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 Signing:  VPS Adds Finnish International Striker Juho Mäkelä

Makela -_VPS_Press_Conference
(Photo: Courtesy of VPS at www.vepsu.fi)

Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) is pleased to announce that Finnish Striker Juho Mäkelä has signed for Veikausliiga club Vassan Palloseura ("VPS") for the 2015 Season. The two-time league scoring champion comes to Vaasa after playing for three clubs in 2014. Mäkelä started 2014 with Swiss Super League club St. Gallen before signing with IFK Mariehamn just before the Finnish transfer window deadline. He would later sign in summer 2014 with eventual second place finishers and Veikausliiga debutants SJK.  VPS was in need of a Striker after last season's club scoring leader Steven Morissey went down with a long-term knee injury during pre-season. Head Coach Olli Huttenen quickly showed interest and a deal was soon reached.  This will be Mäkelä's first season since 2012 to have a proper pre-season before starting league play after signing during the winter transfer period with Bundesliga 2 side Sandhausen SV in January 2013 and with St. Gallen in October 2013. 

"I am really happy for Juho because VPS is a great fit, and I expect that with a full month of preparation  to acclimate to his new teammates before the 2015 Veikausliiga season will yield positive results for Juho on the field," says SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin Stone. “This is a very important season for Juho and want to wish him well on and off the field as he starts his VPS career."  

Makela -_VPS_Signing


(Photo: Courtesy of VPS at www.vepsu.fi)


Finnish media had prematurely reported that Mäkelä signed last week. He played in his first match last weekend against HIFK in the Cup.

"I am really excited to move to Vaasa and happy to become a VPS player.  I cannot wait to get the Veikausliiga season started!" exclaimed a joyous Mäkelä.  

SSM would like to congratulate Juho and thank Sami Salonen for his assistance and cooperation in this signing.  Click HERE to see VPS upcoming League schedule and make sure to follow Juho on Twitter @juhomakela.

Signing: 2015 USL Expansion Franchise Louisville City FC Signs Striker Nate Polak

N. Polak_-_Louisville_Announcement


Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) is happy to announce that Nebraska native Nate Polak has signed with 2015 USL Expansion Franchise Louisville City FC for the 2015 season.  The 25 year-old Striker signed today as a Free Agent after impressing during pre-season and will add to first year head coach James O'Connor's attack in a 4-3-3 system.  Polak had previously spent the last three seasons with Minnesota United FC where he helped the club win the 2012 NASL Championship, 2014 NASL Spring Championship and the 2014 NASL Regular Season title. 

"Nate has been in camp with us since last month and he's been impressive during this time," Louisville City FC Head Coach James O'Connor said.  "With his goal-scoring ability and his past accomplishments, we are confident Nate will make an immediate impact with the squad."

After a standout career at Hastings College earning All-American Honors as well as winning the NAIA Championship, the New York Red Bulls selected Polak during the MLS Supplemental Draft. An off-field injury set him back and he was unable to participate in the pre-season and would ultimate sign with the Minnesota Stars FC. He scored his first professional goal against the Puerto Rico Islanders which helped the club secure a playoff birth and ultimately winning the title.  

"This is a great move for Nate to be a part of an inaugural seasion in Louisville and to continue his development under James O'Connor," remarked  SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin B. Stone. “Nate was behind some talented strikers in Minnesota on the depth chart, and I am confident that with a new slate in Louisville, he will be primed for his best professional season yet." 

SSM would like to congratulate Nate on his signing and wish him the best in his transition to Kentucky. Click HERE to see Louisville City FC's schedule and follow Nate on Twitter @PolakHWHL to follow his progress during the season.

[UPDATE] - See below a sample of Nate Polak's pre-season highlights:


About Stone Sports Management, LLC

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Washington, DC based boutique agency representing football/soccer players domestically and internationally.  Stone Sports Management takes a cooperative approach to athlete representation in order to provide the most opportunity for its clients.  Since its 2008 inception, Stone Sports Management has represented a versatile client portfolio having negotiated contracts for its clients based in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States.  Follow Stone Sports Management on Twitter @StoneSportsMgmt 


New Zealand International James Musa Signs w/Saint Louis FC

Musa -_FulhamMusa -_NZ_Kit

Washington, D.C. (Stone Sports Management, LLC) – February 25, 2015

Today, Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) in cooperation with The Pitch Management (“TPM”), is pleased to announce that current New Zealand Senior National Team member James Musa has signed with USL expansion franchise Saint Louis FC on a 2-year contract.  The 22 year-old ex-Fulham defender split 2014 between Southern Melbourne FC in the Victorian National Premier League and Team Wellington in New Zealand’s ASB Premiership, playing in 44 matches in total and helped the former club win the league title.

“I am excited to commit to Saint Louis FC and embark on a new challenge in the United States,” remarked James Musa.  “After speaking with Head Coach Dale Schilly and performing my research on Saint Louis FC as a club and city, I am confident that it is the right environment for me at this stage of my career.  I look forward to giving it my all for the club, fans and teammates and cannot wait to join the rest of the squad for pre-season training.”

Musa started his professional career in 2010/2011 signing with Wellington Phoenix in the Australian A-League as an injury replacement.  As a 17 year-old, he started three games before being released at the end of the season.  In Summer 2011, he featured in the U20 World Cup where his play caught the attention of Bradford City who offered a two-year contract, but unfortunate circumstances with the manager’s sacking prevented the deal from being finalized. Instead, Musa returned to New Zealand in search of regular playing time with Team Wellington and helped the club to the Grand Finals. 

After competing in the 2012 London Olympics where New Zealand played against Brazil, Belarus and Egypt, Musa’s play and background caught the attention of Fulham FC.  Musa, who holds duel United Kingdom citizenship having been born in England, convinced the Premiership side to offer him a one-year after impressing on trial.  He would play one season at Craven Cottage Road and also went on loan to Hereford for three months and featured in 15 games in the Conference National.  Fulham did not extend a first team contract so Musa returned to New Zealand to return to Team Wellington during the 2013/2014 season where the team once again made it to the Grand Finals and secured the club’s first Oceania Champions League birth.  After that season, he signed with Southern Melbourne FC which started the season on a thirteen game winning streak.


Musa -_NZ_Tackle 

(Photo Credit: Yuki Otsu; New Zealand vs. Japan July 11, 2012 at Kirin Cup, Tokyo Japan)


“I want to thank my coaches and the entire staff at Team Wellington and Southern Melbourne FC for helping me the past couple of seasons and prepare me to re-enter a professional environment with St. Louis FC,” said Musa. 


Anthony  Hudson, current New Zealand National Team Head Coach and an Ex-USL Pro Player and Head Coach, spoke with Musa and with the Saint Louis FC’s coaching staff before endorsing the move. 

Read more: Signing: Saint Louis FC Inks Kiwi International James Musa

Signings: GK Samir Badr and Striker Aaron King Sign w/Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC

King and_Samir_Csprings


Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) is pleased to announce that two of its longest tenured clients have each signed with 2015 USL expansion franchise Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Both are expected to feature in 2015 with the veteran striker Aaron King returning to his home state to play, while goalkeeper Samir Badr looks to build on his 2014 season with then expansion franchise OKC Energy.  

"Aaron and Samir each have a great chance to make their mark in Colorado Springs during the club's inaugural season," says SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin Stone. “There is no reason why each cannot have their best professional seasons with Samir having the ability to play a full season as the number one and with Aaron shouldering responsibility playing in front of friends and family to score goals and be dangerous offensively."

Although each signed in advance of the club's official announcments, Switchbacks FC announced Samir Badr's signing on February 2, 2015 and announced Aaron King's signing on February 11, 2015.  



“First, I want to thank the entire Switchbacks’ staff for bringing me in,” said King.  “Being a Colorado Native and having started my career with the Colorado Rapids and the Boulder Rapids Reserves in PDL, this opportunity is very exciting and special for me.  I am looking forward to reuniting with Tritt, Wolde and Vercollone, with expectations of making this Inaugural Season a memorable one.”



“I am really excited about joining Switchbacks FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in the city of Colorado Springs,” said Badr.

SSM would like to wish Aaron and Samir well as they acclimate to the altitude.  Click HERE for the Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC schedule and stay tuned for more exciting news regarding these clients.  Make sure to follow Aaron King on Twitter: @gibron18 and Samir Badr on Twitter: @samirmbadr



About Stone Sports Management, LLC

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Washington, DC based boutique agency representing football/soccer players domestically and internationally.  Stone Sports Management takes a cooperative approach to athlete representation in order to provide the most opportunity for its clients.  Since its 2008 inception, Stone Sports Management has represented a versatile client portfolio having negotiated contracts for its clients based in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United States.  Follow Stone Sports Management on Twitter @StoneSportsMgmt 



Indy Eleven Loan Goalkeeper Kristian Nicht to MLS Montreal Impact 

Nicht -_Impact

On February 5, 2015, Indy Eleven officially loaned the club's starting goalkeeper, Kristian Nicht, to the Montreal Impact for one month.  This will complete the trifecta for Nicht having signed with every level of professional soccer in the United States and Canada after having previously spent his career in his native Germany and in Norway.  It also marks the first Indy Eleven player to be loaned or to be transferred to a Major League Soccer club.

"I am looking forward to this challenge and giving my all to Montreal across the next month.  I greatly appreciate their faith in bringing me aboard during this important stretch for their club," said Nicht, the first signing in Indy Eleven's history.

The Impact were in need of a goalkeeper to compete in the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final series against Mexican club Pachuca, after the club's recent addition, Eric Krongerg, was ineligible having previously taken part of the competition with Sporting KC and with the Impact's third string goalkeeper picked up a shoulder injury. 

"This was a perfect fit for all parties," says SSM’s President and Players’ Agent Justin Stone. “The Impact get the services of a quality, MLS level Goalkeeper without having to trade or loan within MLS while Kristian can prepare in top level environment ahead of Indy Eleven's 2015 Season."

Stone Sports Management would like to wish Kristian all the best during his time with the Impac and for the club to progress in the Touranment. He will travel to Montreal for a few days before traveling with the club for an extended pre-season trip in Mexico leading up to its away leg against Pachuca.  Stone Sports Management would also like to thank the Montreal Impact coaching and technical staff as well as Indy Eleven's Peter Wilt and Juergen Sommer for making arrangements to ensure this transaction happened.

Goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski Returns to Finland Signing 1-Year Contract with RoPS

Tomer -_RoPS_Jersey_Unveil

Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) would like to congrtulate Canadian International Goalkeeper Tomer Chencinski on his return to the Finnish Veikuasliiga club Rovaniemen Palloseura ("RoPS") for the 2015 season.  Chencinski is expeceted to lead the club to an improved 2014 Veikausliiga 9th place and secure a European position.  The last time Chencinski played in this competion (2011), he won the VPS Player of the Year award and was considered one of the best three Goalkeepers in the Veikausliiga.  

His signing marks the end of a two-year stint with Israeli giants Maccabi Tel Aviv where Chencinski was a member of back to back league championships that competed in UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Group Stages.  Maccabi Tel Aviv is currently in first place and expected to win another title. Chencinski made two six-month loan stints throughout 2014 with Hakoach Ramat Gan and Hapoel Nir Ha'Sharon playing in 24 matches throughout 2014.  SSM would like to thank everyone at Maccabi Tel Aviv for their assistance throughout the last two years and wish the club success as it attempts to win a third straight league title.

Chencinski will start as the number one goalkeeper as RoPS competes in the Finnish Cup in February.  The season starts in April and click HERE for the schedule.  SSM wishes Tomer success in his Finnish adventure on and off the field!

[February 20, 2015 UPDATE] - Check out two articles about Tomer Chencinski and his RoPS debut in the Finnish Cup.  

Faneille.com's RoPS sai huippu-urheilijan maalileen - Tarttuuko oppi ja esimerkki suomalaisfutaajiin?

Suomifutis.com's Rops' Goalkeeper: "I want to play in England" 


NASL's Jacksonville Armada Signs La Liga Veteran and Ex-Swiss Super League Golden Boot Striker - Guinean Alhassane Keita

 Keita -_Montage

Washington, D.C. (Stone Sports Management, LLC) – January 7, 2015

Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) and Gold Kick CH (“Gold Kick”) together are pleased to announce that 2015 North American Soccer League (“NASL”) Expansion Franchise Jacksonville Armada has signed former UEFA and Asian Champions League Striker Alhassane Keita.  Coming to North America puts Keita in rare company as he will begin his Armada career playing on a fourth continent, having previously been his club’s leading goal scorer on each of the previous three (Africa, Europe and the Middle East).  

“This is a tremendous signing for Jacksonville Armada and the NASL with the club securing a quality goal scorer who is still in his prime and should be one of the fastest players in the league,” says SSM's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone. “Every club desires a proven Striker, and Alhassane Keita certainly fills that role for the Armada.  He has had success scoring goals throughout his career in Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the Middle East.  I am confident that he will continue that success in Jacksonville and applaud the Armada's commitment to make this signing happen.”

“We are very pleased to welcome a pedigree like Keita’s,” said Armada FC General Manager Dario Sala. “He has been successful against top competition overseas, and I look forward to seeing what dynamic he can bring to our club.”

The 31-year old former Guinean International joins the Armada after spending the last 18 months back in the Swiss Super League with St. Gallen where he posted 7 Goals in 29 appearances in the UEFA Europa League, Swiss Super League and the Swiss Cup during the 2013/2014 season between, accumulating a strike rate of 1 goal every 2.1 games (by total minutes played).  He previously played in Switzerland with FC Zurich from 2001 through 2006 and would go on to play over 70 games in Spain’s La Liga and Segunda Division as well as three seasons in the Middle East based in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Keita recently terminated the remaining six months left on his original two-year contract with St. Gallen to come to the Armada.

“I am really looking forward to starting something special in Jacksonville, and the Armada’s project really excited me after I visited the club in November,” remarked Keita.  “Head Coach Jose Luis Villarreal’s system is ideal for my playing style, and he and General Manager Dario Sala really welcomed me, so I cannot wait to join my teammates for pre-season.”

Keita currently remains in Spain awaiting his P-1 Visa.  He will then join the Armada’s pre-season in Jacksonville along with his wife and three children one of whom is already an American citizen having been born in the United States.

Read more: Signing: Jacksonville Armada Makes Splash w/Striker Alhassane Keita


Chicago Fire Sign Brazilian Defender Adailton Jose dos Santos Filho

Adailton Bahia_Press_ConfAdailton -_Bahia_web_profile

Washington, D.C. (Stone Sports Management, LLC) – December 30, 2014

Today, Stone Sports Management, LLC (“SSM”) is excited to announce former Brazilian Youth International and 2003 U-20 World Cup Winner Adailton Jose Dos Santos Filho ("Adailton") has signed with Major League Soccer and the Chicago Fire for the 2015 Season.  Adailton most recently played with Esporte Clube Bahia in his home city Salvador, Brazil featuring in four matches and yesterday terminated his contract allowing him to sign with the Fire on a free transfer.  The 31 year-old central defender returned to Brazil in Summer 2014 after spending the previous five years in Switzerland with Swiss Super League side Sion FC (with two loan stints in China with Chinese Super League Henan Jianye and also with FC Chiasso in Switzerland) where he played along side 2013 MLS Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves. 

"It is with great satisfaction that I will continue my career with the Chicago Fire and play in Major League Soccer," remarked Adailton.  "I have been watching MLS closely over the past several seasons and ever since 2004 while in France, I made it a goal of mine to play in the United States. I had other opportunities to join MLS clubs in the past but the timing was not right until this challenge with the Fire.  I look forward to working with my new teammates and Coach Frank Yallop and his staff to take on the challenge of returning the Fire to the Playoffs and giving the Fire Supporters the trophies they deserve."

Adailton comes to Chicago with a versatile playing background having played in Brazil, France, Switzerland and China. He is fluent in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Italian. He boasts leadership qualities having first Captained the Brazilian U20 World Cup team helping them win the 2003 World Cup in Dubai. Brazilian giants Santos FC, Sion FC and FC Chiasso also elected Adailton Captain.  French Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais signed Adailton for three years after his impressive U20 World Cup and after he broke through as a first team regular at his local side Vitoria SC.  He then returned to Brazil with Santos FC signing for three years playing alongside Brazilian Superstar Neymar whom he shares a passion and friendship giving back to the Brazilian community through Socal Projects and Charity.  

  adailton neymar_barcelona_arquivopessoalAdailton -_Trophy

Adailton joins a Fire squad that finished eighth in the Eastern Conference and out of the MLS Playoffs. He is expected to start in central defense next to Fire Captain Jeff Larentowicz and 2014 Team Defensive MVP Lovel Palmer, as the club has made several off-season international signings including two Designated Player Strikers David Accam and Kennedy Igbonanike as well as Defender Joevin Jones

"I am very pleased to have assisted in Adailton's transfer to the Chicago Fire and Major League Soccer," says SSM's President and Players' Agent Justin B. Stone. "I have known Adailton for several years and is an outstanding professional and person. He welcomed me to his home this summer during the World Cup and to meet his family, so it is with great pleasure to welcome him to the United States along with his wife and newborn son. I want to thank the Chicago Fire, Head Coach Frank Yallop and Technical Director Brian Bliss for their hard work bringing Adailton to the club. I am confident that he will transition well to MLS and that the 2015 season will be successful for Adailton individually and the Fire collectively." 

Read more: Breaking: Chicago Fire Sign Brazilian Defender Adailton

Stone Sports Management LLC
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Columbus, OH 43215 USA
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