Saturday, April 21

LD Update: USL Game Night; Fucito & the two Eddie Johnsons; & more

Charlotte Eagles 1:2 Harrisburg City Islanders - The Charlotte Eagles finally found their first goal of the season with Mauricio Salles striking a first-half equalizer, but the Harrisburg City Islanders, making their season debut, kept the Eagles out of the win column. A free kick led to Andrew Welker heading in a Brian Ombiji cross in the 23rd minute for the visitors.

Salles answered with a rifled free kick in the 35th. Just before the break Nick Noble made his second superb save of the night to keep Charlotte from taking their first lead of the year. Four minutes on the other side of the intermission a penalty kick proved to be the decider with JT Noone converting. Noble made another great save 10 minutes later, stopping Jorge Herrera a second time, to preserve the lead. – More

LA Blues 0:2 Rochester Rhinos – In what could have been treated as a week-long California preseason trip, the Rhinos came away with a full six points from Fullerton, doubling last Saturday’s effort against the Blues.

After each club had a quality chance in the first half, the Rhinos grabbed the advantage five minutes into the second stanza when Andrew Hoxie made a terrific play, acquiring the ball and driving toward goal before ripping a perfect shot inside the post. Six minutes later, Tam McManus hit a fantastic service from the right that allowed JC Banks to head past Jose Miranda.

Miranda would go on to deny another great effort from Hoxie before the match turned in LA’s favor as they pressed to rally. The Blues had a shot ring off the post and another stopped by the Rhinos Kristian Nicht with two more narrowly missing. - More

USL Pro Signings: Prior to the night’s action, the City Islanders made public announcements of the final roster moves, including the re-signing of JT Noone. They added a pair of PDL players (Tom Mellor of the Michigan Bucks and goalkeeper Avery Steinlage of Indiana Invaders), a former MLS keeper Nick Noble, Adrian LeRoy of NASL Edmonton and Yann Ekra from the French second division… Orlando City announced the signing today of local product, rookie midfielder Nick Sowers out of Rollins College.

USL alum retires: The Portland Timbers announced today that former English youth international and Austin Aztex (now Orlando City) striker Eddie Johnson has retired due to concussion concerns. The announcement was paired with the news the club brought in Mike Fucito in a trade with the Montreal Impact. In a strange, if not ironic, twist to the story; Fucito was with Montreal courtesy of a trade with Portland rival Seattle in exchange for former American international Eddie Johnson.

PDL Kicks Off Sunday: The Fresno Fuego will play hosts to the LA Misioneros Sunday in the opening game of the Premier Development League season. They will switch locales the following Sunday in the league’s second match.  Fresno swept the season series last year with 2-0 and 3-2 wins… In other news, Mississippi Brilla announced another two additions, a pair of players from West Florida... The Boston Victory have signed former New England Revolution midfielder Andrew Sousa

W-League News: The New Jersey Wildcats announced a new partnership with WPS club Sky Blue. The new relationship will see Sky Blue coach Jim Gabarra, with the year off, take on the head coaching role for the Wildcats in 2012 with Kevin McDermott serving as associate coach.

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