The Otters 2017 season marked a continuing trend with a number of Otters receiving professional opportunities around the world. The Otters had one player turn pro, three had tryouts with the Charleston Battery, as well as one join his national team.
In Denmark, Charlie Machell (ETSU) trialed and eventually signed with Danish First Division side Thisted FC. Machell made four appearances with the Otters over two seasons, primarily as a forward or defensive midfielder. In his 285 minutes in an Otters uniform, Machell scored a goal, as well as set up numerous chances for his teammates.
As reported two weeks ago, the Otters also sent three players to try out with our USL-partners the Charleston Battery. Carlos Rubio (Ohio Valley), Dion Stergiotis (Marshall), and Mateo Garcés (Pfeiffer) all made their marks in the Tri-Cities this season.
Rubio’s goals against average of 1.71 is the best of any goalkeeper in Otters history and his save percentage (72.1%) and total saves (31) are both third all-time in the Otters record books.
Stergiotis broke the record for appearances (13) and shots (22) in a season, and finished tied for first in assists with two. He also became the first player to play over 1,000 minutes in a season for the Otters.
Garcés led the team with four goals, including three in one week to earn a spot on the PDL’s Team of the Week. Garcés was tied for first in total points with eight, and he finished second in games (12), minutes (866), and shots (20) for the season.
On the international stage, midfielder Remi Dujardin (St. Bonaventure) left the Otters midseason to go play for the Hong Kong U-23s in a series of qualifiers for the AFC U-23 Championships.
The Otters wish all these players the best of luck and will continue to provide updates as their careers continue to develop. The Otters were able to establish a path to the professional ranks this year, and that pipeline will only begin to grow as the organization progresses.
Stay tuned next week, as fan voting for the end of season awards open up on social media! Follow Tri-Cities FC on Twitter and Facebook and be sure to vote on your picks for MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and several more when the polls open next week!