Arena Soccer / Tacoma Stars

Tacoma Stars re-sign Weinberg, Bowers, Wenzel

The Tacoma Stars of the Professional Arena Soccer League have announced the re-signings of midfielders Ian Weinberg and Micah Wenzel, and defender Kris Bowers, as they to their season opener Friday night against the Turlock Express.

Tacoma Stars Press Release

Weinberg, 30, finished last season with 37 points (21G, 16A), second for the Stars and seventh-best in the PASL, and Tacoma is looking for him to step up to fill the scoring void left by the departure of top-scorer Greg Howes.

Ian Weinberg (blue shirt) returns to the Stars in 2011-12. (John Crouch)

“Ian is a great attacking player and had a great season last year. We’re going to need even more from him this year in terms of his scoring, but also with the defensive side of the game.” said Tacoma General Manager Todd Stauber. “ We’ve stressed defending with our entire midfield group during the pre-season, and this is an area we’re going to need more from with Ian.”

Wenzel, 24, played the past three seasons with the Stars and has grown into a major player for the team. He played every position last year, recording 16 points (6G 10A) and his 10 assists were third-best for Tacoma behind Howes and Weinberg.

“Micah is a versatile player that can fit into different roles on different nights,” said Stauber. “His work rate is incredible and he has improved greatly over the past year. He knows the indoor game well and we’re hoping this is going to be a breakout season for Micah.”

Bowers, 27, is a tough, physical defender who the Stars know they can rely on to mark any target in the league. He played in 13 games for Tacoma last year and the Tacoma coaching staff considers him a valuable asset to their defending group as they head into the season.

Weinberg (left center) and Micah Wenzel (right) are Stars again. (David Falk)

“A lot of success in this league is dependent on target play,” said Stars head coach Leighton O’Brien. “and if you can shut down the opposing target you’re going to find yourself in good positions to win games. Kris is a guy we know can defend the best targets in the league and we’ll need that from him.”

The Stars are looking forward to their first two matches of the season on Friday and Saturday night when they travel to Turlock, California for a double header with the expansion Turlock Express.

“We feel good about our team going into these first two games in Turlock,” said Stauber. “We have a very good sense of how we want to play and who we are as a team, and we’re ready to get the season going.”

The Tacoma Stars play in the Western Division of the Professional Arena Soccer League and open their home campaign on December 3 against the Phoenix Monsoon at their new home for 2011/2012, Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

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