NASL Notes: Georgios Samaras Linked to Rayo OKC, Puerto Rico Keeps Building

IMAGE, UEFA.COM

by JAKE NUTTING

According to Franco Sui Yuan of Telemundo Oklahoma, longtime Greek international and former Celtic FC striker Georgios Samaras is likely be the next impressive signing for Rayo OKC. Possibly lending credence to the rumor, the expansion club has scheduled a meet and greet event for Thursday evening to introduce “another World Cup player.”

Samaras, 31, has 81 appearances and nine goals for the Greek national team since debuting in 2006 and was a member of Greece’s 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil. He recorded an assist and tallied the game-winning goal in the match that helped Greece advance out of the group stage.

The experienced striker came close to joining the NASL last year when he trained with the New York Cosmos during the Fall Season while recuperating from a back injury. Ultimately the Cosmos passed on Samaras in late December over concerns about that same lingering back issue and a limited amount of international roster spots. The club eventually added high-profile international Juan Arango in January.

Puerto Rico FC

Newcomer Puerto Rico FC continued its steady building process this week with the addition of midfielder Chris Nurse and defender Ramon Soria to its inaugural roster that will take the field in July.

Nurse, 31, is well acquainted with the NASL as he has suited up for the Carolina RailHawks, Fort Lauderdale Strikers and FC Edmonton in the past. He’s also no stranger to Puerto Rico, having played one season with the Puerto Rico Islanders in 2010. With 47 appearances under his belt, Nurse has also been a regular contributor to Guyana’s national team for many years.

Soria, 26, picked up experience with an NASL expansion team while with Ottawa Fury FC in 2014, but he’s primarily spent his career in Europe. After developing in the academy system of Villareal, Soria moved on to Mallorca’s reserve side where he earned 52 appearances in three seasons. The left-footed defender then jumped around several lower division Spanish clubs before joining up with Ottawa. He spent 2015 with NK Celje in the top division of Slovenia.

Minnesota United FC

The Loons kept it local with their latest signing, Ismaila Jome. This is Jome’s first professional contract after three successful seasons for UC-Santa Barbara playing as both a defender and a winger. Born in Gambia, Jome moved to Minnesota at a young age and has been invited to be a training guest of Minnesota United in the past.

Preseason Results Roundup

  • Ottawa Fury FC knocked off the RSL Academy squad 4-0 with a goal from Paulor Junior and Carl Haworth, as well as a brace from Dennis Chin.
  • Miami FC dispatched the USL’s Roughnecks 2-0 in a closed door scrimmage. NASL veteran Pablo Campos scored both goals.
  • The Tampa Bay Rowdies rallied to beat the University of South Flrodia 3-1 after conceding a goal early in the first half. Darnell King, Freddy Adu and Tommy Heinemann all recorded their first goals of the preseason.
  • Jacksonville Armada FC fell to the Tulsa Roughnecks 3-2 with goals from Pascal Millien and Charles Eloundou. The Armada then played to scoreless draw with the Charleston Battery a few days later.
  • Wojciech Wojcik notched a hat trick and Duke Lacroix tallied one of his own in Indy Eleven’s convincing 4-0 win over the USL’s Arizona United. Indy then lost out to the OC Blues in a narrow 1-0 result.
  • The Fort Lauderdale Strikers sailed to a 6-0 win over fourth division Chinese side Sichuan Longfa. Goals came from Matheus Carvalho, Maicon Santos, Jose Angulo (2), Jean Alexandre and Giuseppe Gentile.
  • Aly Alberto Hassan netted a brace and Billy Schuler added one for good measure in the Carolina RailHawks’ 3-0 win over N.C. State University.
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  • Tommi

    Big Big signing for Rayo OKC if its true and one of the biggest names to sign in the NASL.

    Rayo is building a powerhouse roster and now they need to spend the $$$ on marketing in their battle with the lower division D3 USL team Okc Energy.