Chattanooga's Creative Core Begins to Take Shape
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Red Wolves GM Sean McDaniel and Head Coach Jimmy Obleda wrapped up a very successful month of December, adding 5 players to the 2021 Roster; Ami Pineda, Ualefi Dos Reis, Josue Espana, Jimmie Villalobos and Jackson Dietrich. With 11 of the 2021 Red Wolves now in place, the team is beginning to shape up after a nearly entire overhaul of the 2020 squad.
Ualefi and Pineda are both returning players who have now re-signed for their third year in the Scenic City, climbing to league-wide prominence throughout their careers with the Red Wolves. With the majority of Chattanooga's new signings being midfielders, the Red Wolves core and offense are beginning to take shape. "When Coach Obleda, Coach Sawchak and I sat down after the 2020 season we knew we had to strengthen the spine of the team," says GM Sean McDaniel. "Our top priorities were in the middle of the field particularly in the central midfield. Re-signing Ualefi and Ami were important towards that end. And by adding new talent around them we feel like the backbone of the team is taking shape."
Bringing in dynamic technical players like Jose Carerra Garcia, Josue Espana, Jimmie Villalobos and Jackson Dietrich to join the high powered returnees from 2019 is a clear statement that Jimmy Obleda's high energy, high scoring style of play is here to stay.
"These are all players that we've had our eyes on for quite some time now. Adding them to the team will strengthen it without a doubt," says Head Coach Obelda. "Jackson's soccer IQ and off ball vision, Jimmie's ability to score and create strong opportunities from the midfield, and Josue's ability to break down defenses paired together are all phenomenal additions to the squad."
December's signees paired with former Liga MX and USL Championship midfielder Jose Carerra Garcia's experience and proven playmaking abilities are primed to bolster the already high powered Chattanooga offense that ranked 3rd in the league in goals scored per game during 2020 at just under 1.5. While the squad is looking strong headed into 2021, McDaniel and Obleda know that their task to build a championship caliber squad is far from over. "We had a monumental task ahead of us for 2021 in that we only brought back 6 players," says McDaniel. "I like the direction we are heading but still have quite a bit of work to do to finish out with a championship level roster.'
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