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SeaWolves putting together roster as they prepare for next player combine

Posted on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 1:00 pm

By Ken Jackson
Sports Editor

The Orlando SeaWolves, the new Major Arena Soccer League team that will begin play in December at the Silver Spurs Arena, continues to assemble a squad the team hopes will be competitive in the MASL right away.

That plan includes another team combine to be held in Orlando July 21-22 under the watchful eye of Coach Keith Tozer, the 20-year head coach of the United States Men’s National Futsal Team and no stranger to the indoor game. Futsal is another scaled-down soccer derivative played five-a-side and often indoors. In his career as an indoor soccer head coach he has won six championships and tallied over 700 career victories, making him the winningest professional coach in the sport’s history. Tozer is currently the commissioner of the Professional Futsal League and also a FIFA and CONCACAF regional Futsal instructor.

The combine will take place at XL Soccer World (825 Courtland Street in Orlando). The combine is open to players 18 and older aspiring to play in the MASL or interested in fine tuning their skills under the supervision of a world-renowned coach. SeaWolves soccer operations staff will be on hand to evaluate the participants. Registration is $75 in advance and $100 at the door. Interested parties can register by visiting www.orlandoseawolves.com. All participants will receive a SeaWolves t-shirt.

The event will coincide with the World Futsal Championships, which will be hosted in Orlando at the ESPN World Wide Sports Complex.

The SeaWolves have already spent the past month locking in players, starting with inking former Orlando City Soccer Club player Lewis Neal on May 15, and reaching verbal commitments with fellow OCSC alums Luke Boden and Jonny Mendoza, who was born in Colombia but graduated from Longwood Lyman High School and played for the Stetson Hatters, and MASL free agent Gordy Gurson. One of Gurson’s former teammates with the Seattle Impact and St. Louis Ambush, veteran goalie Piotr Sliwa.

Six days later the team announced the signing of Dylan Hundelt, the son of arena soccer star Kevin Hundelt, who played from 1987-2001. Entering his fourth season Hundelt is coming off a breakout year with the Ambush in which he had a career-high six goals and four assists in 17 games, including two short-handed goals.

“Dylan is a player with tremendous upside,” SeaWolves General Manager Chris Kokalis said. “He is a high-intensity defender who blocks shots and makes things happen when he’s on the field. I think fans will fall in love with his hustle and work rate.”

Midfielder Victor France, goalkeeper Rainer Hauss and defender Luiz Mota were signed out of Brazil, and the SeaWolves made their first trade, acquiring defender Richard Schmermund from the St. Louis Ambush for future considerations.

On June 12, the team signed veteran MASL defender Joshio “Yoshi” Sandoval. He has missed only three games in his five-year MASL career and his teams have qualified for the playoffs four times. After three seasons with the Chciago Mustangs, Sandoval signed as a free agent with the Cedar Rapids Rampage, where he worked the last two seasons with Chris Kokalis. The Hammond, Ind. native has been a regular member of the U.S. Arena Soccer National Team and played in the 2017 World Minifootball Federation World Cup in Tunisia.

“Yoshi is as reliable as they come defensively, and he’s a good teammate,” Kokalis said. “At 28 we feel he is just entering into his prime years.”

Midfielders Rodolfo Lopes and Julian Pavloski and forward Kevin Rockwell have received contracts to compete for a roster spot during the team’s training camp which will begin in November. The team held tryouts last weekend in West Palm Beach.