Forward Albert Dikwa Joins Saint Louis FC After Spending 2017 With Coach Pulis At Orlando City
The 2018 roster for Saint Louis FC continues to take shape under new coach Anthony Pulis with the signing of forward Albert Dikwa, which was announced by the club last Friday.
Dikwa spent the 2017 season, his first playing professionally, with Orlando City B of the USL. The native of Garoua, Cameroon graduated from the Soccer Institute of Montverde Academy (SIMA) in Florida in 2016.
What Is Montverde Academy?
The teenage forward (Dikwa won’t turn 20 until January 2, 2018) played under Mike Potempa at SIMA. Potempa has been the coach at Montverde since 2010 and has led the program to seven consecutive National Championships. The team is currently unbeaten in 151 consecutive matches and boasts the fact that 18 of its players have gone on to sign professional soccer contracts around the world while 150 have graduated from the program and have earned scholarships at the collegiate level.
Athletes from all over the world come to Montverde to continue their athletic and academic careers. Its soccer roster this year includes players from Haiti, Ghana, Senegal, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Spain and Kenya.
Joel Embiid of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, also a native of Cameroon, went to Montverde for a year and played junior varsity basketball there. D’Angelo Russell, Ben Simmons and Luc Mbah a Moute are also products of Montverde who now play in the NBA.
Locally, Travis Ford’s Saint Louis University Billikens have a connection to Montverde. Ty Graves played briefly for Montverde during his high school career. The sophomore guard played 11 games for Boston College during his freshman year before announcing his intention to transfer. Graves has not played in a game yet for SLU and his status at the school is currently undetermined.
Albert Dikwa was signed last February by Orlando City B after playing three seasons at SIMA. Internationally, Dikwa has made six appearances for Cameroon’s U-20 national team. The forward and fellow Cameroonian Youmeni Jules were signed at the same time by OCB after playing together at Montverde.
Dikwa clocked in at #11 on the USL’s Twenty Under Twenty list last season after scoring three goals and adding and assist in his first 15 games for OCB.
For the season, Dikwa started ten matches and appeared in 22 for OCB, scoring three goals and recording 15 shots.
Saint Louis FC head coach Anthony Pulis talked about his excitement at adding the 6’2″ striker to the team’s roster for his first season in a statement released by STLFC.
“I’m excited to be able to work with Dikwa again as he’s a young player with a very high ceiling,” said Anthony Pulis, Saint Louis FC Head Coach. “He’s athletic, mobile, always on the move, and he has the potential to be a very good player for us moving forward.”
2018 Roster Taking Shape
Saint Louis FC’s 2018 roster has taken shape in the last ten days with the announcement that five players- Devala Gorrick, Christian Volesky, Ivan Mirkovic, Tony Walls and Austin Ledebtter – will be returning in 2018. The first signings for 2018 announced were those of goalkeeper Tomas Gomez and defender Sean Reynolds, followed shortly after by that of Corey Hertzog.
Days later, the signings of Phanuel Kavita and Austin Martz were announced. Also announced was the return of area native Sam Fink, who played for STLFC from 2015-2016.
The 2018 roster for STLFC, the club’s fourth season in the USL, is as follows.
Goalkeeper – Devala Gorrick, Tomas Gomez
Defender – Aedan Stanley, Austin Ledbetter, Sean Reynolds, Jack Maher, Sam Fink, Phanuel Kavita
Midfielder – Austin Martz, Ivan Mirkovic, Tony Walls
Forward – Christian Volesky, Corey Hertzog
18-year olds Aedan Stanley and Jack Maher are both members of Saint Louis FC Academy program who have seen action with the professional club.
Anthony Pulis was named head coach of Saint Louis FC last month, taking over for the departed Preki.
2018 USL Regular Season Will Bring Changes
The 2018 USL regular season will begin in March and, as of now, will consist of each team playing 34 games over the course of 31 weeks. Those plans could change depending on the outcome of a lawsuit filed by the North American Soccer League against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
Clubs currently playing in the NASL could make the jump to the USL depending on the former’s future. One NASL club, the San Francisco Deltas has already ceased operations. St. Louisan Tommy Heinemann recently signed with FC Cincinnati of the USL after playing last season with the Deltas.
North Carolina FC will be joining the USL next season after several seasons in the NASL.
2018 Saint Louis FC season tickets are currently available on SaintLouisFC.com or by calling 636-680-0997.
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