CHARLOTTE, NC — DDL FC looking to secure first win in season opener against Charlotte Eagles
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC team is playing it’s first 2012 USL Pro game Friday April 13 away against the Charlotte Eagles. Last year the team tied the Eagles at home and lost away. However, the team has gone through some changes this year with only seven players returning and a lot of new faces. Despite the short (3 week) pre season the team has made great progress starting with an unfortunate 1-0 loss, a 1-1 tie and three wins (4-2, 2-0 and 3-1).
While learning the “hard way” in 2011 with a young and inexperienced team, they certainly made good progress during the season and earned respect for the playing style. This year the team has added some players with experience that is required to compete at the USL Pro level.
President Mike Mossel commented on some additions: “last year was a learning year for us as a team and organization as a newcomer between long established teams such as Charleston, Richmond and Rochester. This year we cannot hide behind that. I feel we made good progress both off and on the pitch. We seem to get the community more and more behind us due to hard work from our office staff, our youth academy has grown from 7 to 18 youth teams and we added more experience to our team in a League that we now are more familiar with. We will not be so easy to beat this year and have some offensive threat that can hurt the teams we play against.”
Some of the additions Mike Mossel is talking about are experienced players Gerrit Bartels (27, striker, over 60 games in the Dutch First Division and one year at 2nd Division in Spain), Akeem Priestley (27, U20 National Team of Jamaica, 2009 MLS Super Draft and LA Blues in 2011) and Nixon Dias (32, 4 years with Dutch Premier League club Sparta Rotterdam, one year with ADO Den Haag in the Dutch First Division).
Head Coach Ivar van Dinteren has this to say on the upcoming game: “I believe we are ready for our opening game against Charlotte. The guys have shown good progress the last 3 weeks and are starting to click really well. The players are getting more used to the system we want to play as a club. We are very anxious to show people that this year we are a team that not only plays good soccer but also wins games. We also have some players now that can create things, something we lacked last year and with the addition of Nixon (Dias) in the back we have the leadership that we needed.”
The Dayton Dutch Lions FC will be back on the road April 21 when they play the Pittsburgh Riverhounds after which they play their home opener April 28 against Rochester Rhinos.