Carolina RailHawks Announce First Player Signings
December 07, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports NewsCARY, N.C. - The Carolina RailHawks introduced former University of North Carolina stars Chris Carrieri and Caleb Norkus as the team’s inaugural signings on Tuesday. The club also inked former-Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Jonny Steele, along with Anthony Maher and Connally Edozien.
Carrieri joins the RailHawks from the USL Second Division’s Richmond Kickers where he led the Second Division in assists with nine. The number one overall draft pick in the 2001 MLS Super Draft, Carrieri notched 23 goals and 14 assists in 2000 for the Tar Heels in his senior season to top the NCAA scoring charts.
Along with head coach Scott Schweitzer, Carrieri now gives the RailHawks’ family two former ACC Player of the Year award winners (Schweitzer, 1992 and Carrieri, 2000) as well as two members of the ACC 50th Anniversary team.
Norkus, a former U.S. under-20 national team member, comes to Cary from the Puerto Rico Islanders. The former Sanderson High School star earned the North Carolina High School Payer of the Year honors before taking his game to Chapel Hill. Norkus was also part of the Apertura Championship team of Union Espanola of Chile’s Primera Division in 2005.
"Caleb can play any position on the field. His work ethic and attitude are fantastic. Chris is a midfielder with a forward's mentality. He is a fast, crafty player who has a complete distaste for losing," said Schweitzer. "Steele, Maher and Edozien bring an abundance of First Division experience to our franchise. These five players are a solid foundation for the RailHawks."
Led by Carrieri and Norkus, the 2000 UNC squad set numerous school records at the time, including: most wins in a season (21), most ACC wins in a season (5), most points (219) and most goals (73) in a season. Carrieri still holds the Carolina marks for most goals (25) and points (64) in a season. In 2000, Carrieri earned first team All-ACC and All-America honors while Norkus received second team All-ACC accolades.
Jonny Steele, a former under-19 Northern Ireland player, comes to the RailHawks from the Rochester Raging Rhinos, where he helped the Rhinos to the USL First Division Final in 2006. The midfielder is a former teammate of Schweitzer’s when both played for the Syracuse Salty Dogs in 2004.
Forward Connally Edozien brings a wealth of international experience with stints at French first division mainstays Bastia and German side FV Dresden Nord. The 6’0” attacker, who suited up for Nigeria’s youth national squads, will bring a measure of toughness to the RailHawks front line. He comes to the RailHawks from stints with Rochester, having played in the USL First Division final in 2006, and the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.
Anthony Maher stays in state as he heads west to Cary from a spell with the USL Second Division’s Wilmington HammerHeads, having led the Hammerheads to the USL Second Division Final in 2002. Last season, the former All-America at Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania, put away six goals in just 11 games.
About the Carolina RailHawks
The Carolina RailHawks are a United Soccer League expansion team that will enter the USL First Division in April 2007. Head coach Scott Schweitzer, the 1992 ACC Soccer Player of the Year at N.C. State University, will lead the inaugural squad. The team will play 14 regular season home games and four additional home playoff and exhibition games each year, with all home games played at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Under USL Hall of Fame inductee Chris Economides, the RailHawks organization was formed in October 2005 and awarded the USL franchise in January 2006. For more information, visit www.carolinarailhawks.com.