NASL Notes: Former USMNT Robbie Findley Joins Rayo OKC, more

Rayo OKC

by JAKE NUTTING

NASL expansion side Rayo OKC made a splash this week with the addition of former U.S. national team forward Robbie Findley.

Findley, 30, started his professional career in MLS with the LA Galaxy in 2007, but quickly moved to Real Salt Lake, where he remained for four seasons and made close to 100 appearances and tallied 29 goals. His success in Salt Lake City earned him a shot with English Championship club Nottingham Forest. Findley recorded 25 appearances and three goals in three years in England before returning stateside. He returned to Real Salt Lake for two more seasons but left when his option was declined and joined Toronto FC for the 2015 season. Findley appeared in 25 matches and netted two goals in his lone season in Toronto.

The veteran has 11 caps for the senior national team, including three during the team’s appearance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Rayo OKC also added Salvadoran international Richard Menjivar to its inaugural roster this week. The move reunites the 25-year-old midfielder with Alen Marcina, who was Menjivar’s coach in San Antonio when the Scorpions captured the 2014 Soccer Bowl championship. Menjivar was traded away to the Tampa Bay Rowdies during the 2015 Spring Season. His contributions in Tampa Bay were inconsistent, due mostly to his frequent call ups to the Salvadoran national team.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies have spent most of this offseason ensuring they have a multitude of attacking options in the midfield. This week, they continued that trend by signing former U.S. youth international Eric Avila for the 2016 season.

Avila, 28, is an attacking midfielder who spent the 2015 season with Orlando City SC while on loan from his parent club Santos Laguna. Avila found steady playing time in Orlando, appearing in 21 matches for the club in their inaugural MLS season.

Avila got his professional start as a draft pick of FC Dallas. He made 61 appearances for Dallas before being traded to Toronto FC in 2011. After two years in Canada, he joined up with Chivas USA and remained there until the club disbanded in 2014.

Puerto Rico FC

Puerto Rico doubled its small roster to four players this week with the signing of Jorge Rivera and Paulo Mendes.

Like Jackie Marrero, Rivera is also a member of Puerto Rico’s national team. The 19-year-old attacker made his debut for the national team last year and will now be getting his first taste of the professional game with Puerto Rico FC.

Mendes, 25, will be linking up with his twin brother Pedro who signed with Puerto Rico last week. The two were both with the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2015, where Paulo made a total of 15 appearances in two seasons. Prior to Atlanta, Mendes played for the New York Cosmos as a member of the club’s roster that debuted in 2013 and captured the NASL’s Fall Season title and Soccer Bowl.


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