The Ontario Fury, Driven by Mark Christopher Chevrolet, are proud to announce the signing of four players for the team’s inaugural season. The four new signings bring the Fury roster to 10 players for the 2013-14 Professional Arena Soccer League season.
At the top of the list of new signees is Major League Soccer veteran Tino Nuñez. A native of Long Beach, Calif., Nuñez played two seasons with Real Salt Lake, and was part of the team that won the MLS championship in 2009. In all, Nuñez appeared in 12 games for Salt Lake, scoring one goal. He also helped the University of California, Santa Barbara, to a national championship in 2006.
“We are excited to be able to add someone like Tino to our team,” said Bernie Lilavois, the Fury’s president and head coach. “His soccer skills are top notch, and his pedigree of winning championships will be an important trait to add to our locker room.”
Nuñez spent the 2012-13 season playing for the Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League, but decided to come back to Long Beach in the offseason. He was named the head coach of the Milliken High girls soccer team over the summer, but found the opportunity to play one more year close to home too good an opportunity to pass up.
“It’s exciting to have another go at it, especially when I’m at home, especially where I can stay home and play,” Nuñez said. “I’d rather drive than have an all-day flight (to continue playing).”
The other three players who signed Friday are familiar faces for Lilavois, as all three played for his former team, the Anaheim Bolts, last season. They are: Zach Bautista, Manabu “Manny” Kaji and Miguel Sanchez. Per team policy, terms of the new contracts will not be announced.
“These three former Bolts players epitomize what we’re looking for in members of the Fury squad: hard work, passion and tenacity,” Lilavois said. “All three have put in the work to get better in the offseason and all three will fit in with the veteran players we’re bringing in to win a championship.”
A midfielder, Bautista scored four goals and added six assists in 12 games for the Bolts in 2012-13. Sanchez, a native of Inglewood, Calif., is also a midfielder. He played the last two seasons for Lilavois in Anaheim. He played in 25 games, scoring 16 goals and assisting on 14 more in the two seasons. Originally from Japan, Kaji, a goaltender who played at Citrus College and Cal State Northridge, appeared in 13 games for the Bolts last season, posting a 5-7 record.
The Ontario Fury will open its inaugural season with a preseason game against Toros Mexico at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Citizens Business Bank Arena. Individual game tickets are on sale at the box office or online at cbbankarena.com. Season ticket packages, which start at $90 for 10 games, are available for purchase, as are discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more. For information about group or season ticket packages, visit ontariofury.com or call 909-240-5242.