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Louisville Lightning Sign John Michael Hayden to New Deal

September 17, 2010 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - Louisville Lightning News Release

One of the biggest stars in the Louisville soccer scene has inked his second contract with the Lightning. John Michael Hayden, the former Houston Dynamo midfielder, has agreed to don the yellow and black for the 2010-2011 season. The re-signing of Hayden provides Major League Soccer experience for the Lightning as they chase their first PASL regular season title.

The initial acquisition of Hayden in January brought immediate star power to the Lightning in their inaugural season, reinforcing the talent of a squad that finished second in the Eastern Division last season. With indoor experience under his belt, Hayden hopes to make more noise for the club this season. "I'm committed and ready to play for the team and my hometown," said Hayden. "I look forward to preseason and getting back into training."

The Louisville native has had an extensive career despite being just 26 years old. He was a two-time Parade Magazine All-American at Louisville's Trinity High School, then went on to Indiana University, where he won back-to-back national championships in 2003 and 2004. Hayden was drafted as the 13th overall pick of the Houston Dynamo in the MLS SuperDraft. Hayden then went on loan to the Cleveland City Stars of the USL, making seven appearances for the club.

"John Michael is arguably the best player born and raised in Louisville in the last decade," said head coach Ted Nichols. "To have him back representing the city after the career that he's had is remarkable."

In January 2010, John Michael Hayden was signed by the Louisville Lightning, marking the club's highest-profile signing in just their first season. He appeared in 12 games for the team, netting 10 goals and assisting on 6 more. The move to the Lightning was a homecoming of sorts for Hayden. The native Louisvillian grew up playing indoor soccer at Mockingbird Valley Soccer Club and is now the Director of coaching at MVSC. In 2007, Hayden also married Hollie Minogue, a former University of Louisville soccer player. The two now make their home in Louisville once again, and Hayden expects to wear the Lightning jersey for a long time to come.

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