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Cougars Name Sutton New Head Coach

August 3, 2009 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

STOCKTON, Calif. - The California Cougars, of the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro), announced today that former assistant coach Antonio Sutton has agreed to terms with the club to become the team's next head coach. Sutton replaces Bernie Lilavois who was relieved of his coaching duties following the 2008-09 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

Sutton's tenure as head coach officially began on August 1 and his immediate duties will include hosting Cougars' tryouts in Livermore, Sacramento and Manteca. Sutton will host open tryouts on September 12 at Cabernet Indoor Sports in Livermore, on September 19 at Estadio Azteca in Sacramento and on September 26 at Big League Dreams in Manteca. Details regarding the open tryouts can be obtained by calling the Cougars' office at (209) 373-1550.

Sutton, 35, will act as both player and coach for the team in the upcoming 2009-10 PASL-Pro season. Sutton played in eight league games last season and totaled seven goals, three assists and 18 blocks for the PASL-Pro champion Cougars.

Sutton had two goals during the 2008-09 PASL-Pro North American Championship tournament. Both goals were scored during Stockton's 10-9 overtime win versus the Edmonton Drillers on March 14, 2009. He recorded three blocks during Stockton's 13-5 championship victory versus 1790 Cincinnati on March 15, 2009 at Stockton Arena.

Sutton was a member of the inaugural 2005-06 Cougars and had been the team's assistant coach since accepting the role on June 8, 2007. He is a 12 year veteran of professional indoor soccer, and nine of his 12 professional seasons have been spent with teams in California.

He previously played for the Sacramento Knights of the World Indoor Soccer League between 1997 and 2001. Sutton was a member of the 1999 Knights team that won the World Indoor Soccer League championship.

Sutton has accumulated 257 blocks, 155 goals, 55 assists and 255 points over 278 games played in his 12 year career. Over 84 games with the Cougars, Sutton has totaled 121 blocks, 73 points, 32 goals and 20 assists. His 121 blocks are the second most among all Cougars players since 2005.

He becomes the third head coach in Cougars' history. The Cougars have posted a 23-23 record with Sutton serving as assistant coach. He helped the Cougars establish a then franchise best 11 wins in a season during the 2006-07 playing year. He was also an assistant coach - along with Aaron Susi - during Stockton's championship 2008-09 season.

The Cougars posted a 12-4 record last season are the defending PASL-Pro champions. They defeated the Edmonton Drillers in the semi-finals of PASL-Pro North American Championship and 1790 Cincinnati in the championship match. They will begin their fifth season of professional arena soccer at Stockton Arena in November 2009.

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