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United Adds Four Key Players
Woodberry, Renken, Baladez, Newton all join Arizona

Arizona United SC News Release --

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

PEORIA, Ariz. – Arizona United Soccer Club – Arizona’s only professional soccer team playing in USL PRO – is proud to announce the signings of defender London Woodberry, midfielder Charles Renken, forward Bradlee Baladez, and goalkeeper Evan Newton, pending league and USSF approval.

Woodberry, 22, joins United after making his professional debut for FC Dallas in 2013, where he logged more than 350 minutes in eight league matches and appeared in 11 Reserve League matches.

“London is an extremely versatile defender,” Arizona United SC head coach Michael Dellorusso said. “He comes from a great organization in FC Dallas, and should make a big impact on our team.”

The former Homegrown player signee played in FC Dallas’ United States Soccer Development Academy before joining the University of Maryland Terrapins in 2009. At Maryland, Woodberry appeared in 77 matches, scored four goals and notched four assists. He earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America Third-Team honors as a senior for the Terrapins in 2012.

“It’s a dream of mine to play professional soccer and I get to continue my dream,” Woodberry said. “I’m just looking forward to getting games under my belt and trying to get wins. It’s not fun to lose. I’m here to win.”

Renken, 20, has been a standout for the U.S. Soccer National Teams since 2005, and has represented the United States at the U-14, U-15, U-17, and U-20 levels. Renken was also a member of the distinguished U.S. Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida for three years from 2007-09. Following the conclusion of his stay in Florida, Renken joined the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency program for a season before he moved over to the German Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in 2010. In Germany, Renken played for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s U-19 team and amassed 435 minutes in 10 matches before the Portland Timbers acquired him in January 2012, via the MLS waiver process. In his one season for the Timbers, Renken appeared in all 10 of the Timber’s Reserve League matches, recording two assists.

“I heard the organization is great and so far I’ve experienced what they have with the players and coaches,” Renken said. “I’m looking forward to playing with the team.”

Baladez, 22, joins Arizona after playing for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers during the 2013 season after being loaned by FC Dallas. In 12 league appearances for the Strikers, Baladez notched four goals.

“Bradlee is a dynamic, explosive attacking player,” Dellorusso said. “He is exciting to watch every time he touches the ball.”

The former Homegrown player signee played for FC Dallas in the United States Soccer Development Academy before joining the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2010. In three seasons for South Carolina, Baladez started in 59 matches, scored 17 goals and recorded eight assists. Following the conclusion of his junior year, Baladez was All-Conference and was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South honoree.

“I’m excited,” Baladez said. “It’s a lot different than Dallas obviously being in the desert and it’s hot, but I’m excited to be here and excited to win a championship with Arizona.”

Newton, 26, heads to Arizona after wrapping up a two-year stint for the San Jose Earthquakes, in which he saw action in San Jose’s Reserve League team, appearing in three matches during the 2013 campaign. Collegiately, Newton played at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where he finished as the program's all-time leader in saves (254) and shutouts (36). He was selected by the Houston Dynamo with the 7th overall selection in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft where he was loaned to FC Tampa Bay, appearing in two matches. Newton was also a member of the distinguished U.S. Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida, for three years from 2003-05. Newton was also named PDL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2007 after allowing only three goals in 14 games for the Hampton Roads Piranhas.

“I’m excited and I’ve heard a lot of good things,” Newton said. “The supporter group is great and the city is cool. We have some experienced guys, and everybody is getting to know each other. I’m excited to get going on Saturday.”

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