USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
HOUSTON – Rio Grande Valley FC announced on Wednesday the addition of six new players to its squad for the 2016 USL season. Among the group are the 2015 PDL Young Player of the Year finalist Todd Wharton, and Jamaican international Jorghino James.
Defenders Ivan Magalhães and Kai Greene and midfielders Eric Bird and T.J. Casner will also join Coach Wilmer Cabrera’s squad. The signings of Magalhães and James are pending receipt of their P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
“We are very excited to add these talented players to our roster,” Cabrera said. “Ivan and T.J. were brought to the Houston Dynamo from the 2016 MLS SuperDraft and they were observed during pre-season by Owen [Coyle] and his staff. They have very good potential, and they are close to what the Houston Dynamo are looking for from young players coming out of college. The RGV FC Toros will help them to improve a few details and keep them in a highly competitive environment.”
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A standout for the University of Virginia, where he made 85 appearances over four seasons, Wharton had an outstanding season last summer for the Portland Timbers U-23s which saw him help the side reach the 2015 PDL Playoffs. Wharton was named to the PDL All-League Team, and was nominated as a finalist for the league’s Young Player of the Year award.
James has made three appearances for Jamaica, including scoring on his debut against Cuba in 2012 at the age of 17. The defensive midfielder played for the past two seasons with Harbor View FC in Jamaica, before earning a place at the 2016 MLS Combine after impressive play at the MLS-sponsored Caribbean Combine.
Casner and Magalhães were both selected by the Houston Dynamo in the recent MLS SuperDraft. A Brazilian defender, Magalhães most recently competed for the University of Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins win the Big Ten tournament this past fall while making 22 appearances for the side. Casner also had a standout college season in 2015 as he helped Clemson reach the NCAA College Cup Final, where the Tigers fell to Stanford.
Bird competed a season ago in the USL for the Harrisburg City Islanders after having been selected by the Philadelphia Union in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. A former NSCAA All-American at Virginia, Bird competed alongside Wharton as the Cavaliers won the 2014 College Cup.
Green joins RGV FC after training in Germany with Borussia Neunkirchen and SV Elversberg in 2015. A former standout at Seton Hall, where he scored five goals as a senior in 2014, Green will slot into a more defensive position with the Toros after featuring as a midfielder in college.