Stewart returns for second season, club adds Portland’s Oka

Cleveland City Stars News Release – www.clevelandcitystars.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland City Stars announced the return of Ryan Stewart and the addition of Portland’s Arsene Oka for the 2009 season.

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Ryan Stewart will return to Cleveland for his second season after re-signing over the weekend. The club also reached an agreement with an experienced and internationally recognized player in Arsene Oka from the Ivory Coast. Both contracts are pending U.S. Soccer approval and international clearance.

Stewart's rookie season finished well in title runRyan Stewart enters his second season with the City Stars after putting in a fine rookie season in 2008. The native of Mayaro, Trinidad and Tobago totaled 602 minutes in 11 matches last season and recorded four goals and one assist. Stewart came on strong down the stretch, notching all nine points in the season’s final seven matches and chipped in an assist in the City Star’s first round playoff victory over the Western Mass Pioneers.

Stewart came to Cleveland after a distinguished college career at Lindsay Wilson College in Columbia, Ky. The shifty Stewart was a three-time NAIA All-American selection and the NAIA Region XI Player of the Year in 2007. Stewart amassed 15 goals and 5 assists as a senior and ranks 4th all-time at Lindsay Wilson College with 53 career goals.

«The Cleveland City Stars are thrilled to have Ryan Stewart back for 2009. He came in a little late last season because he was finishing college and he struggled a bit with injury, but the fans of Cleveland saw flashes of brilliance,» said Cleveland City Stars Executive Director Aaron Tredway. «He’s very crafty on the ball and he can break teams down with his technical ability. I think he’s a rising star.»

Arsene Oka comes to Cleveland after playing last season with the Portland Timbers of the USL First Division. The native of Abidjan, Ivory Coast totaled 225 minutes in seven matches with the Timbers last season. Prior to joining Portland, Oka played in MLS with the New England Revolution during the 2006-07 season.

Oka has also represented his country as a member of the Ivory Coast U17, U20, and U23 national teams.

«Arsene is a player that we signed from the Portland Timbers, and he was formerly with the New England Revolution,» said Tredway. «He has a lot of pace up the wing and we expect big things from Arsene Oka. This is a good signing for the Cleveland City Stars as Arsene fully believes in the team mission of Serving the City and Changing the World.»

City Stars Hold First Set Of Tryouts Over The Weekend

The City Stars held their first round of tryouts over the weekend at NEO Soccer in Parma and it was a rousing success. The group of tryout players was among the most talented the City Stars have ever hosted and the field included players from around the world with the Netherlands, Japan, England and Canada being represented. There was also a great fan turnout for the evening session’s exhibition match with the select team from NEO Soccer.

«The team would like to thank everybody for coming out,» said Cleveland City Stars Director of Soccer Operations Kevin Carpenter. «Its always encouraging to see the support for the team and have a chance to meet and get to know such great players from Ohio and around the world. We hope to repeat the success at our next tryout in February.»

The second set of tryouts are schedule for February 13th at Krenzler Field on the campus of Cleveland State University. The first session will start at 10 a.m. with the second session taking place at 7 p.m. The evening session will again feature an exhibition match.

Interested candidates can sign up for the tryout at www.clevelandcitystars.com

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Edwin Jusino
Director Ejecutivo de FutbolBoricua.net. Actualmente estudiante de Historia de las Américas en programa combinado Maestría/PhD de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, Recinto Metropolitano. Lleva más de una década cubriendo el fútbol de Puerto Rico. Actualmente está trabajando su disertación doctoral sobre el pasado presidente de la FPF, el Dr. Roberto Monroig. Hincha del Club Atlético de Madrid y de la Selección Nacional de Fútbol de Puerto Rico. Puede contactarle via twitter o Instagram en @erjusinoa