miércoles, 2 de abril de 2014

Ten Teams Kick Off North American Soccer League  
2014 Spring Season
Clubs Aiming For Home Postseason Semi Final Berth  
In The Championship
10-Day Countdown to the NASL 2014 Kickoff... 10 days to go
NEW YORK, NY. (April 2, 2014) - Ten days from now... the race for the North American Soccer League 2014 Spring Season title kicks off.
The 2014 NASL Spring Season gets underway in Fort Lauderdale, Indianapolis, San Antonio and Tampa Bay on Saturday, April 12 then continues 24 hours later in New York as the Cosmos begin their defense of the Soccer Bowl trophy Giovanni Savarese's team won in 2013.
As well as the spring silverware on offer, a home semi final berth in The Championship awaits the winners of the nine-week campaign before the NASL breaks to avoid clashing with the FIFA World Cup. The NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions will be joined in the semi finals of The Championship by the two clubs with the next best overall records from both seasons combined. The semi final winners will compete in The Championship final in November.
"We are looking forward to the 2014 NASL season," said Savarese, whose Cosmos face the Atlanta Silverbacks on opening weekend in a rematch of the November 12clash that saw them capture the Soccer Bowl trophy with a 1-0 win. "It is a new year with new possibilities. We understand we needed to improve in some areas and were able to do so, bringing in some players that would improve us."
Among the clubs looking to dethrone the Cosmos will be 2012 NASL champions the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who kick off at home to FC Edmonton on April 12. Down the road in Fort Lauderdale, Strikers coach Gunter Kronsteiner begins his first full season at the helm, having taken over before the 2013 Fall Season, and his team host newcomer Ottawa Fury FC.
Another coach benefiting from having a full offseason to prepare his side having taken over midway through last season is Alen Marcina, whose San Antonio Scorpions open up at home to Minnesota United.
A dream that began 15 months ago with the announcement that Indianapolis would have its own NASL team becomes a reality when Indy Eleven kicks off at home to the Carolina RailHawks 10 days from now. Having already snapped up 7,000 season tickets, the Indy Eleven faithful will pack into Carroll Stadium to watch their club make history.
A look at each team in 140 characters or less...
@ATLSilverbacks look to again capture the Spring crown under Eric Wynalda. Belize striker Deon McCaulay scored 13 World Cup qualifying goals
@RailHawksFC defend a proud unbeaten run that lasted in all competitive games through 2013. New striker Daniel Jackson has big boots to fill
@FCEdmontonNow look to lose their draw specialists tag and put their trust in some youthful homegrown talent under head coach Colin Miller
@FTLStrikers introduce a German Bundesliga pair with forward Marius Ebbers and keeper Oka Nikolov under Austrian coach Gunter Kronsteiner
@IndyEleven look to Brazilian World Cup winner @Kleberson_8 to inspire and please 7,000 season ticket holders gripped by Indy soccer fever
@MNUnitedFC is confident following a successful preseason tour in England but navigate the spring without injured scorer @9apito Pablo Campos
@NYCosmos add goals potential of Hans Denissen, Norwegian Mads Stokkelien and loanee Jimmy Ockford to midfield goals of Spain's Marcos Senna
@OttawaFuryFC combine a blend of homegrown Canadians with some Brazilian flair under head coach Marc Dos Santos in their debut NASL season
@SAScorpions boss Alen Marcina has recruited proven NASL talent including Atlanta midfield pair Richard Menjivar and Danny Barrera for 2014
@RowdiesSoccer added Golden Boot winner Brian Shriver to Golden Ball winner Georgi Hristov to create a strike partnership that looks deadly
So What's New?
And then there were four...
Extended NASL postseason play means that the top four NASL clubs at the conclusion of both seasons will advance to compete in The Championship.
  • The NASL Spring Season and Fall Season champions will each host a semi final.
  • The number one seed will be awarded to whichever of the Spring or Fall champions posts the better combined regular season record.
  • The number three and number four seeds will be awarded to the next two clubs with the best overall records from both seasons combined.
  • Clubs will retain their seeding throughout the postseason.
  • The top-seeded semi final winner will host The Championship final.
  • If the same club wins both seasons, the clubs with the second, third and fourth best overall records from both seasons combined will qualify for The Championship.
2014 marks the debut of two new NASL clubs in Indianapolis and Ottawa...
Indy Eleven adopted its official name on April 25, 2013 during a ceremony held at the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument - 152 years to the day of the initial enlistment of the 11th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War.
Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Juergen Sommer holds the coaching reins, and has compiled a rookie squad that is spearheaded by arguably the NASL off-season's most prominent signing, Brazilian World Cup winner and former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson.
"Our expectations are simple - to be very competitive and put a good product on the field," said Sommer. "We want to provide entertainment for the fans and put ourselves in a position to really showcase ourselves in the spring season. Thanks to the ownership and leadership of the organization we'll be able to put together an exciting and dynamic group of players out there. It should be fun."
The introduction of Ottawa Fury FC to the NASL doubles the league's Canadian presence. The Fury will plays it home matches in two venues this year, opening the Spring Season at the Carleton University's Keith Harris Stadium before competing at the impressive newly constructed TD Place for the Fall campaign.
Fury FC recently unveiled new red, white and black uniforms for the new season. "Our kits are just as integral to our brand as our team name and crest," said Fury FC President John Pugh. "Our fans played an important role in the selection of the kits last fall and so they represent not only the Fury FC brand, but our fans as well.  So I think we'll see a lot of Fury FC jerseys in the stands and around the city in the coming weeks, months and years."
World Cup break...
The NASL has positioned its mid-season break in 2014 to align with the FIFA World Cup and ensure fans are able to enjoy both competitions without missing a single game.
Joining the majority of the soccer world in avoiding a conflict with the game's illustrious showpiece tournament, the NASL will break for the duration of the World Cup, which will be played from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil.
"Soccer fans everywhere anticipate the World Cup with great excitement every four years, so we recognize it is essential that NASL fans are able to watch the games from Brazil without a conflict," said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. "This break to enjoy watching the world's top international players in action will appeal to our fans, players, coaches and everyone associated with the NASL."
Under new management...
Two head coaches will make their NASL debuts when Indy Eleven and Ottawa Fury FC kick off their spring campaigns. Marc Dos Santos will guide the fortunes of Fury FC, while Juergen Sommer will take charge of Indy Eleven.
Dos Santos coached with the Montreal Impact in the NASL in 2011 and joins Fury FC after spending the last two years coaching in Brazil. After coaching the U20 team of FC Primeira Camisa in the 2012 Copa Sao Paolo, the Montreal native was invited to join SE Palmeiras, one of the most successful clubs in Brazilian football, where he coached the U15 team to their first ever Brazilian Championship in 2012.
Former U.S. Men's National team goalkeeper Sommer has local ties having attended high school at Culver Academy in northern Indiana before heading south to Bloomington to walk-on at Indiana University. He posted 57 career wins for the Hoosiers, still standing as third-most in the storied program's record books and helped win a third National Championship in 1988 and another Final Four appearance the following season before ending his collegiate career by being named Soccer America's Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior in 1990.
Eric Wynalda is certainly no stranger to the Atlanta Silverbacks having presided over the club's run to the 2013 NASL Soccer Bowl as technical director, but will now handle all team-related decisions, and manage the team during NASL play. While he will still remain in his role as a soccer analyst at Fox Sports 1, the former U.S. Men's National Team star will manage all of the team's games and key practices. Wynalda will rely on a group of hand-selected assistants to take the team through early-week recovery and training sessions.
"We understand as an organization that this appears to be a less conventional approach to running a club, however, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't expect it to be successful," said Wynalda. "Our ethics, our principles, our tactics, and our philosophy will not change, and we believe this process is very feasible and has tremendous potential."
Continuing The Countdown
With nine days until the season kickoff, tomorrow the NASL looks at some of the transfers in and out of NASL clubs and shines the spotlight on some of the potential stars of the 2014 season.
About the NASL
The North American Soccer League is a professional soccer league established in the United States and Canada. The NASL member teams are: Atlanta Silverbacks, Carolina RailHawks, FC Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United FC, New York Cosmos, Ottawa Fury FC, San Antonio Scorpions FC and Tampa Bay Rowdies. Jacksonville Armada, Virginia Cavalry FC and Oklahoma City will commence play in 2015. For more information about the NASL, visit www.NASL.com. Follow the NASL on Twitter @NASLOfficial and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/NASLfans.

Courtesy of:
Steven Torres
Manager of Public Relations, International/Hispanic Media
North American Soccer League
Office: +1/646-757-4643 
Mobile: +1/646-785-1155

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