Aviators announce roster

April 29, 2004 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Edmonton Aviators News Release

Edmonton, April 29, 2004 – Today, the Edmonton Aviators announced their Men’s team roster for the 2004 A-League Season.

The United Soccer Leagues (USL) A-League allows for a maximum roster of 26 players, 7 of which can be international players. To start the season, the Aviators will open with a 23 man roster which is a combination of local, national and international players.

Through the early part of the season, the Aviators coaching staff will continue to review and evaluate additional players for the remaining three spots on the roster.

“We are confident that we have assembled a very competitive team that Edmontonians can be proud of”, said Joe Petrone, Director of Soccer Operations for the Edmonton Aviators Soccer Club. “Ross Ongaro, along with our assistant coaches and scouts, has done a great job of assessing and compiling our team. We are especially proud of the quality of local players that we have built our team around”, said Petrone. “We look forward to further evaluations as we continue to build our roster.”

The opening game roster provides a healthy mix of veteran players and young players getting their first try at professional soccer. Of the 23 players who will make up the opening roster, 13 are local products, with the 10 remaining spots being made up of both Canadian and International talent.

The team includes a number of players who are familiar to the Edmonton sports scene, including former Drillers Kurt Bosch, Rick Titus, Nikola Vignjevic, Eric Munoz, and Sipho Sibya. The Aviators will also feature a number of highly regarded local players such as U-20 National Team player Chris Lemire. Rounding out the roster will be former Chilean Division 1 players Claudio Salinas, Jamie Lopresti, and Jose Luis Campi.

The Aviators Men’s Team has been practicing regularly since the end of training camp on April 18th. The delays in releasing the final roster have been due largely to the league’s registration and player clearance procedures and the late arrival of a number of players who have been finishing their soccer commitments elsewhere.

The Edmonton Aviators will kick off their season in Vancouver on Friday night versus the Vancouver Whitecaps (8:00 pm MST). The Aviators will then play 4 more games on the road against the Seattle Sounders (May 8- 8:00 pm MST), Milwaukee Wave United (May 14- 6:00 pm MST), Minnesota Thunder (May 15- 5:00 MST), and the Calgary Mustangs (6:30 pm MST). The Aviators will play their first home game at Commonwealth Stadium on May 30 as part of a doubleheader with the Aviators Women’s team. The start time for the doubleheader is 2:00 pm.

“We are pleased to finally share our roster with the community. It has been a long wait and we are grateful for everyone’s patience and support”, said Joe Petrone. “Our training camp was very competitive and the players all deserve a lot of credit for persevering through the poor weather conditions. In the end, we had a number of very hard decisions to make but are confident that we have selected the best team possible”, said Petrone. “We look forward to our first game this Friday in Vancouver. We are especially excited about our inaugural game on May 30th when Edmontonians will get a chance to see both of their teams play for the first time”, said Petrone.

The Edmonton Aviators are the newest addition to Edmonton’s professional sports scene. Both the Aviators Men’s and Women’s soccer teams will play in the United Soccer Leagues. Both teams will play at Commonwealth Stadium with the first home game scheduled for May 30.

Additional information, including the 2004 Aviators Men’s and Women’s Schedule, as well as player bios, can be found on the Aviators website at www.aviatorssoccer.com.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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