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Cougars sign Leone to contract

January 9, 2008 - Major Indoor Soccer League 2 (MISL 2) - California Cougars News Release

Stockton, CA - Jan. 9, 2008 - The California Cougars, of the Major Indoor Soccer League, announce that the team has agreed to terms on a 5-Game/15-Day contract with forward Ato Leone. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal will not be released.

Leone played for the Cougars during their inaugural season, and briefly in the 2006-07 campaign. He totaled five points in seven games for the Cougars last season.

Leone was named the 2001 World Indoor Soccer League Most Valuable Player after leading the Sacramento Knights and the league in scoring with 25 goals and 17 assists for 42 points in 24 games.

On December 18, 2005, Leone became the first Cougars player to score a goal at Stockton Arena. His goal was assisted by current Cougars head coach Bernie Lilavois.

"Ato brings a veteran presence to the team and still hasn't lost that desire to play," said Lilavois. "He has been playing locally with Estadio Azteca of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL) and adds a body to our roster with our current situation in terms of having so many injured players out for a length of time."

Cougars' midfielder Brian Farber suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his right knee during Saturday's loss to Chicago. Farber could miss up to six weeks with the injury. Cougars' forward Vicente Figueroa suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus before the beginning of the season. He is currently on the team's injured reserve list and is expected to miss the entire season. Forward Chris Handsor and defender Ryan Hall will not see game action this week. Handsor has been slowed by a strained hamstring and will not play against Milwaukee. Hall is out with a bone bruise to his ankle.

Leone is available for Sunday's match against Milwaukee. The first place Wave makes their first trip to Stockton this season on Sunday night beginning at 6:15. The Cougars will honor the United States Armed Forces during the match. Festivities for Armed Forces night begin at 3:00PM with a special tournament featuring the different branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The Cougars will auction off player signed commemorative jerseys after their game with the Wave.

Ticket information is available online by visiting or by calling (209) 373-1550.

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