Saturday, September 22, 2007

Where Are They Now-MetroStars 1996 Trialists

After seeing some of the names floating around the USL and other leagues, I decided to make a Where Are They Now-MetroStars/Red Bulls Trialists page. Each week, I will bring you what has happened with those guys that never made the team. This week, I will start with all of the 1996 Trialists.

Jorge Acosta-A talented US-Columbian striker, Acosta earned 12 caps with the US National Team starting in 1991. In 1996, the MetroStars drafted Acosta from the New York Fever of the USISL. Acosta was well past his prime and was waived by the team on the second waiver date of April 15th, 1996 with GK Matt Olsen (see below). He returned to the Fever and scored 5 goals in the 96 season. After retiring Acosta became the Assistant Camp Director of the Mickey Kydes Soccer Enterprises (another former Metro well past his prime when joining the Metros) and the Program Director at Old Greenwich Riverside Civic Center in Connecticut.

Hamisi Amani-Dove-Hamisi was drafted by the MetroStars in the 1996 College Draft but ended up turning down the offer to play for the Metros and went to Holland to play in the second division AZ Alkmaar instead. There he scored the game-winning goal that season to promote the club. He then moved to Austria and dominated scoring 32 goals in just two seasons with Bad Bleiberg. He then moved to Israel to play with Hapoel Tzafririm Holon F.C. where he netted another 19 goals in two seasons. In 2001, Hamisi Amani-Dove came back to MLS in a weighted lottery with the Dallas Burn winning his rights. Only seeing time in 6 games, he moved down to the USL where he played for Rochester Raging Rhinos in 2002 and Virginia Beach Mariners until 2005. Now retired, Amani-Dove is a successful business leader in the Washington DC area.

Walter Bustamante-Playing for the New Jersey Dragons in the USISL, Bustamante was the 159 out of 160 picks in the Inaugural Draft of 1996. The all-time assist leader at Long Island University, Bustamante never played for the MetroStars and was waived on March 25th, 1996. Bustamante is now one of the coaches of the World Class Soccer Camp with names such as Jeff Rigby, Alecko Eskandarian, and former Cosmos captain Kazbek Tambi (the director of the camp) located in New Jersey.

Troy Dayak-Dayak hated New York. So much, in fact, that he demanded a trade after the MetroStars drafted him in the 1996 Inaugural Draft with their second pick. The Metros traded him to San Jose in the first ever trade in MLS. In return the MetroStars received Rhett Harty and a first round draft pick in the 1996 College Draft (which was later traded a few more times). Dayak ended up having an extremely successful MLS career even after having neck surgery after an injury that almost left him paralyzed in 1997. In 1998 the Clash released Dayak where he recoved and started playing again for the San Francisco Bay Seals of the USL until 2001. He returned to MLS and San Jose and joined the Earthquakes where he played until 2005. After retiring, Dayak became the manager of the California Cougars of the MISL (Major Indoor Soccer League). Dayak owns a soccer shop in California as well as still still managing with the Livermore Youth Soccer Team in California. On a side note, he also owns an alfalfa farm.

Edivaldo "Juninho" DaSilva-In one of Charlie Stillitano's (then GM of the MetroStars) shocking moves, the club drafted Juninho and Tulio of Brazil. Unfortunately, neither were the same as the Brazil National Team players. After never showing up for the MetroStars, the club waived him along with Tulio, Walter Bustamante, Eddie Soto and Khary Stockton (all included in this piece) on March 25th, 1996. Nobody really ever knew who Juninho was until 2005. In 2005, Edivaldo DaSilva joined the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the USL. I conducted an interview with the player and realized that he was the Juninho that never was for the MetroStars. He played with the Puerto Rico Islanders (USL) in 2004 and in Bolivia and Tunisia. Juninho was released by the Rhinos for another MetroStars trialist, Bill Andracki, in August of 2006. He is now with the expansion MISL team, New Jersey Ironmen.

GK-Tim Mulqueen-Mulqueen has been a goalkeeper and assistant coach all over the place starting with the MetroStars in 1996. Due to roster regulations during this time, Mulqueen actually dressed for a number of games as the MetroStars backup goalkeeper when Tony Meola and Zach Thornton could not play. In 1997, Mulqueen was not only the MetroStars goalkeeper coach but also coached the New Jersey Imperials and their goalkeeper Tim Howard. Mulqueen brought Howard to MLS and now Howard is the starting goalkeeper for the United States men's national team and Everton FC in England after leaving Manchester United. After the MetroStars, Mulqueen rejoined Tony Meola in Kansas City with the Wizards as their assistant and goalkeeping coach along with former MetroStar, Brian Bliss. In 2004, Mulqueen joined the US Mens U-23 team as their goalkeeper coach until 2005 where he made the move to the U-17 camp as one of the assistant coaches where he is currently. Mulqueen has also been the goalkeeper coach for the U-20 and full Men's National Team.

Pat O'Kelly-An Irishman, Pat O'Kelly was drafted by the MetroStars in the 1996 Inaugural Draft from the North Jersey Imperials of the USISL. O'Kelly was a two-time NCAA first team member in college (1988 and 1989) with Seton Hall but decided that he would retire instead for "personal reasons". In 1998, O'Kelly came out of retirement to play in New Jersey in the USISL. He now works for a security firm in New York City.

GK-Matt Olsen-In one of the worst trades in MLS history, Matt Olsen was acquired as the third goalkeeper by the MetroStars in a trade with DC United. The transaction read like this: Matt Olson, second-round pick in supplemental draft (12th overall) and second round pick in college draft (11th overall) traded to MetroStars for first-round pick in supplemental draft (eighth overall). However, this was all based on a flurry of trades that were made by the two clubs. That eighth pick ended up being Mario Gori who had a successful MLS career but part of that flurry of trades included giving up the first round college draft pick who became EDDIE POPE! Pope's career obviously took off, while Olsen was placed on waivers with Jorge Acosta on April 15th, 1996 the club's second day of waivers. I have not learned of Olsen's whereabouts since his release from the club.

Eddie Soto-Drafted by the MetroStars in the 8th round of the 1996 Inaugural Draft out of the Los Angeles Cobras of the USISL camp, Soto was unable to make the roster for the Metros and was waived on March 25th, 1996. He then played some sand beach soccer and Orange County Zodiac/Wave of the USISL. In 1998, the Dallas Burn drafted Soto but once again, he was unable to make the final roster. Soto then joined his alma mater of Cal-State Fullerton as the assistant coach until Long Beach State's women's team offered him the same position where is currently.

Khary Stockton-Part of the group that was waived on March 25th, 1996, Stockton was drafted in the 12th round of the 1996 inaugural draft from the USISL's Richmond Kickers. After being unable to make the squad, Stockton went back to the USISL and played with the Milwaukee Rampage, Carolina Dynamo, New Orleans Storm, Lehigh Valley Steam, and then back to the Richmond Kickers after Lehigh Valley folded in 1999. He currently runs the Khary Stockton Soccer Camp based in the Washington DC area.

Tulio-Part of the wasted draft picks in 1996, Tulio was drafted after Juninho (see above) and never showed up to the New Jersey area. Waived on March 25th, 1996, Tulio is probably the most unknown name that the MetroStars had ever drafted. So rare that nobody even knows what his real name was. One thing is certain though, the Brazilian was not the Tulio of the famed Brazilian national team.

Scott Lamphear-Lamphear's interesting story will be included with the 1997 names.

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