With preseason and training camps starting for most teams, the rosters are finally starting to take shape for the 2014 NASL season. However, teams continue to secure additions to their respective rosters as we approach the start of the new campaign.
Silverbacks Re-Sign Lucas Paulini and Add Blair Gavin
The Silverbacks retained midfielder, Lucas Paulini, who will spend his fourth season with the Silverbacks in 2014. Silverbacks Technical Director/Head Coach? Eric Wynalda tabbed Paulini has a potential breakout player this season.
The club also announced that they have signed experienced midfielder, Blair Gavin. Gavin was drafted in the MLS Super Draft in 2010 and has spent time with Chivas USA, the New England Revolution and the Seattle Sounders. The addition of Gavin helps ease the losses of Richie Menjivar and Danny Barrera to the Scorpions.
Silverbacks Lose Recently Signed Matt Horth
Just weeks after the Silverbacks brought Matt Horth back to the club, they had announced he would be leaving to play in Iceland with Leiknir Reykjavik. Terms of the deal to send Horth to Europe were not announced, but this will be a big blow for Atlanta after they thought they had a proven NASL goal scorer for 2014. Atlanta did not want to stand in the way of Horth, who’s dream was to play in Europe, so they can be admired for their part in that, however now they will need to find a replacement before the start of the season.
Connor Tobin Officially Joins RailHawks
In an expected move, the RailHawks officially announced the signing of Connor Tobin who spent the 2013 NASL season with Minnesota United FC. Tobin will add experience to the back line of Carolina, while also adding another leader on the pitch. Tobin captained the United side plenty of times and should be a candidate for the same honor on the East Coast. The club announced Tobin had joined on a multi-year deal.
Edmonton Promote Academy Star
Edmonton announced that they had signed Marko Aleksic from their academy to their first team squad. The 17-year-old defender becomes the fifth player on the Eddies’ roster to join via the Academy.
Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Strikers Sign Shawn Chin; Re-Sign Rafael Alves
The Strikers announced that they have added midfielder Shawn Chin to the roster. Chin, who is from the Miami area, has spent time in the NASL with FC Edmonton and Minnesota, but played with VSI Tampa Bay (which no longer exists) last season.
The club has also brought back defender Rafael Alves. The Brazilian center back was brought to the club prior to the 2013 Fall Season, and immediately paid dividends for the Strikers who started the second half of last season well. The return of Alves is a step in the right direction to having a consistent defense in Fort Lauderdale.
No Recent Movement
Minnesota United FC
United add a pair of Brazilian Veterans
Minnesota United brought in a couple of Brazilian players recently, signing central defender Tiago Calvano and center midfielder Juliano Vicentini. Tiago joins from Sydney FC in the A-League and has also played in Brazil, Spain and Germany. The 32-year-old should hopefully help replace the loss of Tobin.
Juliano joins the club after playing predominately in Brazil while also having a stint in Italy. He is a box-to-box type midfielder that could potentially become the engine room in the middle of the park for Minnesota. The pair of additions join Cristiano Dias and Pablo Campos as Brazilians on the United roster, meaning Manny Lagos’ Portuguese better be impressive.
New York Cosmos
Cosmos Sign Norwegian Striker, Mads Stokkelien
The Cosmos brought in more striking reinforcements recently by signing Norwegian front man Mads Stokkelien. Stokkelien was prolific in his home country and led his side, Stabaek, to promotion to Norway’s top division. Coupled with the addition of Hans Denissen from the Scorpions, the Cosmos have improved what was already a good attacking core.
Ottawa Fury FC
Fury Add Heinemann and Ubiparipovic
Ottawa continued building to their squad and announced the additions experienced striker Tom Heinemann and midfielder Sinisa Ubiparipovic. Both players have experience in MLS as well as the NASL, bringing important knowledge of the league to the expansion club. Heinemann joins from the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Ubiparipovic comes to Ottawa from the Montreal Impact, although he spent the 2013 season on loan with NASL rivals, Minnesota United.
San Antonio Scorpions
Scorpions add 2013 Best XI midfielder, Richie Menjivar
This signing prompted us to write about the front six that Alen Marcina was putting together in his new formation in San Antonio, and Menjivar looks to be the vital piece. The El Salvadorian international joins the Scorpions from the Silverbacks and was voted to the NASL Best XI after a great 2013. He will be the engine room for San Antonio and will look to start the attack going forward.
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Rowdies Announce Stuart Campbell as Assistant Coach
The Rowdies announced that former player/assistant; Stuart Campbell has joined the coaching staff full time as an assistant coach. Campbell joined the club in 2012 and was a big part of the team’s 2012 championship.
Rowdies Retain Takuya Yamada and Devin De Do; Add Anthony Wallace
The Rowdies also brought back one of the oldest players in the league in Takuya Yamada as well as striker, Devin Del Do. Yamada played in 22 matches with the club in 2013, including his 100th overall, proving he can still compete at this level. Del Do scored a goal in 15 appearances in 2013, but remains a viable striking option off the bench. His minutes may be even more limited next season however with Tampa having the likes of Georgi Hristov, Amani Walker, Brian Shriver, Lucky Mkosana and Carl Cort up top.
Tampa made a much-needed addition to their defense as well, signing MLS veteran Anthony Wallace. The left back can also play in midfield if needed and represents a good addition to the defensive depth of the Rowdies. The payer is similar to Blake Wagner who also joined the Rowdies this offseason, so it remains to be seen how either will be used.
(image courtesy of PC)