Knights announce initial set of players

Brooklyn Knights News Release -

Thursday, March 8, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY -- The Brooklyn Knights have officially announced the signing of 14 players for the upcoming 2007 PDL season in United Soccer Leagues.

The roster consists of goalie David Ditrich, defenders Roger Cambridge, Tomasz Groch, George Manas and Carmine Ruberto, midfielders Pasquale Abiuso, Yan Averman, Christian Camacho, Vincenzo Conigliaro, Carlos Moncaleano and Juan Peralta, and the striking triad of Thiago Cordero, Tarik Smith and Semso Nikocevic.

Knights’ manager Joe Balsamo, a long time youth coach in Brooklyn, trained several of these players during their formative years and is familiar with their characteristics and style of play. However, the emergence of these athletes from a talented pool of aspiring hopefuls was the result of their ability to excel at fulfilling two of Balsamo’s main soccer tenets.

"There were a lot of good players trying out for the team, but the guys in this group are particularly skilled and disciplined, which are the characteristics I look for in building a team," said the Italian trainer.

Just like the city of Brooklyn, the Knights’ squad runs the cultural gamut, with no less than four continents, seven countries and countless ethnicities being represented. Averman was born in Tajikstan, while Conigliaro was born in Italy.

There is a strong Eastern European presence, with two (Ditrich and Groch) players of Polish origin.

South America is also present, thanks to Paraguayan native Juan Peralta and Brazil’s Thiago Cordeiro.

Tarik Smith, of Jamaica, rounds off the list foreign-born players.

Meanwhile, the New York area has seven native sons (Abiuso, Camacho, Cambridge, Manas, Moncaleano, Nikocevic and Ruberto).

The remaining players to make up the Brooklyn Knights’ 2007 PDL team roster will be announced shortly before the season kicks off on Sunday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Aviator Field.

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