Fink, Kavita And Martz Join Hertzog, Reynolds And Gomez As New Signees For Saint Louis FC
It’s the time of the year where United Soccer League rosters begin to take shape for the 2018 season. The local USL entry, Saint Louis FC, is announcing signings quicker than we can write about them.
On Monday, we wrote about the first signings announced for 2018. As soon as we published that post about the signings of Tomas Gomez and Sean Reynolds, it was announced that the club had signed Corey Hertzog.
Yesterday brought more news with the signing announcements of Phanuel Kavita and Austin Martz.
Today brought an announcement that will definitely please a lot of St. Louligans, the return of Sam Fink.
The new additions will join a roster that returns Devala Gorrick, Christian Volesky, Ivan Mirkovic, Tony Walls and Austin Ledbetter from a year ago as new head coach Anthony Pulis takes over for the departed Preki.
The Return Of Sam Fink
The announcement of Fink’s return had the STLFC faithful buzzing on social media.
The club’s Twitter account teased the announcement before some fans had poured their morning coffee at the office this morning.
The club then tweeted the official announcement at 9 AM with a short video of Fink in action for STLFC shortly after.
Sam Fink was born in Bridgeton, Missouri, but starred in high school across the river at Edwardsville. During his time there he continued to play his club soccer for St. Louis Scott Gallagher and would parlay a high school career that included a St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro First Team selection his senior year into a scholarship to Wake Forest.
After serving as team captain during his senior year at Wake Forest and playing every minute of every game, Fink signed to play professionally for Saint Louis FC in March 2015. He would play every minute of every game in the team’s inaugural season.
After making more than 50 appearances for STLFC, Fink was signed by Oklahoma City Energy FC in November 2016.
Fink made 19 appearances (17 starts) for OKC Energy FC last season as they finished 14-11-7 overall and made the USL Playoffs, where they fell to the Swope Park Rangers in the Conference Semifinals on penalties.
Coach Pulis addressed Fink’s return in the team’s announcement of the signing.
“Sam was brought to my attention by people here at the club as he was highly regarded,” said Anthony Pulis, STLFC Head Coach. “We had a long conversation on the phone and he immediately impressed me with his personality and desire to bring success to St. Louis. I was able to watch most of his games from last season and he is a solid defender who takes up good positions, reads the game well, and is a dedicated professional who works hard.”
From Congo To Real Salt Lake To St. Louis For Kavita
Phanuel Kavita certainly has traveled an interesting road to St. Louis. The defender is a native of Lubumbashi, DR Congo and a product of the Real Salt Lake AZ academy. He played his college soccer at Clemson before signing a MLS contract with Real Salt Lake. Kavita spent two seasons playing in the USL on loan with Real Monarchs SLC before moving to Puerto Rico FC of the North America Soccer League last season.
Playing in Puerto Rico last season, Kavita and his girlfriend evacuated the island a mere 24 hours before Hurricane Maria made landfall. With the devastation caused by Maria, PRFC played their final games of the NASL season on the road.
Kavita was one of several members of the organization that helped with food drive and other charity efforts for the island.
Pulis described Kavita as an “athletic defender who is quick, strong and powerful” in the team’s announcement of the signing.
Kavita was also quoted in the announcement about his excitement concerning his move.
“I’m excited to join the club and get started right away,” said Kavita. “I’ve heard great things about the fans and I’m looking forward to exploring St. Louis and getting to know the city.”
Pulis Brings Austin Martz In From Orlando City
Austin Martz will be wearing a new kit on a new pitch in 2018, but will again be playing for Anthony Pulis. The midfielder appeared in 30 matches last season for Pulis in Orlando City.
A native of Pennsylvania, Martz found himself playing in Malta after wrapping his career at Georgetown.
His Pembroke Athleta FC club had just been promoted to the Maltese Premier League from the Maltese Third Division. Martz played the full 90 minutes as the club won it’s first MPL match. Pembroke, which was originally started as an amateur side in 1962, would wins its second match as well and Martz would be featured prominently in at least one story about the match.
The midfielder returned to the United States for the 2016 season with the USL’s Wilmington Hammerheads after his “reality check” in Malta.
Speaking of reality checks, Martz was in Paris in November 2015 during the terrorist attacks there. Specifically, he was at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis when three suicide bombers detonated bombs just outside the stadium.
Martz graduated from Georgetown with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, Innovation and Leadership before setting off on his professional soccer career.
Austin stayed quite busy at Georgetown, according to his LinkedIn profile. Hopefully he will join the characters on the This Is Silly! podcast soon and discuss his career as a women’s basketball practice player.
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