USL Notebook: San Antonio Makes First Signing, Republic Ambitious, Names for Reno

Image, USL

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

As we approach the start of the USL season, teams are making their way to preseason games while new teams are putting together the  building blocks.

San Antonio took a big step forward by announcing their first player signing while Reno has put out feelers to fans for their team name.

Carlos Alvarez Becomes San Antonio’s First Signing

San Antonio may not have a monicker yet headed into the 2016 USL season, but they do have their first player signing in former Chivas USA and Colorado Rapids midfielder Carlos Alvarez.

Between 2013-2015, Alvarez made 55 appearances in MLS and tallying only two goals. In 2015, he was loaned to the Charlotte Independence where he played 21 games with two goals.

“Carlos is a player I’ve admired and respected for a long time,” said head coach Darren Powell. “He is a creative attacking player that’s looking for a good run of games, and we envision him being a part of our roster this season.”

Despite being voted 2012 Big East Midfielder of the Year and being the second overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Alvarez has not produced on the field in his attacking midfield role. Four professional goals in as many seasons as well as a handful of assists have proven that his adjustment to the game at a high level has been problematic. A move to San Antonio may be what the 25-year-old needs to get his career in gear.

“I want to give thanks to the USL San Antonio franchise and Coach Powell for being interested in me and for giving me the opportunity to keep doing what I love – playing futbol,” said Alvarez. “I’m happy to join this new family and I can promise that I will do my best every day on the field and will always play with my heart out.”

Expect more signings from San Antonio to become official as the team is little more than a month away from the start of the season.

Paul Buckle Excited About 2016

The Sacramento Republic are a team that always generates excitement. They are the most well attended team in the league and have been a strong championship contender in their first two campaigns, winning one in 2014.

Paul Buckle hopes to begin his first full season with the team in a similar positive light. Buckle replaced famed head coach Predrag “Preki” Radoslavjevic in the middle of the season, building on the team’s early success. Now he hopes to take the team in his own direction with a preseason trip to Mexico.

“Mexico is a huge part because I’m able to get the group together, and able to interact with new players,” Buckle said in an interview with the team’s website. “I want to continue game to game to improve the record of the club, because that’s all I can live and die by is my record since I’ve come in.”

Sacramento will begin their season on March 25th against the Seattle Sounders FC 2.

Reno Has Name Options

A fan vote ended Monday to decide the name of Reno’s USL team. The results have yet to be released but the options seemed rather tame by recent naming standards. The online form on the team’s website listed three options: Reno United, Reno FC and Reno 1868 (a reference to the founding of the town).

Overall the first two options were typical of newly formed teams in the United States. The third option to include the founding year of the town is something that is most commonly done in place like Germany or the Netherlands and may provide a bit of a unique name to place the team on a different footing heading into their first season in 2017.