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NASL Team of the Week (2): Swope Park Rangers Central Defender James Musa

Musa ToW_2

Stone Sports Management congratulates Swope Park Rangers' Central Defender James Musa for making USL's Team of the Week (2) on his Swope Park debut. Key stats highlighted in the club's 1-0 win against Portland Timbers II were 8 clearances and 4 interceptions. Administrative errors prevented Musa from making his debut in Week 1, so this honor reflects well on Musa's patience and impact in his debut.

[UPDATE: Since Week 3, Swope Park Rangers have employed James Musa as a #6 Defensive Midfielder and has ranked in the league's Top 5 in total passes]

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Signing: Tiago Calvano's New Project with Harrisburg City Islanders

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - March 23, 2017

Stone Sports Management LLC is excited to announce Tiago Calvano's 2-year contract with Harrisburg City Islanders. The 35-year-old Brazilian moves to the USL after spending the last three seasons with Minnesota United FC, where he made more than 60 appearances for the Loons. His Minnesota United FC highlights included winning the Spring 2014 NASL Championship, 2014 Best XI selection, making the NASL Playoffs twice and wearing the Captain's armband. The City Islanders targeted Calvano for his leadership and experience which will make him one of the highest profiled players to play for Pennyslvania's capital club. Calvano emerged with Brazilian giants Botafogo before headnig to Italy with AC Perugia and later to Spain with Barcelona B. His European career spanned stints in Switzerland (BSC Young Boys), Germany (MSV Duisburg, Fortuna Dusseldorf) and Australia (Sydney FC). 

"I chose Harrisburg City Islanders for its tradition, and I was impressed with the Club's current ambition and the President's vision for the future," says Calvano.  "After speaking with the staff and seeing their passion for tis organization, I was impressed and knew that it was a place that I would enjoy helping contribute.  I am looking forward to the challenges for the USL season, meeting the fans, my teammates and integrating into the community!"

Despite several options, the City Islanders aggressively pursued Calvano and convinced him that it was the right place for his on-field playing career and future.  It also helped that the City Islander's new ownership group, Capelli Sport, has deep ties to one of Calvano's former clubs, MSV Duisburg in Germany. 

"Harrisburg City Islanders are making a statement signing by bringing Tiago to Harrisburg," remarked SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "I want to thank the City Islanders' President Tiago Lopes and Head Coach Bill Becher for their patience and persistence with bringing Tiago to Harrisburg. There is a new standard in Harrisburg, and I am confident that Tiago will help the club reach new heights on and off the field."

Calvano has already joined the Islanders for pre-season and will be kicking off its 2017 USL Season on the road against the Richmond Kickers this weekend. Click HERE for the City Islanders' schedule. 

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About Stone Sports Management, LLC 

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique sports agency representing football/soccer players domestically and internationally. Led by President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone, SSM has established itself as a leading North American agency since its 2008 inception by taking a cooperative approach to athlete representation, which provides increased opportunities for its clients. After gaining trust from clients representing over 75 nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 140 contracts for his clients based in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States, including more than 20 International clients to MLS/NASL/USL.

Follow Stone Sports Management on Twitter @StoneSportsMgmt

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Farewell: Tiago Calvano's Minnesota United FC Chapter Ends

Calvano 1Captain_Jersey_Name

Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - March 22, 2017

After more than 60 appearances for Minnesota United FC, Tiago Calvano is moving on after agreeing to a mutual termination. The 35 year-old Brazilian joined the Loons in February 2014 and immediately made an impact helping the club to the Spring 2014 NASL Championship and would later be named to the NASL Best XI and Golden Ball nominee. In response to his stellar play that season, Minnesota United FC extended him for an additional two seasons while the club's uncertain future whether it would join MLS loomed. Calvano wore the Captain's armband on numerous occasions, participated in the NASL Playoffs and integrated well in the Twin Cities' community. Other highlights included playing friendlies against Swansea and AFC Bournemouth as well as obtaining his US Permanent Residency a/ka US Green Card.

"Tiago has been a consummate professional throughout his time with Minnesota and played an important role in the club's development," remarked SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "Although his Minnesota United FC chapter closes on the playing front, a new and exciting project begins for Tiago, and the mutual respect between the Club and Player leaves the door open in the future."  

Below is Calvano's goodbye note. SSM would like to echo his remarks and thank those with Minnesota United FC throughout these past years. Stay tuned to learn which club Calvano will sign with for the 2017 season!  

Tiago MNUFC_Farewell

After an incredible three years in Minnesota, it is time for me to say goodbye.  It was an honor to represent the club and a privilege to play in front of amazing fans that rivaled or exceeded my past clubs. A special thanks to the Dark Clouds who made every home game a memorable experience! 

In 2014, my family and I took a big step moving from Australia and started our “American Dream,” which became a reality when I received my US Green Card.  Thank you to my agents Justin Stone and Damone Priestley who provided me with this great opportunity and being there throughout. 

I will never forget lifting the Spring NASL Championship, the honor of wearing the Captain’s armband and the memories with my teammates, staff and the fans.  A special thanks to the Club and staff members who welcomed me and were always there to assist me. 

The Twin Cities will always be special to me and wish nothing but success for the club and community as it grows in Major League Soccer.  

I am happy to continue to play in America for two more seasons and will be announcing soon my new project. 

This is goodbye for now… but once a Loon, always a Loon!              

 

Tiago Calvano #5

 

 MLS Team of the Week (3): Patrice Bernier

Stone Sports Management would like to congratulate Montreal Impact Captain Patrice Bernier for his stellar performance in the Big Apple and MLS naming him to the Team of the Week (3). Not only did Bernier provide the Impact's game-tying assist on a well flighted long ball over the top to Dominic Oduro, but he had a incredible 93% passing accurany, including three Key Passes.  He also made several important recoveries and showed a skillset when he performed a "Sombrero" over Andres Pirlo getting out of his own box area. Bernier now leads all MLS players with three assists in three matches and went the full 90 minutes for the first time this season.  Also Bernier earned club milestones with his 200 game played and over 15,000 minutes played. 

Bernier 200_GP

Check out his Opta game statistics and watch his Sombrero! Congrats again Patrice and looking forward to seeing more impactful performances! 

Bernier v_NYCFC_Opta_-_3.19.17 Bernier Week_3_Assist_Leader

Retirement: Adailton dos Santos Filho Retires After 15-Year Career

Adailton -_Miami_FC_Profile

Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - March 1, 2017

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") would like to recognize Brazilian defender Adailton dos Santos Filho's fantatsic career as he announces his retirment with Miami FC. The 33 year-old Brazilian entered his second year with the NASL franchise after signing in February 2016 and decided to hang up the boots due to physical limitations. Adailton first came to the United States when he signed with the Chicago Fire after spanning the globe playing for top divisions in Brazil, France, Switzerland and China.  

"This is a bittersweet day because Adailton loves football and being around the game," reflected SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "I am honored to call Adailton a friend and gained his trust to negotiate his final two contracts with MLS (Chicago Fire) and Miami FC.  I want to thank Miami FC for their understanding and admiration for Adailton. He has touched many lives with his fantatsic character and empathy for others.  I am confident that he will transition these qualities into a new role within the game and have an even greater impact that his fantatstic career!"

Thank you Adailton and all the best to you and your familyin retirement!  SSM looks forward to "keeping in touch!" 

Adailton Justin_Wife 






 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Transfer: Minnesota United FC Bolster Defense with Swiss Outsdide Back Jérôme Thiesson

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 21, 2017

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") is pleased to announce Jérôme Thiesson's transfer from Swiss Super League FC Luzern to Minnesota United FC. The 29-year-old Swiss defender becomes one of the most experienced outside backs in Major League Soccer with over 350 professional matches.  The Loons have secured Thiesson's services through the 2018 season with a 2019 Option, and he will join his Minnesota United teammates as soon as he receives his P1-visa in hopes of doing so before the March 3, 2017 season opener against the Portland Timbers.

"I am honored to be one of the select internationals that Minnesota United FC has chosen to be part of its inaugural season," reflected Thiesson.  "This unique experience to start a project from the beginning is not possible in Europe and so it made my difficult decision to leave FC Luzern easier.  I want to thank the FC Luzern and its fans for my five and a half fantastic years at the club and applaud the administration for supporting my wish to come to Major League Soccer.  I also want to recognize Head Coach Adrian Heath, Sporting Director Manny Lagos and Director of Soccer Amos Magee for their courtship and making me feel welcomed." 

Thiesson signed with FC Luzern in summer 2011 and averaged over 30 games per season.  In 2016/2017, Thiesson played in 10 matches and returned to the lineup and started in a 4-1 win against BSC Young Boys, which would turn out to be his last match for FC Luzern. In his professional career that started in 2005/2006 with FC Zurich, Thiesson has primarily played right back but also has significant experience as a left back and has also featured as right midfielder, defensive midfielder and a central defender in a 3-man back line. Prior to signing with FC Luzern, he featured in 85 matches with now defunct AC Bellinzona, including one season entirely as a left back under former Montreal Impact Head Coach Marco Schillibaum. From 2007 until 2009, Thiesson played for FC Wil 1900 before moving to the Swiss Super League with AC Bellinzona in January 2009. Thiesson's versatility will immediately provide options for Coach Heath along the backline.

"With Minnesota United FC looking to add a versatile, veteran defender, I am glad they recognized Thiesson's abilities and experience to help compliment a diverse roster that looks to make its mark in MLS for its expansion season," remarked SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "Minnesota United FC is getting a player who has fantastic character, and I am excited for him and his wife to experience a new competition and culture."

Thiesson becomes SSM's first international right back signing in MLS and marks MLS's second signing this window from FC Luzern. SSM would like to congratulate Jérôme, his wife and the entire Minnesota United FC organization on this signing and wishes them the best during the 2017 inaugural season and beyond!

Click HERE for Minnesota United FC's inaugural season schedule and enjoy highlights below!  


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About Stone Sports Management, LLC 

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique sports agency representing football/soccer players domestically and internationally. Led by President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone, SSM has established itself as a leading North American agency since its 2008 inception by taking a cooperative approach to athlete representation, which provides increased opportunities for its clients. After gaining trust from clients representing over 75 nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 145 contracts for his clients based in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States, including more than 20 International clients to MLS/NASL/USL.

Follow Stone Sports Management on Twitter @StoneSportsMgmt

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Jacksonville Armada Secure #1 GK Caleb Patterson-Sewell

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Stone Sports Management LLC (Columbus, Ohio) - February 15, 2017

Stone Sports Management LLC ("SSM") is pleased to announce Goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell's return to the NASL with the Jacksonville Armada for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The Armada purchased Caleb from Portuguese side Farense where helped them to a promotion position by only giving up 6 goals in 13 games and posting 7 clean sheets (53.9%). Caleb looks to make his mark within the NASL as the Armada's first choice Goalkeeper, after starting the 2016 with last year's disaster club, Rayo OKC. The 29 year-old Tennessee native has experience in North America with the Carolina Railhawks (2011), Miami FC (2010), New York Red Bulls (2008) and Cleveland City Stars.  After the 2011 season, he departed 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. 

"My family and I are delighted to join the Armada and to return to the States after spending the last six months in Portugal," reflected Caleb.  "I am extremely excited to work under Head Coach Mark Lowery and Goalkeeper Coach Daryl Sattler, who along with Technical Director Nathan Walter, made me feel welcomed during the recruitment process and made me want to join this project.  I want to thank each of them for their patience and persistent efforts to bring me on board and cannot wait to meet my new teammates, the fans and integrate into the community and do my part to make the 2017 season a success."   

Caleb is one of a few domestic Goalkeepers to have had experience at Europe's top academies (Liverpool, Sheffield Wednesday and Anderlecht), USL, NASL 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.

"I want to echo Caleb's comments and thank everyone at the Armada for their hard work and persistence getting this signing over the link," remarked SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "Caleb is really focused on getting in with the group and back on the pitch in the NASL."

Click HERE to see Jacksonville Armada's 2017 season schedule.  SSM would like to wish Caleb well this season and his new start in Florida!   

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About Stone Sports Management, LLC 

 

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique sports agency representing football/soccer players domestically and internationally. Led by President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone, SSM has established itself as a leading North American agency since its 2008 inception by taking a cooperative approach to athlete representation, which provides increased opportunities for its clients. After gaining trust from clients representing over 75 nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 140 contracts for his clients based in Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and the United States, including more than 20 International clients to MLS/NASL/USL.

Follow Stone Sports Management on Twitter @StoneSportsMgmt

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Amobi Okugo Returns to Portland Timbers for 2017 Season 

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Stone Sports Management, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) -- January 23, 2017

Stone Sports Management ("SSM") congratulates Amobi Okugo on signing a new MLS contract with the Portland Timbers for the 2017 season with a 2018 Option. The 25 year-old Sacramento, California native will enter his 8th MLS season after spending the 2016 season with the Timbers. Coach Caleb Porter will rely on Okugo's versatility to play central defender and defensive midfielder for the Timbers who will look to bounce back from missing the 2016 MLS Playoffs after capturing MLS Cup in 2015. Okugo joins his teammates today in Portland to begin pre-season.

"I am excited to return to Portland and grateful for the opportunity this wonderful organization has provided me, to join my teammates for a proper pre-season and to play in front of the best fans in MLS," says Okugo. "The Timbers and the Portland community have been welcoming ever since I arrived, and I want to thank Coach Caleb Porter and his staff for having the confidence in me to return and to General Manager Gavin Wilkinson, MLS and my agent for working hard behind to scenes to finalize a solution so that I can begin pre-season timely. The Timbers Army and all Timbers' fans deserve more trophies this season, and I will do my best to help the team achieve its goals, earn clean sheets and hopefully I can celebrate with Timber Joey and earn a slab or two!" 

After a nomadic start to the 2016 season that prevented him from particiating in pre-season due to his former club, Sporting KC, waiving him with two years left on his 3-year guaranteed contract, the Timbers signed him in May 2016 (after week 10). After taking time to integrate in the new system and getting back to fitness with the Reserve Team in USL, Okugo would go on to play 7 games between MLS, US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League play, including an MLS Team of the Week (22) bench honor.  

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"Amobi will cointue to give us experience and depth in two positoins  and when called upon like last year, we know he has the ability to step in and get the job done," said Head Coach Caleb Porter.  The Timbers' General Manager and President of Soccer Gavin Wilkinson reflected, "We are pleased to have Amobi back for the 2017 season and look forward to his continued contributions as a versatile and experienced player on our roster."

Out of Contract in January 2015 after 5 seasons with the Philadelphia Union (including back to back 32 game seasons) and recognized as one of the best young, domestic talents [MLS 24 Under 24 Talents: #8 (2013) at 22 and #13 (2014) at 23 and ESPN’s US Soccer: 10 to watch under 21 #8 (2012), Okugo elected to re-sign in MLS with Expansion Franchise Orlando City SC (with the club trading for his MLS rights) on a 3-year $1M USD contract. *In 2015, after starting the first 9 games and applauded for doing the “grunt work” in midfield and on the USMNT radar, Okugo received a yellow card suspension and replaced by Colombian International Cristian Higuita.  Okugo would go on to appear in eight more matches before Sporting KC and Peter Vermes (who coached him with Generation Adidas and praised Okugo for his versatility), traded for him in exchange for Servando Carrasco. After acclimating with his new teammates, Okugo unfortunately suffered a PCL tear (and played on it) during his first start with Sporting KC. Unable to return until a couple months later (and with team selection settled vying for Playoff position), his opportunities were limited as the season ended. 

"With the Timbers' need at both positions that Amobi has played in his career, Portland was a logical fit for him and for continuity in Coach Porter's system," says SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "With his contract situation resolved, he can now focus on having a great season and get back to his form a few seasons ago where he was considered one of the best young talents in MLS.  I want to thank General Manager Gavin Wilkinson and Coach Caleb Porter for their efforts to ensure that Amobi builds on last season and looking forward to watching Amobi and the Timbers this season." 

*After a stand out Youth National Team and UCLA collegiate career, Okugo was a 2010 MLS Generation adidas ("GA") class member and earned the MLS Combine MVP.  At 18, MLS Expansion Franchise Philadelphia Union drafted him as the #6 overall pick and limited his time (12 games) his Rookie Season due to Salary Cap reasons/preventing him from graduating from the GA program. Okugo participated in three U20 USA camps as well as an off-season GA trip to Spain playing against Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid reserves. 

*In 2013, Okugo earned Philadelphia Union's Team/Defensive MVP under permanent Head Coach John Hackworth (who as interim in June 2012 switched Okugo to central defense to replace former US Men's National Team player Danny Califf and Malian Internatiol Bakary Soumare, for the first time in his career) and started 32 matches, scoring 3 Goals and adding 3 Assists from primarily central defense. At age 23, Hackworth gave Okugo the Captain’s armband after third game of season at teammate Maurice Edu’s suggestion. His consistent play garnered Senior National Team interest after several MLS team of the Week Honors (2013 ToW (33); ToW (31); ToW (25); ToW (18) Bench; ToW (6); 2012 ToW (29); ToW (19) 

*In 2014, expectations grew for Okugo and the Union. In summer, the club sacked Hackworth and replaced him with Jim Curtin who reverted Okugo back into central midfield where he was consistently one of the better players when on the pitch, including scoring in US Open Cup Semi-Final and Man of the Match performance against the Chicago Fire, providing Coach Curtin many options as the season finished. Okugo earned several MLS Team of the Week honors including Team of the Week (13) and Week 1 and Week (2) Benches.  In all, Okugo made 117 appearances (101 starts) for the Union between 2010-14. 

Read more: Signing: Amobi Okugo Inks New Deal w/Timbers

Stone Sports Management LLC
629 N. High Street, Floor 4
Columbus, OH 43215 USA
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