By Randy Kim, Kingston Stockade FC General Manager
KINGSTON, N.Y. -- It might be the offseason, but the wins keep rolling in for Kingston Stockade FC and the club's players. And on an international scale, no less.
The first bit of exciting news: attacking midfielder Dylan Williams has officially signed a professional contract with Australian club Launceston City FC. Williams will head to Australia in January on a one-year contract after emerging as one of Stockade's standout players in its inaugural season.
Meanwhile, as Williams was shoring up his future abroad, two more Stockade standouts looked to improve their domestic standing, as Matel Anasta and Matt Koziol took place in the 2017 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) Player Showcase from Jan. 7-9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, home stadium for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Organized as a four-team tournament, with players broken up by region -- West, South, Northeast and Midwest -- the NPSL Player Showcase is a chance for top, young NPSL players to display their abilities in front of professional coaches and scouts, and has led to professional contracts for a handful of players in the past. Anasta and Koziol played for the Northeast team in the Showcase, but their side bowed out to the Midwest on Sunday. Regardless, it remains to be seen if either player will garner interest from scouts in attendance.
Williams' own professional future looks to be secure for at least the next year, however, and the 23-year-old SUNY Oneonta product credited Kingston Stockade FC with his continued development after finishing his college career.
"Playing with Stockade confirmed my desire to continue my soccer career and and play professionally," said Williams. "It consistently tested my ability against a higher level of competition and really helped me grow as a player and center midfielder."
For Stockade founder Dennis Crowley, advancing the careers of young players like Williams was one of the reasons the club was founded.
"We're certainly going to miss Dylan on the pitch, but we couldn't be any happier for him," said Crowley. "Stockade will continue to do all it can to continue to promote and showcase young talents from the Hudson Valley area."
Williams, in turn, sees bright things for the Kingston side due to the impressive club culture.
"The guys at Stockade are nothing but class and I know big things are coming," said Williams. "I want to thank everyone there for giving me my start and pushing me to get better throughout the year."
Williams, who played as an attacking midfielder for Stockade, scored 3 goals and had 5 assists in the 2016 season. Prior to that he was a two-time All-American at SUNY Oneonta.
Williams' new club, Launceston City, is based in Launceston, Tasmania and plays in the NPL Tasmania, an eight-team league that falls within Australia's second tier. Nicknamed "Juventus," Launceston City finished 5th in the league in 2016.
"Juve" plays in the 1,000-seat Mitsubishi Park stadium, located in Prospect, Tasmania.