U23s Add Eight More Players to Roster
Paul Shaw adds eight international players to his U23s roster
photo: Nigel Worrall
The Orlando City U23s announced the second wave of signings with the addition of eight more players for the upcoming 2014 campaign. Head Coach Paul Shaw has been scouting players all over the world, but these select players have already been stateside playing soccer collegiately in America.
Victor Souto joins City after successful freshman season at the University of Akron. The Brazilian native made an immediate impact for the Zips, starting all 22 games as a defensive midfielder. Souto helped anchor a defense that recorded nine clean sheets in 2013 as well as limiting opponents to one goal or fewer in 19 of 22 matches.
In his sophomore season, Forward Romario Williams had a breakout year, leading nearby school UCF in points (22) and goals (10) in 2013. The Jamaican international made 14 starts as a freshman, but only managed to get onto the score sheet once. Williams has also seen time as a member of U17 national team for Jamaica.
Midfielder Omar Djabi also has a breakout season as a junior in 2013 for Lipscomb University where he led the team with 21 points from nine goals and three assists. In 2012, the Venezuelan native was named to the Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun and All-Tournament teams after recording eight points. As a freshman he was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team after making 17 starts during his first collegiate season.
The attacking defender from Norway, Eirik Bjoernoe, joins the Lions after finishing his four-year career at Long Island University. The Norwegian native recorded 33 assists during his time as a Pioneer while setting a season high in assists his junior campaign with 12.
Fellow European Defender Daan Brinkman joins the U23s after becoming a permanent fixture in College of Charleston’s lineup during the last three years. Despite defense being the Dutch international’s main focus, he was able to record an assist in 2013 and a goal in 2012. Prior to arriving stateside, Brinkman spent time as a member of the Ajax Youth Academy for four years and participated in youth tournaments with the youth club in countries all over Europe.
Tosan Popo will dawn the purple and white for the first time after completing his freshman season at nearby Rollins College. The Englishman made 18 starts in the midfield during his first collegiate season and 20 appearances. Popo finished fifth on the team in points with 16, after recording six goals to go along with four assists.
Former Radford University Midfielder, Lucas Diniz, is set to accompany fellow countryman Souto in the middle of the field for the U23s 2014 season. The Brazilian native spent two years at Radford before deciding to transfer. During his freshman season, Diniz recorded three goals and one assist while 43% of his shots were on frame.
The U23s also added a third Brazilian to the mix with acquisition of Diogo Quirino. The Sao Paolo native appeared in 12 out of the 14 matches during his first year at UNF. Prior to joining the Ospreys, he attended Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan. While at BCC, Quirino was named to the First Team All-Region, First Team All-District, and Second Team All-American, as well as 2012 Defender of the Year.