The Ontario Fury, Driven by Mark Christopher Chevrolet, have signed two more players to its roster for the team’s inaugural season.
Israel Sesay, a former member of the Los Angeles Galaxy, and international futsal pro Luis Henrique Pinto will join the team for the 2013-14 Professional Arena Soccer League season. Per team policy, terms of the deals will not be announced.
Sesay made his debut for the Galaxy in 2007 at the age of 17 years, 9 days – the youngest player to play in a game for the Galaxy. He played in three matches for Los Angeles, before being loaned to Hollywood United Hitmen. He has played outdoors with the Los Angeles Blues since 2011.
The native of Sierra Leone moved with his family to the United States at the age of 10, and played in 14 games with the U.S. National Under-17 team from 2006-08. His indoor career started in 2012 with the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Milwaukee Wave, where he scored five goals and three assists over the 2012-13 season. The Fury have purchased Sesay’s indoor rights for an undisclosed sum.
“Israel’s speed and agility will be another great asset for our team,” said Bernie Lilavois, the Fury’s president and coach. “And for us to be able to work out a deal with an MISL team to bring him back to Southern California is great that the two leagues can work together for the betterment of soccer in the United States. And what a testament to Keith Tozer (the Milwaukee Wave’s coach and vice president of soccer operations) to work out this deal and give Israel the chance to continue his indoor career in Ontario. I thank him for his cooperation, and support through the years. He’s a true ambassador for our sport.”
Tozer, who is also the head coach of the U.S. National Futsal team, was travelling and could not be reached for comment.
For Sesay, the opportunity to play closer to what has become his second home, was too good an opportunity to pass up.
“California is home for me now, so it’s better for me to stay home close to family and friends and play,” Sesay said. “I’m grateful to coach Tozer for giving me my first opportunity indoors, and look forward to growing as a player with the Fury.”
Pinto is another familiar face for Fury coach Lilavois. Pinto played for the California Cougars under Lilavois when the team was still part of the MISL in the 2007-08 season. That season, he posted eight points in eight games for the Cougars.
A native of Brazil, Pinto has played indoor games for teams in Brazil, Italy and the United States. He was part of the U.S. National Futsal team in 2011 for a tournament in Brazil. He is currently based in the Kansas City area, where he attended college.
“Luis’ experience internationally will show during the critical moments in games,” Lilavois said. “Adding his veteran voice will help keep the team calm, and be able to take the Fury to the next level.”