Ottawa Fury News Release -- www.ottawafury.com
Thursday, April 7, 2011
OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Ottawa Fury are very proud to announce their first two signings of 2011 as Limestone College teammates Keegan Ziada and Mike Stephenson will don Fury colours in the upcoming Premier Development League season.
"I look forward to working with Keegan and Mike," said Fury Head Coach Steve Payne. "Keegan is a tricky, direct winger with lots of technical ability. Stephenson is a fast, attack minded full back with the energy to go up and down the flank all day. They also know each other well, as they play together in the same U.S. college team. Having recently spent more than a year in Australia, I know how mentally strong and determined Australian players are, so that is another area Keegan will excel in. Stephenson is English so his never-say-die attitude goes without saying."
Ziada, a native of Melbourne, Australia, joins the Fury on the heels of a career season a Limestone College where he led the NCAA Division II side to an 11-6-1 record with a team-leading nine goals and team-best 24 points that helped them boast the eighth-ranked offense in the nation. In three full seasons with the Saints, Ziada has tallied 22 goals and 25 assists for 69 points in 52 games. His efforts this past season didn't go unnoticed as Ziada was named to the 1st Team All-Region and 1st Team All-Conference teams respectively.
Ziada also proved his quick thinking on the field translated to quick thinking in the classroom as he was named the Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year. An injury limited Ziada's 2010 PDL season to two games with the DFW Tornadoes, but he still managed to make his presence know collecting an assist. Prior to coming to North America, Ziada spent two seasons at Knox City SC in the Victorian Premier League where he would also lead Haileybury College to two championships in three seasons.
Stephenson, is a six-foot tall defender from Bristol, England, where he spent eight years in the Bristol Rovers Academy before captaining Millfield School to a national title. Stephenson has spent two season's with Limestone College where they have posted a 24-11-1 record during his tenure that has seen the right back notch three goals and three assists in 31 games.
This past season Stephenson was named to the All-Conference Second Team and voted as the defensive MVP for Limestone College. Prior to his time with the Saints, Stephenson enjoyed a season at NCAA Division I school High Point University where he featured in all 19 games and notched one goal. The move to Limestone was not only a smart soccer move for Stephenson, but also for his other passion - tennis. Stephenson is also a nationally ranked tennis player in England and holds a dual scholarship for soccer and tennis at Limestone College.
The Ottawa Fury open their seventh PDL season on the road against FC London on May 28th before facing PDL newcomers Hamilton FC Rage on May 29th. The Fury will return home on June 4th, where they are unbeaten in regular season play in their last 26 games (21-0-5), to face the Western Mass Pioneers who they defeated 2-0 in last season's home opener. The Fury are back-to-back Northeast Division champions and will attempt to make their third straight post-season appearance in 2011 looking to build on the successes of their past two playoff experiences.