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USL notes: Former Sounders, Earthquakes forward from Trinidad signs with OKC

OKC Energy FC added a forward with Major League Soccer experience on Wednesday, signing Trinidad and Tobago international Cordell Cato.

Cato, 26, comes to OKC after spending last season with the USL Championship’s Charlotte Independence. In 24 appearances with the club last season, he scored eight goals and added eight assists.

“Cordell is another player with significant MLS experience,” OKC coach Steve Cooke said in a statement. “I think it’s important to note that he’s been in some pretty good teams and over the years has played with some really good players.”

Prior to joining the USL ranks, Cato spent six seasons in MLS where he featured for the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes. In 138 MLS appearances, he tallied nine goals and 10 assists across all competitions.

Cato also has 27 appearances for the Trinidad and Tobago national team, scoring twice.

“Cordell, in terms of an attacking sense, has great quality and has a real eye for getting behind defenders and going at players (one-on-one),” Cooke said. “He’s an exciting threat going forward, and I think he’s also a real big goal threat.”

Birmingham signs German defender

Birmingham Legion FC, a USL Championship expansion side, added some international flavor to its back-line Wednesday, announcing the signing of German defender Marcel Appiah.

Appiah, 30, is 6-foot-2 and has played centerback and right back. He has never played soccer in the U.S. before and most recently featured for VfL Osnabruck, a club in Germany’s third division where he appeared in 67 games from 2016 through 2018.

“This is a great addition for Legion FC, on and off the field,” Legion general manager Jay Heaps said in a statement. “Marcel brings vast European experience and a desire to come to Birmingham to help the team win in our inaugural season.”

Since becoming a professional in 2007, Appiah has played in more than 300 matches with clubs in Germany and the Netherlands. In the 2012-2013 season, Appiah made 31 appearances for Arminia Bielefeld and tallied three goals and three assists to help the club gain promotion to the second division of Bundesliga. In 2014, he played in 27 games for NEC Nijmegen and helped the club get promoted to Holland’s top division.

South Georgia adds midfielder from VCU

South Georgia Tormenta FC announced Tuesday that the USL League One side had signed Preston Pearson to a contract for the 2019 season. Pearson had previously featured for USL League Two sides, but just finished his collegiate career at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“I am so honored to join such a prestigious organization, and I’m thankful for Tormenta FC giving me this opportunity to start my professional soccer career,” Pearson said in a statement. “I’m excited for what’s to come here in Statesboro and to be a part of the growth within USL League One and the soccer world in the United States.”

A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Pearson featured at forward and in the midfield for VCU. Before joining the Rams, he played for the University of Virginia where he was a three-year letter-winner. In 36 games at VCU, he tallied five goals and three assists. As a senior, he was a captain and helped VCU capture an Atlantic-10 conference regular season title.

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