In preparation for the 2019 United Soccer League Championship season, Indy Eleven added arguably the league’s safest pair of hands.
The club signed Evan Newton to a deal for the 2019 season, pending league and federation approval. Newton was awarded the USL’s Golden Glove for having the lowest goals-against average. Playing for FC Cincinnati in 2018, he made 56 saves on 72 attempts and conceded just 16 goals over 20 starts.
“I’m really happy that we managed to sign Evan. He’s proved himself to be an exceptional goalkeeper at this level,” Indy coach Martin Rennie said in a statement Tuesday. “Last season, he was the Golden Glove winner and I think he’s someone that’ll add a lot to our team.”
Newton, 30, is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and played his college soccer at Old Dominion. In 2011, he was selected in the supplemental draft by the Houston Dynamo, but he never appeared for the MLS side. He also briefly played with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012.
Newton eventually caught on in the USL ranks, where he has appeared in 113 matches for Sacramento Republic SC, OKC Energy FC, Phoenix Rising FC and FC Cincinnati. He has a total of nine caps in U.S. Open Cup play and has played in five USL playoff matches.
— Indy Eleven (@IndyEleven) January 8, 2019
Nashville SC adds recent college standouts
Nashville SC added some depth to its defense Tuesday, signing a goalkeeper and a defender to its 2019 roster.
Jamaican defender Malcolm Stewart and goalkeeper Danny Vitiello both join Nashville SC after wrapping up collegiate careers.
Stewart, 22, played at UNC-Charlotte and helped the 49ers make an NCAA tournament appearance in 2015. He has featured for Jamaica’s U-17, U-20 and U-23 sides in international competition. Stewart also spent time with the Ocean City Nor’easters of USL League Two and trained with LA Galaxy II of the USL Championship last season.
“Malcolm is a terrific prospect and has many qualities that are needed in the modern game,” Nashville SC coach Gary Smith said in a statement. “He has tremendous pace, good physical stature and is hungry to achieve.”
Vitiello, 22, recently wrapped up a career at the University of Albany where he tallied 24 shutouts over 60 starts. As a junior, he helped Albany go to the NCAA tournament where they shutout Maryland in the first round. Vitiello started for USL League Two side Long Island Rough Riders in the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as the team advanced to the second-round.
“Danny impressed whilst trialing during the summer and then reinforced his credentials in our invite only tryouts in December,” said Smith. “He fits the criteria for our club perfectly both physically & technically, whilst showing all the desire you would expect from a young player.”
Former Galaxy player joins OKC
OKC Energy FC announced Monday that it had signed former LA Galaxy midfielder Rafael Garcia to a contract for the 2019 season.
Garcia, 30, played his college soccer at Cal State-Northridge and then made 68 appearances with the LA Galaxy from 2012 through 2017, tallying two assists. He also played in 27 games with LA Galaxy II, notching three goals and three assists. The 5-foot-6 Californian, who has also played right back, most recently played with the Las Vegas Lights, where he had a goal and an assist over 13 appearances in 2018.
“Rafa is a winner first and foremost. He’s a person who’s going to bring great quality in the midfield,” Energy FC coach Steve Cooke said in a statement. “His receiving and passing are excellent. I think he can get forward well as well. He’s a dynamic player, and his defensive qualities are exceptional.”