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Cougars Re-Sign Mcneley And Leone

October 20, 2008 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

STOCKTON, Calif. - Oct. 20, 2008 - The Stockton Cougars, of the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro), announce today that the club has reached contract agreements with third year defender Evan McNeley and 12 year arena soccer veteran Ato Leone for the 2008-09 season. Per club policy, terms of the deals will not be disclosed.

The Cougars open their fourth season of professional arena soccer at Stockton Arena on October 25 against the Colorado Lightning at 7:15 p.m. Season, individual and group tickets are available by contacting the Cougars office at (209) 373-1550 or online by visiting

McNeley, 25, enjoyed a breakout season that saw him net 10 goals during his second year with the Cougars. He added 11 assists to his 2 three points goals and 8 two point goals for a total of 33 points in the 2007-08 season. McNeley scored a career and season high five points (1 three point goal, 1 two point goal) against the Milwaukee Wave on 1/13/08 at home. Twenty-one of his 33 total points were scored at Stockton Arena. He blocked 35 shots last season as a defender for the Cougars.

"Evan brings us needed experience in the back," said Cougars head coach and director of soccer operations Bernie Lilavois. "He had a big year last season for us and we're looking for him to build on that."

McNeley, an Oregon State University product, set career highs in almost every statistical category last season and in the process was named the club's "Ultimate Cougar" on 4/5/08 at Stockton Arena. The award is given out by the club to recognize athletic achievement and to the player who demonstrates leadership and excellence on and off the field.

Leone, 37, is a seasoned indoor soccer veteran with more than 300 points scored in his career. He scored the first Cougars' goal in the history of Stockton Arena on 12/18/05 against the Baltimore Blast. The goal was assisted by Lilavois.

"Ato is one of the vets that I have played with for a number of years," said Lilavois. "Like Susi and myself, he will help to teach our young players the right way to play this game."

Leone, a native of San Vicente, Argentina, was the named the most valuable player of the World Indoor Soccer League in 2001 after scoring a league best 42 points for the Sacramento Knights. Leone scored 25 goals and 17 assists for the Knights in 2001 and 46 points (25 goals and 21 assists) for Sacramento in 2000. He began his career in 1995 with the Houston Hotshots of the Continental Indoor Soccer League.

McNeley and Leone join Farber (who played with McNeley at Oregon State University), Susi, Matt McDougall, Majell Aterado, Pedro Lupercio, Lilavois and Jesus Molina as contracted players for the Cougars' upcoming season.

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