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 Wandrille Lefevre Holds USA Scoreless in Canadian National Team Start   

Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 5, 2016

Stone Sports Management would like to congratulate Montreal Impact Central Defender Wandrille Lefèvre on starting against the United States in an exhibition at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, California,  After making his Canadian National Team debut against Ghana in Washington, DC, Lefèvre helped shut down Jozy Altidore and the United States Men's National Team before being subbed at half-time.  Lefèvre will join the Impact during its pre-season in Montreal and Florida before starting his fourth season with the Impact!

 Signing: GK Kristian Nicht Signs With Minnesota United FC 

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(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 5, 2016

Stone Sports Management (“SSM”) is pleased to announce German and US Permanent Resident Kristian Nicht has signed with Minnesota United. The 33-year old netminder is one of the most experienced Goalkeepers playing in North America having played in over 350 professional matches that spans the German Bundesliga, Norwegian Tippaeligaen as well as all levels in North America. Nicht joins the Loons from Indy Eleven where he helped post a winning record in 2015 when between the goal and is the club’s all-time leader in games played with 50. Indy Eleven made Nicht the club’s first-ever signing, and Nicht had an eventful 2015 with a loan stint and permanent transfer to the Montreal Impact, playing in front of 62,000 fans against Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League Final. In 2014, he established an NASL Modern-Day record for consecutive minutes without conceding, was the only NASL player to play all minutes during the season and was named Player of the Season.

“After two eventful years with Indy Eleven playing in front of sold out crowds, I am honored and excited for this opportunity with Minnesota United FC,” said Kristian Nicht. “Minnesota has consistently been one of the best teams in the NASL since I came to the United States. The club’s core is established and will work hard to integrate myself with my teammates, coaching staff, club philosophy and the community. I look forward to getting started in pre-season and push everyone to put ourselves in a position to win trophies."

Nicht bursted on the North American scene with the Rochester Rhinos securing a record six straight clean sheets and would go on to win USL Goalkeeper of the Year and USL First Team honors. His European accolades including winning promotion with Alemania Aachen in 2005-06, winning the GK of the Year Award as well as competing in the UEFA Europa Cup with Norwegian club Viking FK. 

"Kristian is one of a few Goalkeepers who has played with clubs based in MLS, NASL and USL,” remarked SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin B. Stone. “Along with this domestic experience, his fantastic international experience having played abroad at the highest levels in Germany and Norway gives him unique qualities that will help Minnesota United. I look forward to seeing Nicht excel in Minnesota and create a competitive environment with Coach Carl Craig’s goalkeepers."

“Kristian is literally a massive physical presence and we've been on the wrong end of his excellent performances numerous times, so we were happy he was available,” said Minnesota United Head Coach Carl Craig. “We were looking for a fellow with experience and one who can potentially push Sammy for the number one spot, so he fits the bill."

Click HERE to see the Minnesota United’s 2016 NASL Schedule and check out Kristian's 2015 Indy Eleven Highlights below! Make sure to follow Kristian on Twitter: @nicht_kristian


  

Kristian is literally a massive physical presence and we've been on the wrong end of his excellent performances numerous times, so we were happy he was available,” said Minnesota United Head Coach Carl Craig. “We were looking for a fellow with experience and one who can potentially push Sammy for the number one spot, so he fits the bill."

Transfer: Major League Soccer/Philadelphia Union Purchase Dutch Midfielder Roland Alberg from ADO Den Haag

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 4, 2016

Stone Sports Management (“SSM”) is pleased to announce Dutch Attacking Midfielder Roland Alberg’s transfer from Dutch Eredivisie club ADO Den Haag to Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union on a two-year contract with options. The 25-year old Hoorn, Netherlands native comes to the Union after two and half seasons with ADO Den Haag where he was the club’s Captain and most prolific scorer with 20 Goals,15 Assists in all competitions. After returning to Holland from the Turkish Super League (Elazigspor), Alberg scored an impressive 7 Goals, 4 Assists during the 2012-13 season and bettered that season in the 2014-2015 Season with 8 Goals,10 Assists in 33 games. Deal terms will remain undisclosed, but MLS secured Alberg’s services with a transfer fee, and the Philadelphia Union elected to use Targeted Allocation Money (“TAM”) to complete the transfer

“After spending all but six months of my professional career in Holland, I wanted to find a club in a new competition that would challenge me on and off the field,” reflected Alberg. “I have studied MLS for the past couple of seasons and have seen the competition grow tremendously. After visiting Philadelphia and meeting with [Sports Director] Earnie Stewart, [Technical Director] Chris Albright and [Head Coach] Jim Curtin, it was clear that joining the Union gives me the best chance to succeed and develop. I know it will not be easy and take lots of hard work on and off the field, but I am fully committed to helping the club and my teammates achieve its goals and look forward to meeting the fans, especially the Sons of Ben!"

Negotiations started in January after Alberg was within six months of his ADO Den Haag’s contract expiration. Earnie Stewart was familiar with Alberg, as the former U21 Dutch Youth International’s formation occurred at Stewart’s last club as Sports Director, AZ Alkmaar and had played six matches against the club socring 1 Goal and 1 Assist.  Alberg jumped onto the professional scene at age 20 signing a 2-year contract with Excelsior Rotterdam scoring 8 Goals, 2 Assists in his first full season and secured the club’s Player of the Year, but the club was relegated. He continued his scoring ways in the Jupiler league with 6 Goals, 2 Assists in 20 games before being transferred to the Turkish Super League on a 3 ½-year contract. After the Turkish Super League changes its rules limiting foreigners, he returned to Holland with ADO.

Read more: Transfer: MLS/Union Purchase Dutchman Roland Alberg

Transfer: Miami FC Acquires Canadian International Defender Mason Trafford

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 4, 2016

Stone Sports Management (“SSM”) announces that 2016 NASL Expansion Franchise Miami FC has purchased Defender Mason Trafford from the Ottawa Fury FC and has inked the 2-time Ottawa Fury FC Fans Player of the Year to a new 2-year contract. Trafford comes to Miami FC having helped Ottawa win the 2015 NASL Fall Season, a 2015 NASL Soccer Bowl appearance and establish NASL Modern-Day defense records. After being inserted into the Fury lineup in Week 6 as a left back, Ottawa’s defense kept six straight clean sheets (thirteen overall), giving up only 23 goals in the season, yet Trafford had an even better goals against average (0.60 Goals Against Average) as the club only gave up 15 goals in the 25 games he played.  The 29-year old Vancouver native returns “home” to where he was born (Boynton Beach, Florida) and will begin his new career chapter under World Cup and Champions League winner Alessandro Nesta and his staff.  Given his dual national status, Trafford will not occupy an international slot.

“After two unforgettable years in Ottawa, I am excited to continue my career with Miami FC and return to the area where I was born,” reflected Trafford.  “I am extremely proud to have been part of a Championship squad starting as an expansion franchise and formed bonds with teammates, staff and fans that will last beyond my playing career. I will do my best to emulate and exceed that success with Miami FC.  It is clear that the club is ambitious, professional and it will be an honor to work under one of the best defenders of all time and his staff.  I am looking forward to meeting all of my teammates and to prepare for the upcoming season."

This will be Trafford’s second NASL expansion season having initially signed with Ottawa ahead of their 2014 inaugural campaign for just the Spring season. Ottawa immediately recognized his contributions and inked him to an extension through the end of the 2015 season. In 2014, he led the team in minutes played (and was second in all of North America for a Canadian in minutes played), most NASL Team of the Week awards and was voted the Fans Player of the Year at central defense. Trafford enters his eighth professional season having also played for the Vancouver Whitecaps, IFK Mariehamn (Finland) and Guizhou Zhicheng (China). His North American, European, Asian and International experience will be critical for Miami FC as they begin NASL play on April 2, 2016 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Mason (and his fiancée Claudia) to establish himself with an ambitious club,” remarked SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin B. Stone. “This was a bittersweet situation for Mason as he really enjoyed his time in Ottawa, especially developing relationships with the Fury Fans and local community, but Miami FC aggressively pursued Mason and created a package that justified Mason’s market value as one of the best defenders in NASL. Having represented Mason from his first professional contract to the present, it is a great testament for him to have Italian legends Alessandro Nesta seek him out to be a leader on defense."

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While in Miami, Florida during the MLS Combine, SSM learned of Miami FC’s interest in Trafford after the club identified him as one of the top defenders in NASL.  The clubs agreed shortly thereafter on a transfer fee pending finalizing personal terms with Miami FC.  

“I would like to thank Miami FC for their interest and professionalism throughout this process, especially recognizing Owners Riccardo Silva and Paolo Maldini, Technical Director Mauro Pederzoli, VP of Operations Darren McCartney and Head Coach Alessandro Nesta.” says Justin B. Stone. “I wish Mason and the club well for the upcoming season and looking forward to seeing a game down in Miami this year."

Read more: Transfer: Miami FC Acquires Defender Mason Trafford

Caleb Patterson-Sewell Returns Domestically to Rayo OKC

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - January 26, 2016

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") is excited to announce Goalkeeper Caleb Patteron-Sewell's return to North America having signed with 2016 NASL Expansion Franchise Rayo OKC for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.  The 28 year old Tennessee native last played in North America with the Carolina Railhawks in 2011 before departing to Portugal with Atletico Portugal where he had a standout season and was a Portuguese League for Professional Football (LPFP) Goalkeeper of the Year Finalist.  Caleb would then transfer to Portuguese Superliga club Vitoria Setubal where he would play against league giants Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and SC Braga. After one season with Setubal, he transferred to Gil Vicente and spent the next two seasons in the Portuguese Superliga.

"This is the ideal time for me returning to North American football,' reflected Caleb.  "I am really looking forward to working with Alen Marcina and starting on this new project.  I have had other opportunities to work with Alen in the past that did not quite materialize and helping to build a foundation is a challenge that excites me.  I have been watching the league grow since I left four years ago and really looking forward to make my mark after spending the last four years in Portugal.  It is equally exciting for me to be able to play at home in the States after the recent birth of my son."  

Caleb is one of a few domestic Goalkeepers to have had experience at Europes top academies (Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday and Anderlecht), USL (Cleveland City), NASL (Carolina Railhawks, Miami FC), MLS (New York Red Bulls) and Europe.  Caleb was part of the record-breaking 2010 Carolina Railhawks team and was on the bench for 2008 MLS Cup where the Red Bulls lost to Columbus Crew at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

"Caleb has grown tremendously and developed his game since he left for Portugal and is now coming back to the NASL with a chip on his shoulder," remarked SSM's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone.  "Rayo OKC is getting a fantastic Goalkeeper and person to help with the new venture and I look forward to seeing Caleb reach new heights in 2016 and beyond."  

Read more: Domestic Return: GK Caleb Patterson-Sewell Signs w/Rayo OKC

Anderson Joins Philadelphia Union on Loan for 2016 Season

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - January 13, 2016

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") is pleased to announce Major League Soccer/Philadelphia Union's loan acquisition of Anderson Conceição Benedito from Brazilian Club Tombense for the 2016 Season.  The left footed central defender most recently played for America-MG and led his second club to Serie A promotion after doing so with Joinville in 2014. The back to back promotions caught the eye of Philadelphia Union Sports Director Earnie Stewart.

"Anderson's natural athletic ability and winning pedigree was really something we zeroed in on during our offseason assessment," said Earnie Stewart. He is the type of defender who really addresses some of our technical needs and we believe we are getting someone who is committed to helping build the next chapter of our club."

The 26-year old comes with European experience having transferred to Mallorca in Spain's La Liga during the 2012/2013 winter break after a breakout season in Serie A with Figueirense.  The club was subsequently relegated and could not afford his buy option so he returned to Brazilian football and amassed 43 games during the 2015 season throughtout all competitions.

"This is a significant signing for the Philadelphia Union," remarked SSM's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone. "The Union welcomed Anderson to Philadelphia, and he was immediately impressed with the club's facilities and vision with new Sports Director Earnie Stewart and satisfies their long-term need as a left footed central defender."

The transaction was several months in the making once SSM learned of Anderson's availability the previous year.  After monotoring him throughout the 2015 season, it was the ideal time for him to move to MLS during the off-season. After learning of the Union's need for a left footed central defender, the Union invited Anderson to Philadelphia where Justin B. Stone joined him to see the facilities, explore the city and to meet with Union staff. Negotiations over the next weeks and holidays were concluded in January.

"I would like to thank Tombense, Alex Uram, Rodrigo Benchimol for their hard work in making this transaction possible along with Earnie Stewart, Technical Director Chris Albright and Head Coach Jim Curtin for their professionlism and welcoming of Anderson to Philadelphia," says Justin B. Stone.  "We are all hopeful that he will acclimate well to Major League Soccer and have a long-term stay with the Union. Entering his prime, I am confident he will do so."

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Click HERE to see the Philadelphia Union's schedule and Anderson's highlights and interview below!  

 

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Washington, DC) - December 8, 2015

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") is pleased to announce that Canadian International Goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski has inked a 2-year contract with Swedish Allvenskan club Helsingborg IF.  Chencinski returns to Sweden after spending the 2012 season at Orebro SK and had competed in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv and Finland with Rovaniemen Palloseura ("RoPS") most recently in 2015 where he helped them to the club's highest finnish (2nd Place). Chencinski had options in Finland, Norway and the United States but the opportunity to return to Sweden where he had success at Orebro and play for Swedish legend Henrik Larsson.

"I am looking forward to staring playing for HIF.  Only have good memories from my time in Sweden.  I simply cannot wait to get started! The days I have spent so far in Helsingborg gave ma v ery impressive impression of the club.  I look forward to heling the team in the best possible way," says Chencinski. 

"I am so happy for Tomer to return to Sweden and start his new life chapter with his wife Jessie [the coupled recently married in their hometown Toronto, Ontario November 29, 2015]," said SSM's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone.  "Tomer spent a few days after his RoPS season to visit with Helsingborg and was pleased to find the playing level to his standard. I want to thank Lighthouse Football's Sami Salonen for his continous hard work as well as Henrik Larsson and Jonas Eidevall for their efforts in securing Tomer's signature"

SSM would like to congratulate Tomer on his new challenge and wishes him well.  He recently returned from his honeymoon and will travel to Sweden in early January to begin preparations.  Please check out his 2015 RoPS and 2012 Orebro Highlights below!

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Stone Sports Management is pleased to announce that Tyler Polak is part of 2016 USL Expansion Franchise FC Cincinnati's first signings.  The 23 year-old Lincoln, Nebraska native joins former US National Team Captain John Harkes' club after spending two years with NASL's Minnesota United FC where he helped the club to the 2014 NASL Spring Title and Regular Season Championship. Polak is expected to start along side Cincinnati native and 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry as well as in front of Minnesota United FC teammate Mitch Hildenbrandt.

"After speaking with John Harkes and [Assistant Coach] Ryan Martin, this project immediately felt like the right fit for me to further my career on and off the field," said Polak.  Their enthusiasm and experiencing developing players coupled with staying in the Midwest is really motivating and cannot wait to get started in January."

Despite having multiple clubs make bids to have Polak come on loan at the start of the 2015 season, he remained with Minnesota United and pushed left back Justin Davis to have another outstanding season.  Polak would feature in two matches (one in US Open Cup and in the NASL Regular Season) and had an strong match against LIga MX side Club Leon during a summer friendly. The opportunity to begin a new chapter with FC Cincinnati will give Polak the platform to develop into one of the USL's top left backs, and with still being 24, is still considered a younger player by MLS standards.  A strong season in USL will provide him the opportunity to return to MLS where he was drafted by the New England Revolution out of Creighton University.

"I would like to thank Coach Harkes and Assistant Coach Ryan Martin for their due dilligence in courting Tyler to Ohio and be a part of this gret project," remarked Stone Sports Management's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone. "FC Cincinnati has an incredible vision and already showing they will be competing for a championship in its inaugural season.  Tyler has played for one of the best NASL clubs these past two years and pushed NASL Best XI Justin Davis, so I expect him to grow under Coach Harkes and Martin with increased playing time."

FC Cincinnati's schedule will be released in January where they will start away from home while ren,novations are completed at University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.  The club has already secured impressive sponsorship and season ticket sales, including Toyota as main jersey sponsor and NIKE as its official brand.  Please enjoy video from today's Press Conference (Tyler Polak's Introduction begins at 23:05) as well as 2015 video against Liga MX side Club Leon.  Please also be sure to follow Tyler Polak on Twitter @TylerJohnPolak.  Congratulations Tyler!

 

 

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