03/26/2014 9:21 AM
SOCKERS FC … SOCKERS UK Latest Recruits Span From Mississippi To The United Kingdom
To borrow a phrase from “ABC’s Wide World of Sports,” Sockers FC head Matt Barnes is “spanning the globe” in recruiting players for his first Premier Development League season.
The latest group of players added to the preseason roster includes two from the United Kingdom (England and Wales), a Mexico native (now making his home in California), one player from Costa Rica and one from Clinton, Mississippi.
Coach Barnes today announced the additions of defenders Byron Knowles-Ramirez and Jordan Slack, midfielders Jonathan Colunga and James Gulley, and forward Scott McCoubrey.
Four of the players are also playing collegiate soccer (Gulley and Knowles-Ramirez at the University of Tulsa, Colunga at San Jose State, and Slack at Grand Canyon University). McCoubrey, the only member of the current roster not playing at the collegiate level in the U.S., has extensive experience in his native Wales and has played the last three seasons in the PDL.
The Sockers open the 2014 Premier Development League season on Saturday, May 17, against the defending PDL champion Austin Aztex at Grande Communications Stadium.
Jonathan Colunga Midfielder Strathmore, California
Coach Barnes’ Comments “I'm excited about Jonathan because I think he will bring a spark to the midfield. He can play on both sides of the ball and has tremendous experience playing for Cal State Bakersfield under coach Simon Tobin. Jonathan has great vision on the field, and he's very comfortable on the ball, which will make him a big asset at this level. Originally from Mexico, and majoring in Spanish, Jonathan brings some very important international experience to our squad.”
James Gulley Midfielder Clinton, Mississippi
Coach Barnes’ Comments “James is a player that we will be comfortable playing in a variety of positions. Although listed as a midfielder, James can play anywhere on the field. He will be looking to make an impact at Tulsa this fall as they contend for the Conference USA championship. I think James will be very driven this summer as he looks to make his mark on the collegiate and professional level.”
Byron Knowles-Ramirez Defender San Jose, Costa Rica
Coach Barnes’ Comments “One of my first tasks as head coach was to find a left back with the attacking and defending qualities that fit our style of play. Byron was my first choice, and I was thrilled after speaking to Tulsa's head coach Tom McIntosh about Byron's availability this summer. He has extensive club, college, and international experience. His enthusiasm is contagious, and I think he will play a massive role within the squad this summer.”
Scott McCoubrey Forward Swansea, Wales (U. K.)
Coach Barnes’ Comments “Anytime you build a squad from the ground up, you need to look for both leadership and experience, and we struck gold with Scott. Currently playing in the Welsh Premier League, Scott will bring some guidance and experience to the team this summer. Scott has captained two different PDL teams, played internationally for Wales from the ages of 14-21, and played for the first team at Cardiff City. I expect Scott to play an integral role for the Sockers this summer. We are very fortunate to have added a player of Scott's caliber, and the Midland/Odessa community will be in for a treat watching him work this summer.”
Jordan Slack Defender Ashfield, England
Coach Barnes’ Comments “Jordan is another defender that I'm thrilled to have with us. He has both attacking and defending qualities with the size and speed to play at the next level. Jordan started as a freshman at Division I Grand Canyon University under long-time head coach Petar Draksin, and had an outstanding first year in the WAC. I'm excited about the prospect of Jordan playing in Midland for the next few summers.”