Arizona United SC News Release -- www.arizonaunited.com
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
PEORIA, Ariz. – USL PRO's Arizona United Soccer Club -- Arizona’s only professional soccer team -- announced today the signing of defender Daniel Antúnez and midfielder Matt Kassel, pictured, who both competed in Major League Soccer’s 2013 season, pending league and USSF approval.
Antúnez has been well traveled in his six-year professional career after making his pro debut for USL First Division side the Rochester Rhinos in 2008. The Santa Ana, Calif. product played in the top division in Finland, Veikkausliiga, for FC Inter Turku in the 2010 and 2012 seasons, where he amassed more than 3,500 minutes in 48 league appearances. Antúnez returned to North America twice, the first time in 2011 when he made two league appearances for Liga MX club the Estudiantes Tecos. The second time was in 2013 when he made three league appearances for his hometown club Chivas USA.
“Daniel brings a great deal of experience. He is a calm, composed soccer player, who reads the game very well,” Arizona United SC head coach Michael James Dellorusso said.
Antúnez attended junior college at Lon Morris College from 2004-05 before he transferred to the University of Hartford for the remainder of his collegiate career from 2006-07. Antúnez was originally selected in the third round of the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft by the Colorado Rapids.
“Very thankful to be here and it’s a great opportunity with the new franchise,” Antúnez said. “Seems like we have a good quality players and obviously it’s a short span before our first game, but I think we will have a good team and a good season.”
Hailing from Bridgewater Township, N.J., Kassel joins Arizona United SC after making five appearances for the Philadelphia Union in 2013. The former Homegrown New York Red Bulls signee made two league appearances after signing with the Red Bulls in 2011. Kassel joined USL PRO’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 2012, where he scored six goals in 18 appearances and was named to the USL PRO All-League Second Team.
“Matt is a true number eight,” Dellorusso said. “He is a connecter on the field who makes everyone around him better.”
As a youth player, Kassel played for U.S. Soccer’s U-15 and U-18 National Teams and was a member of the New York Red Bulls United States Soccer Development Academy. Kassel played three seasons for the University of Maryland, where he appeared in 68 matches and scored 11 goals while notching 24 assists. In his freshman year, Kassel was named TopDrawerSoccer.com Rookie of the Year and helped guide the Terrapins to their third NCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship.
“It’s an exciting time,” Kassel said. “I think especially for this whole community, the city of Phoenix and the whole state of Arizona. The soccer community around here is large and I think everybody knows that and it hasn’t been exposed. I’m excited to come here to help the team perform, get results, get this community on board with a winning team and a winning program.”
With the signing of these two players Arizona United SC now has four players under contract. Earlier this week Arizona United SC announced the signings of forwards Brad Stisser and Brandon Swartzendruber, all pending league and USSF approval.
Arizona United SC will make its inaugural USL PRO debut at home on Saturday, April 12th at the Peoria Sports Complex against expansion side Oklahoma City Energy. Gates to Peoria Sports Complex will open at 6 p.m. with the match slated to kick off at 7:10 p.m.
For more information regarding Arizona United SC or to purchase tickets visit online at www.arizonaunited.com. Fans and media can also follow the team on Facebook www.facebook.com/ArizonaUnitedSoccer or Twitter twitter.com/AZUnitedSC.