TAMPA, Fla. (July 20, 2010) – FC Tampa Bay FC announced today that the club has acquired midfielders Ricardo Sánchez and Jonathan Steele in a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC for future considerations.
Sánchez joined Whitecaps FC on November 18, 2009, following stints with former United Soccer Leagues First Division (USL-1) clubs Minnesota Thunder and California Victory. Sánchez has played in 13 United States Soccer Federation Division-2 Pro League (USSF D-2) regular season matches and three Nutrilite Canadian Championship (NCC) games this season. Sánchez played for the Minnesota Thunders during the 2008 and 2009 seasons, scoring 17 goals in more than 50 matches.
Prior to his move to the United States, the native of Guadalajara, Mexico, played professionally in Mexico and featured for the Mexican U-17 and U-20 National Teams. Sánchez captained the U-17 squad that appeared at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Zealand, starting in all three matches of group play and playing in the quarterfinal.
Steele signed with Whitecaps FC on December 23, 2009, after spending the two previous years with the Puerto Rico Islanders. This season, the Larne, Northern Ireland native has played in 12 USSF D-2 matches and three NCC games for a total of 844 minutes of action. While with the Islanders, Steele was named the 2008 USL-1 Most Valuable Player and was a key part of the team when they won the 2008 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Steele and Sánchez are both proven playmakers in the league and add leadership and offensive firepower to our squad,” said FC Tampa Bay President Andrew Nestor. “Despite several recent injuries to starters on our team, we are in position to make a title run and the acquisition of these players will help support that effort.”