Hopes Are High As Westchester Flames F.C. Begins New Season

Zachary Gosse. Photo credit: Westchester Flames F.C.
Zachary Gosse. Photo credit: Westchester Flames F.C.
The following release is from Westchester Flames F.C., which is starting its new season this month:

Westchester Flames F.C. have announced their roster for the 2014 United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Ddevelopmental League (PDL) season ahead of the opening game, which will be held at City Park Stadium in New Rochelle, NY on Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 PM vs Seacoast United. All players are pending approval by USL. 

The roster features several players who previously played for the Flames PDL team, including: Matthew Danaher; Zachary Gosse; Mark Kramarchuk; Thomas Manz; Michael Abraham; Richard Heredia; Housainou Ogoo; and Kyle Poetzsch. Lucas McBride played for the Flames 2013 USL Super-20 team and Jaret Petras previously played for the Flames youth soccer program.
Head Coach and General Manager Gus Skoufis returns to lead to team as Head Coach and General Manager. Adam Pullinen returns as the team's Assistant Coach. 
Skoufis shared his thoughts on the upcoming season, "I'm very excited about the upcoming season. The game on May 10 can't come soon enough. Adam and I, along with the entire organization, worked hard to put together what we feel is a very strong team. We hope the people of Westchester and the surrounding community come out to support us as we look to provide them with some very entertaining soccer games."
When asked about the roster, Skoufis said, "We're very happy that several players have returned to play for the Flames again. It's been exciting to see them develop as players and people. We hope they will be able to continue their development this summer. Hopefully, this will be another opportunity for them to improve as players and help them to realize their dreams of playing professional soccer. 
Assistant Coach Adam Pullinen said, "I'm very excited to be back again with the Flames. I look forward to the opportunity to work with such a talented group of players and will do what I can to help them get to the next level."
Skoufis explained, "We generally look for players from the local region. Nathan (Dean), Luke (Salmon), Roger (Rizzi), and Jason (Waterman) all had planned to be in the area for the summer and were looking to play for a PDL club. They are very talented and accomplished players. We look forward to having them on the team this summer."
The Flames started preparation for the upcoming USL PDL season several weeks ago and along the way, midfielder Endri Berisha (Brooklyn, NY) who played for the Flames in recent seasons suffered a knee injury that will prevent him from playing this season. Skoufis said, "We all feel terrible for Endri. He's such a talented player and a terrific young man who had worked so hard since last summer. We were expecting him to be a big part of the team this season. We know that he'll be back though, better than ever and hopefully playing for the Flames next year."
Westchester Flames 2014 USL PDL Roster
College / Club          Name                Position                   Hometown

Elon                       Nathan Dean          GK                    Liverpool, England

Dartmouth             James Hickok          GK                    Westport, CT

Rhode Island          Thomas Spenser     GK                    Hastings on Hudson, NY

Albany                   Krisitian Alexieff      D/M                  West Nyack, NY

Manhattan SC        Martin Dadaj           D                      Brooklyn, NY

Fairfield                 Matthew Danahar    D                      Trumbull, CT

Flames PDL           Zachary Gosse         D                      Oakdale, NY

Bucknell               Mark Kramarchuk     D                      Mount Vernon, NY

Albany                 Thomas Manz           D                      Bronx, NY

Vermont               Luke Salmon            D                      Newcastle, England

Columbia             Michael Abraham      M                      Scarsdale, NY

Iona                    Dylan Cope              M                      New York, NY

Flames PDL          Richard Heredia       M                       Tuckahoe, NY

Flames PDL          Housainou Ogoo      M                       Bronx, NY

Stony Brook         Jaret Petras            M                        Ardsley, NY

Davidson             Alan Reiter             M                        Westport, CT

Brown                 Daniel Taylor          M                        Greenwich, CT

Boston Univ.        Lucas McBride        F                         Rye Brook, NY

Hofstra               Kyle Poetzsch          F                        Hicksville, NY

Dodge City         Roger Rizzi              F                 Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Elon                  Jason Waterman      F                        Bloomington, IN


Several of the players gave their thoughts on the upcoming season with the Flames USL PDL team.


James Hickok: "I am extremely excited to get started with the Flames this season, as it seems that the coaching staff has put in a lot of effort to bring together a very strong team."


Thomas Spenser: “I am looking forward to playing my first season with the Westchester Flames PDL this summer. I'm excited about the opportunity to play at the PDL level, with other college soccer players and play under the great coaching staff at the Flames.”


Kristian (Kit) Alexieff: “I'm looking forward to my first season with the Flames and I look forward to developing myself further as a player while chasing a championship. I expect to make an impact early.”


Matthew Danaher: "Been looking forward to getting back to training with the Flames since November. There's a great atmosphere around this team and a very positive training environment. It's going to be exciting to see how far we can go."


Zachary Gosse: "After missing most of the season last year from an injury in training, I'm really looking forward to getting back on the pitch and pushing for a playoff spot."


Mark Kramarchuk: "I am really excited to be part of such a historically successful PDL program and be able to bring my talent as a player to help improve the team's performance this year."


Luke Salmon: “I'm very excited to be a part of the Flames organization and to add the team. There's a lot of great guys from good schools on the roster so the competition on the team will be huge, but it will make us deadly in the league.”


Dylan Cope: "I am excited to improve on all aspects of my game with the Flames this summer. Definitely looking forward to getting a good amount of games in before the college season starts. It should be a great season!"


Jaret Petras: "I am really looking forward to the season with the Westchester Flames. We have a good squad and a very experienced coaching staff. I believe we can have a very successful season and I hope to learn a lot from the players and coaches so I can continue to develop my game."


Alan Reiter: “I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to further develop as a soccer player this summer while competing with the Flames in the top amateur league in the United States. Not only will it fully prepare me for my final season of college soccer at Davidson, it will also hopefully expose me to professional clubs as well. However, the main goal is helping the Flames transform into a playoff caliber team alongside this very talented group of players.”


Roger Rizzi: "I am really excited for the upcoming season. My feeling is that this year is the time for the flames be Champions again and I will be there playing as hard as I can to help my teammates in every single game."

Jason Waterman: “I'm really excited to play for the Flames this season as the team will certainly foster a really competitive environment in which I can improve as an individual, but also be in a situation where I can build camaraderie with the team and organization to accomplish greater team goals.”

Westchester Flames 2014 USL PDL Schedule:

Date                         Time            Opponent
Saturday, May 10       7:30 PM        Seacoast United Phantoms
Saturday, May 17       7:30 PM        Montreal Impact U23
Wednesday, June 4     7:30 PM        Vermont Voltage
Saturday, June 7        7:30 PM        Real Boston Rams
Saturday, June 14      7:30 PM        Western Mass Pioneers
Saturday, June 28      7:30 PM        CFC Azul
Sunday, July 6           7:30 PM        GPS Portland Phoenix 

Tickets to all 2014 home games are general admission and cost $8.
For group discounts, please call Gus Xikis at (516) 315-1077
All home games will be played at City Park Stadium in New Rochelle, NY.


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