SAN ANTONIO – Center midfielder Kevin Harmse, the first player signed in Scorpions FC history, will return to San Antonio’s professional soccer team for the 2013 North American Soccer League (NASL) season that begins in mid-April.
A veteran of NASL and Major League Soccer (MLS) competition, Harmse served as team captain during the Scorpions’ inaugural season in 2012, scored one goal and assisted on two others.
“Kevin brought experience and toughness in helping us shut down our opponents’ offensive threats,” said Head Coach Tim Hankinson. “We’ll again rely on him to anchor what we hope will be a smothering team defense.”
Harmse, 28, was born in South Africa and grew up in Canada. After stellar performances in youth soccer competition, he began his professional career in the Norwegian Premier League in 2003. He joined the Vancouver Whitecaps the following year and became a cornerstone of the team’s defense. He made his MLS debut in 2007 with Los Angeles and later played for Toronto FC before returning to Vancouver in 2011.
Internationally, Harmse played on the Canadian U-20 team that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. He also has played on the senior Canadian national team and has so far competed in three FIFA World Cup qualification matches.
“I’m really looking forward to playing again for the Scorpions and Soccer for a Cause in our new stadium,” Harmse said. “It gives you a good feeling to know that the Scorpions’ efforts on and off the field benefit those with special needs.”
The Scorpions will open the 2013 NASL season on the road April 6 versus NSC Minnesota Stars and play their first home game April 13 against the Tampa Bay Rowdies at new, 8,000-seat Toyota Field on Thousand Oaks Drive near the intersection with Wurzbach Parkway, just west of IH 35 in Northeast San Antonio.
The Scorpions’ 2013 team-building process will continue with an open tryout Saturday, Jan. 26, at the South Texas Area Regional (STAR) Soccer Complex next to Morgan’s Wonderland, plus more player signings in the next few weeks prior to the start of training camp March 1, Hankinson said. Tryout details can be found at www.SanAntonioScorpions.com.
The Scorpions franchise is unique in that all net profits go to help expand programs and services for the special-needs community through non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first and only ultra-accessible theme park, said Scorpions President Howard Cornfield.
Sensing an opportunity to benefit Morgan’s Wonderland for the long run, San Antonio philanthropist Gordon Hartman three years ago secured an NASL franchise – one rung below Major League Soccer – and launched Soccer for a Cause, a successful campaign to build community support for pro soccer. The Scorpions played their first NASL match April 15, 2012.
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