Arena Soccer / Tacoma Stars

Tacoma Stars sign USL Sounder Nguyen and former Blackpooler Nowland

The Tacoma Stars of the Professional Arena Soccer League have announced the signings of Viet Nguyen and Adam Nowland. Nguyen is the third former Seattle Sounder the Stars have signed as they build their roster for their season opener on November 4th against the Turlock Express.

Adam Nowland played for both the North Sound SeaWolves and Washington Crossfire over the summer in the PDL. (Dale Garvey)

Tacoma Stars Press Release

Nowland, 30, spent 11 years in English professional soccer, with stints at Blackpool, West Ham, Nottingham Forest, Wimbeldon, Notts County, and Preston North End. He also had loan stints at Gillingham and Stockport County. His best years came early in his career at Blackpool, where he made his debut at age 17 and became the youngest player in club history to score a league goal, a record he still owns.

“Adam’s experience as a player speaks for itself,” said Stars General Manager Todd Stauber. “He doesn’t specifically know the indoor game, but he has picked it up so quickly that he is having more and more of an impact in training every day he plays. When you’re looking at a player of his caliber, it really doesn’t matter what his indoor experience is because he’s just that good of a player that he’s going to find ways to do the right things on the field.”

Formerlies: Pete Vagenas (left) and Viet Nguyen went up against each other in the 2003 US Open Cup. Vagenas was an MLS Sounder, new Star Nguyen was a USL Sounder. (George Holland)

Nguyen, 35, has been out of professional soccer since 2005, when he retired from the USL Seattle Sounders after playing 153 times for the club over six seasons. After spending the past six years full time in youth coaching, Stauber and Stars head coach Leighton O’Brien convinced Nguyen to come out of retirement for the 2011-2012 season.

“Viet is a huge signing for us,” said O’Brien. “He’s technically one of the best players you will find, even after being out of the game for so long, and there’s no question he makes a big impact for us right away.”

Nguyen joins former Seattle Sounder teammates O’Brien and Kevin Sakuda on a Stars roster that is beginning to take shape as the season opener approaches.

“In the end, the chance to play with Leighton and Kevin and be involved with what Todd and Leighton are putting together made the decision for me to play again,” said Nguyen. “I still feel like I can play and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Tacoma Stars play in the Western Division of the Professional Arena Soccer League and open their season Nov 4 in Turlock, CA against the Turlock Express. The Stars 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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