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FC Tampa Bay Signs Japanese Midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake

February 16, 2011 - North American Soccer League (NASL) - Tampa Bay Rowdies News Release

TAMPA, Fla. (February 16, 2011) - FC Tampa Bay announces the signing of Japanese attacking midfielder Tsuyoshi Yoshitake. Yoshitake most recently was on loan to the Austin Aztex from Crystal Palace Baltimore in the USSF Division II Pro League (USSF D-2). Yoshitake signed a two-year contract with FC Tampa Bay for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

"I believe fans will enjoy watching Yoshi play this year. He is quick and looks to take on players one on one," said Executive Vice President, Director of Player Development and Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck. "Every time we played against him last season he was very impressive as an attacking player. I'm glad now that he is a member of our team."

Yoshitake began his professional career in 2000 with Yokohama FC in Japan, where he made 133 appearances in six seasons and scored nine goals. In 2007, Yoshitake signed with Tokyo Verdy but played in only five games because of injury.

Yoshitake left Japan in 2009 to make his first American team appearance with the Charleston Battery of the USL First Division (USL-1). While with the Battery, he scored six goals and recorded five assists in 26 matches. Yoshitake also earned USL-1 Player of the Week Honors five times during this season and was given the team's "Newcomer of the Year" award.

During the 2010 season with Baltimore, Yoshitake made 24 appearances and scored three goals before he was loaned to the Aztex at the end of the season. While with the Aztex, he made seven appearances, including in the USSF D-2 playoffs.

Other FC Tampa Bay Player News:

. Defender Julian Valentin is retiring from soccer and beginning a career with MLB's Colorado Rockies as the assistant editor of advertising, marketing and publications.

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