a very Dutch partnership between the two clubs seems even more likely.

Here's a little TFC-Dutch Lions timeline:

-at the beginning of July 2010, Toronto FC's Nick Dasovic scouted the Dutch Lions in a PDL game against the Toronto Lynx and made friendly contacts with the Dayton Dutch Lions front office.

-at the end of July 2010, TFC put Dutch Lions winger Bas Ent on trial, culmunating in 45 minutes in the TFC's "red" colors, for Ent, in a friendly against the Bolton Wanderers of the EPL. (Ent pictured below in that game)

-In the middle of November 2010, Bas Ent's Dutch third division club, Katwijk, spilled the proverbial beans that Toronto F.C. was in fact going to sign the Dutch left winger, by posting so on their club website. Katwijk posted this, despite the deal being only half completed, as both Ent and TFC were in an extended wait and see stage; since TFC did not have at the time a permanent head coach, GM, or technical director.

At that time, with Preki and Mo Johnston canned, Dasovic and Jim Brennan acted as only interim figureheads for TFC; However, both Brennan and Dasovic- who are still strong actors in Toronto's front office- had likely the most to do with Ent, and possibly had a lot of input in today's Dutch moves by TFC.

-Soon after that, at the end of November 2010, with MLS's rule changes for 2011 announced, Toronto F.C. knew they would have six, new roster spots to fill with players that were under-24. These under-24 players wouldn't count against the salary cap of TFC or any MLS club (both Ent and a lot of other Dutch Lion players were under-24).

-In mid-December, sources started mentioning, that because of this rule change, TFC were looking to sign Evan Schwartz of the Dutch Lions as well to pair with Bas Ent. As Dasovic dialed up his memory bank from that early July, Dutch Lions vs. Toronto Lynx match, and remembered that he fancied Schwartz as well.

Both Ent and Schwartz, were mentioned once again today on MLS-Rumors , as MLS-Rumors stated that both would be signed by TFC on Jan. 17. I can't confirm this and haven't heard it myself.

But, I did hear that both were headed to the club from Jan. 17 to Jan. 22 to train, but nothing was mentioned about signing either then nor could I report it at the time; but with it already out there- I can confirm that both are headed to TFC around that time but no clue whether it's just for glorified training or to be signed)... Nevertheless, both if signed, would likely have good chances at starting spots, despite being signed as under-24 reserves, as under-24 reserves are still considered part of the senior roster and TFC is weak in their positions.

-And finally, today, Toronto F.C. signs Dutch former Ajax player & current Ajax assistant Aron Winter as their Head Coach/Technical Director. A Head Coach that has so much in common with former Dayton Dutch Lions coach Sonny Silooy, it's scary.

-What's upcoming in January 2011 in this saga, likely two Dayton Dutch Lion players confirmed signed to MLS club Toronto F.C., quite possibly former Dayton Dutch Lions Head Coach Sonny Silooy joining Toronto F.C., and maybe the two clubs finally making their ever expanding, friendly acquiantance a partnership.

Partnership upcoming with Dutch Lions Toronto (*err umm* Toronto F.C.)?

Back in November 2010, when Dayton Dutch Lions President & Owner Mike Mossel first heard that Toronto F.C. wanted to hire his club's left winger Bas Ent, President Mossel stated that the Dutch Lions would "have to get something in return. Either an allocation from TFC or a partnership with TFC, but that the club wouldn't stand in Ent's way."

Basically, Mossel was stating that the Dutch Lions wouldn't ask for something too substantial from Toronto to nix a deal (that benefits the Dutch Lions viability here in the U.S. soccer world as well). As Owner/President Mossel was happy that Ent was gaining MLS interest, as an acquistion by MLS of Ent, other Dutch Lion talents, and Dutch Lion coaches is the best marketing tool for the Dayton Dutch Lions club. As the Dutch Lions connections with arguably the second best supported soccer club in North America (with over 22,000 fans at every TFC game) can cement DDL F.C. as a player in North America and not just another second division club.

The Ghost of Ruud Gullit

The question with Toronto FC's big name appointment of Aron Winter is whether a big name can succeed in MLS. And whether a big European name can take MLS serious or understand MLS (with it's non-European set of rules and small salary cap). The fact that Winter is a big Dutch name will make MLS fans think straight away of a second coming of Ruud Gullit. In fact, on bigsoccer forums, I saw Gullit mentioned at least 30 times in 20 or so minutes of browsing this story.

Gullit, who coached at the L.A. Galaxy in 2007-2008 (before American coach Bruce Arena turned them around in the past two seasons), was highly criticized in the book The Beckham Experiment by L.A. Galaxy players for never working on set pieces and for sometimes not even showing up to practice.

The good thing for Winter and Toronto F.C. is that Winter has never been considered the lazy type. Nor is Winter as flashy, ego-centric, or has had a bigger managerial job than Toronto F.C.. As before Gullit went to L.A. he was Head Coach at Chelsea and Newcastle United. So, I could see Gullit thinking "what do I have to achieve at L.A., I'm Ruud Gullit."

So, as long as Winter tries to make a difference and tries to instill that Ajax style by actually coaching at practice.. This should work out well, or at least better, for Toronto F.C.

Further, it depends on the personality of the head coach. Swedish (Euro) coach Hans Backe succeeded this past season at MLS club New York Red Bull... And Backe's success was probably because Backe had an open-mind (to learn the rules), a good assistant familiar with the rules and players (TFC might have Paul Mariner be Aron Winter's assistant for this reason), and didn't have an attitude of "what do you mean I can't spend 15 million pounds on a transfer!"


1/3/2011: Dayton Dutch Lion Opponent Included In "Cult Football" Book

10:05 PM Reporter: Ryan Kozlowski 0 Responses

I was reading the above book The Rough Guide to Cult Football the other day, which contains different sections on the pecularities and legendary figures of the world's game. The book's sections include The Roots (strange, amusing, beginnings to the world's game), The Legends (players that make the game by being electrifying, amusing, different, etc.), The Gaffers (coaches that make the game by being similiarly amusing, different, etc.), Unique Clubs, Biggest Games, and etc.

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.

Pflannenstiel played against the Dutch Lions for an All-Star side called Global United. Global United faced off against the Dutch Lions in the first game the Dayton club ever played (on April 30th); as the Dutch Lions smashed the aging All-Stars by a 3-1 scoreline. The scoreline may have been a surprise since the All-Stars lined up with former World Cup players- such as Marcelo Balboa, Thomas Dooley, Sunday Oliseh, and other stars such as Marco Etcheverry (all more well-known than Lutz). Needless to say, it had been a few years (for most of Global United) since their last proper training session or in the case of some a few buffet lines.

No worries.. Global United, started by the globetrotting Pfannenstiel, wasn't meant to conquer the footballing world but was intended to raise money for environmental awareness issues.

The following is the short profile on Pfannenstiel in the Cult Football book (above is a picture of the profile from the book):

Lutz Pfannenstiel
Globetrotting journeyman

Lutz Pfannenstiel almost became famous as "the man who stole the penguin." But he had second thoughts, and before anybody had noticed, he removed the penguin from his bath and delivered it back to the wildlife reserve in New Zealand, from where he had hijacked the poor animal the night before in one of his larger-than-life practical jokes. So, in the end, Lutz Pfannenstiel from a remote village in deepest Bavaria, became more justly famous as the only footballer to play professionally on all six continents. He is still trying to arrange a game in Antartica, so that continent can be added to the list - for the pedants.

In 1993, aged twenty, the goalkeeper received an offer from Bundesliga side Vfl Bochum. But they just wanted him for their reserve team and Pfannenstiel did not think of himself as a reserve-team keeper. So, rather than join Bochum, he accepted an offer from Penang FA in Malaysia. And so his globetrotting journey began. In the course of his career he played for Nottingham Forest in the UK, Orlando Pirates in South Africa, Sembawang Rangers in Singapore, Dunedin Technical in New Zealand, When he realized, fifteen years and some twenty-four moves later, that South America was the only inhabited continent where he hadn't been employed, he gave up a secure job at the Vancouver Whitecaps to join an obscure Brazilian side called Hermann Aichinger. Moving on had become a thrill for him - an obsession.

He was jailed (though his claims of innocence have some justification) for match-fixing in Singapore and is known as the man "who died three times for Bradford Park Road," after his heart stood still three times when he was knocked out by a furious tackle in a game against Harrogate Town. When annoucing that his career was over aged 36, in 2009, he said: "my career has not been better or worse than I imagined at 18, just different." A few weeks later, he signed for a team in Namibia.

My guess is Pfannenstiel was trying to save the penguin mentioned in this book. Since when I sat at a table the night before the Global United game with him, Wynton Rufer (the "New Zealand Johan Cruyff" as he said he was described, below), and Dutch Lion owner Mike Mossel; Pfannenstiel talked passionately about global issues.

New Zealander Wynton Rufer, best known for 174 caps and 54 goals and six titles for Werder Bremen. Another good story for the offseason is how I couldn't find him in the Cincinnati airport when I had to pick him up before the Dutch Lions vs. Global United game.

Here's some pictures of Pfannenstiel being peppered by the younger Dutch Lions back last April:


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