- Kyle Eng, Arizona United owner, dishes on club’s key off-season moves
- NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage to go live in ‘Super Bowl Central’
- NBC Sports to live broadcast Premier League studio show in downtown Phoenix on Jan. 31
- Devon Grousis in talks with USL PRO and NASL clubs but hoping for Arizona United return
- Rob Valentino, still striving for MLS, but focused on Arizona United
USL PRO Combine initial roster includes former Phoenix FC and FC Tucson players
- Updated: January 8, 2014
USL PRO provides that level of professional soccer many players who star in college or the amateur USL Premier Development League hope to one day play in.
Three FC Tucson players will get their chance to prove they belong. Goalkeeper Michael D’Arrigo, midfielder David Clemens and forward Dakota Collins were among 102 (of more than 450 applicants) who were chosen to participate in the USL PRO Combine, which will be held at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. from Jan. 23-26.
But there is one name on the initial combine participant list that may surprise some. Former Phoenix FC forward Tommy Ramos.
Ramos scored four goals as a rookie in Phoenix FC’s expansion season in 2013. He recorded the franchise’s first and only brace so far in a 2-2 draw vs. Richmond Kickers at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium last July. Ramos started 12 times and though he began the season slow, his play picked up after the midpoint of the season and became one of the team’s better attacking players.
Ramos had signed a one-year contract to begin his professional career but it was expected that he would be brought back into the fold for Phoenix FC’s second season. That, apparently, may not be the case.
Ramos’ speed, skill on the ball and finishing ability should help him impress at the USL PRO Combine. His playing experience should also help him be one of the players coaches and general managers around the league will keep an eye on.
Phoenix FC has been silent since USL PRO announced a new ownership last month. The club has not announced or said anything, let alone player signings.
Ramos is not the only player with USL PRO experience on the combine roster. English defender Jamie McGuinness and American defender Dominic Cutrofello were both on the VSI Tampa Bay FC roster in the club’s expansion season in 2013. Though McGuinness is the only one who saw playing time, appearing in nine matches.
And now, your Moment of Zin(edine Zidane):