Last night we ran down the official RailHawks roster, as it now stands. We noted two significant absences: forward Dan Antoniuk and winger Martin Nuñez.
There's still no news of Antoniuk—and he's not training with the team right now—but Nuñez, last year's co-offensive player of the year and a finalist for USL-1 rookie of the year, will not be playing for the RailHawks this year. Instead, he has signed with the powerful Puerto Rico Islanders, who finished atop the league in 2008 (but lost in the playoff final to Vancouver). The Islanders are also still playing in the CONCACAF Champions League (although it's not clear Nuñez will be eligible for those games.)
In a Feb. 9 scoreless scrimmage between the Islanders and the MLS Red Bull New York, Nuñez was in the starting lineup.
Incidentally, Nuñez spent time training with RBNY prior to becoming a RailHawk. Another participant in the game was Mac Kandji on the left wing for RBNY; Kandji was briefly and technically the property of Carolina. A third player in the game, for PR, was Jonny Steele, who played for the RailHawks two years ago before departing for the Islanders, where he would become league MVP in 2008.
Nuñez was a popular, flashy player and a huge crowd favorite. On the other hand, the current team is loaded with midfield signings. Later today, we'll have a camp report by Chris Gaffney.