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Lilavois adds Howes and Swanner to USNAST coaching staff

October 16, 2008 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - California Cougars News Release

Stockton Cougars and United States National Arena Soccer Team (USNAST) Head Coach Bernie Lilavois announced the additions of three-time Major Indoor Soccer League Most Valuable Player Greg Howes and five time arena soccer champion Jamie Swanner to his USNAST coaching staff. Howes joins as a player/assistant coach, while Swanner will count Goalkeeper Coach amongst his duties as a fellow assistant coach.

Lilavois added Howes and himself to the roster for the Torneo Internacional de Futbol Rapido Monterrey 2008, bringing the total selections to seven. Lilavois will choose seven more players from the USNAST player pool and this weekend's combines.

The Torneo Internacional de Futbol Rapido Monterrey 2008 tournament, the second event sanctioned by the Federacion Internacional de Futbol Rapido (FIFRA), will take place from November 5-9 at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.

Swanner, 47, is currently the Head Coach and owner of the St Louis Illusion of the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL-Pro). He is also the former Head Coach of the NPSL's St. Louis Ambush, but his primary experience comes from his legendary career as a goalkeeper from 1984-2001. In that span, Swanner won an AISA/NPSL record 294 games and five league championships.

His individual accolades are numerous. Swanner was the 1984-85 AISA Rookie of the Year, a six-time Goalkeeper of the Year and a two-time MVP, winning in 1989-90 and 1991-92. Prior to embarking on a long indoor career that included stops with the Canton Invaders, Buffalo Blizzard, St. Louis Ambush, and Kansas City Attack, Swanner earned one cap with the US National Team.

"I played against Jamie for years," said Lilavois. "Jamie has built a quality program in St. Louis and I have full confidence in his eye for talent and look forward to working with him."

Howes, 31, recently put his playing career on hold to take the Head Coach position of the Premier Arena Soccer League (PASL-Premier) Tacoma Stars. The appointment of Howes as a player/assistant coach will give the US squad one of the most lethal scoring threats in arena soccer. Howes was a three-time MVP in the MISL and finished the past season -- his 8th with the Milwaukee Wave -- with 45 goals and 32 assists in 28 games.

"It's an honor to team up with Bernie on the international level," said Howes. "I hope to share my experiences with the younger players, help put the National Team on the map, and build on the momentum the PASL is gaining."

Howes and Lilavois were teammates on the US Futsal Team. "I am very excited to see what we can do in the next tournament now," said Lilavois. "Greg is a huge addition to our program and things are coming together faster than we anticipated.

"As far as player development we were on the same page and have a similar philosophy on developing players." Howes will also look to discover new talent in the Northwest.

Both Swanner (October 18 in Glen Carbon, IL) and Howes (October 19 in Wenatchee, WA) will stage their own USNAST combines and will pass their recommendations on to Lilavois for possible additions to the team.

Lilavois added Howes and himself to the roster for the Torneo Internacional de Futbol Rapido Monterrey 2008, bringing the total selections to seven. Lilavois will choose seven more players from the USNAST player pool and this weekend's combines.

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