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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phoenix Rising FC Signs New Zealand International Defensive Midfielder James Musa

Musa Phoenix

Stone Sports Management, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) – March 1, 2018

Stone Sports Management LLC (“SSM”) announces Phoenix Rising FC’s (“PRFC”) signing of New Zealand International Defensive Midfielder James Musa to a 2-year deal ahead of the 2018 USL Season. The 25-year old UK Passport holder joins MLS Expansion candidate PRFC from Major League Soccer’s Sporting KC and coming off his most successful professional season and return to the New Zealand National Team

Sporting KC promoted Musa in August 2017 from its affiliate Swope Park Rangers transitioned immediately to a 90-minute start against back to back MLS Western Conference Champions Seattle Sounders, leading Sporting KC in passes (78) and touches (84). Musa earned Swope Park MVP honors and helped the team claim the 2017 Western Conference Championship and back to back USL Cup appearances. Musa is no stranger to PRFC having played against them on several occasions over the past seasons, including a 104 passing (95.3% accuracy) performance.


“I am honored to have joined Phoenix Rising FC after watching closely the club’s evolution over the past few seasons on and off the field,” remarked Musa. “Phoenix Rising FC was always one of the more difficult opponents and hope that my experience and qualities will help the club earn trophies this season and beyond. The Club’s first-class ownership, training facilities, coaching staff, front office and roster quality as well as a chance to play in front of a packed stadium were all huge factors in my decision. I have one thing in mind this year and that is lifting the USL Final Trophy and cannot wait to join the group to get started on this new challenge.”


Musa joins PRFC whom recently announced Advantage Sports Union Ltd, led by Chairman Alex Zheng, as part of its already diverse ownership group, which many industry leaders believe is a significant piece for the club to land an MLS expansion franchise during the next expansion round. PRFC’s most identifiable player is Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba who also is part owner. It is expected Musa will complement an already impressive USL roster with MLS, International and USL All-League experience to compete against the USL’s elite franchises.

 

“James had no shortage of options and ultimately decided on Phoenix Rising FC after the club made a big impression with similar goals for 2018 and the club’s infrastructure and future to grow the sport locally, nationally and internationally,” says SSM’s President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. “I want to thank PRFC’s COO Bob Dulle and the entire Coaching Staff for their professionalism throughout the recruitment process and wish James and the club well for the upcoming season.”


Musa started his United States career with Saint Louis FC joining them on a 2-year contract in its inaugural season. The club’s first Captain was a consistent starter (starting 27 games each season) and made an off-season loan to Team Wellington. Musa made his professional debut with Australian A-league outfit Wellington Phoenix during the 2010-11 season and would later sign with Waitakere City helping them to the Finals and earned a U20 New Zealand World Cup selection.


After impressing during the 2012 London Olympics, Musa signed with Fulham FC and spent time on loan to Conference club Hereford. In the 2013-14 season, Musa returned to New Zealand with Team Wellington of the ASB Premiership (2013/14 season) and led the club to the Grand Finals and Oceania Champions League birth. He then signed w/South Melbourne FC for 2-years and was a backline staple.


PRFC returns to Arizona this weekend after playing in the club’s first international friendly yesterday in Ecuador and begins USL play March 17 against Orange County SC before making its home debut March 24 versus OKC Energy FC


Click HERE to watch Musa’s 2017 Sporting KC/ Swope Park Rangers Highlights and make sure to follow James on Instagram: musa41_. Congratulations to James Musa and make sure to follow him this season by clicking on Phoenix Rising FC’s schedule HERE.



 

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About Stone Sports Management, LLC

 

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique 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 different nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 150 contracts for his clients with clubs 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

Toronto FC Sign Goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell

Caleb TFC

Stone Sports Management, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) – February 14, 2018

 

Stone Sports Management LLC (“SSM”) announces Toronto FC’s transfer and signing of former Jacksonville Armada Goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell to a 1-year deal with MLS options. The 30-year-old American-Australian makes his return to MLS with the 2017 MLS treble-winning side coached by Greg Vanney. Patterson-Sewell’s recent form over the last 18 months, keeping 17 cleans-sheets out of 38 games between the Armada and Portuguese side Farense, proved FourFourTwo’s prediction he would be one of seven NASL players to transfer to MLS for the 2018 season.

 

The 6’ 3” Patterson-Sewell joins Alex Bono and Clint Irwin as one of MLS’s most experienced goalkeeping corps and will be working with Toronto FC’s Goalkeeping Coach Jon Conway. With Toronto FC involved in the CONCACAF Champions League knock-out rounds that begin later this month, there will be no shortage of games between that competition, the MLS Regular Season and the Canadian Championship.

 

“I am delighted to be back in MLS and with Toronto FC’s first-class organization,” says Caleb Patterson-Sewell. “I paid close attention to the club’s MLS-record 2017 season, and I look forward to working with [Head Coach] Greg Vanney, [Goalkeeping Coach] Jon Conway and the rest of the coaching staff and teammates to contribute to achieving our goals for 2018 and beyond.”

 

2017 was Patterson-Sewell’s full season between the pipes in North America since the 2010 season with Miami FC. Patterson-Sewell rose to the occasion breaking the Armada’s clean-sheet record (10) and claimed NASL's third best GAA (1.11)The NASL honored his consistent play with 6 out of 32 Team of the Week Honors. 


Patterson-Sewell’s first MLS stint occurred in 2008 with the New York Red Bulls having signed there following his professoinal debut season with the Cleveland City Stars in 2009. He would feature in a friendly against FC Barcelona where he had a standout performance against some of the world’s best and was on the bench for the 2008 MLS Cup Final. Having played at every North American level, Patterson-Sewell made the jump abroad signing with Portuguese club Atletico Club de Portugal in summer 2011. Patterson-Sewell would emerge as a Liga Honra Goalkeeper of the Year Finalist having played every minute and led league with the best Goals Against Average. His strong player in Portugal gained him promotion to the Portuguese Superliga where he played with Vitoria Setubal (2012-13) and Gil Vicente (2013-15) before a brief return to North America with Rayo OKC. After leaving due to Rayo’s dire financial situation, Patterson-Sewell signed with Farense SC until signing two years with the Armada in February 2017.

 

“Caleb deserves this moment to return to MLS after his first full season in goal here in North America since moving abroad in 2011,” reflected SSM’s President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. “Caleb’s leadership, experience and consistency will complement the other Toronto FC goalkeepers and looking forward to him joining TFC’s quest to build upon its 2017 treble-winning side within MLS and CONCACAF.”

 

Patterson-Sewell is a Nashville, Tennessee native and his decade-plus professional career helped him established CPS Soccer Academy, one of the region’s top developmental academies. This year’s annual camp takes place June 18-21st with special guest professional players and coaches. Visit www.cpssocceradacdemy.com for more information.


Click HERE to watch Caleb’s 2017 Jacksonville Armada Highlights and make sure to follow Caleb on Twitter: @CalebPatterson Congratulations to Caleb Patterson-Sewell and make sure to follow him this season in Toronto by clicking Toronto FC’s schedule HERE.




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About Stone Sports Management, LLC


From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique 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 different nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 150 contracts for his clients with clubs 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

Tampa Bay Rowdies Strengthens Goalkeeping Unit 

Signing Cody Mizell

 

Mizell Rapids

 

Stone Sports Management, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) – January 5, 2018 

 

Stone Sports Management ("SSM") announces the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ signing of Goalkeeper Cody Mizell to a 1-year contract for the 2018 season with a 1-year option. The 26-year-old American returns to the Rowdies coming off his best professional season backstopping the Charlotte Independence, as the the USL honored him as a 2017 Goalkeeper of the Year Finalist.

 

“I am thrilled to be returning to the Tampa Bay Rowdies, one of the most historic US soccer clubs and a top-class organization with great ambitions,” says Mizell. “I am honored to be able to call this place my home again after developing further on and off the field, which is parallel to how the organization has developed since I had left so I am excited to play in front of Ralph's Mob and all the Rowdies' fans.”  


“Cody has really matured into a great goalkeeper since we had him previously,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “His stats in Charlotte speak for themselves and he understands what the Rowdies mean to the Tampa Bay area. We’re going to have competition in training every day.” 


Mizell’s development after his first Rowdies stint between 2014-15 is evident in his 63 games played as a starting Goalkeeper as well as his play leading to a loan stint with MLS’ Colorado Rapids in early 2017.  Mizell appeared on the bench replacing an injured Tim Howard one match before Charlotte recalled their #1 Goalkeeper. In 2017, Mizell recorded 90 saves and 5 clean sheets in 32 League and Playoff appearances, won or nominated for USL Save of the Week seven times and earned Team of the Week twice and a June USL Player of the Month Finalist (17 saves, 0.79 GAA and a perfect 18-18 on GK Interception over 5 games).

Mizell replaces Rowdies’ legend Matt Pickens who played over 100 games and whom Mizell backed up during his initial Tampa Bay stint where Mizell used a European Release clause to sign abroad with Iceland club Knattspyrnufelagid Fram. He emerged as Fram’s starter and earned the league’s Best XI Award. Mizell would return to the States to sign with the Charlotte Independence where he showcased his skillsets: acrobatic, world-class saves, overall positive attitude and positioning while controlling the game with his feet out of the back.   

“Cody and I agreed to work together shortly after his stellar 2017 USL campaign and there was no shortage of options for him within North America,” reflected SSM’s President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. “The Rowdies Goalkeeper opening was one of the more sought roster spots, and I look forward to Cody wearing green and yellow again and to help the club build upon its inaugural USL campaign. I wish him and the club success in 2018 and beyond.” 


“We set a modern-era club record in 2017, posting 14 clean sheets, but we know we can’t rest on what we accomplished. Cody will be a great addition to this club as we look to build on 2017’s success,” said Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards. 


“A special thanks to Chairman and CEO Bill Edwards, Vice President Lee Cohen, Head Coach Stuart Campbell and Goalkeeper Coach Stuart Dobson for their trust bringing me into the organization. I look forward to working with them, my new teammates and staff to earn their respect, continued Mizell.” “St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area has had a special place in my heart, and I will do all I can to help bring the club, its fans and community championships they deserve.” 


 Watch below Cody Mizell’s 2017 Charlotte Independence Highlights. Congratulations to Cody and be tuned for the Rowdies schedule once posted. Follow Cody on Twitter: @CodyMizell1




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About Stone Sports Management, LLC

 

From developmental to Designated Players, Stone Sports Management, LLC is a Columbus, Ohio based boutique 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 different nationalities, Mr. Stone has negotiated more than 150 contracts for his clients with clubs 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  

 

 


 

 2017 NASL Best XI: Mason Trafford

 Mason Best_XI

Stone Sports Management congratulates Miami FC Defender Mason Trafford on his 2017 NASL Best XI selection capping off a historical year for Trafford and Miami FC after becoming the first club to win the both the Spring Championship and Fall ChampionshipThe Orange and Blue's 21 wins, 61 goals scored, 69 points earned, and +33 goal differential also set an NASL record. Since arriving to Miami at the start of the 2016 season, Head Coach Alessandro Nesta has counted on Mason as part of his first choice central defense pairing, which led the league in defending with only 0.9 goals per game (11 goals against). Mason contributed to Nesta's possesion-oriented playing style, leading the NASL with 92.5% passing accuracy and finished top ten in clearances (99), third ipasses (1753) and part of league-leading clean sheets (15). Mason’s 2017 Season’s stats:


Mason 2017

Not only did Mason excel in NASL league play but also had strong performances in the US Open Cup against Atlanta United, Orlando City SC and FC Cincinnati. "This is a great honor for Mason to be recognized as the league's best left footed central defender and caps off his consistent, strong play over the last four years in NASL," reflected SSM's President and USSF Licensed Intermediary Justin B. Stone. "Miami FC set new NASL records playing an attractive playing style, and Mason's abilities helped the team accomplish most of its goals in 2017."

Congrats once again to Mason for his NASL Best XI selection and championships this season! Enjoy the montage NASL produced for its NASL Best XI (Mason appears at 0:48)!


 

 

Thiesson Earns Selected as MNUFC's Newcomer of the Year

Minnesota United FC Outside Back Jerome Thiesson above gives his speech accepting the Dark Clouds Newcomer of the Year Award. The Dark Clouds are one of Minnesota United's most recognized supporter groups and have held the End of the Year Awards for the last fourteen years. Thiesson joined Minnesota right as the season started for its inaugural MLS season and developed into a fan-favorite and most reliable player starting in all 33 games eligible and led the club and in minutes played with 2955 minutes. He also had a memorable "Loon Celebration" after scoring his first MLS goal, capped off another Golaso in the last game of the year and was part of a series called "Jerry's Thoughts."  Soccer America recognized Thiesson as the 5th best right back in MLS for the 2017 Season.  It was a big year off the field for Jerome and his wife Ivana as well by welcoming their first child Jago in July. Congrats Jerome on this recognition and looking forward to seeing you in 2018! Follow Jerome on Twitter at @J_Thiesson.

 Thiesson Loon

 James Musa Named Swope Park Rangers MVP Award

Musa -_Drogba_640x508

Stone Sports Management congratulates James Musa for capping off a special 2017 season with the Swope Park Rangers MVP Award.  As a team leader, Musa, led the Ranger’s to a 4th place finish in the USL’s Western Conference regular season and embarks on its attempt to better its 2nd place Playoff finish last year. Musa signed with Swope Park Rangers after two seasons with Saint Louis FC with the goal of developing throughout the year and integrating into the Sporting KC structure, which he accomplished when Sporting KC promoted him to its first team. Musa would make his MLS debut a day later against the Seattle Sounders starting and going the distance, leading all players with 68 successful passes.

Musa dominated the defensive central midfield position for Swope Park Rangers dictating play from his deep-lying position and defensively helped cover in front of the backline that was one of USL's best.  The defensive group kept 12 clean sheets in his 24 starts, including 5 straight during the start of summer. Although signed as a hybrid between defensive midfield and a central defneder, Musa would earn USL's Team of the Week (2) at central defense before playing all other minutes in midfield. Remarkbly since Musa missed several matches due to International Call-Ups and playing with Sporting KC, Musa ended the USL season top ten in passes (1639). In his 24 starts, Musa played in every minute showing his reliability and is expected to feature for them in the 2017 USL Playoffs. James made  once during the year. His USL Season Stats:

Musa 2017_stats

 

Musa also returned to the International Stage, as New Zealand Head Coach Anthony Hudson called up Musa to play for his National team for the first time since 2015. Musa featured in the all-important Oceania World Cup Qualifiers against the Solomon Islands helping them advance with a win and tie.

Congratulations again to James Musa on this award and all the best in the MLS and USL Playoffs! 

 

Kevin Kratz's Free Kick Goal Wins AT&T Goal of the Week

Kratz -_Goal_of_Week

Stone Sports Management congratulates Atlanta United FC Midfielder Kevin Kratz for winning the AT&T Goal of the Week (28) for his clinicial Free Kick goal against the New England Revolution. As Tata Martino's first-choice free kick taker, Kratz stepped up and buried his free kick opportunity, approximately 10 yards outside the box, up and over the wall, beating Revolution Goalkeeper Cody Cropper with pace and accuracy. It was Atlanta United's 5th goal of the evening and would go on to win 7-0. MLS fans around the continent chose Kratz's goal (which can be seen below at 1:13 and slow-motion viewing HERE) with 47 percent of the vote. 

Kratz's free kick capabilities came as no surprise to his coaches and teammates. With Kratz scoring in the US Open Cup earlier in the season, his first MLS goal will be memorable after showcasing his talents in front of Atlanta's record-breaking attendance and new Mercedes-Benz stadium's first Free Kick Goal. Check out an Atlanta United Fan's video behind the goal as well as his first half of the season's highlights. Congrats again to Kevin and wishes him well well for the remaining league matches and to clinch a playoff berth!

 



Team of the Week (23): Defender Tyler Polak

061517 fc_cincy24

Stone Sports Management congratulates Cincinnati FC Defender Tyler Polak for his USL Team of the Week (23) bench selection. Tyler helped Cincinnati to a 3-1 win over Ottawa Fury FC. Polak started off hot assisting on Dani Konig's opening goal off a cross in the 34th minute. Tyler returned to the starting line-up after suffering a foot injury from a poor tackle from behind and delivered  team-high 8 crosses and recorded an 84 percent passing accuracy on the night. Although not credited for an assist, his free-kick service led to FC Cincinnati's third goal.  Check out highlights below.   

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