USLSoccer.com Staff Report
Friday, March 18, 2016
SANDY, Utah – Real Monarchs SLC announced on Thursday the signing of three 2016 MLS SuperDraft selections, as goalkeeper Connor Sparrow, defender Max Lachowecki and forward Amass Amankona joined the club.
Amankona was a standout for the Charlotte Eagles in the PDL last summer, as he recorded three goals and three assists in 14 appearances to help the side finish top of the South Atlantic Division. Amankona then had a standout season for the University of Dayton, as he recorded 13 goals and five assists. He was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, and also earned NSCAA All-America Second Team honors.
“He brings what you want from a number 10,” said Monarchs Head Coach Freddy Juarez. “He’s quick, he’s agile, he’s technical, he can create things out of nothing. It adds a little bit of a different flavor that we maybe at times lacked last year. He’s always smiling, he enjoys the game, he enjoys life, and that’s always good to have in a group.”
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Sparrow also competed in the PDL for IMG Academy Bradenton, and featured for Creighton University collegiately, where he made 49 appearances over three seasons. As a senior, he led the Bluejays to the Elite Eight while posting nine shutouts in 23 matches, including one in a Sweet Sixteen victory against North Carolina.
“He has very good hands,” said Juarez. “He catches balls, which a lot of times is one of the hardest thing for a goalkeeper, but he has very good hands, and soft hands where he can get hold of a ball. He’s good with his feet, so he adds things that we want from our goalkeepers.”
Lachowecki had a standout college career at Notre Dame before being selected in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft, making 85 appearances for the Fighting Irish and recording eight goals and nine assists. In 2013 he had two goals and three assists as he helped the side claim the NCAA Championship.
“We’re excited with him because he comes from a very great college program and then you know they’re going to come with a good mentality and a good work ethic,” Juarez said. “Now it’s just teaching him things that he’s not used to seeing and hopefully he adapts.”
The Monarchs will open the 2016 USL regular season on Saturday, March 26 when they host Saint Louis FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. MT.