The RailHawks continue to introduce new faces to the squad. Today, the focus moved to the back line as the club announced the signing of Mark Schulte, two-time USL-2 defender of the year.
What's more, the signing will reunite Schulte with his coach of the last two years at Cleveland, Martin Rennie, under whose tutelage he took two consecutive defender-of-the-year honors.
Schulte was the MVP of the 2008 USL-2 title game. He has also played in Uruguay and Iceland, and in 2005 he saw action in 19 games for the Columbus Crew of the MLS.
Complete press release after the jump.
Cary, NC (Tuesday, February 3, 2009) - The Carolina RailHawks announced today the signing of two-time USL-2 Defender of the Year Mark Schulte, pending League and USSF approval. Schulte will make his RailHawks debut on Saturday, March 14, at the "Community Shield" match against Major League Soccer's New England Revolution. Tickets ($10, $15 and $20) are available at the LGFCU Box Office, by calling 919-859-KICK (5425), or by visiting www.carolinarailhawks.com
"I am really pleased to have signed an experienced player like Mark Schulte to the Carolina RailHawks roster," said RailHawks Head Coach Martin Rennie. "I have worked with Mark in the past and I know that he contributes a lot to a team both on and off the field. He knows how I like to work and that will be important as we develop the team here."
"I am really looking forward to playing for the Carolina RailHawks," said defender Mark Schulte. "I believe in the potential that the club has and I look forward to the challenge of building our program on the field and in our community."
Mark Schulte is an experienced defender who has played in Major League Soccer, the USL and abroad. Schulte was the first American to ever play in Uruguay. He was most recently with the Cleveland City Stars of the USL Second Division where he spent the last two seasons. Schulte was instrumental in helping the City Stars capture the 2008 USL-2 Title and was named MVP of the Championship match.
Schulte was drafted by the Tampa Bay Mutiny of MLS in 2000 but was sent to the Minnesota Thunder on loan. He spent three years in Minnesota before signing for ÍBV Vestmannaeyjar of the Icelandic First Division in 2004. In 2005 he signed with Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew where he saw action in 19 games. He then signed with the Montevideo Wanderers in Uruguay making him the first American to play in the South American country.
After spending one more year in Iceland, he signed with the USL-2 expansion side Cleveland City Stars in 2007. He appeared in 38 regular season games and four playoff games tallying a total of five goals and seven assists. While in Cleveland, Schulte was also named USL-2 Defender of the Year both in 2007 and 2008, becoming the first player to win the award in two consecutive years.