The Vancouver 86ers have signed veteran defender Rick Titus of Ontario. The versatile 31-year-old has played the last three years in the A-League with Toronto, Hershey, and Staten Island. He is also a four-year veteran of the indoor NPSL where he plays for the Edmonton Drillers alongside 86ers Paul Dailly, Kevin Holness, Paul Shepherd, Chris Clarke, Alfredo Valente, and Carmen D'Onofrio. He arrived in town this morning and is expected to make the trip for Sunday's game in Seattle (5pm at Memorial Stadium).

"Rick is a very talented and athletic player who will slot in nicely on defence," said 86ers GM Bob Lenarduzzi, "he's known as a hard nosed defender, but can play just about any position. We plan to use him at the back as that will free up Chris Franks to return to midfield. While Franks has done superbly for us at sweeper recently, we feel his talents are best utilised in midfield."

Titus started his career at the age of 18 playing in Ontario's semi-professional National Soccer League. After many years in the NSL, he broke into the A-League with the Toronto Lynx in 1997. He then joined the powerful Hershey Wildcats in 1999, but was traded midseason to the Staten Island Vipers for cash and a 1st round draft pick. The Vipers subsequently folded in the offseason, making Titus a free agent.

At indoor soccer, Titus has played 150 NPSL games at both forward and defence, scoring 61 goals and 32 assists. He started with the Toronto Shooting Stars in 1996, and subsequently played for Montreal, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Edmonton. Titus finished third in team scoring for the Drillers this past winter, with 30 goals and 13 assists in 48 games, ahead of all his 86ers team-mates. He also represented "Team Canada" in the 2000 NPSL All-Star game on February 1 in Edmonton, and 18-12 loss to "Team USA".

Rick Titus, (6'1" 175 lbs; 185cm, 80kg) was born March 10, 1969 in Mississaugua, Ontario. He learned his youth soccer in Toronto, and played varsity soccer for the University of Toronto.

Rick Titus' A-League Career (includes playoffs)

GP    Min   G   A  Pts  C   E
1997 Toronto    25   2249   0   1   1   3   0
1998 Toronto    26   2412   1   0   2   5   0
1999 Hershey    17   1490   0   0   0   1   0
Staten Is  11    970   0   0   0   1   0
TOTAL           79   7121   1   1   3  10   0