FC Tampa Bay announces the signing of Bay area native and college goalkeeper standout Jeff Attinella to a one-year contract with a one-year club option for 2012. In addition, the team has acquired veteran defender Andres Arango, who has been signed to a two-year contract with a one-year club option for 2013. FC Tampa Bay has also released midfielder Scott Buete and goalkeeper Phil Lamarre.
Attinella, originally from Clearwater, most recently played for the University of South Florida from 2007-2010. While with the Bulls, Attinella played in 61 matches and posted a 38-14-9 career record and a 0.79 goals against average. In 2009, he was selected as the BIG EAST Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, was named to the All-BIG East Conference First Team and 2009 NSCAA/Performance Subaru Men’s Division I All-American First Team and was also selected to the 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Men’s Division I All-Northeast Region First Team.
"I've watched Jeff play during his college career at USF. He developed into one of the best collegiate goalkeepers in the country," said Executive Vice President, Director of Player Development and Technical Director Perry Van Der Beck. "We are very excited to have the opportunity to sign a player of his caliber and I believe he has the potential to be a top goalkeeper in our league."
Attinella was also a high school standout at Countryside High School, where he led his team to a state championship in 2005 and captained his team to a No. 1 national ranking in 2006. He helped lead the Clearwater Chargers to the 2006 Florida State Cup Championship. He received numerous honors, including three all-county selections, four all-conference distinctions and an all-state team honor, as well as Most Valuable Player in 2006.
Arango, who most recently played for and captained the NSC Minnesota Stars last season, made his international debut as a starting defender for the Canadian U-20 National Team that made it to the quarterfinals of the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. Between 2002 and 2003, Arango earned 20 caps for both the U-20 and U-23 Canadian National Teams. Arango, 27 years of age, was born in Colombia but now has Canadian citizenship.
“Andres is an experienced defender in our league who played well against us last season,” said President and Owner Andrew Nestor. “He is a leader, aggressive and very vocal with his teammates and I know he will help anchor our backline.”
Arango began his professional career with the Montreal Impact in 2003 and later signed with the Toronto Lynx, where he compiled 69 appearances from 2004-2006. While with the Lynx, he was named Toronto Lynx Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006, as well as led his team to the finals of the Open Canada Cup and a 10-game undefeated streak at home.
In 2007, Arango rejoined the Impact, making 21 appearances for the team before moving onto Minnesota. With the NSC Minnesota Stars last season, Arango played in 28 of 30 matches, ranking him second on the squad for most minutes played with 2,454 and tied for second for most matches played.