Force signs midfielder to contract
CLEVELAND, OHIO - Cleveland Force President and General Manager Paul Garofolo today announced the team has signed midfielder Gary DePalma to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
DePalma, a 28-year old native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was acquired by the Force on June 10 in a trade involving the St. Louis Steamers and Milwaukee Wave. In addition to Gary, the trade saw Cleveland acquire the playing rights to forward Sipho Sibiya from the Steamers and a future consideration from the Wave while sending forward Lee Edgerton to Milwaukee.
"Gary will be a great addition to this team. His speed and work rate will bring a new dimension to this team. We as a team have been trying since 1999 to acquire Gary and our persistence has finally paid off," stated Garofolo.
Gary, who is a long-time friend of Force midfielder Justin Evans, who was the best man in his wedding, last played in the MISL in the 2002-03 season with the Philadelphia KiXX and current Cleveland Head Coach Omid Namazi. In his last season with the KiXX, DePalma appeared in 36 games and recorded 15 goals and added nine assists for a total of 43 points. He was also selected to the All-Star Game in Cleveland where he scored a two-point goal that helped the East defeat the West. The Wave acquired Gary last summer in a trade with the Monterrey Fury, who had selected DePalma in the MISL Expansion Draft
In addition to his days in the MISL, Gary has spent the last six seasons with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the A-League and Pro Soccer League. DePalma has appeared in over 100 regular season games for the Riverhounds, more than any other player.
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