Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three former Stingrays among MLS Combine participants

Major League Soccer announced its 2008 Player Combine Invitation List last month, and among the players selected to participate in this week’s combine are three former Rhode Island Stingrays. Matthew Britner (Brown University), Geoffrey Cameron (University of Rhode Island) and Lukasz Tumicz (University of Rhode Island) have all made the cut for the league’s annual showcase of college talent.

All three players certainly made an impact during their stays with the ‘Rays. Britner, who played for the Stingrays in 2006, was a solid defender during his time with the squad, where he played in all of the club’s 16 matches and recorded an assist. He was the anchor of a defending corps that finished third in the Northeast Division of the Premier Development League in goals allowed (29).

Cameron starred for the Stingrays for three seasons, beginning in 2005. In his first year with the club, he recorded four goals and an assist in 13 games. Although his stats were nearly identical in 2006 (4 goals, 1 assist in 16 games), he looked primed to have a breakout year in 2007. Unfortunately, injuries hampered him for the better part of the season, and limited him to only four games all season.

Tumicz was also felled by injuries in 2007, yet still managed to get on the scoresheet twice with the blue and gold by adding a pair of goals in five matches. The year before, in his first season with the club, the Rhody Ram displayed the goalscorer’s touch by blasting four goals in four games with the Stingrays in 2006.

The Stingrays have an impressive history of former players making the grade in MLS. During the 2007 MLS SuperDraft alone, two former Stingrays were selected: Nico Colaluca (6th overall, by Colorado) and Jeffrey Gonsalves (40th overall, by Toronto). Additionally, midfielder Rui Fortes, who was discovered during an open tryout with the Los Angeles Galaxy last February, accompanied the club during the 2007 preseason before failing to make the final cut just before the start of the regular season.

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