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Mariners Welcome Simmonds, Pato Comes Home

February 27, 2006 - USL First Division (USL-1) - Virginia Beach Mariners News Release

The Virginia Beach Mariners have signed Midfielder Roland "Pato" Vargas-Aguilera. Aguilera from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, rejoins the Virginia Beach Mariners after successful 2004 and 2005 seasons with the Rochester Raging Rhinos. While playing with the Mariners in 2003, Aguilera ranked second on the team and tied for fifth in the USL First Division in points with 29. He also tied for eighth in the league in goals scored with 10 and tied third for assists with nine.

"It was unfortunate that circumstances took Pato away from Virginia Beach Mariners fans early in 2004 after arguably his best season in 2003, but we are very pleased to have him back at home," said Mike McCann Managing Director. "He has been one of the more dynamic goalscorers in the past few years in the league with a strong record of assists and will bring a new dimension to our 2006 squad."

At the same time the Mariners announced that Forward Gregory Simmonds has joined the growing 2006 Mariner squad. Simmonds who is 6' 3" and 190 lbs is from Germantown, Maryland and joins the Virginia Beach Mariners after playing the 2004 and 2005 seasons with USL First Division Charleston Battery.

A native of Jamaica, Simmonds began his professional career in 1999 with the Hershey Wildcats where he scored 16 goals and was the USL First Division Rookie of the Year before joining Major League Soccer's Miami Fusion in 2001. In 2002 he played with the Rochester Raging Rhinos and was selected as USL First Division Player of the Week twice. In 2003, he was with the USL First Division Richmond Kickers and played in 27 games.

Mike McCann, Managing Director said "Gregory has recorded over 50 goals as a professional player in seven seasons, has represented Jamaica on the National Team and brings the Mariners a huge physical presence up top with a proven appetite for goals. Pato has scored approximately 20 times in less than three full seasons in the USL. It is important to remember it is a very long season," noted McCann. "Experience will be a key ingredient for success when the grind sets in in August and September and the experience these players add to the existing Mariner squad will be a welcome contribution to our 2006 campaign.

Come out to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex and support the home team on April 8, 2006 at 7:00pm for the James River Cup match versus Richmond Kickers and for the season opener versus Toronto Lynx on April 22, 2006 at 7:30pm.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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