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AC St. Louis Visits Puerto Rico Islanders Saturday

AC St. Louis travels to Bayamon, Puerto Rico to play the Islanders Saturday night at 7:05 pm CDT Saturday at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium.  AC St. Louis, which had a bye last weekend, enters the contest with a 1-7-1 record and recently lost their marquee player, midfielder Steve Ralston, who returned to MLS with the New England Revolution.  The Puerto Rico Islanders are 3-4-0 in league play after winning the Caribbean Football Union title in early May. 

The Puerto Rico Islanders were formed ni 2003 and play in orange Umbro kit at home.  They have been coached the last few years by Colin Clarke, a native of Northern Ireland.  Clarke’s first full season with the Islanders, 2008, was particularly successful as the Islanders won the USL-1 regular season and were runner-up in the post season playoffs to champion Vancouver.  The Islanders also went deep in the 2008-2009 CONCACAF Champions League tournament, battling established teams like Honduras’ CD Marathon, CSD Municipal of Guatemala and Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul of the FMF.  The Islanders were eliminated in the Group Stage of the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League tournament and finished 3rd in USL-1 in 2009.

The Islanders are led on the field by Bill Gaudette, who was USL-1 Goalkeeper of the Year in 2008 and made the all-league second team in 2009.  The 28 year-old Pennsylvania native played for three seasons with the Columbus Crew of MLS as a backup before arriving in Puerto Rico in 2008.  USL veterans Marco Velez,and Scott Jones have been featuring on the backline lately along with youngsters Logan Emory and Richard Martinez.  In the midfield,  Christopher Nurse is a player with English non-league experience.  Twenty three year-old American Joe Salem has been seeing time in the midfield lately, as has Sandy Gbandi, and captain Noah Delgado is a veteran with over 130 appearances for the Puerto Rican club.  On the front line, Jamaican veteran Nicholas Addlery and Englishman David Foley are tied for the club lead in scoring with 3 goals each, with Addlery leading the team in shots taken.   Kendall Jagdeosingh from Trinidad and Tobago has also seen playing time recently, and Josh Hansen is a productive player.  The Islanders, who started the season 2-1-0, went through a three game losing streak before winning 4-2 at home over Miami FC last weekend. 

Claude Anelka’s AC St. Louis squad have had two weeks to recover and reorganize following their 3-2 road loss to NSC Minnesota. In that game, Luke Kreamalmeyer and Gauchinho gave AC St. Louis a 2-1, only for the team to surrender two goals to NSC Minnesota, including the game-winner in the dying minutes of the contest.  On the travel squad to Puerto Rico for AC St. Louis are goalkeepers Alec Dufty and Chad Becker, defenders Tim Velten, Mark Bloom, Dillon Barna, Christian Nzinga and Jack Traynor, midfielders Troy Cole, Brad Stisser, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Gauchinho, Mike Ambersley, Manuel Kante and Ryan Moore along with forwards Elvir Kafedzic, Alex Titton and Jeff Cosgriff.  Traynor will likely wear the captain’s armband.  AC St. Louis will be looking for a result on the road before heading up to West Des Moines, Iowa for Tuesday’s Open Cup clash with the Menace of the Premier Development League.  AC St. Louis plays its next home game June 26th against the Vancouver Whitecaps at AB Soccer Park.  GO AC !!!

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