Item No. 1.: No new news from the RailHawks front office on signings, but there is, nonetheless, a fresh tidbit about RailHawk winger Josh Gardner, who is trialling with the Seattle Sounders. In a piece published today in The Seattle Times, we learn that Gardner, by his own assessment and others, has matured since he played with the USL Sounders in 2007 and 2008.
Currently training with the team in Arizona, Gardner has been reunited with Sounders gaffer Sigi Schmid, who coached him with the Los Angeles Galaxy from 2004-06. We also learn that Gardner's trial with the Sounders is partly a result of a close relationship between Schmid and RailHawks coach Martin Rennie, and that Schmid "respects" the Scotsman's opinion of players.
According to the dispatch by José Miguel Romero, Gardner is on a two-year contract with the RailHawks and expects to return to North Carolina should he not win a place with the Sounders. With his left foot and pace, he should enjoy a good hard look by the Sounders. For the RailHawks in 2009, Gardner saw action in 20 games and notched three assists.
Item No. 2: A few days ago we noted the retirement of defender Jeremy Tolleson, who decided to pursue Christian mission work in Honduras. This morning, we learned a bit more about his new calling: He will be working with an outfit called The Micah Project to assist boys off the street in Tegucigalpa, the country's capital and one of the more impoverished cities in the Western hemisphere (readers of soccer writer Grant Wahl will recall that he was mugged in that city at gunpoint in broad daylight last October). In this post on The Micah Project's blog, Tolleson gets a mention.