Friday, October 16, 2015

Rhinos capture USL championship

USL News Release

It took more than 90 minutes for the Rochester Rhinos to find their first shot on goal, and second-half sub Asani Samuels twice rose to the occasion.

Samuels scored two set-piece goals – an equalizer in second-half stoppage time and the game-winner in the 112th minute – as the Rhinos defeated the LA Galaxy II 2-1 in overtime to capture the 2015 USL Championship at Sahlen’s Stadium. For his heroics, Samuels was named the match MVP.

“My coach told me to go out there and do my best; I just went there and did my best and worked hard for every ball,” Samuels said. “Everything, I tried to challenge and win.

“It’s all about confidence. My teammates, two of our better strikers were out, so I had to step up to the plate. … This is the best moment of my life.”

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New York Red Bulls II's Adams gears up for FIFA U-17 World Cup

NYRB II's Tyler Adams
USL Feature

At just 16 years old, Tyler Adams already has amassed some memorable accomplishments in his budding career, particularly during the past year.

Adams enjoyed his first professional campaign, suiting up for the New York Red Bulls II during their inaugural USL season as the youngest player to see the pitch among the entire league contingent. Also this summer, Adams played for the MLS side against the defending Premier League champion Chelsea, tallying a goal during its victory.

Now Adams takes his game to the international stage this week when the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team prepares for the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Adams happens to be the youngest player on the U-17 squad, as well, but he already has shown that he can play beyond his years.

“Being the youngest player has never affected me,” Adams said. “It’s something that I’ve embraced. When you step into a professional environment, you look up to a lot of the guys and try to play with confidence.”

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oklahoma City base quickly gravitating toward Energy FC

USL Feature

Second-year USL club OKC Energy FC has grown by leaps and bounds in a short time frame, both on the field and off. As Energy FC prepares for its Western Conference Final against the LA Galaxy II on Sunday, the club knows it will have tremendous backing at Taft Stadium and within the region.

Energy FC President and Owner Bob Funk certainly envisioned this. The pleasant surprise for him is just how quickly everything has emerged.

“I always expected to have a pretty hardcore, dedicated fan base, but I was surprised at the quickness that fans gravitated toward the product,” Funk said. “The brand and the team itself have grown in large part to our team’s involvement in the community. Whether it’s clinics, coaching teams and just being involved and visible; the community has embraced them.”

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

OKC Energy FC's Evan Newton embodies final piece of puzzle

OKC Energy FC goalkeeper Evan Newton
USL Feature

When OKC Energy FC head coach Jimmy Nielsen was putting the final elements of the team’s roster together for 2015, Evan Newton was not part of the picture.

Nielsen felt all the pieces were already in place heading into preseason, and then several days later he received a phone call from Newton’s agent.

“We had a long chat, and I was pretty far with the roster,” Nielsen said. “Only a few days before he called, I said we’re done for the year. We’re not signing any more players. But when I heard he was available, I chatted with him and we were back and forth. We came to an agreement and knew that we had a rock solid goalkeeper who can win you points.

“He joined us for our trip at the IMG Tournament, flew in, landed at 4 in the afternoon, played a 7 o’clock game and we beat Toronto 1-0.”

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