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Daniel Paladini One of Three Former RailHawks Headed to Major League Soccer

January 10, 2011 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - North Carolina FC News Release

Cary, NC (January 10, 2010) - Club officials announced today that three former Carolina RailHawks have signed contracts to play for Major League Soccer clubs in 2011. Midfielder Daniel Paladini has been transferred to the Chicago Fire, Forward Tom Heinemann has signed with the Columbus Crew and defender Daniel Woolard has signed with D.C. United. All three players were major factors in the RailHawks capture of the NASL Conference Title in 2010 and historic run to the 2010 League Finals.

Paladini came to the RailHawks through a trial in December of 2008 and quickly established himself as an impact player. Paladini became a fan favorite, with his creativity and command of the field leading him to League Best 11 selections in 2009 and 2010 as well as the club's MVP in 2009 and Offensive player of the year in 2010. "When I came to Carolina I had a goal over the past two seasons to improve as a soccer player and put in the work to grow my career and I am very thankful for that opportunity," said Paladini. "There were previous opportunities [in MLS], but after talking with Martin, I saw an opportunity to play games and believed it was pivotal to get the playing time and build my confidence on the field. I couldn't thank the fans enough, who have just been incredible, and will miss those people who I worked with involved in the team and throughout the community."

Over the last two season's Paladini has played in 51 league games, finishing 5th on the club's all time appearance list and currently sits in 2nd in total goals scored for the club with 12. Heinemann joined the RailHawks after helping the Charleston Battery win the 2010 USL-2 League title. Upon his arrival, Heinemann picked up where he left off with Charleston, scoring 6 goals in 12 games with his new club. Tom scored one of the more memorable goals in the clubs history in the final minutes of the USSF D-2 Semifinal match-up against Montreal to send the RailHawks and fans into a frenzy and into the League Finals.

"I am pleased to see Daniel Woolard, Daniel Paladini and Tom Heinemann signing for MLS teams this past week," said Head Coach Martin Rennie. " These three players have been excellent ambassadors for the Carolina RailHawks both on and off the field and although we will miss them we look forward to watching their careers develop in the MLS. I believe their opportunity comes on the back of the success that our team has had in the last two years and it shows that in Carolina we can help players develop and facilitate their progress to a higher level. We are now in the midst of building our team for the 2011 season and we are excited about the players that will make up the roster and continue to build on the teams recent success."

Woolard joined the RailHawks as a free agent at the end of August after key injuries plagued the back line. RailHawks captain Mark Schulte went down with an ACL injury and Woolard stepped in seamlessly to lead the RailHawks to 5 shutouts over the last 12 games of the 2010 season. Woolard was invaluable to the RailHawks back line playing a full 90 minutes in all 12 matches. Woolard's tandem with Brad Rusin on the back line propelled the RailHawks to the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League Finals, recording .67 goals per game throughout the playoff run.

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