The Cleveland City Stars rounded out their roster this week with a talented group of recruits. Defenders Ibrahim Kante and Stephen Cruickshank and midfielders Pato Aguilera and Steve Gillespie join the City Stars as they head to Florida for the inaugural USL First Division game against Miami FC on Saturday.
Kante began his professional career in 2003 when he made appearances for the New England Revolution of the MLS. Kante played the 2004 season with the USL-A League's Milwaukee Wave United, before switching to indoor soccer from 2004-2006. During his time in the Major Indoor Soccer League, Kante played for the St. Louis Steamers, the Kansas City Comets and the Baltimore Blast.
Stephen CruickshankFormer Trinidad & Tobago national team player Stephen Cruickshank returns for his second season with the City Stars after playing in Cleveland during the inaugural season in 2007. Capped four times by the national team, Cruickshank began his professional career in Trinidad with Caledonia AIA in 2006. He joined the City Stars in 2007, but due to an ankle injury missed most of the season. After returning to Trinidad in 2008, Cruickshank played for the St. Annes Rangers and Ma Pau FC.
Midfielder Pato Aguilera spent last season with the Montreal Impact of USL-1. During the 23 matches that he logged, he registered one goal and one assist. The Bolivian native began his United States soccer career after being drafted in the 2000 MLS Superdraft by the Columbus Crew. In 2001 he was traded to the New England Revolution, before going on the play for the USL's Virginia Beach Mariners. In Aguilera's 2003 season with Virginia Beach, he ranked fifth in the league with 29 points, tied for eighth in the league with 10 goals, and tied for third with 9 assists. Aguilera has since played with the Rochester Rhinos and Bolivian First Division side Huracan del Paso around a second stint with Virginia Beach.
Steve GillespieSteve Gillespie captained the Mount Union College squad in 2006 and 2007, and was named the 2007 Ohio Athletic Conference Midfielder of the Year. The same year he was also chosen for the All-Great Lakes Region First Team and the All-Ohio Athletic Conference First Team. A two-time leader in goals and assists for Mount Union in 2006 and 2007, Gillespie went on to play for the Cleveland Internationals PDL team, where he was third in team points in 2007. The midfielder spent the 2008 season playing on the Cleveland City Stars reserve team, and in September of that year moved on to the Columbus Crew Reserves.
"We are delighted to complete our roster with such a talented group of players" said head coach Rod Underwood. "Having so many gifted players with such diverse backgrounds is going to have a huge impact on our season, as they all bring their own unique skills to the team. I feel that we are ready to dive into our season and successfully take on Miami this weekend."
The Cleveland City Stars' season-opening match takes place this Saturday.