Cougars Adjust Roster With Playoffs And Future In Mind
Stockton, CA - Mar. 3, 2008 - The California Cougars, of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), announce the following roster changes: the Cougars trade their rights to midfielder Craig Scheer to the New Jersey Ironmen for future considerations. California also placed forwards Chris Handsor and Naldo on the team's injured reserve list. As well as, the placement of defenders Matt Caution and Marcos Chantel on waivers for the purpose of termination. Midfielder Brian Farber was activated today, the Cougars expect him to return to the playing field within the next two weeks.
"These moves all come as a result of an effort to bolster our roster for the final seven games of this season, the final playoff push and even into the future for our team," said Cougars head coach Bernie Lilavois. "Now we have the opportunity to look around the league at the other waiver transactions and see if we can find some talent that will help us improve for our playoff run. We are in the process of claiming new players and talking to teams about possible trades."
The MISL's deadline for waiver transactions expired today at 1:00 p.m. PST. The MISL roster freeze is scheduled for Thursday, March 6, 2008.
"The MISL requires that rosters be at 20 players on the roster freeze date. Hopefully, we'll see some of our injured guys come back before the end of the season. With our roster set the way it is, we have the room to bring back a guy like Handsor or Naldo if they are ready."
"The decision to part with both Matt Caution and Craig Scheer was tough," added Lilavois. "Both Matt and Craig are original Cougars; I respect all that they have done for this franchise. But, because of where we are in the standings and with the future in mind we had to makes these moves now."
Scheer played in 20 straight games for the Cougars this season before being sidelined with a back injury after the Cougars match in New Jersey on February 2, 2008. In his 20 games played, Scheer has achieved career highs in points (27), goals (9), and three-point goals (3) this season. He has also tied a career high in assists (6).
Caution has matched a career high with 42 blocks in 23 games played this season. He and Evan McNeley are the only two Cougars players to have not missed a game this season. His previous two seasons as a Cougars defender were shortened due to injury. Caution played in 18 games for the Cougars last season and 17 the year before. His 42 blocks this season is the team high, he is second on the Cougars all-time list with 84 blocks. Ryan Hall has 117 blocks in his career as a Cougars defender. Caution had recorded four blocks over his last five games; Cougars rookie defender Aaron Bonser has 12 over the same span. Caution is second on the Cougars roster with 31 fouls this season.
Defender Marcos Chantel had just eight blocks in his final season as a Cougars player. He and Caution were tied for the third highest points total (7) among defenders on the Cougars roster this season. Chantel leaves the team with the highest amount of penalty minutes (24) and the third highest number of fouls (29). He received a red card during the Cougars loss to Milwaukee on Sunday after slapping Adam West in the face.
Both Caution and Chantel can be claimed by another MISL team before the roster freeze on Thursday.
Forwards Handsor and Naldo have been placed on the injured reserve list with injuries that may keep them out the rest of the season. Handsor is suffering from a strained hamstring. Naldo suffered a fractured nose and orbital bone after a collision with the sideline boards during the Cougars last trip to New Jersey on February 2, 2008.
The Cougars play the Ironmen for the final time in the regular season this Saturday at 7:15 p.m. The match will feature the return of head coach Lilavois to the playing field as player-coach at Stockton Arena. The Cougars are currently four games behind La Raza de Monterrey for the sixth and final playoff spot with just seven games remaining on the regular season schedule for both teams. La Raza hosts New Jersey this Thursday night at 6:35 p.m. PST at Arena Monterrey. Tickets to Saturday's match can be ordered online at www.californiacougars.net or by calling (209) 373-1550.
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