NPSL North Notebook: Trapos Sign Two, City Development, and Dragons Playing With Fire

by on 24 February 2017

We’re just over two months away from the start of competitive play for teams in the NPSL North Conference. While there will be comparatively more of note to write about come May, there have still been interesting events taking place in advance of the coming season.

Viejos Son Los Trapos FC recruit Galvan Yanez and Xiong

VSLT president Juan Fiz confirmed the signings of Rodrigo Galvan Yanez and Peter Xiong to FiftyFive.One. Galvan Yanez, an attack-minded midfielder, turned out for the Minnesota United Reserves in the Premier League of America (PLA) last season, contributing several goals for the Loons. With MNUFC’s reserve side on indefinite hiatus, a number of players have migrated to the NPSL. In particular, Galvan Yanez will have the opportunity to face former teammates Miles Stockman-Willis and Whitney Browne, both of whom will turn out for Minneapolis City SC.

Peter Xiong previously featured for Minnesota TwinStars FC as a defender, and has also played with Minneapolis City’s parent organization Stegman’s in the past. A source inside Stegman’s described Xiong as possessing “nasty set-piece ability”. Separately, Fiz offered, “Peter showed us during tryouts that he has the experience to resolve situations other players don’t want to risk taking on, and also provides compromise with his team-oriented play.”

A tip of the hat to NPSL Northerner, which first linked Galvan Yanez to Los Trapos.

Crows add a trio of development players

Minneapolis City recently announced its intake of development players for the coming season.

Winger Jimmy Farah’s recruitment is tied to the club’s appointment of Adam Pribyl as its head coach ahead of the 2017 season. The former is a junior and the latter the director of student activities at DeLaSalle High School. In the club’s press release, sporting director Jon Bisswurm likened the pacy Farah to Crows winger Isaac Friendt. The statement comes as high praise, as Friendt turned in a number of notable performances for Minneapolis last year ahead of redshirting at Indiana as a freshman.

In addition to Farah, the club made use of its open tryouts to select a pair of development players. Goalkeeper Ramone McKeithan will act as understudy to Matt Elder and Duncan Werling, with the latter pair returning from the Crows’ 2016 PLA roster. McKeithan is presently a senior at South High School in Minneapolis, where City played its inaugural season.

George Carr, who coached McKeithan in his club soccer at Minneapolis United, described the keeper as athletic — agile, with the ability to spring from post to post quickly. McKeithan’s work ethic also drew mention. “He was at every training session,” said Carr. “He was always doing additional club training, and looking for stuff outside the club… a super hard worker.”

Minnesota Thunder Academy product Abdi Kadi will also train with City this summer. The Washburn High School senior has committed to Eastern Illinois, and will look to use his time with the Crows as a springboard to his first collegiate season. In the club’s release, Bisswurm singled out the midfielder’s vision and ability to retain possession as particular strengths.

TwinStars announce partnership with Fire SC

Minnesota TwinStars has established an affiliation with Fire SC of the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League (MASL). The partnership means all three Twin Cities-based NPSL clubs will leverage the MASL to provide minutes for players on the fringes of their respective gameday rosters. Los Trapos’ MASL team achieved promotion after winning the league’s second division, while Fire SC finished three places behind first-division champions Stegman’s City this past summer.

The partnership was in part brokered by new TwinStars general manager Tim Singleton. Previously the owner and CEO of FC Fargo, which ceased operations following the 2016 season, Singleton made use of personal contacts to engage Fire SC founder Ryan Manning and TwinStars technical director Youssef Darbaki in discussions which led to the affiliation.

An aside, Singleton’s background may pay additional dividends as several former FC Fargo players are set to turn out for the TwinStars’ open tryouts this coming Saturday.

With the three clubs competing with one another on two fronts this summer, there is added potential for the type of local rivalry the rebranded North Conference is aiming to foster.

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