Monday, March 25, 2013

Kickoff!!

The USL Pro Regular season is officially underway!  The LA Blues kicked things off by dispatching the expansion side Phoenix FC 2-0 Saturday night.  The revamped Blues, now under the leadership of Premier League legend Joey Barton, looked sharp, finding the net in each half to secure three points.  The visiting Wolves struggled to build any momentum and with a player sent off just before the break, their hopes of a comeback all but vanished.  Its a fine start for LA, having never won their home opener.  The Wolves will look to rebound next Saturday when they play host to the league's other expansion team, VSI Tampa Bay in the weekend's only USL Pro fixture.

Around the League

The biggest news today is the Toronto FC press release announcing they have officially signed Ryan Richter of the Charleston Battery.  The versatile footballer played a vital role in Charleston's 2012 Championship run, providing a constant offensive threat while actively winning challenges in the midfield as well.  Richter was originally drafted by the Philadelphia Union and went on to spend time with the Harrisburg City Islanders.  He came to Charleston in the spring of 2012 and after the Battery's title winning season, narrowly missed a roster spot with DC United in preseason.  The transfer should be a good match for the Reds and although he will be sorely missed in Charleston, we knew it was only a matter of time before he returned to the MLS stage.  

Charleston have resigned the goalkeeping talents of Kevin Klasila who missed the majority of the 2012 season with an injury.  After several strong preseason performances, Klasila looks ready to make up for lost time and take his place in the first team.  

The Battery have also officially signed midfielder Jarad van Schaik.  The midfielder joins the Battery following a two year stint with the Puerto Rico Islanders.  Van Schaik will bring even more depth to an already experienced Charleston midfield.  

VSI Tampa Bay have acquired JT Noone in preparation for their inaugural USL Pro season.  Noone enjoyed a successful spell with the Ocean City Barons of the PDL before signing professionally with the Harrisburg City Islanders.  Bouncing back and forth from Harrisburg to the Philadelphia Union,  the transfer comes on the heels of Noone's indoor championship with MISL's Baltimore Blast.  

And finally, the Union have announced that three players will join the Harrisburg City Islanders on loan, as part of the team's MLS-USL affiliation.  Forward Cristhian Hernandez and midfielders Greg Jordan and Jimmy McLaughlin will join the Islanders for their 2013 campaign while Philadelphia reserves the right to recall them any time during the loan period.  

Enjoy your Monday and as always, thanks for reading The Beautiful Game!

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