Strikers sign German Bundesliga veteran Marius Ebbers

The 36-year-old forward heads to the North American Soccer League after spending the last five seasons with FC St. Pauli in the German second division
The NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers announced the signing of German forward Marius Ebbers for the 2014 Spring season.

The 36-year-old Ebbers, born in Essen, West Germany, played for several clubs in both the first and second divisions of the German Bundesliga, including FC St. Pauli, where he played for five seasons.

“We are excited to be able to have a player of Ebbers’ quality join the Strikers,” said Strikers Head Coach Günter Kronsteiner. “Ebbers is a goal scorer and was the team captain for St. Pauli. The fans there loved him and I’m sure our fans will enjoy watching him play as well.”

Ebbers scored 122 goals in Germany, including 46 for FC St. Pauli. Ebbers joins the Strikers as the only player in the NASL to have scored on Strikers and longtime Eintrach Frankfurt goalkeeper Oka Nikolov. The two met in Frankfurt in 2002 while Ebbers was playing for MSV Duisburg.

Ebbers is well known for his fair play, when during a match with St. Pauli, the forward scored a goal with his hand.  The referee and linesman didn’t see the handball clearly and gave St. Pauli the goal. Ebbers, however, went up to the officials and came clean about the infringement and asked them to disallow the goal, which they did.  St. Pauli went on to win that match in injury time.

Marius Ebbers is the sixth new player to join the Strikers for 2014. The club has also re-signed 14 players from last season’s roster.

Minnesota United FC Adds Brazilian forward Daniel Mendes

 Minnesota United FC has announced it has added veteran Brazilian-born striker Daniel Mendes on season loan to its 2014 North American Soccer League (NASL) roster.Mendes will help bolster United’s attack after the injury to Brazilian forward Pablo Campos.

“It’s an important position to address,” said United head coach Manny Lagos. “We certainly have to react to the injury to Pablo and the reality that we don’t have a lot of forwards on the roster now. Daniel is a proven forward and has seen success for many years in Sweden. We feel like this is a great opportunity to add another veteran goal scorer to the roster.”

The 5’9” Mendes is a 33-year old striker with extensive experience in Sweden's top professional league, the Allsvenskan, primarily with Kalmar FF and AIK.

“I am very happy and excited to be able to play in Minnesota,” said Mendes. “I have dreamed of living in the U.S. and to live here and still do what I love, which is playing soccer, is incredible. Rediscovering Brazilian friends made the decision easy. I will do my best to have a great season with my teammates."

Before playing in Sweden, Mendes learned his craft in the youth academies of Corinthians (in his native São Paulo) and Juventus. He is a proven goal scorer, with 55 goals in 165 games in Sweden. His accomplishments include scoring the fastest goal ever scored in the Allsvenskan, at 6.4 seconds. He earned a reputation as a super sub (the Ole Gunnar Solskjær of the league, so to speak), scoring all his goals for AIK off the bench.

Mendes joins the United roster as the fifth Brazilian, re-joining old teammates Juliano Vicentini, with whom he played on the Brazilian under-20 team, and Tiago Calvano who was his teammate at Botafogo (Rio de Janeiro's top club).

“It’s an acknowledgment that we are trying to think outside the box in terms of the types of players that we are trying to bring into our club,” said Lagos on how the 2014 roster is taking shape. “The reality is that via some of our current players and some of the contacts we have this is really where we are finding some great players. I hope our fanbase understands we are trying to think outside the box and improve as a team on all levels and hopefully we will be successful.”